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Monday, October 13, 2014

UGB in crisis after officiating registrar seeks release, rat race for the post begins

Malda, 13 October, 2014: University of Gour Banga (UGB) faces a fresh crisis after the registrar on additional charge Prof Shyamsundar Bairagya has sought release from his post to join Visva Bharati University (BU). Vice chancellor (VC) Prof Gopal Mishra, however, asked Prof Bairagya to continue as the registrar till an alternative is found.

It may be mentioned that since its inception in 2008 the UGB did not find a permanent registrar yet. The post was held by the teachers of the varsity from time to time except when Prof Bikash Mukherjee joined the post following the court’s order in January, 2013. However, the university council (UC) did not approve Prof Mukherjee’s appointment. Later, Prof Mukherjee reportedly moved to court again and the matter is still sub judice, GBU sources informed.

Meanwhile, the UGB authorities issued an advertisement seeking a permanent registrar and controller of examinations (COE) on 16 September. So, far 12 persons applied for those posts as learnt from UGB authorities.

But the recruitment process for registrar and COE has become uncertain again following a court’s order. Prof Bairagya said, “We received an order from high court on 29 September and we cannot go ahead now regarding the recruitment till 14 November with regard to the court’s order.”

However, Prof Bairagya conceded that he had already sought release from the additional charge of registrar. “I urged the VC in writing on 23 September to release me so that I can join Visva Bharati at the earliest,” he said.

Prof Mishra said, “It is true that Prof Bairagya has requested for his release as the registrar. But we cannot release him now. He has been competently working as the registrar. We hope, he would keep cooperating with us.”

Meanwhile, UGB sources informed that rat race has already began to get the post of the registrar after Prof Bairagya. A senior professor, an officer of the university who served as the officiating registrar before are among the few who have been reportedly running after the post soon after Prof Bairagya is released. Some of them have already started knocking the doors of the influential leaders of the ruling party and some top brass of the higher education department to be the registrar of the UGB at least on additional charge, sources informed.

Father in law accused of attempting to kill housewife

Malda, 13 October, 2014: A housewife Mampi Singh (26) was attempted to be killed allegedly by her father in law Baidyanath Singh at Madhyam Kendua village of Bulbulchandi gram panchayat in Habibpur police station on Monday morning. The seriously injured housewife was admitted to Malda Medical College Hospital (MMCH). The accused fled from the village after his son Subir Singh lodged a police complaint against him.

Police sources informed that Subir Singh married Mampi of Baishnabnagar seven years back and the couple got a girl three years back. In the written complaint Subir Singh informed police that on Monday morning his father Baidyanath suddenly got excited when requested to start his two-wheeler outside the house.
Injured housewife at MMCH on Monday (Photo: VoM)
Baidyanath allegedly attacked Subir first and when Mampi rushed to save her husband she received injury on her chest, abdomen and neck. A relative of the family Debashri Singha alleged that the father in law often had a tiff with his son and daughter in law. But no one imagined that he would be so furious as to attack them with sharp weapon. As Mampi raised hue and cry Baidyanath reportedly ran away before the neighbours could stop him.

SP, Prasun Banerjee said, “A man was accused of attempting to kill his daughter in law. The accused fled after the incident. We are trying to book him.”

Mob attack cops saving abduction accused's house from fury

Malda, 13 October, 2014: Police were attacked in a bid to prevent the villagers from ransacking the house one alleged abductor at Silampur village in Kaliachak police station last night. Six police personnel were injured and the police vehicle was ransacked by the infuriated mob. Later, a large contingent of police and combat force rushed to the spot and rescued the injured police personnel. Four persons were arrested in connection with the attack on police.

Police sources informed that a youth from Silampur village Saddam Sheikh (20) was allegedly abducted on 7 October night. Rs 10 lakh was reportedly demanded as the ransaom by the abductor. Latif Sheikh, the youth’s father lodged a police complaint.

The youth came back Sunday evening and claimed that his neighbour Royle Sheikh and his father Lutfar Rahman hatched the plot of his abduction. Saddam further claimed that the duo was regularly in touch with the abductors too.

Hearing this other villagers got infuriated and attacked the house of Lutfar Rahman with bamboo, rods and other weapons. The house was ransacked too.

As police came to know about the unrest, six police personnel rushed to the spot. But the aggrieved mob hindered them and started ransacking the police car. Police personnel were attacked too. Five of them were injured and rushed to local hospital. They were released after the primary treatment.

