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Kolkata

Opposition slams Modi government at Mamata rally, calls for BJP ouster

Leaders of more than 20 opposition parties attended a massive rally in Kolkata organised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and joined her in giving a clarion call for the ouster of the BJP government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre in the coming elections.
 
TMC rally: Opposition unites in a show of strength
Leaders of more than 20 opposition parties attended a massive rally in Kolkata organised by West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chairperson Mamata Banerjee and joined her in giving a clarion call for the ouster of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre in the coming elections.
 
All the leaders who were present at the "United India Rally", which attracted thousands of people, spoke of the problems being faced by the poor and vulnerable sections across the country because of the present regime's policies and measures and urged the people to vote it out in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
 
Ms. Banerjee also said the question about the Prime Ministerial candidate could be decided later, stressing the immediate task was for all of them to come together and oust the BJP from power.
 
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) did not attend the rally but sent their representatives. Mr. Gandhi also sent a message in which he extended his support to "Mamata Di" on the show of unity and hoped that they send a powerful message of a united India together.
 
"Across India, there are powerful forces afoot. Forces that are fanned by the anger and disappointment of hundreds of millions of Indians who have seen through the false promises and lies peddled by the Modi government," he said in the message.
 
"These forces are moved by the hope of a new tomorrow; a tomorrow filled with the idea of an India in which  the voice of every man, woman and child will be heard and respected no matter what their religion, economic status or region.
 
"The entire opposition is united in our belief that true nationalism and development can only be defended on the tested pillars of democracy, social justice and secularism, ideas that the BJP and Mr. Modi are intent on destroying.
 
"We commend the great people of Bengal who have historically been at the forefront of defending our ideas," he said.
 
Those present at the rally included former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) chief H D Deve Gowda, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Singhvi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka Chief Minister and JD-S leader H D Kumaraswamy, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmy Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav,  former Union Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Ministers and National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah and former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang.
 
Others present included Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) chief Sharad Yadav, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M K Stalin,  Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra, former BJP Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Ram Jethmalani, dissident BJP MP and actor Shatrughna Sinha, Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chaudhary, Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren.
 
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"A new dawn is coming. We have taken the pledge to work together," Ms. Banerjee told the huge crowd.
 
"Some people are trying to destroy the country. As Arvind Kejriwal said, what Pakistan could not do in 70 years, the Government at Centre managed to do in just five years. They have managed to drive a wedge between communities. They have destroyed all the institutions. They have started politics of hate. They have destroyed the country’s economy," she said.
 
"Jan Dhan, NPA, Rafale, insurance are big scams. There are other big scams as well. Those who are dishonest are preaching about integrity. They are talking about honesty? How much money did they have five years ago and how did their wealth increase? I don’t want to make personal comments but they initiated it. I believe in politics of courtesy but they do not care about it. They crossed the Lakxman Rekha. They tried to implicate Sonia ji, Lalu ji, Akhilesh, Mayawati ji and even me. Why will they expect to be spared?" she asked.
 
"People are asking who will be the leader. There is no dearth of leaders here. Their party is leaderless, so there is just one Prime Minister. In our gathbandhan, we all are leaders, we all are workers, we all are the subjects and we all are the kings. This is democracy. We will later finalise who will be the Prime Minister. The time has not yet come," she said.
 
"Enough of Achhe Din, it is time to bid goodbye to BJP. It is time for change at Centre. For the sake of youths, farmers, labourers, and people of the country, we have to defeat the BJP," shhe said.
 
"We are against divisive politics. We are against hate. We do not want bloodlust. We are against discrimination. We want constructive politics, not destructive agenda.
 
"Hindu stands for sacrifice, Muslims represent integrity. Christians stand for love and Sikhs represent validaan. This is our country. A person who can work for all, without discrimination, will be the leader of the nation," she said.
 
Addressing the rally, Congress leader Kharge appealed to all parties to unite to save the Constitution and democracy. He said the BJP had promised two crore jobs every year, but has only helped its corporate friends.
 
"A rainbow of 22 parties is replacing dark clouds hovering over the country," Mr. Abhishek Singhvi said.
 
Mr. Chandrababu Naidu said Mr. Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had betrayed the nation. He said the public mandate that brought them to power also had the strength to overthrow them.
 
"If BJP tries to victimize our leaders and harass the public, it will pay a heavy price. We will fight fearlessly to save democracy," he said.
 
"All the leaders forming the Mahagathbandhan have one ambition, ‘Save India, Save Democracy'. Since coming to power, the BJP govt has used every strategy to divide the people. We have united India and a new Prime Minister will rise out of this union," he said.
 
Mr. Kumaraswamy said the government at the Centre was headed by "undemocratic persons". He said demonetisation had hit the poor in the country hard, especially in the rural areas. He said it was sad that the Union Government had turned a deaf ear to the needs and woes of the people.
 
Mr. Stalin said the 2019 Lok Sabha elections would be the second war of independence. He said Mr. Modi was sure that he would not get a second term as Prime Minister and that is way he was fiercely attacking the Opposition at every opportunity.
 
"He is afraid of our unity. We must come together to protect India," he said.
 
Dr. Farooq Abdullah said there was a need to save India from the BJP, which  was dividing people on religious lines. He said the parties present must fight the elections together, pointing out that the question of who should become the Prime Minister could be decided later.
 
Mr. Tejashwi Yadav said the opposition parties were united in their diversity and would not be scared by the government's intimidation tactics.
 
Mr. Arun Shourie said no Government had said so many lies or undermined institutions as the Modi regime had done. "We all should have one aim, of removing BJP from the Centre," he said. He said the Opposition must ensure a single candidate against the BJP in all constitutuencies and urged them to hold rallies in every corner of the country.
 
Mr. Yashwant Sinha said it was not about removing one man from power but about coming together to defeat an ideology.
 
Shatrughan Sinha said people kept asking him why he spoke against the BJP when he was still in the party. "The mood of the nation is for 'parivartan' (change). People want a new leader," he said.
 
"If speaking truth is rebellion then you should consider me a rebel. Along with truth, I also don't compromise with principles," he said.
 
