Hostel vigil panel at medical college
Mamata spits fire in run-up to panchayat polls
Tech school students on boycott path
Baranagar murder accused at large
Buddha to head Sunderbans panel
Dulal�s mates elude police
Rumtek riches remain unlisted
Bhikari Paswan rerun at Chinsurah
Sonia mail sender in net

Calcutta, April 20: 
The college council of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital constituted a seven-member committee to monitor the activities of students in the hostel and inquire into allegations levelled against one other by the three student unions � the Medical College Democratic Students� Association (MCDSA), the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the Chhatra Parishad.

Dr Soumendranath Banerjee, principal of the college, said on Saturday that the council had received complaints about unauthorised persons staying in the main hostel. �The committee will comprise teachers of various departments. It will see whether any unauthorised persons, apart from relatives of students, stay as guests and how many had stayed over the past few months. It will recommend action against the guilty students,� Banerjee said.

The council has also made it clear that the police would henceforth be called in in the event of any untoward incident at the hostel. �The police will now have a greater role in maintenance of order. We had discussions with the Bowbazar police. A picket will be posted for some time to monitor the activities of students,� Dr Banerjee added.

The decision to form a special committee was taken after a series of clashes between MCDSA and SFI members rocked the college and hostel premises, causing widespread repercussions in all the medical colleges of the city.

Several students were wounded in the clashes on Thursday evening. Later, boarders were forced to vacate the hostel premises by the authorities. They were allowed back only after signing a bond that they would be held responsible for any trouble in future. After signing the bond, over 150 students occupied the hostel rooms.

The committee will collect the responses to the showcause notices served to the students . It will also probe allegations levelled by the MCDSA that the SFI had brought in outsiders and started the trouble.

�The committee will look into all the allegations and take appropriate action. It will also try to bring the two warring sides to the negotiating table,� added Dr Banerjee.

The college authorities are unhappy with the hostel advisory committee since there was no information on the entry of the huge number of outsiders on Friday during clashes between the MCDSA and the SFI. �We found strangers on the hostel and the college premises. They had no right to be here. We have to stop this,� said one of the committee members.


Calcutta, April 20: 
Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Saturday resumed her tirade against the ruling CPM in Bengal by announcing a string of agitations for the next three months.

�From May 10, we will launch a sustained agitation to protest the CPM-sponsored violence across the state. The CPM, which has been killing our innocent supporters, has to be exposed before the panchayat elections next year,� she announced.

Mamata said she was going to Delhi to prevent Jyoti Basu from becoming the President of India. �My one-point programme is to stop Basu from becoming the President,� she said before leaving for the Capital.

The Trinamul leader on Saturday led a procession to Park Circus with her party MPs, MLAs and councillors.

The rally, which was organised in support of the party�s demand for the resignation of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, paralysed traffic in the Esplanade area as well as near Park Circus after mid-day.

�CPM secretary Anil Biswas has recently published a list alleging that 39 party activists were killed by our men. I, too, have a list of 365 Trinamul Congress supporters who had been killed by members of the CPM cadre. Will it be possible for Biswas to initiate action against his partymen?� Mamata asked.

Mamata made it clear that she would never seek any help from the state Congress.

However, Pradesh Congess Committee (PCC) chief Pranab Mukherjee said on Saturday the Congress could tie up with the Trinamul if Mamata severed ties with the NDA.

Announcing her future programmes, Mamata said the Trinamul would observe May 10 as Ganatantra Hatya Dibash. This was the day when the Assembly elections were held last year. �We will observe May 13 as a black day since Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee took oath as chief minister on this day,� she explained. She, however, kept silent on the violence in Gujarat.

Woman killed: A 40-year-old unidentified woman was run over by a private bus on Diamond Harbour Road, in Behala, on Saturday. Police said the woman fell while boarding the bus and got under the rear wheels. She died on the spot.


Calcutta, April 20: 
Students of the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) have decided to go in for an indefinite strike unless the state government reviews its decision to merge the tech school with the two-year-old West Bengal University of Technology.

�The decision has been taken by the chief minister and the process to shift IIIT under the higher education department has already started,� confirmed higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty on Saturday.

The situation has created confusion among the 200-odd students at the Salt Lake-based tech school, who have started boycotting classes since April 19. Director of the institute Swapan Bhattacharya also put in his papers on April 17.

�We feel cheated as we were promised a deemed university status for the institute by the government. It will take away the national status of IIIT, making it just another department of a university, which people outside the state have never heard of. We will go to any extent to force the government to reconsider its decision,� said a student.