SP Prasun Banerjee said, “Four persons were arrested for organizing attack on police. Following the complaint of Latif Sheikh, Lutfar Rahman was arrested too. Police have been searching another accused Royle Sheikh who fled from the village.”

One arrested in Baishnabnagar explosion, Intelligence failure alleged

Malda, 13 October, 2014: Another gigantic blast in Baishnabnagar block of the district on Sunday after the one in English Bazaar on 5 October has raised several questions regarding the intelligence network of district police. Though none was arrested in connection to the blast at Narendrapur village in English Bazaar, police arrested Ismatara Bibi, the wife of Kamal Sheikh (56) from Bajeaptipara village of Binnagar II gram panchayat in Baishnabnagar after the crude bombs exploded in their house. Known as a Trinamul Congress activist Kamal Sheikh has however gone absconding since the blast.

Kamal Sheikh's house where the bombs went off on Sunday afternoon (Photo: VoM)
Just few hours before the Baishnabnagar-blast on Sunday state BJP president Rahul Sinha had alleged that Malda police were more busy belittling the blast in Narendrapur in English Bazaar than unearth the ploy. Interestingly, Sinha apprehended that ‘such indifference of police’ may lead to further blasts in the district and the Baishnabnagar blast was reported when the state BHP chief was still in Malda.

Police sources, however, informed that turf war between Trinamul factions has kept Bajeaptipara village rocking since long. The bombs were piled up at Kalam Sheikh’s house for using in the violence against another faction of the ruling party, police anticipate. Those bombs were kept in a pit next to Kamal’s room. The explosion was so severe that the earthen roof of the house was blown off. Kamal fled soon after those bombs went off.

Additional SP Abhishek Modi rushed to the spot quickly after the blast and recovered huge number of crude bombs from Kalam Sheikh’s house. His wife Ismatara Bibi was arrested and police started a case against her under section 3 (IV) of the explosive act. She was produced in court on Monday and the magistrate sent her to police custody for seven days.

Ismatara Bibi being taken to court on Monday (Photo: VoM)
District Trinamul president Dr Moazzem Hossain also virtually conceded that the unrest at Bajeaptipara village was the consequence Trinamul’s factional fight. “Both the gram panchayats of Binnagar are run by our party. The miscreants who have been flexing muscles there are introducing themselves as Trinamul supporters. We do not disown them too. But I requested the police to arrest the miscreants irrespective of their political colour,” Dr Hossain said.

CPI-M organized arally this evening demanding the arrest of the Trinamul miscreants involved in the blast.

SP Prasun Banerjee refused to comment on the allegation of ‘intelligence failure.’ Rather certifying the police action Banerjee said, “Additional SP reached the spot in merely 20 minutes after the blast. Bombs were recovered. A woman was arrested. We are interrogating her to get more information. Malda police have been dealing with such crimes with zero tolerance.”

BJP includes familiar face in Malda, Rahul Sinha meets MMCC

Malda, 12 October, 2014: Inclusion of a popular businessman and veteran sports lover Somesh Das to BJP in presence of party’s state president Rahul Sinha today is considered to be a masterstroke by BJP before the forthcoming municipal and assembly election. Mr Das who is popularly known as Gora was once a close associate of late Ghani Khan Choudhury. Though he was never in active politics, Mr Das had a congenial relation with the Trinamul Congress leaders particularly food processing and horticulture minister Krishnendu Choudhury. He is also an active member and portfolio holder of district sports association (DSA).
Somesh Das (extreme right) joins BJP on Sunday in presence of Rahul Sinha (Photo: Ujjwal Paul)
After joining the BJP, Das said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown that how the security and sovereignty of the country can be maintained with dignity. Besides, he has also inspired me with his leadership skill of taking the nation ahead with the key note of development. So, I felt the urge of serving the nation as a soldier of the BJP.”

State BJP president Sinha said, “In last Lok Sabha election BJP made an emphatic emergence in English Bazaar and Old Malda. Out of 25 municipal wards in English Bazaar, BJP was ahead in 23 wards. It was a clear mandate of the people that they want a transparent municipality by BJP. Joining of dignified and transparent personalities like Das would strengthen the BJP.”

Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce (MMCC) members also met the state BJP president and requested him to play an instrumental role in developing the infrastructure of Malda and neighbouring districts.