Mr. Jayant Chaudhary said Ms. Banerjee had united the Opposition and said it was imperative to get rid of Mr. Modi from the Centre.
 
Hardik Patel, who was invited to be the first speaker, said, "Subhas Chandra Bose had given a slogan to fight against ‘goro’ (Britishers), we are fighting against ‘choro’ (thieves),” he said.
 
Mr. Jignesh Mevani said the country was facing an unprecedented crisis with the exploitation of the poor, minorities and Dalits under the present regime.
 
Mr. Pu Lalduhoma of Zoram Nationalist Party of Mizoram said minorities felt unsafe under the BJP-led NDA government.
 
Mr. Hemant Soren said the BJP must be uprooted from not just the Centre but the States, too.
 
Thousands of people turned up for the rally. The TMC put up flexes and posters with photographs of the visiting leaders on roads leading to the venue of the rally from the airport.
 
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Calcutta HC gives conditional nod to BJP's rath yatra in Bengal

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday gave conditional permission to the Bharatiya Janata Party's Rath Yatra rallies, saying the organisers will be liable for any untoward incident or damage to public property.
Calcutta High Court (File photo: IANS)
Calcutta High Court (File photo: IANS)
The Calcutta High Court on Thursday gave conditional permission to the Bharatiya Janata Party's Rath Yatra rallies, saying the organisers will be liable for any untoward incident or damage to public property.
 
The state government had last week rejected BJP's plea to hold the 'Rath Yatra', touted as the 'save democracy rally', saying there was "grave apprehension of major breach of peace and communal violence during and in the aftermath" of the programme.
 
The BJP had moved a single bench of the Calcutta High Court on December 17 after the Bengal government's decision and proposed December 22, 24 and 26 as fresh dates for the three Rath Yatra rallies.
 
Acting on a fresh plea filed by the saffron party, Justice Tapobrata Chakraborty allowed the rallies to be taken out, but said the organisers have to inform the police superintendent of the district concerned 12 hours before taking out the yatra.
 
He said the organisers would be liable for any untoward incident or damage to public property during the rallies and directed the state police to deploy adequate force to ensure that there is no breach of law and order.
 
The court has also asked the organisers to make sure that rallies do not affect the vehicular traffic on the state highways and arterial roads.
 
Welcoming the verdict, the state BJP leadership termed it as a victory of democracy and said they would hold discussion with the party's senior leadership in Delhi before officially announcing the dates.
 
"We welcome the verdict. It is a victory of democracy and the democracy-loving people of the state. We will follow the court's directives to conduct the rallies. The court has not mentioned any dates in its verdict. As of now our dates are as announced earlier. But we will discuss the matter and take the final call," said state BJP leader Jay Prakash Majumder after the verdict.
 
"We ask the Trinamool Congress activists not to impede us from conveying our message to the common people. Let the people decide whether they would accept us or not. That is how a democracy should function. So Trinamool should not create any obstruction in our programmes," he added.
 
When asked if the party is ready to fight the state government which may move a division bench in the High Court to seek a stay on the current order, the BJP leader said, "They have the right to do so. But we have said before that no one would be able to stop BJP's 'save democracy' rallies. We have full faith in court and the constitution."
 
The BJP was originally scheduled to hold three Rath Yatra rallies from north Bengal's Cooch Behar, South 24 Parganas district's Gangasagar and Birbhum district's temple town of Tarapith, flagged off by party president Amit Shah on 7, 9 and 14 respectively. These rallies were meant to touch all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state before converging at Kolkata in January.
 
IANS
 

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Kolkata bridge collapse: Rescue operations on, suo motu case lodged

Rescue operations continue on Wednesday after a portion of a 40-year-old bridge collapsed in south Kolkata a day earlier, even as a suo motu case has been lodged against the persons responsible for the accident. Two persons are still reported missing.
 
Kolkata bridge collapse: rescue efforts on
 
 
Rescue operations continue on Wednesday after a portion of a 40-year-old bridge collapsed in south Kolkata a day earlier, even as a suo motu case has been lodged against the persons responsible for the accident. Two persons are still reported missing.
 
A part of the Majherhat Bridge between Taratala and Mominpur collapsed around 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday in south Kolkata, crushing a person to death and injuring 19 others.
 
"Two persons are still missing and a suo motu case has been lodged under IPC 304 and 308 against responsible persons," police said.
 
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), fire brigade and personnel of disaster management teams are at the spot.
 
Cranes have been deployed and gas cutters are being used for the rescue operation. Three columns of army personnel are also present at the spot.
 
"Our team is still working on the rescue. Overnight and this morning, we tried to dig holes in the concrete slab decks that caved in to find out whether anyone is still trapped underneath.
 
"Cameras are also being used to find out what remains below the debris. Removing the rubble would take more time," a member of the rescue team said on Wednesday.
 
The West Bengal government has initiated a probe into the incident. "Investigations are going on. At this point, we cannot come to any conclusion regarding the possible reasons behind the accident," a member of the forensic team said.
 
Pedestrians and commuters in buses and cars who were on the collapsed structure were rescued.
 
The bridge was the main connector between central and southwest part of the city. Due to the partial collapse of the bridge, traffic has been diverted. Tram services on some routes have been withdrawn, a Kolkata Traffic Control official said.
 
Goods vehicles' movement has been restricted on some of the arterial roads between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
 
State government will pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Soumen Bagh, who died in the accident.
 
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State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said on Tuesday that heavy construction work of the metro project beside the collapsed bridge could have weakened its pillars.
 
City metro railway authority, however, ruled out any such possibility.
 
Amid blame game over the partial collapse of the bridge, the Eastern Railway said it was not conducting any maintenance work at the accident site.
 
However, experts said the bridge was very old and as such structural defect or use of inferior quality material cannot be cited as the reason for the collapse.
 
They said the bridge has been withstanding heavy vehicles for more than 40 years and that the only reason that may have triggered the collapse could be "lack of maintenance".
 
According to a state official, the 40-year-old bridge was constructed by the Kolkata Port Trust and maintained by State Public Works Department.
 
