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Midnapore West

Bengal: Police book BJP leaders after canopy collapse at Modi rally

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A day after a canopy collapsed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in West Bengal's Midnapore town, injuring nearly 90 people, police on Tuesday booked the rally organisers, the state BJP, for attempted culpable homicide, police said.
 
"A case has been filed against the organisers of the Prime Minister's event under Section 308 of IPC for attempting to commit culpable homicide. They have also been booked for causing hurt by acts endangering life or personal safety of others," an officer said.
 
Along with the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the contractor and decorator who built the canopy for Modi's event, has also been booked under the same sections.
 
A section of the makeshift canopy collapsed minutes after Modi started his address at the Midnapore College ground on Monday afternoon. Ninety people - 24 of them women - were taken to hospital after the accident.
 
Modi stopped speaking for a few minutes when the structure collapsed to urge the audience to move to a safer area. He also instructed officials to make arrangements for the treatment of the injured.
 
After the rally, Modi visited the injured in the hospital.
 
The state forensic team visited the rally ground on Tuesday and pointed out many reasons that might have caused the structure to cave in.
 
"First, the soft condition of the ground due to rains, the second shallow digging of the iron poles (3-4 inches), the fixing plate had four joints out of which only one was fastened with a nut bolt," said Chitrakhsya Sarkar of state Forensic Science Laboratory.
 
The state BJP leadership cited rains and overcrowding for the mishap but blamed the police for not taking necessary security measures or controlling the crowd.
 
"Police did not hold a single meeting with the organisers. The local administration simply overlooked the security aspect of the Prime Minister's meeting. Now they cannot shrug off their responsibility," Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said.
 
"It might be due to rains or the pressure of crowd. But the police should have checked the security aspects more diligently," he added.
 
IANS
 
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Indian Air Force bids adieu to MiG-21 T-77s

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, during the phase out ceremony of Mig-21 FL at Air Force Station Kalaikunda on December 11, 2013.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, during the phase out ceremony of Mig-21 FL at Air Force Station Kalaikunda on December 11, 2013.
Three MiG-27 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) performed the Trishul Break Manoeuvre as a salute to the MiG-21 Type 77 aircraft that was towed out and into the hangar for the last time at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal today.
 
With this, the Kalaikunda based Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) bid a final farewell to its oldest workhorse. 
 
Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, Chief of the Air Staff, who was present on the occasion of phasing out MiG 21, Type -77, said the event marked a watershed moment in the history of the IAF, with the end of nearly five decades of remarkable service rendered by the iconic fighter aircraft.
 
"The induction of first batch of six MiG-21s way back in March-April 1963 heralded the arrival of IAF in the 's upersonic era’. Its unprecedented combat versatility afforded the IAF great amount of operational flexibility. Over the years, this delta wing marvel slowly evolved into the combat backbone of the IAF and close to 1000 fighters (which include all variants) have served in the IAF till date. In 1980-90s, the MiG-21s constituted nearly 60% of our combat fleet strength," he said.
 
Air Chief Marshal Browne said it was no wonder, therefore, that five generations of the IAF's combat pilots, including himself, who had cut their teeth on this fighter, swore by its unmatched prowess.
 
"As a matter of fact around 80% of the presently serving fighter aircrew in the IAF have flown the T-77 aircraft and 90% have flown one of the MiG variants at some time or the other in their flying career," he said.
 
He said the T-77 fleet had been flying on an average around 9000 hours per year. 
 
"Today, while we operate the Su 30s and are looking forward to inducting the Rafale MMRCA, MiG-21 fighters (all variants) continue to proudly contribute to the IAF’s operational strength," he said.
 
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"I salute your spirit of service and of countless other air warriors who brave daily challenges of operating and maintaining this fighter in the highest operational conditions in our various stations across the Air Force," he told the IAF personnel present.
 
"The T-77 may have flown its last sortie today, but its imprint on the ‘Operational DNA’ of the IAF will continue for a long time. Gradually the other variants of the MiG-21 would also retire from service with Bison continuing for more than a decade or so.
 