MMCC president Jayanta Kundu said, “We requested Sinha to take initiative of constructing the 2nd bridge on Mahananda river in Malda beside completion of four-lane NH-34, the life-line of North Bengal.”

“We also requested him to look into setting up of an AIIMS-style hospital in Raiganj in North Dinajpur, declaring North Bengal as tax-free zone as North-east India and simplification of food safety standard act,” Kundu said.

BJP responses to Partha Chatterjee’s allegation, blames state govt for intelligence lapses

Malda, 12 October, 2014: 24 hours after the state education minister and Trinamul Congress spokesman Partha Chatterjee blamed the Central government for lax in border security, state BJP president Rahul Sinha today said that the state government should better explain how its intelligence failed to gather information regarding militant-activities in the state for a long time.

Sinha while speaking to the media on Sunday morning said that Congress-CPI-M alliance or Congress-Trinamul alliance was in Centre for ten years. Hence, Trinamul should not seek explanation from BJP regarding infiltration of militants into the country, Mr Sinha added.

He said, “It takes five minutes to cross the Indo-Bangla border. But Trinamul should explain how those militants and terrorists wove their net in the state over the years exposing the ignorance of the state intelligence. Many of those terrorists even got voter-card. Trinamul government should rather explain such huge lapse in state intelligence first than blaming the Centre.”

“CBI probe into Saradha chit-fund scam exposed the Trinamul leaders like Mukul Roy and Madan Mitra. The NIA probe would also unmask the Trinamul-Jamat-e-Islam alliance at the root. That is why the state government was so desperate to prevent NIA investigation to Burdwan blast,” the state BJP chief said.

He claimed that SP, Burdwan was trying to belittle the Burdwan incident and the NIA should see if he had a motive behind suppression of fact. Sinha claimed that Humayun Kabir was removed as SP, Murshidabad as many unpleasant truths would have come in public.
Rahul Sinha at Malda BJP office with district leadership on Sunday (Photo: Ujjwal Paul)
State BJP president claimed, “There are thousands of Khariji or unauthorized madrassahs in the state many of which are used for anti-national activities. Even the UPA government too warned against mushrooming of such madrassahs. Paying no heed to the warning the chief minister rather declared to recognize 10,000 Kharji madrassahs. Before doing anysuch detrimental thing, the CM should explain if there are 10,000 such madrassahs at all the state.”

Referring to recent blast at Narendrapur village in English Bazaar police station Sinha said, “Here also police tried to suppress the fact that there was Bangladesh connection behind the blast. NIA may probe into it also in connection to Burdwan blast.”

BJP state president said, “Only five per cent Muslim has got involved in terrorist activities and thus they are defaming the larger Muslim population. It is a ploy of Trinamul to tarnish the image of Muslim community. It is now the responsibility of the Muslim community to expose the terrorists and thus wash their hands off such bad names.”

Sinha hinted that BJP would drive with larger force in the forthcoming municipal and assembly election to oust Trinamul from the state.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Snake bite kills two of same family, negligence in treatment alleged

Malda, 10 October, 2014: A woman and her granddaughter died of snake bite at Kheria village od Sripur I gram panchayat in Ratua police station on Friday morning. However, family of the deceased alleged that negligence of Malda Medical College Hospital (MMCH) authorities in injecting anti-venom resulted in the death of the duo.

Police sources informed that Akhtara Bibi (50) and her granddaughter Khairunnesa (10) were sleeping on the same bed on Thursday night when a poisonous snake bit them. Akhtara Bibi’s husband Hefjur Rahman said that all rushed to their room and found Akhtara and Khairunnesa were writhing and screaming under the effect of poison.

The snake that kills two lives caught in Ratua (Photo: VoM)

With the help of the neighbours the snake-bite victims were rushed to MMCH at night only. The snake was caught too. But Rahman alleged that anti-venom was not instilled into his wife and granddaughter on urgent basis that resulted in the death of the duo.

MMCH vice principal and medical super Dr MA Rashis however denied the allegation. “The snake-bite victims were brought to hospital late and they were in vulnerable condition. Hence, despite the proper treatment the duo could not be survived,” Dr Rashid said. 

Police and admin clueless about number of unrecognized madrassahs, intelligence wings monitor

Malda, 10 October, 2014: Though the role of some unrecognized madrassahs are under scanner after the nation-storming Burdwan explosion, police and district administrations have no guess about the exact number of such institutions otherwise known as ‘Khariji’ madrassah in the district. Interestingly, most of those madrassahs despite the proposal of the state government were reportedly not keen to get the government recognition.