However, a Kolkata Port Trust official said it does not have any records that show the bridge was constructed by it.
 
IANS
 

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16 dead, 63 injured as under-construction flyover collapses in Kolkata

At least 16 persons died and 63 others suffered injuries when an under-construction flyover, which has been more than six years in the making, collapsed in the busy and congested Bura Bazaar area of north Kolkata on Thursday.
 
Kolkata: 10 dead in under-construction bridge collapse
 
At least 16 persons died and 63 others suffered injuries when an under-construction flyover, which has been more than six years in the making, collapsed in the busy and congested Bura Bazaar area of north Kolkata today.
 
Police sources told NetIndian that the 16 dead included 14 men and two women, all of whom were crushed under the tonnes of concrete and steel that came crashing on them around 1215 pm today without any warning.
 
They said nearly 60 others had been taken to various hospitals in the city for treatment of injuries.
 
Officials feared the number of casualties could increase as search and rescue teams made their way through the mangled steel and concrete through the night.
 
Army personnel and teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) joined the local police, the fire brigade, other agencies and hundreds of volunteers in a massive rescue effort with specialised equipment, sniffer dogs and so on.
 
Several people were feared trapped below the debris of the bridge and frantic efforts were being made to reach them without loss of time. As people dug through the rubble, they found cars, taxis and other vehicles trapped under the concrete.
 
Hundreds of people of the locality and passers-by rushed to the spot and began trying to remove the debris with their bare hands, using whatever equipment they could lay their hands on, even as the authorities made arrangements to rush cranes, gas cutters and other machinery as well as ambulancesto the scene. 
 
Scores of witnesses told journalists at the scene that they heard a loud rumble and then a massive thud as the huge bridge suddenly came down without any warning.
 
Footage from a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera in the area showed people going about their normal business and traffic moving as usual under the flyover when it suddenly came crashing down.
 
Traffic in the entire area came to a total standstill and there were traffic snarls in several nearby areas as a consequence.
 
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was campaigning for the state assembly elections outside Kolkata, rushed back to the state capital and visited the scene of the tragedy.
 
She said stringent action would be taken against officials of the construction company, the Hyderabad-based IVRCL Limited, or any others found guilty of negligence.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in the United States on an official visit, took stock of the situation and expressed shock and grief over the incident.
 
“Shocked and saddened by collapse of under construction flyover in Kolkata. Took stock of the situation and rescue operations. 
 
"My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in Kolkata. May the injured recover at the earliest," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was touring West Bengal as part of the BJP's election campaign, asked the Director General, NDRF, Mr. O.P.Singh, to rush rescue teams to the spot.
 
An official press release said seven NDRF teams had been deputed to the site and two more teams were being mobilized for the rescue operations.
 
"I am deeply saddened to know that precious lives have been lost in the Kolkata accident," he added.
 
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Modi invokes spirit of Team India; says Centre, states must work together

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday described the Central government and the 29 state governments in the country as "30 pillars of Team India" which would together take the country forward.
 
Delhi alone will not run nation: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described the Central government and the 29 state governments in the country as "30 pillars of Team India" which would together take the country forward.
 
Addressing a public meeting after dedicating to the nation the 2.5 million tonne modernised and expanded IISCO steel plant at Burnpur in West Bengal, he mentioned various instances of cooperative federalism of recent months, including the setting up of the NITI Aayog, and the devolution of additional revenues to the States through acceptance of the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission. 
 
He also mentioned that the decades-old land boundary issue between India and Bangladesh had been successfully resolved through the same spirit of Team India, with all state governments concerned and political parties coming together to support a solution of the problem.
 
He said the nation would move ahead faster when the Centre and the states worked together.
 
"Sadly Centre-State relations were tensed for a long time. I have been Chief Minister for a long time and I know that such behaviour will not be good. We have brought in a change, we focused on co-operative federalism. Delhi alone will not run the nation," he said.
 
"India will not change without a 'Team India'. The Prime Minister and Chief Ministers are one team that will take India ahead. The nation is bigger than any party," he said.
 
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Mr Modi said the time had now come for India to address the issue of "geographical imbalance" along with the economic and social imbalances. He said that eastern India, too, should develop as fast as western India is developing, and for that, development of West Bengal is essential. 
 
"The eastern part of India has immense potential. The people are also skilled," he said.
 
He said District Mineral Foundations would be set up to help speed up progress and welfare of the poor in mineral-rich districts. He said that, within a year, the atmosphere of gloom in the country had lifted, and all global rating agencies were now agreed that India is among the world's fastest growing economies.
 
"A year ago the world had a different perception about India. Now the world says in one voice that India is a fast growing economy," he added.
 
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After CBI grilling, Mukul Roy alleges conspiracy by Mamata

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After a two-and-a-half-hour long grilling by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Narada TV sting case, BJP leader Mukul Roy on Saturday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of hatching a "big conspiracy" to frame him, but promised to cooperate with the probe agency whenever he gets a call from them.
 
Former Railway Minister Roy, who landed at the federal agency's office in Nizam Palace in south Kolkata at around 2.15 p.m., claimed that he was not involved in the scam.
 
"I would like to state that I am always ready to face the probe agency, because I know I have no involvement in the case," he said while leaving Nizam Palace.
 
When asked why he was saying so, Roy said: "Yes, I am saying this. Have you seen the footage? Have you seen me taking money from anybody?"
 
He then made the startling allegation against Banerjee.
 
"Mamata Banerjee is hatching a big conspiracy against me. Whoever is being arrested for corruption, they are being told to take the name of Mukul Roy," he said.
 
Asked whether IPS officer S. M. H. Mirza, who was arrested by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the Narada scam on Thursday, has been instructed to take his name, Roy said: "Everybody is being instructed (to take my name)."
 
Before levelling the conspiracy allegation against Banerjee -- his mentor during his long stint with the Trinamool Congress -- Roy also took a dig at the Chief Minister, saying she didn't want people to cooperate with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
 
"Mamata Baenrjee says one shouldn't cooperate with the investigative agency. And I say helping and cooperating with the probe agency is the duty of a law-abiding citizen. So I would like to say that whenever the probe agency calls me, I will cooperate with them.
 
