Murder over failed marriage
Trader held for abduction
Rampage after patient death
Bihar trips, Bengal pays
Trinamul rail halt

Calcutta, July 13: 
A middle-aged man was killed by miscreants, allegedly hired by his son-in-law, near Santoshpur railway station, in South 24-Parganas, on Saturday. The victim was identified as Nazrul Halder.

The incident was the fall-out of a family dispute, officers of the Metiabruz police station said. “Nazrul Naskar, Halder’s son-in-law, might have plotted the murder enraged that his wife had left him,” they explained.

Halder’s daughter left her in-laws’ house in Mathurapur some days ago and moved in with her parents at south Kankania, in the Metiabruz police station area, neighbours said.

Naskar, 22, visited his in-laws’ several times to persuade her to return, but neither his wife nor Halder was ready to accept his offer. “When Naskar was asked to stop visiting them, he threatened Halder with dire consequences,” said a Government Railway Police (GRP) officer, the agency probing the case.

Naskar got in touch with local criminals and along with south Calcutta-based goon Raju, he hatched a plot to seek revenge. The situation came to a head when Naskar visited his in-laws late on Friday. An altercation broke out between him and his father-in-law, with Halder forcing Naskar to leave the house.

“Naskar then planned to attack his father-in-law early on Saturday. Accordingly, he took Raju and his accomplices to a stall near Santoshpur station where Halder was having tea. The miscreants beat him up and dragged him near the railway tracks,” a GRP officer said. As Halder lay unconscious, the miscreants hurled bombs which blew up his head, the official added.

Preliminary investigations by the Metiabruz police revealed that Halder and his daughter had earlier lodged complaints of physical and mental torture against Naskar.

“We had called the couple to the police station and settled their disputes on several occasions,” said an officer of the Munchipara thana. No arrests have been made in this connection. “We are combing the possible hideouts,” said superintendent of railway police, Sealdah, Gangeshwar Prasad Singh.


Calcutta, July 13: 
A trader was arrested on Friday night on charges of kidnapping his business rival.

Sudip Sarkar, 30, a computer hardware businessman of Dum Dum Park, was abducted on Thursday from the Shyambazar five-point-crossing. He was assaulted and let off at night after he handed over his belongings and promised Rs 50,000 more.

The following day, Sarkar went to Chatterjee’s house to make the payment accompanied by plainclothesmen. The cops surrounded the house and rounded up Chatterjee. He later confessed to his crime and returned all the stolen belongings.

Chartered bus strike: Contract carriage buses will indefinitely go off the roads from Wednesday in response to a strike call by the Bengal Carriage Owners’ & Operators’ Association.


Calcutta, July 13: 
Locals went on the rampage at a nursing home in Sinthee, of north Calcutta, early on Saturday to protest the death of a patient. They also assaulted the doctors and nurses on duty. No one has so far been arrested.

Police said trouble started when Sunil Biswas, a resident of Cossipore, died on Friday night. Locals and Biswas’ relatives then got into an argument with the nursing home staff which soon took a violent turn.


Calcutta, July 13: 
When Bihar defaults, Bengal pays. Power supply in the state turned critical today after National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) shut down three of its 500-mw units to stop providing electricity to Bihar for not paying its Rs 2,500-crore dues.

The shutdown of the units — two at Farakka and one at Talcher — slashed Bengal’s share of electricity, leading to severe power cuts in the districts. In the evening peak hours, the shortfall in areas served by the State Electricity Board (SEB) shot up to more than 250 mw.

But the power board maintained its usual supply of 254 mw to the CESC grid as the state-run Power Development Corporation Limited stopped its 140-mw supply to north India. The city recorded a negligible shortfall of 5 mw because of low supply from Damodar Valley Corporation.

Though the Rabri Devi government in Bihar agreed to sign a pact to settle outstanding dues and implement reforms, the Union power ministry said the draft of the letter was perfunctory. NTPC also insisted on the actual signing of the agreement before easing restrictions on power supply that allows Bihar State Electricity Board to draw only 400 mw as against the usual 700 mw daily.

Bengal SEB chairman G.D. Gautama said the state was suffering for no fault of its own. “We had earlier emphasised in meetings at Delhi that a mechanism must be evolved to spare a state which is not a defaulter. Why should we suffer like this every time other states in the eastern grid fail to pay up their dues to NTPC?” he asked.

Bengal suffered a similar fate in April and May when NTPC closed down its major units to stop supply to Gridco of Orissa for non-payment of dues.

Gautama said after NTPC shut down its three major units today, the eastern grid faced a deficit of 1,500 mw as against the 3,440 mw it receives daily from the central power sector. “This sudden dip in the quantity of electricity in the eastern grid led to wild fluctuations in the frequency of power supply.”

SEB sources said the wild fluctuations forced the board to activate the sophisticated under-frequency relays to isolate the Bengal grid from the distribution network in the eastern region.


July 13: 
The Trinamul Congress today organised symbolic rail roko to protest against the proposed bifurcation of Eastern Railway, but kept it low-key as the party expects the Prime Minister to “find a solution”.

Trinamul leader Subrata Mukherjee said the party would not hesitate “to go in for a confrontation with the railway ministry if the bifurcation notice is not revoked”.

The Calcutta mayor added that Cabinet decisions were not sacrosanct. “Even if there was a Cabinet decision to bifurcate Eastern Railway in the past, there is no reason why it should not be changed in the interest of concerned states. The Centre has changed Cabinet decisions on many issues. When there are talks of changing even the Constitution, why can’t we change a simple Cabinet decision that threatens to create bad blood between Bihar and Bengal?” he asked.

Mukherjee said the issue, if not tackled immediately, could become as aggravated as the Narmada water dispute.

Train services were disrupted after Trinamul workers squatted on tracks at various stations in and around the city. Several long-distance trains, including Poorva Express, Shatabdi Express and Mumbai Mail via Allahabad, were held up. Addressing Trinamul activists at Bidhan Nagar station, party youth president Sanjoy Bakshi said they hoped Atal Bihari Vajpayee would not allow the railway ministry to take any decision that would harm Bengal’s economy.


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