However, intelligence sources informed that such madrassahs have been mushrooming in Malda with a greater density in three blocks in Kaliachak proximate to India-Bangladesh border. Number of Khariji madrassahs in the district is nearly five times greater than the state government recognized and aided madrassahs.

It has been learnt from an official of West Bengal Board of Madrassah Education (WBBME) that there are 81 state government recognized and aided madrassahs in Malda and another 12 recognized but unaided madrassahs in Malda. Nearly 1 lakh students study in those government-recognized madrassahs.

However, the WBBME official could not ascertain the exact number of Khariji or Nijamia madrassahs located at different nook and corner of Malda. “I guess the number would be approximately 400,” he said.

Additional SP Abhishek Modi also could not provide the exact number of unrecognized private madrassahs in the district. “We do not have the figure with us now about the specific number of such madrassahs being run in Malda. We would see if the figure is available with the district administrations,” Modi said on Friday.

However, intelligence officials claimed that there are approximately 450 Khariji madrassahs in Malda and most of those are concentrated at areas like Sujapur, Shershahi, Kumbhira, Golapganj, Shashani, Alinagar and some other areas in Kaliachak block.

District officer of minority affairs (DOMA) Krishnava Ghosh said, “After the state government took the initiative of recognizingten thousand such madrassahs, BDOs were asked to submit the number of such institutions from their respective blocks. But the process did not progress later.”

“Though provisions were there for such institutions to get recognition from the state government only 90 unrecognized madrassahs applied and around 10 Khariji madrassahs already got it. We do not know why the other such madrassahs did not respond enthusiastically,” Ghosh added.

Though some Khariji madrassah authorities claimed that those institutions are run with the benevolent and modest financial help provided by the guardians of the students and other charitable locals, the intelligence officials anticipate that a number of such Khariji madrassahs get monetary aid from some international organizations abroad.. They believe that hence those Khariji madrassah authorities are not too keen to get the state government’s recognition as in that case the foreign financial help may be stopped.

The WBBME official informed that apart from English, Bengali and Mathematics, ‘Dwiniyat’ or religious education is largely imparted in these madrassahs along with Arbi and Urdu languages. “If these madrassahs are to get recognized by the state government, they are compelled to follow the government curriculum which they may not like mostly,” said an intelligence official.

However, the intelligence wings of the Central and state governments claimed to have started gathering information about the Khariji madrassahs as learnt from sources.

Special women cell of BSF engaged for security check at Bangla border following Burdwan blast

Malda, 9 October, 2014: A special wing of women BSF personnel have been engaged to check the women in ‘burkha’ entering India from Bangladesh. Informing this BSF sources added that trained women personnel of BSF of battalions 125, 114, 31 and 20B deployed in Malda are conducting the thorough examination of the women visitors to India from Bangladesh particularly after the recent bomb blast in Burdwan reportedly revealed foreign links.

Intelligence wings of BSF and police have also been maintaining a strict vigil on the international tourists from Bangladesh as learnt from the sources. Customs officials are also maintaining an additional caution while verifying the documents of Bangladesh nationals entering India through different Indo-Bangla borders located in the district.

DIG (Malda Range) of BSF Raj Singh Rathore however preferred to maintained reticence in this regard. “It has nothing to do with any particular incident. We remain alert throughout the year and the same vigil is being maintained even now,” Mr Rathore said.

BSF sources informed that 125th battalion of BSF monitors areas between Kanchantar area of Mahadipur border and Sabdalpur in Baishnabnagar. 114th battalion observes areas between Keshtapur border in English Bazaar and the border in Habibpur. 31st battalion watches the border lying between Habibpur and Bamangola and 20B battalion takes care of areas between Sabdalpur in Baishnabnagar and Khandua in Murshidabad district. Two other battalions under Malda range monitor borders in Murshidabad and south Dinajpur, the sources informed.

All these battalions have at least 12 trained women personnel who are conducting the courteous yet thorough check on the women nationals of Bangladesh entering India through different borders in the district.

A sub inspector of 125th battalion of BSF on condition of anonymity said, “After the Burdwan blast we have received an instruction from New Delhi to beef up security along the borders. Women BSF jawans have been conducting search on women Bangladesh nationals entering India. Wherever the three-phase fencing has not yet been constructed, search lights are being used and special vigil is being maintained.”