"They called me today. They questioned me. If they need me, they will call me again, and I will come," he said.
 
Roy parried a query on whether the sleuths brought him face-to-face with Mirza.
 
"This is an internal affair of the agency. If I say anything, it will be wrong. You please contact the probe agency on this," Roy said.
 
He also answered in the negative when asked whether the investigators have asked him to come again.
 
The CBI had on Thursday evening issued a notice to Roy, asking him to be present at its Nizam Palace office on Friday. However, the former Trinamool Congress leader wrote back to the agency seeking some time to appear, citing pre-occupation with political programmes.
 
But the CBI sent him a second notice, summoning him on Saturday. Roy had then told mediapersons that he would be available for questioning after 2.30 p.m. on Saturday.
 
The CBI has apparently decided to summon Roy to cross-check the information provided by IPS officer Mirza, who has been remanded to CBI custody till September 30.
 
In the sting operation conducted by Narada News chief journalist Mathew Samuel in 2014, the IPS officer and a number of senior Trinamool leaders -- including Roy and former Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, both of whom have since jumped ship to the BJP -- were purportedly seen taking cash or asking for money be deposited elsewhere in return for promising favours to a fictitious company.
 
The footage was uploaded by the news portal in March 2016, ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.
 
Mirza, the first person to be arrested in the case, was heard referring to his closeness with Roy in a footage uploaded by the news portal. Roy, it is said, had asked Samuel to meet Mirza, saying he would be the go-between.
 
The CBI lodged an FIR in the case on April 17, 2017 after a preliminary inquiry revealed prima facie material for registration of a regular case relating to criminal conspiracy (IPC 120B) and under several provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
Roy, who founded the Trinamool along with Banerjee in 1998, was regarded as her closest aide, chief troubleshooter and number one election strategist for over one-and-a-half decade.
 
Then a rift appeared between the two in 2015 after Roy was quizzed by the CBI in the Saradha ponzi scam case. Banerjee started clipping his wings, but the duo seemingly patched up next year. But the peace proved temporary. Roy ultimately quit the Trinamool and joined the BJP in late 2017.
 
IANS
 

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Kovind to visit Odisha, Jharkhand and Bengal from Sep 27 to Oct 1

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal from September 27 to October 1.
 
On September 28, the President will present Colours to the Corps of Army Air Defence at Gopalpur in Odisha, an official press release said.
 
On the following day, Kovind will visit Vikas Bharti, Bishunpur, Gumla in Jharkhand.
 
On September 30, he will attend the 33rd convocation of Ranchi University.  
 
On October 1, the President will visit the National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities in Kolkata, West Bengal, the release added.
 
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Usha Uthup, Trincas reunite on a nostalgic journey

Usha Uthup (Photo: Sunil Majumdar/IANS)
Usha Uthup (Photo: Sunil Majumdar/IANS)
Come September 27, and it will be yesterday once more in Kolkata's fashionable Park Street as a legendary singer will return to an iconic stage for live performance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her first performance at the fine-dining hub.
 
Usha Uthup -- India's pop, jazz and film music diva -- had performed live for the first time on October 1, 1969, at Trincas, synonymous with the cultural heritage of the city, she told the media here.
 
Uthup's live performances on September 27-28, will mark a 60/50 "the celebrations of Trincas' completion of 60 years under the Puri family as one of Park Street's most legendary restaurants, besides the golden jubilee of the singer's first live gig at the popular joint".
 
Trincas was a quiet tea room in the 1920s Calcutta. Legend has it that a couple of Swiss gentlemen -- Mr Flury and Mr Trinca -- opened two tea rooms across the road from each other. They named them -- Flury's and Trinca's.
 
Then came July 1959, when Om Prakash Puri and Ellis Joshua acquired and converted it into a restaurant. To this, they added live 'floor shows'.
 
In 1961, they completed renovations to the tea-room -- a centre-stage backed by a padded velvet wall, large mirrors, ornate lights -- and the ambience turned plush. The food offerings were classic Continental and Indian food. Excellent live entertainment established Trincas as one of, not only Kolkata's, but India's leading restaurants.
 
In the 1970s, the eatery attracted superstars of the day like Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, Tiger Pataudi and the West Indian cricket team.
 
It was here that one could rub shoulders with politicians and business tycoons, artistes and entertainers -- while listening to world-class musicians like Biddu Appaiah ("Kung Fu Fighting", "Boom Boom"), The Trojans, Eve, Ajit Singh, The Cavaliers, Beat Four, Flintstones, Chequered Tricycle, Great Bear and The Savages.
 
Usha Uthup had added a spectacular new dimension to the restaurant's already lively music scene with her trademark charisma, Kanjivaram sarees and flowers in her hair.
 
The fates of the crooner and the musical eating hub were intertwined from the start of their association. As her stardom peaked, so did Trincas' and two legends were created.
 
She had and still has, an uncanny ability of reading a room, understanding her audience and capturing hearts and minds.
 
Usha Uthup calls her coming to Kolkata and performing at the signature restaurant "a dream come true".
 
She met her husband Jani Uthup at the popular joint, fell in love with Kolkata and stayed on, even naming her son Sonny after a song she would perform at Trincas -- the only remaining stalwart of Park Street that never brought down the curtain on its stage. The music has always played on.
 
IANS
 

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CBI at Rajeev Kumar's door, as protection from arrest ends

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Soon after the Calcutta High Court on Friday withdrew interim protection from arrest given to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam case, CBI officials reached his official residence here apparently to serve a notice.
 
In a jolt to the IPS officer, the High Court withdrew the interim protection giving the CBI an immediate chance to ask him to appear before the agency in connection with the Ponzi scam probe that saw many lakhs lose their hard earned money with some pushed to the extreme point to end their lives.
 
The Bench of Justice Madhumita Mitra refused to extend Kumar's interim protection beyond Friday. "The application filed by the petitioner Rajeev Kumar has been heard by the court and turned down, and all the interim orders passed earlier by the honourable judges were vacated and turned down," the CBI counsel told reporters.
 