The strike is not the first in the institute. The students went in for a week-long strike in February to protest the �poor� state of infrastructure at IIIT. The agitating students had met technical education minister Md. Salim and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to convey their grievances. The chief minister had promised them �all help�.

However, on being contacted on Saturday, Salim defended the government move. �We have taken the decision keeping in mind the interest of the students. The government is committed to do its best to convert the institute into a centre of excellence,� he said.


Calcutta, April 20: 
The police are on the lookout for Nazar Singh, accused in the murder of Darshan Singh in Baranagar on Thursday. Gurmeet Kaur, wife of the murdered transport company employee, was arrested on Friday.

According to the North 24-Parganas police, Gurmeet and her paramour Nazar had planned to flee the city after the murder. However, Nazar panicked and left on his own. Gurmeet has been remanded in police custody for seven days.

�We have obtained several leads on where Nazar could be hiding. We expect to round him up in a day or two,� an investigating officer said on Saturday.

On Thursday, neighbours heard the three quarrelling. When no one came out of the house for a long time they informed the police. Later, a team from Baranagar police station broke into the flat and found Gurmeet weeping beside her husband�s body. �She confessed to killing Darshan with a sword along with Nazar,� police said.

Gurmeet and Darshan were married for seven years and have a six-year-old child. Trouble started when Darshan began staying away from home for long hours. Gurmeet and Nazar would meet up and were often spotted at various places. When Darshan came to know of the relationship, he threatened Nazar with dire consequences.

On Thursday, Nazar came to meet Gurmeet at her residence. Darshan, who was in an inebriated state, attacked them. A quarrel ensued in which Darshan and Nazar came to blows. This infuriated Nazar, who killed Darshan with a sword.


Sagar Banerjee, 69, committed suicide by jumping from his 15th floor apartment on Southern Avenue on Saturday night. Police said Banerjee lived alone. His two daughters stay in Hyderabad, while his son and wife live in Colombo. Police said Banerjee was a cardiac patient. The body was sent for a post-mortem and the flat has been sealed.


Calcutta, April 20: 
The state government is setting up a high-power body headed by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to monitor the proposed biodiversity projects initiated by the Asian Development Bank and the UNDP in the Sunderbans.

�Professor M.S. Swaminathan, who is our advisor and is associated with the UNDP project, had written to me to form this committee to monitor the project and I will do so shortly,� the chief minister said at a workshop on Sunderbans development in the city today. The workshop was jointly organised by Nature Environment and Wildlife Society, the state forest department and the UNDP.

Bhattacharjee said his government would create a law-enforcement network for the protection of the Sunderbans. �We are intensifying the collection of intelligence about poachers and smugglers operating locally and as well as about those from across the border,� he said, referring to the trade in tiger skins and animal parts.

Foresters said 23 tiger skins had been seized in the city and near the Sunderbans in the past five years. Siliguri and Calcutta had become major centres of illegal trade in wildlife products, they added.

Professor Swaminathan underscored the importance of the UNDP project, which will be implemented in the mangrove forests that lie contiguous along the Indo-Bangla border.

The chief minister hoped that the workshop would throw up suggestions and recommendations for the upcoming projects. �Our government is committed to the conservation and balanced development of the Sunderbans, which is a World Heritage site,� he said.

The state government, Bhattacharjee said, was laying stress on coordinated action, as many government agencies were working in the same area. There are several �major� tourism projects for the Sunderbans and they would be implemented without harming the region�s ecology, he said.

Valmik Thapar of the National Steering Committee for the Tiger pointed out that the state government should immediately fill up vacant posts in the forest department so that the protected areas can be policed effectively.

�There are 900 posts lying vacant in West Bengal and over 25,000 in the country. We have to set our own houses in order before we talk of conserving wildlife,� Thapar said.

The workshop resolved that sound scientific principles should be adopted to protect biodiversity and generate jobs.


Calcutta, April 20: 
An joint overnight raid by city detectives and Cossipore police to net associates of Dulal Banerjee, an influential CPM leader who was arrested earlier on charges of masterminding twin murders, proved futile.

Banerjee, a CPM leader of the Dum Dum-Belgachia zonal committee, has confessed that he was present when Chandan Chakroborty and Sanjib Goswami were lynched to death on March 4.

�The accused are still at large. Our hunt for them is still on,� said detective department deputy commissioner Soumen Mitra, who is overseeing the case.