"We are indeed proud of the five decades of professional association with MiG-21 and are grateful for its invaluable contribution to the IAF over the years. I am sure that from this day onwards the MiG-21 T-77 will proudly go down in history as one of the finest combat aircraft which has served the IAF over the years," he added.
 
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12 killed, 15 injured in bus accident at Debra in West Bengal

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At least 12 people, including eight women, were killed and 15 injured when an oil tanker hit a Puri-bound bus at Debra in West Midnapore district of West Bengal today.

Police said the Haldia-Puri tourist bus had halted at Debra when an oil tanker, moving at high speed, rammed into it. The bus was badly damaged in the mishap.

The passengers from Durgachak in East Midnapore district were going on a pilgrimage to Puri.

The injured had been rushed to the Midnapore Sub-divisional hospital and the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata.

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Maoists call 24-hrs bandh in Jangalmahal on October 22

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The Maoists today called a 24-hour strike in the Jangalmahal area on October 22 defying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's seven-day ultimatum to lay down arms.

Ms Banerjee, during her visit to Jangalmahal on October 15, had asked the Maoists to give up arms and come to the negotiation table by October 22.

Maoist state secretary Akash, in a press statement told UNI here that the call was a "rebuff to the Chief Minister's challenge."

The bandh would be observed in the Maoist hot bed of Jangalmahal stretching over West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, he said.

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Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.

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Bengal: Sushanta Ghosh remanded in 4-day CID custody

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Communist Party of India (Marxist) strongman and MLA Sushanta Ghosh and three others were today remanded in CID custody by Chief Judicial Magistrate of Midnapore District Judges' Court Manoj Ray in connection with the skeleton recovery case.

Ghosh will be produced in the court on August 20.

The other three persons who were remanded in CID custody are CPI (M) leaders Madan Santra, Kalidas Choudhury and Biman Ghosh.

The CPI (M) leaders would be interrogated along with the MLA by the CID to elicit more information in the case.

Mr Ghosh, a former state minister, was arrested after DNA tests identified bones and skeletons dug up from his ancestral house's premises as those of Trinamool Congress supporters abducted and murdered in September 2002.

Mr Ghosh complained of chest pain and was admitted in the ICCU of SSKM hospital on August 14 night. He was discharged from the hospital today morning.

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2 decomposed bodies recovered fron Jhargram in West Bengal


Police recovered two decomposed bodies from Bhandarvilla forest under Beliabera police station in this sub-division of West Midnapore district of West Bengal today.


Superintendent of Police (SP) M K Varma said the bodies were unearthed following interrogation of Parameswar Ray, a suspected Maoist who was arrested from Lodhasuli area under Jhagram poice station on Thursday last.


The bodies were yet to identified, the SP said.


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CBI arrests 6 people in connection with Netai massacre in West Bengal


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested six people from different areas of Lalgarh in connection with the January 7 Netai massacre in West Bengal, police said today.


The accused will be produced before the Jhargram sub-divisional court later in the day.


The CBI also revealed that more details had emerged during the interrogation of those arrested. The sources said that their grilling had shown that, like the Netai and Birkaner armed camps, there was another such camp at Sijua in Lalgarh and the inmates of the camps were provided a weekly payment of Rs 300.


The six arrested yesterday will undergo a Test Identification Parade in front of Netai villagers today, Superintendent of Police M K Verma said.


On January 7, nine villagers were gunned down allegedly by armed miscreants in the Netai village near Lalgarh in the West Midnapore district.


The Calcutta High Court in February had ordered a CBI probe into the massacre after expressing "utter dissatisfaction" over the progress of the CID investigation.


Meanwhile, four of the accused, who were arrested on March 13 in this connection, were produced before the Jhargram court yesterday and remanded in five-day jail custody yesterday.


With yesterday's arrest, the total number of those arrested in the Netai carnage has gone up to ten.


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4 more arrested for Netai massacre in West Bengal


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team, investigating the January 7 massacre at Netai in West Bengal, in which nine people were killed, arrested four people from Garbeta and Salboni yesterday.