The court had given the interim protection on May 30 and then extended it multiple times. The judge observed if the investigative agency operated within the parameters of the law then there was no need for the court to intervene.
 
As a responsible high-ranking officer, it was Kumar's duty to cooperate with the investigative agency, the court said.
 
A source said Kumar -- posted as Additional Director General of the state Criminal Investigation Department -- was on leave at present.
 
When the CBI officers reached Kumar's Park Street residence, the former Kolkata Police Commissioner was not there.
 
A large number of policemen in uniform and plainclothes from the Park Street police station were present at the spot when the CBI officials reached there at 4.55 p.m.
 
The investigative agency had sent a notice to Kumar asking him to appear before it and later issued a lookout notice against him in May, alerting all airports and immigration authorities against him leaving the country.
 
Kumar had moved the court on May 22 seeking quashing of the CBI notice asking him to appear before the agency.
 
He appeared before the CBI on June 7 and was grilled for several hours.
 
Kumar, who headed the special investigation team (SIT) as the Commissioner of Bidhannagar police that probed the Saradha scam, is accused of tampering with evidence in the case.
 
The CBI is seeking Kumar's custodial interrogation arguing certain documents seized by the SIT during the initial investigation into the scam was not handed over to it.
 
An unprecedented chain of events had unfolded on February 3 when a CBI team reached Kumar's residence to question him. The team was detained and was taken to a police station before being released.
 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also visited the officer's residence and later held a 45-hour sit-in at the city hub on the issue. But in February itself, as per the Supreme Court orders, Kumar was interrogated by the CBI in Shillong.
 
IANS
 

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Banned for age fraud, Gaurav Mukhi cleared by AIFF

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Gaurav Mukhi, who while playing for Indian Super League (ISL) side Jamshedpur FC was banned for six months for age-fraud, has been cleared to take the field after the footballer provided the All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) with his correct birth certificate.
 
The AIFF Disciplinary Committee had sanctioned him in November last year but upon submission of correct documents, the ban was lifted according to a source in the know of the developments.
 
"He was banned for age fraud, but he is clear to play after he submitted original documents to the AIFF. The federation had banned him for 6 months and had asked him to submit correct documents for (central registration system) CRS. He accepted the verdict and on completion of the ban, AIFF looked at his original documents and gave him clearance to participate in official events," the source told IANS.
 
Mukhi scored a goal against Bengaluru FC on October 7 last year and went on to be named as the 'Indian Super League's youngest-ever goal-scorer'. But it then came to light that the 16-year-old was overage.
 
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Disaster strikes Kolkata Metro work: Bengal Minister among hundreds homeless

Houses in Central Kolkata's Bowbazar area damaged in underground tunnelling work for the East-West Metro Project, in Kolkata on September 5, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Houses in Central Kolkata's Bowbazar area damaged in underground tunnelling work for the East-West Metro Project, in Kolkata on September 5, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
A West Bengal Minister was among over 400 persons forced to evacuate their residences and shops in the heart of the city after more than 50 buildings developed cracks -- and several collapsed -- apparently due to tunnelling work for the under-construction 16.60-km East-West Metro Railway project -- a part of which constitutes India's first under-river train line.
 
The project -- technologically analogous to the Eurostar (connecting Paris and London) -- met with what the implementing agency Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) called an "unprecedented disaster" on August 31, when a tunnel boring machine hit an aquifer resulting in water and silt gushing in and triggering serious ground loss on several roads in central Kolkata's Bowbazar area -- close to the city's bustling office and business hub Esplanade and Dalhousie.
 
While 10 buildings developed cracks on August 31, the number increased to 20 the next day and climbed up to 52 till Thursday, prompting authorities to shift more than 400 dwellers to hotels or guest houses in the vicinity. At least two buildings have caved in.
 
Among those asked to vacate their residences by senior KMRCL officials, as a precautionary measure as cracks have appeared in most adjacent buildings, is state Planning and Statistics Minister Tapas Roy . Roy, who has been residing at BB Ganguly Street for over a decade, termed the situation "unfortunate".
 
Meanwhile, the KMRC has announced a relief of Rs 5 lakh to each household evacuated in a sudden/unplanned manner following damage to their residence.
 
"The KMRCL board of directors have decided to immediately release Rs 5 lakh per family to those affected," it said in a statement.
 
The order to vacate "immediately" came to families on Durga Pituri Lane, Babu Ram Seal Lane and Gour De Lane.
 
Anindita Dey, 25, is scheduled to get married on December 1. Her family was given "10 minutes" on Monday to take out their valuables and important documents. But before they could get anything out, the building collapsed burying their belongings in the rubble.
 
The Dey family, now lodged in a hotel by the KMRCL, is now banking on the announced Rs 5 lakh compensation and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to see through the wedding.
 
The KMRCL has promised to reconstruct or repair the damaged buildings, and provide the shifted residents flats on rent if their hotel stay "is prolonged".
 
The agency has also engaged several experts "of both national and international repute" for addressing the issue in the best possible manner", the statement said.
 
"International experts namely Paul Vireli (tunnel expert from South Africa), Guy Bridges (Hong Kong), geotechnical engineer John Endicott (Singapore), grouting expert Kiril Shramka (Russia) and Kumar Pitchumani from Chennai are already in Kolkata," it said.
 
According to KMRCL, the tunnel boring work has been stopped and would resume only after a green signal from the court. Company officials fear that the project could be delayed by at least a year, leading to a massive cost escalation.
 
The court will hear the matter on September 16.
 
Meanwhile, state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim has sought Railway Minister Piyush Goel's intervention to control the damage and ensure proper rehabilitation of the affected denizens. Hakim also charged the KMRCL with negligence that has caused the "massive human suffering".
 
The Chief Minister, who reviewed the situation with KMRCL authorities, experts, police and administrative officials earlier this week, has decided to form a core group comprising the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, City Police Commissioner and representatives of affected houses and shops to look into the tunnelling related problems.
 