It has been further learnt from BSF sources that special vigil is being maintained along 34 km long water-border with Bangladsh. Adequate number of speed-boats and search lights are being used by the BSF. Even in some areas trained dogs are being used to add edge to the vigil.

Bangladesh nationals like Rini Bibi, Bhabesh Pal and others who entered India in last 24 hours through Mahadipur border conceded that security-check by the BSF was much more extensive than previous times. However, instead of expressing annoyance, those visitors welcomed the effort of the BSF and said that all should cooperate with the security personnel to combat the terrorism internationally.

Joint secretary of Malda exporters’ association Samir Ghosh said, “The international trade with Bangladesh has not at all been affected by the tightened security measures. We have assured the security personnel to extend all sorts of cooperation required. We know that country comes first for us all.”

Meanwhile, district BJP general secretary has alleged that a number of Bangladesh nationals have been living in Malda and some of them have got even the voter cards too. SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee, however, said, “If any specific complaint comes, police would definitely take action.” “Police have been working at the border areas keeping in touch with the BSF,” Mr Banerjee asserted.(

BDO, Police injured in Old Malda, TMC-CPM accused

Malda, 9 October, 2014: Jatradanda village in Malda police station virtually turned into a battlefield centering no-confidence motion against Trinamul Congress panchayat pradhan. BDO Dulenn Roy and six police personnel were injured by brickbats.. Police had to resort to extensive baton-charge to disperse the mob. Six rounds of rubber-bullets were fired as well. Finally, the no confidence motion raised by Congress was passed.

TMC supporters blocking road at Jatradanga
Out of 15 elected members of Jatradanga GP in Old Malda seven belong to Congress while CPI-M, Trinamul and RSP have six members. Trinamul and RSP have one member each. In 2013 Congress and Trinamul jointly formed the panchayat. Shatabdi Sarkar of Trinamul was elected the pradhan and Subhash Sarkar of Congress was made the deputy.

In recent political development Trinamul allegedly tried to remove Subhash Sarkar with the help of CPI-M members. Meanwhile, Congress managed to get support of a CPI-M member Karan Hembram and raised no-confidence against Trinamul pradhan. This irked both Trinamul and CPI-M.

According BDO Dulen Roy convened a meeting on Thursday to discuss the no-confidence motion. Sensing that the situation may turn hostile Mr Roy along with a large contingent of police led by IC, Malda Asish Deb reached the spot around 10 am. From 11 am Trinamul and CPI-M supporters blocked the road that leads to Jatradanga GP with an eye to preventing the Congress and the dissident CPI-M members from entering the office.

Police combating the aggressive CPI-M supporters with flags
BDO and magistrate Roy asked Trinamul and CPI-M supporters through microphone to vacate the road which they allegedly paid no heed to. Finally, police moved to disperse the mob when brickbats were lobbed by the mob targeting police and BDO.

Roy was attacked from behind and hit on his right shoulder. He was immediately rushed to local hospital. Head of Bibekananda Roy (48), a police staff was fractured. He was rushed to Malda Medical College Hospital (MMCH). Five other police personnel were injured. It was then police resorted to extensive baton-charge and used pump action gun. Six rounds of rubber bullets were fired.

Old Malda Congress MLA Bhupendranath Haldar blamed CPI-M and Trinamul for attacking police and magistrate. “We are happy that the unholy nexus of CPI-M and Trinamul was exposed today. However, the no-confidence motion was passed and we had a moral victory,” he said.

Trinamul leader Nabaranjan Sinha and CPI-M leader Anarul Islam claimed that Congress was illegally trying to capture the GP by horse-treading. They said that the unrest was sparked at the instigation of Congress.

SDO (Sadar) Nandini Saraswati termed the attack on the magistrate as an ‘unprecedented’ incident and said police would be requested to act accordingly.

SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said, “Five persons were arrested. But their political identity is yet to be ascertained. We are trying to identify other attackers from the video-footage. Police picket has been posted. Patrolling is on. Situation is now under control.”