Official sources today said that, following raids, the CBI nabbed a number of miscreants from Salboni and Garbeta and after grilling them throughout the night arrested the four, who were staying in the armed camp of the CPM in Netai village.


Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, M K Verma said the arrested miscreants would be produced before the Midnapore District Judges Court later in the day.


With this, the number of people nabbed in connection with the Netai incident has reached eight.


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2 injured in bomb explosion in West Bengal


Two teenagers were seriously injured today while playing with two improvised live bombs kept inside the local Communist Party of India (Marxist) committee office here.


Superintendent of Police M K Varma said the improvised bombs were kept inside a gunny bag on the roadside wall of the CPI(M) office.


The primary school students opened the bag out of curiosity and started kicking the bombs triggering the explosion, the officer said. Investigation into the incident was on, he added.


The injured were sent to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital where their condition was stated to be critical.


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Prime suspect in Gyaneshwari Express derailment arrested


The prime suspect in the May 28, 2010 derailment and collision involving the Gyaneshwari Express and a goods train in West Bengal was arrested from Indraboni forest near Manikpara under Jhargram Police Station in West Midnapore district today.


Superintendent of Police (West Midnapore) M K Verma said Bablu Rana was allegedly involved in opening pandrol clips of the tracks that led to the derailment of the Gyaneshwari Express and its collision with a goods train between Kehmasoli and Sardiha stations on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar section of the Kharagpur division on May 28, 2010. As many as 150 people had died and 157 others were injued in the incident.


Rana will be produced before Midnapore District and Sessions Judges Court later during the day, Mr Verma said.


With the arrest of Rana, the total number of arrests in connection with the Gyaneshwari Express disaster rose to 19. Charge sheets were filed against 23 people in connection with the incident.


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Miscreants attack relief camp in W. Bengal, 4 TMC men injured

Four Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters were injured, two of them critically, when masked armed miscreants attacked a relief camp here this afternoon.

"About 40 miscreants attacked the relief camp where 40 villagers, who had deserted their homes following political clashes, had taken shelter," Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, M K Varma said.


"The attackers ransacked a Trinamool party office, where the relief camp was situated, injuring four supporters," he added.


The injured were admitted to a local hospital where the condition of two was stated to be serious, the SP said, adding the critically wounded had been transferred to the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.


In protest, Trinamool Congress workers barricaded the state highway in the area. The SP had rushed to the area with a big police contingent.


TMC MP Subhendu Adhikary said the incident was a fallout of the Netai attack and the consequent visit of the Election Commission observers and the Governor to the area.


He said he had sent a report of the incident to the Election Commission and filed an FIR at the Goaltore police station.


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Maoists present at scene of Lalgarh massacre: Bengal Govt


In a twist to the controversy over yesterday's Lalgarh incident, the West Bengal government today said Maoists were present at the scene of massacre, hinting at an exchange of fire between rival groups.


The government version, which was based on the preliminary report of West Midnapore Superintendent of Police, goes against the Opposition charge of a "one-sided mayhem" carried out by armed men of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and is similar to that of the ruling Marxists.


Quoting the SP's preliminary report, Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh said the incident took place at Netai village where a number of villagers, who had come back recently after being evicted from home, were holding a meeting in their shelter in a house.


About 2,000 to 2,500 people, including women, were mobilised in front of the house by the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), a Maoist-backed organisation and members of the underground CPI (Maoist).


"After some time, a loud sound, which later turned out to be that of a large cracker, came from the rear of the crowd and immediately firing started from the terrace of the house. This was followed by firing from all sides in which two people were killed on the spot and five died later," the chief secretary said.


Mr Ghosh said two improvised fire arms and nine empty cartridges were recovered from the spot.


He said a drive was on to ensure that such incidents did not recur and all illegal fire arms were recovered.


The chief secretary said there was a dearth in the availability of armed police in the state and the government would seek more Central forces from the Centre to maintain law and order before the coming Assembly elections.


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7 villagers gunned down in Lalgarh area of West Bengal


Unidentified armed miscreants today gunned down at least seven villagers, including two women, and injured 19, some of them critically, in Netai village in the Lalgarh Police Station area of West Midnapore district in West Bengal.