The Metro corridor bridges the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata -- two of the most populous areas -- and has been planned to drastically cut down travel cost and time, almost by an hour and a half.
 
The Metro would run from Salt Lake's Sector V, Kolkata's IT hub, and Howrah Maidan. Out of the total 16.60 km, 5.8 km is an elevated corridor and 10.8 km will run underground. The 520-metre twin tunnels under the river are part of the underground stretch.
 
Once commissioned in 2019, one would travel more than a 10-storeyed building below the water surface for almost half a kilometre across the 460 metre-wide Hooghly.
 
The Metro project -- connecting two of the world's busiest railway stations Sealdah and Howrah -- was originally slated to be operational by 2012, but the deadline has got pushed back repeatedly due to land and other issues.
 
The affected section -- from Esplanade to Sealdah -- is a 2.45 km stretch. The tunnel boring machine was about 600 metres from Sealdah when disaster struck. The projected daily maximum passenger load is nine lakh.
 
IANS
 

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Arrest warrant issued against Shami for domestic violence

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A court here on Monday issued an arrest warrant against India cricketer Mohammed Shami, which gave him 15 days to surrender and apply for bail for alleged domestic violence accusations levelled against him by his estranged wife Hasin Jahan.
 
The judge of the Alipore court issued the warrant around six months after the police filed a charge sheet in the case against the celebrated cricketer under Section 498A (domestic violence) and 354A (sexual harassment).
 
Shami is presently in the Caribbean islands as part of the Indian Test team which is playing the second Test of the two-match series against the West Indies.
 
IANS
 

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TMC MP appears before CBI in Narada case

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Trinamool Congress MP Prasun Banerjee on Saturday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here in connection with the Narada sting operation probe even as he accused the probe agency of harassing him and his fellow party leaders in the investigation.
 
The CBI on August 29, issued summons to several Trinamool Congress ministers and leaders in the Narada sting footage case, in which the politicians were purportedly seen taking hoards of cash from representatives of a fictitious company for extending favours.
 
The agency will conduct a voice sample test of the persons purportedly seen in the sting footage, which had surfaced in 2016 ahead of the West Bengal Assembly polls.
 
"I responded to the CBI summons and submitted my voice sample. I had already submitted all the details regarding the incident to them when I was interrogated two years back. There was nothing new for me to tell them," Banerjee said after coming out of the CBI office here.
 
"It seems they are trying to harass us. I told them that as I am an MP, my voice samples are easily available in the public domain. There was no requirement to summon me for the voice sample. It seems they want to tarnish our image in public by repeatedly summoning us," Banerjee said.
 
Meanwhile, BJP leader and former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who was also asked by the CBI to appear before it on Saturday, skipped the summons saying he was in Delhi.
 
Sending a letter to the CBI officials through a representative, Chatterjee said he was in Delhi in connection with the ongoing divorce case with his wife.
 
IANS
 

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Married couple's bodies found in garden house near Kolkata

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The bodies of a married couple were recovered from inside trolley bags in the washroom of a garden house in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas district on Tuesday, in what seems to be a case of twin murder, police said.
 
Locals were alerted by the foul smell emanating from the garden house in the Tiuria area on Tuesday morning and informed the Narendrapur police station.
 
"When the bags were opened, we found two bodies, one of a male, the other of a female. Blood stains were also found inside the house," said a police officer.
 
The bodies were said to be of Paradip Biswas and his wife Alpana, who were employed as caretakers of the garden house since 1997.
 
"We are yet to find any weapons. The way the bodies have decomposed, it seems they were murdered three days ago. We will get the details from post mortem," said the officer.
 
The police also suspect that there could be more than one assailant.
 
IANS
 

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Suspected kidnapper lynched in Bengal

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A middle-aged man was lynched at Nagrakata in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal on suspicion of being a kidnapper, the police said on Tuesday.
 
Six people have been arrested in connection with the lynching on Monday in the Sukhani Basti area under the Nagrakata police station. 
 
The profusely bleeding man was rushed to a block primary health centre where he was declared dead.
 
The identity of the victim, a vegabond, is yet to be ascertained.
 
Videos of the lynching that has gone viral show locals, including some children, encircling and thrashing the victim.
 
IANS

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Bengali actress Rimjhim Mitra, two others join BJP

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Three days after a host of Bengali actors, including Parno Mittra, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi, Bengali film and television actress Rimjhim Mitra followed suit here on Sunday.
 
Rimjhim is a popular TV actress who won 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa Bangla' in 2013 and was also seen in Bigg Boss Bangla. She also made her mark in films like 'Teen Yaari Katha' and 'Cross Connection'.
 
"I am not happy working under the monopolistic approach in the Bengali film and TV industry. I have felt cornered many times and this is the first time I am openly talking about supporting a party. I have joined the BJP as I found it welcoming," Rimjhim said after she was handed the BJP flag by its state President Dilip Ghosh.
 
Actor Surojit Choudhury and model Pamela Goswami also joined the BJP alongside Rimjhim.
 
Only a couple of hours before Rimjhim arrived at the state BJP headquarters, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged at the Trinamool Congress 'martyrs' day programme that celebrities were being forced to join the BJP out of fear of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
 
Negating the allegation, Rimjhim said there wasn't an iota of truth in that. "I have joined the BJP as I believe in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision and want to work for the betterment of the television industry," she said.
 
On July 18, film and TV personalities Rishi Kaushik, Kanchana Moitra, Rupanjana Mitra, Parno and Biswajit Ganguly were among the dozen of celebrities who cast their lot with the BJP at its Delhi headquarters.
 
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Man who floated in sea for 5 days sans food brought to Kolkata

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Rabindranath Das, the master of a capsized fishing trawler who floated for five days clinging on to a bamboo pole in the turbulent Bay of Bengal without food and life jacket till he was rescued by a Bangladeshi ship off the Chittagong coast, has been brought to the city for treatment.
 
In a virtual epic struggle against the forces of nature, Das survived solely on 'water when it rained' from July 6 -- when his trawler capsized in the sea during a storm -- to July 10, when he was finally rescued by the crew of the ship MV Jawad.
 