A large police contingent raided the houses of Pocha, Mita and Kele Gupi in Dum Dum and Cossipore area yesterday, but returned empty handed as those they were looking for were not there.

CPM state secretary Anil Biswas today said Banerjee�s case will be handled by the party units in Dum Dum and Cossipore and not by the state leadership. �We don�t have any good or bad reports about Banerjee and our party is still carrying out the investigation to find out whether any of our party activists were involved in the twin murder case in Dum Dum,� Biswas said.

The CPM leader clarified that party MLA Rajdeo Goala was not censored in party meetings for issuing statements about the Dum Dum incident. �Goala is a member of our state committee. There is no question of censoring him. I have to seek permission from the state secretariat and state committee before censoring Goala,� the CPM secretary said.

CPM insiders, however, said a two-member commission had interrogated Goala and other members of the party�s Calcutta District Committee, which oversees the affairs of the Cossipore zonal committee.


Siliguri, April 20: 
Reserve Bank of India Calcutta regional director Vinod K. Sharma has failed to list the 16th Karmapa�s wealth, bringing to the fore the decade-old controversy over the succession to the Karma Kagyu lineage.

On February 27, East Sikkim district judge S.W. Lepcha had asked Sharma to submit to court by April 29 an inventory of the properties of the late Karmapa. The RBI official, who has been unable to visit Rumtek during his trip to the state in the first week of April, is likely to seek more time to submit the report, said sources in Gangtok.

Buddhist organisations, which have come under the banner of the Joint Action Committee of Buddhist Associations in Sikkim, warned of law and order problems if the order is implemented.

During Vice-President Krishna Kant�s visit to Sikkim last week, the organisation submitted a memorandum that people were prepared to lay down their lives to prevent the articles of faith, housed in the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, from being tampered with.

The body demanded that the �genuine� Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorjee, be permitted to come to Sikkim and �personally� break the seals of the religious artefacts.

However, the Denzong Nang-Ten Sung-Kyob Tsongpa � a pro-Shamar Rimpoche body of Buddhists � has urged the state government to ensure that the inventory be made. The body urged that Shamar Rimpoche, who was banned from Sikkim, be allowed to enter the state and help identify the precious religious relics.

The state government is firm on seeing the court�s orders implemented. �Our job is to ensure that the court order is implemented and law and order is maintained,� a senior Sikkim government official told The Telegraph from Gangtok.


Chinsurah, April 20: 
In a rerun of the Bhikari Paswan case, an employee of the Gondalpara jute mill disappeared after he was lynched by a group of people inside the mill complex.

Mohammed Nasiruddin was lynched when two groups of workers fought a pitched battle inside the mill complex on April 5. Nasiruddin has been missing since then. Police first recorded a missing-person case, but later registered a murder case, following pressure from his relatives and neighbours.

In a similar case in 1994, another jute mill worker, Bhikari Paswan, was allegedly abducted from Gondalpara. When Paswan did not return, his family filed a case claiming that he was abducted by some policemen in collusion with local criminals. But, despite a thorough search following a high court order, Paswan was not found.

Nasiruddin was a permanent worker in the mill�s weaving section and lived alone in the workers� quarters. On April 5, an armed gang attacked him while he was at work. The criminals who allegedly beat him to death left his body inside the mill compound.

Nasiruddin�s body could not be found despite a thorough search of the mill complex soon after the incident by police from Bhadreswar police station, said Chandernagore police station officer-in-charge Biswajit Ghosal. The management of the mill pleaded ignorance about the alleged lynching. The police, thus, first recorded a missing-person case, which was transferred to Chandernagore police station.


Burdwan, April 20: 
First she dismissed it as a bad joke. But, with the number of threatening e-mails increasing, Congress president Sonia Gandhi lodged a formal complaint with police.

For the last few weeks, a special Delhi police team has been trying to trace the e-mail sender, who was threatening to kill Sonia if she did not apologise for the 1984 riots.

Finally, the police found out that the e-mails were being sent from a cyber caf� in Durgapur. The Delhi team raided Kajora village, under Andal police station, today and arrested Sunil Kumar Chabra, who has confessed to sending three mails to Sonia from the caf� on February 13, 16 and 22.

The subdivisional judicial magistrate of Durgapur has allowed the police team to take Chabra to Delhi. The police also took Debjyoti Ghosal, the owner of the cyber caf� in Durgapur, to the capital.


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