Police said at least seven people had fallen prey to the fusillade at Lalgarh. While five were killed on the spot, the others succumbed to injuries in hospital.


Tension was running high in the area and a posse of policemen had been deployed to bring the situation under control.


District Magistrate, West Midnapore, Surendra Gupta and Superintendent of Police Manoj Varma, now busy at Writers' Buildings with the Election Commission authorities, however, said they did not have a detailed account of the incident.


"We have heard that there have been some clashes at Lalgarh, details of which are being enquired into," they said.


The injured were shifted to Lalgarh Hospital and Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, where the condition of several was stated to be serious.


The deceased had been identified as Phulkumari Maity, Sourav Garai, Shyamananda Ghorui, Kablu Patra, Dhiren Sen, Dhruba Goswami and Saraswati Garai.


Unofficial sources said that some miscreants had yesterday demanded that at least one member from each family of Netai and Birkanar villages should take arms training from them.


This morning scores of villagers surrounded the two camps and started a demonstration against the order. At that point, a volley of bullets was showered on them by the armed miscreants.


The Congress and the SUCI have called a 12-hour strike separately in West and East Midnapore districts on Monday in protest against the incident.


Official sources said a Central team might visit the area to take stock of the situation.


Governor M K Narayanan, vehemently condemning the incident, said, "Violence has no place in a democracy."


Meanwhile, Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee will reach Lalgarh tomorrow, while Opposition Leader in the State Assembly Partha Chatterjee has already visited the injured in the Midnapore hospital.


Ms Banerjee came down heavily on the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) for today's incident and charged it "perpetrating the heinous crime just to remain in the saddle."


Trinamool Congress MP Shuvendu Adhikary said it was a "well-hatched attack on innocent villagers by the CPI(M) goons."


Congress leader Manas Bhunia demanded the immediate resignation of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee following the incident.


However, State Minister Susanta Ghosh denied all those charges and said it was a "conspiracy" by the Trinamool Congress and Maoists to defame the CPI(M).


When asked, CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu said he was not fully aware of the details of the incident as yet.


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3 Maoists arrested from Salboni in West Bengal


Three Maoist squad members were arrested here today following a combing operation by the combined forces in Laxmanpur forest area under Salboni police station in the West Midnapore district.


The members have been identified as Dilip Mahato (37), Mangal Mahato (25) and Jagadish Mahato (28).


One rifle, some explosives and several live catridges were recovered from their possession, Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, M K Varma said.


The ultras are being interrogated at the district police head quarters here, police added.


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PCPA-sponsored "bandh" paralyses life in West Midnapore


A 48-hour "bandh" (general strike) called by the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA), a frontal organisation of the CPI (Maoist), began today in the Jangalmahal area paralysing life in West Midnapore district of West Bengal and partially affecting it in Purulia and Bankura districts.


The PCPA has launched the stir to protest the arrest of its convener Ajit Mahato and four of his associates on "false" grounds.


"The PCPA is not a banned organisation. Therefore, these arrests are meaningless," a spokesperson for the outfit told UNI.


Incidentally, the state government had recently informed Calcutta High Court that the PCPA was banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).


The organisation also demanded withdrawal of the joint forces from the Jangalmahal area, comprising parts of the three districts, to "stop the atrocities" on innocent villagers.


Buses and cars stayed off the roads while offices and educational institutions remained closed. Streets wore a deserted look.


Jhagram Sub-divisional officer (SDO) C Murugan said no untoward incident had been reported so far.


The different districts have been alerted to keep a strict vigil, the SDO added.


Train services were kept outside the purview of the bandh.


The bandh registered a lukewarm response in Bankura and Purulia districts.


Purulia Superintendent of Police Sunil Choudhury said the bandh had a lukewarm response in Purulia except Bundwan, Bagmundi, Balarampur, Burrabazaar, Ashra, Jhalda and Jaipur.


Train services were disrupted after suspected Maoists forced the Assistant Station Master (ASM) of Urma near Purulia to lock it for two consecutive days last week.


In Bankura, Superintendent of Police Pranab Kumar Das said the bandh did not have much effect.


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