Das, hailing from Narayanpur in South 24 Parganas district's Kakdwip, was the master of the trawler FB Nayan-I. He had set sail for the deep sea along with 14 fishermen on July 4.
 
Once the vessel capsized, three of the occupants got trapped in it, while Das and 11 others jumped into the sea, offloading fuel drums and tying them together with a bamboo pole and rope.
 
While all his 11 colleagues were drowned one after another over the next few days, Das displayed unbelievable resilience and grit to stay afloat.
 
Finally, he was spotted by the Bangladeshi vessel near Chittagong on July 10. After a two-hour heroic effort, during which the ship even lost sight of him once, Das was finally rescued.
 
"All I can recollect now is that my trawler capsized and we jumped into the water and were floating. I did not eat during the entire time I was floating. There were intermittent rain and big waves. I drank water when it rained," Das said on Sunday, a day after reaching Kolkata.
 
But amid the happiness and ecstasy over his miraculous survival, what hurts Das the most is the way his nephew got drowned only a couple of hours before he was rescued.
 
"We were floating together. He had a life jacket. But since he was very much scared, I was carrying him on my shoulders for days. But he drowned shortly before I was picked up by the ship," Das said.
 
IANS
 

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Kolkata Metro passenger dies as train starts moving with his hand stuck between doors

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A passenger on the Kolkata Metro railway died a horrific death after the train started moving with his hand stuck between the doors and his body hanging outside on Saturday.
 
Eyewitnesses said the victim -- a middle-aged man -- tried to board the Kavi Subhas-bound train around 6.40 p.m. at Park Street station, but could not get in fully due to a heavy rush of passengers.
 
He had only got his hand inside the compartment when the doors closed, and his hand got stuck. To the horror of onlookers, the train started moving towards Maidan station with the man's body hanging outside.
 
After the train had moved some distance, he fell down in the tunnel.
 
A passenger Sudip Roy said soon after the train started moving towards Maidan there was a burning smell and the train came to a halt.
 
Eyewitnesses said the victim lay in the tunnel for quite some time before security personnel ran and removed him.
 
The victim was taken to SSKM hospital where he was declared brought dead.
 
A Kolkata Metro spokesperson described the incident as "unfortunate" and said a three-member inquiry committee has been formed. The committee will view the CCTV footage and the circumstances leading to the incident.
 
IANS

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Trinamool leader shot dead in Bengal's Murshidabad

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A Trinamool Congress leader was shot dead in West Bengal's Murshidabad district on Friday, police said.
 
The victim Shofiul Hasan was travelling in his car when miscreants surrounded the vehicle, forced him to alight, hurled bombs and fatally shot him in Hariharpara.
 
Shofiul died on the spot. Police later reached the site of the crime and took possession of the body.
 
The incident has triggered tension in the area.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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SpiceJet technician crushed to death at Kolkata airport

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A SpiceJet trainee technician died a horrific death early on Wednesday when he got stuck between hydraulic door flaps while carrying out maintenance work on an aircraft at the NSCBI airport here, officials said.
 
The incident occurred around 1.45 a.m. and the technician was identified as Rohit Bhushan Pandey. 
 
"He was doing maintenance work on a Q400 aircraft, and accidentally the landing gear door closed on him. He died almost on the spot," a highly-placed airport official told IANS.
 
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation will carry out an inquiry into the incident, the official said.
 
A SpiceJet spokesperson said Pandey was working in the right hand main landing gear wheel well area of the aircraft, which was parked in bay no. 32 when the accident took place.
 
"Inadvertently, the main landing gear hydraulic door closed and he got stuck in between the hydraulic door flaps. The doors had to be broken to rescue Pandey but he was declared dead," the spokesperson said.
 
A case of "unnatural death" has been lodged at the Kolkata Airport police station, while police and forensic teams visited the site.
 
Police have spoken to the eyewitnesses to ascertain whether the incident happened due to technical glitches or human error.
 
The landing gear is in the aircraft's undercarriage that is used for take-off and landing. The landing gear door covers it during a flight. A hydraulic opening system and a hydraulic closing system are two of the constituent parts of the landing gear door.
 
IANS
 

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Air India suspends pilot for 'shoplifting' at Sydney airport

National carrier Air India has suspended its pilot and Regional Director - East, Rohit Bhasin after he allegedly stole a wallet from a duty-free shop at the Sydney airport.
 
The incident happened on Saturday, before the departure of flight AI-301, for which he was rostered as a commander.
 
"There is an initial report of one of our captains Rohit Bhasin, who is also working as a regional director, picking up a wallet from a duty free shop in Sydney. Air India has instituted an enquiry into this incident and has placed the captain under suspension," an Air India spokesperson said.
 
The airline also barred him from entering the premises of Air India Ltd without written permission of the management and also asked him to submit the company identity card.
 
"Without prejudice to any disciplinary action to be initiated against you and pending enquiry, you are hereby placed under suspension with immediate effect," the order said.
 
Bhasin has also been directed not to leave his station, Kolkata without written permission from the management.
 
"You will not be eligible to any wages except the subsistence allowance as per rules with immediate effect," said the order dated June 22, 2019.
 
Following the suspension, Sanjay Misra, General Manager, Commercial, Eastern Region, will hold the additional charge of Regional Director for Eastern Region, said another notification from the airline.
 
IANS
 

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Three suffer bullet injuries in Bengal after BJP-Trinamool clash

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Three persons, including a boy, suffered bullet injuries after a clash between workers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) broke out at Panchasayar in West Bengal's Bankura district on Saturday.
 
Trinamool Congress held a rally led by state Minister and party's senior leader Suvendu Adhikari in the area and the clash erupted after the BJP activists allegedly shouted 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans at Trinamool workers when they were returning from the meeting.
 
BJP's Bankura MP Subhas Sarkar accused police of firing a bullet at the party workers.
 
"All three injured persons suffered bullet injuries. Police said they had resorted to firing rubber bullets, which is wrong," he said after visiting injured persons in the Bankura Medical College.
 
IANS
 

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Another Bengal BJP worker thrashed, dies in hospital

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Amid reports of ongoing political violence in Bhatpara in Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, another BJP activist died on Saturday after being brutally beaten up, allegedly by Trinamool Congress-backed miscreants, in the same district's Amdanga, a state BJP leader said on Saturday.
 
According to saffron party sources, Karim, a former CPI-M worker, switched to the BJP during the 2019 polls. He was attacked by Trinamool workers on Friday.
 
"Many CPI-M supporters, including Karim, joined the BJP. They worked for the party during the polls. He was also a booth agent. That is why he was killed. Trinamool activists are murdering our supporters with the help of the administration," said BJP's Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh after meeting the victim's kin.
 
Police said Karim was brutally beaten up by a group of men after an altercation between them, but did not confirm the political affiliation of either the victim or the accused.
 
"Nazimul Karim (23) was brutally beaten up during an altercation at a local market. He was admitted to a local hospital. Then, he was referred to a Kolkata hospital where he died this morning. A complaint has been lodged and investigation is going on," police said.
 
A clash broke out between the BJP workers and the police when security personnel reached the spot at Amdanga after the incident.
 
Amdanga, known for its history of political violence, was on the boil during panchayat elections last year.
 
IANS
 

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BJP delegation visits Bengal's violence-hit Bhatpara, demands probe into killings

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A three-member BJP delegation on Saturday visited violence-hit Bhatpara in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district where two persons were shot dead during a clash on Thursday, and demanded a probe into the killings even as it accused the state police of opening fire on innocent people.
 
The three-member delegation, comprising BJP MPs S. S. Ahluwalia, Satya Pal Singh and Vishnu Dayal Ram, visited the house of the two deceased -- Rambabu Shaw and Dharambir Shaw -- in Bhatpara on Saturday afternoon and said the bereaved families would be given financial aid of Rs 10 lakh each.
 
"When the clash between the two groups took place, police baton-charged one group and shot at the other. We want to know who took that decision? Who was behind this conspiracy? There should be a thorough probe into this. We will submit the report to (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah and apprise him of the on-ground situation here," Ahluwalia said.
 
"Police opened fire on innocent, common people. They have shot everyone here. Police held a press conference and said they fired in the air. If it was true, then how did the people get shot? Were they flying in the air?" he questioned.
 
The BJP MP from Asansol-Durgapur parliamentary constituency accused the state's ruling Trinamool Congress of indulging in constant violence even after the 2019 poll results have come out and urged its leaders to fight a "democratic battle" with the BJP instead of "murdering" common people.
 
"I want to ask Trinamool Congress, how long will this violence continue? When there was violence during elections and people were killed we tolerated that. Now the poll result has come out. If you (Trinamool) have any complaint or grudge against Modiji or the central government, you should debate on that in Parliament. That is the biggest space for democratic discourse. But why are you killing these poor people? This is unfortunate," he added.
 
The region under the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency has been tense since the election results were announced on May 23. Former Trinamool MLA from Bhatpara Arjun Singh, who defected to the BJP just before the 2019 polls, won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat while his son Pawan Singh won the Assembly by-election from Bhatpara.
 
A fresh flare-up in the area killed two persons and left at least four others injured while the police opened fire on Thursday, prompting the administration to impose prohibitory orders in the affected areas.
 
IANS
 

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One dead in Bengal's Bhatpara violence, prohibitory orders imposed

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One person was killed and several others were injured as violence flared up again at Bhatpara in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district on Thursday. The police opened fire to quell the violence and impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the affected areas.
 
BJP MP Arjun Singh alleged that the the victim was shot in the head by the police "from point-blank range" while six others received bullet injuries.
 
None of the police officers, including Barrackpore Police Commissioner Tanmay Roychowdhury, could be contacted despite repeated attempts.
 
The violence erupted on a day the new Bhatpara police station was scheduled to be inaugurated by Director General of Police Virendra. But such was the ferocity of the clash that the DG returned midway and rushed to the state secretariat Nabanna where the government called an urgent meeting to tackle the situation.
 
While state Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay announced after the meeting that the new police station has become functional, Virendra returned to Bhatpara with more reinforcements and reviewed the situation with senior police officers.
 
The condition of some of the injured is reportedly very critical.
 
"My husband went out of the house on hearing about some disruption. He was hit by a bullet on his head," the victim's wife said.
 
According to locals, miscreants threw bombs and fired at each other. The police opened fire after teargas shells failed to control the situation.
 
Police have recovered some arms and crude bombs from the area.
 
"The West Bengal government is taking a serious view of the deterioration of law and order situation in areas like Jagaddal, Bhatpara and other places under Barrackpore police commissionerate. Section 144 has been imposed... All efforts are being made to restore normalcy," Bandopahyay said.
 
The Rapid Action Force has been deployed and fresh police reinforcements sent to the area, which has been volatile for over a month now, largely due to clashes between BJP and the Trinamool Congress activists for capturing political turf.
 
"A new police station has been opened in Bhatpara. Route marches will be conducted and ADG south Bengal Sanjay Singh has been sent to the spot," the newly appointed Home Secretary said.
 
Bandopadhyay said some anti-socials are active in the area and some outsiders are also joining them resulting in the disruption of normal law and order situation.
 
"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other officers are looking into the matter with utmost seriousness," he said.
 
"Since I am in Delhi, the police have allowed some Trinamool activists to do all this. They are a mute witness to looting and violence over the last three days. They are giving free hand to them (Trinamool activists) and the total game-plan has been hatched by the police. Seven people have been shot at," BJP MP Arjun Singh said.
 
On the other hand, Trinamool leader Madan Mitra pointed out that Bhatpara has been witnessing violence for over a month.
 
"It is sad that Arjun Singh has cited police firing for a person's death. Police officers have said that they fired in the air," Mitra said.
 
"The BJP is seeped in politics of violence. Even if the administration tries to control the situation, they are targeting those officers who are risking their lives to restore peace in the area," said Mitra.
 
IANS
 

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