Malda Congress veteran passes away

Malda, 8 October, 2014: Veteran Congress leader and one of the 11 founder members of Chhatra Parishad, Nikhil Behari Gupta (80) expired on Tuesday night in a private nursing home here after a brief illness. Gupta, a renowned pleader as well, held several responsible positions of district and state Congress committee during his political career of six decades. In 1970 he contested as the Congress candidate in English Bazaar assembly constituency. He also acted as the election agent of Pranab Mukherjee who contested in Lok Sabha election from Malda in 1977. Gupta also served as the president of Malda bar association for several terms. His body was cremated on Wednesday after many of his admirers paid their last tribute to him. Food processing minister Krishnendu Choudhury, Congress MP Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury and several luminaries expressed grief over Gupta's demise. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Womenfolk ransack hooch den in English Bazaar, rough up drunkards

Malda, 8 October, 2014: Reportedly frustrated with police inaction more than a hundred women of Gopalnagar village under Kajigram gram panchayat in English Bazaar police station today got on the streets armed with rod, sticks, brooms and ransacked illegal liquor shops at the locality.

The miffed women like Pratima Mandal, Sathi Mandal, Reba Singh, Ayesha Bibi, Sulekha Bibi alleged that hooch trade had flourished exorbitantly at the locality. Country liquor is being manufactured in large quantity illegally at small huts. Even some hooch makers are publicly manufacturing and selling hooch at mango orchards and even on the roads.

In face of the women’s drive the liquor sellers scampered away from the locality. However, few youths consuming liquor were caught by the women and roughed up.

Enraged women ransacking hooch-den in English Bazaar on Wednesday

The women’s mob destroyed as many as 400 bottles of country and foreign liquor. The women alleged that male members of their family were taken to drinking so much that they were even selling valuables to gather money for drinking. The addiction led to law and order problem in the locality as well, they claimed.

The women alleged that police were informed repeatedly to dismantle the illegal liquor shops. But allegedly no action was taken. The women further declared that they would form a peace committee to prevent illegal liquor trade in the locality.

SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said, “Allegation of police negligence is not true. Police make the best effort to prevent such illegal trade from flourishing. Police would however speak to those women and try to work out on their grievances.”

Two arrested in trader’s murder and robbery in Chanchal, police suspects a kin of the deceased too

Malda, 8 October, 2014: Though two persons including one with several criminal records have been arrested in connection with a formidable robbery and murder of a jeweler in Chanchal, police anticipate that someone very close to the deceased businessman Gopal Roy (64) was actively involved in the crime. Though the cop officials preferred to remain tightlipped with the progress of investigation, SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee hoped that the case would be solved shortly.

Banerjee, who went to Chanchal on Tuesday to probe into the robbery himself, said, “Mithun Ali (27) of Dawoodpur village and Jahangir Alam (28) of Galimpur village in Chanchal were arrested. Mithun was involved in crimes like robbery and fake currency peddling several times before. Jahangir was caught with a firearm and three bullets. The duo has confessed their involvement in the crime and interrogating them we have received a breakthrough in the matter.”

He informed that the duo was produced in court on Wednesday with the prayer of 14 days police remand.

It may be mentioned that on 4 October around 8.30 pm a gang of robbers looted the jewelry shop of Roy located at Kaji Najrul bus stand at Cnchal after slitting his neck with a sharp weapon. The robbers then entered the house and tied his wife Sima Roy (56) before looting the other valuables. The couple’s only son Tirthankar Roy, who claimed to have been at the puja pandal at the time of occurrence, first discovered his father’s body and then found her mother tied with a rope. His yell gathered the neighbours and police also rushed to the spot.

Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce demanded immediate identification and arrest of the robbers and threatened a stir if police failed to take action.

SP, Malda and SDPO, Chanchal jointly visited the deceased goldsmith’s house yesterday and spoke to his family. Though the SP refused to comment in this regard, police sources informed that some incoherence were found in the statement of some of the family members. Police thus believe that a family member may have masterminded the crime.

Police sources further informed that the there were seven to ten robbers in the gang and six of them were from North Dinajpur. District police have also been in touch with their North Dinajpur counterpart to resolve the case shortly.

Branded ‘witch,’ villagers banish blind woman, family

Malda, 8 October, 2014: Despite complaints of branding a blind woman as witch and driving her entire family away from their house were lodged a couple of days back, Old Malda police have allegedly taken no action against the accused. The hapless woman Tumpa Ghosh (24) has been reeling under life-threat and sought refuge to her relative’s house with her parents Jamunalal Ghosh (56) and Jharna Ghosh (47) leaving their house at School Para area at municipal ward no. 5 of Old Malda Municipality in Malda police station.

However, SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said that necessary action would be taken to reinstate the family and proceedings would be started against the accused.

Local sources informed that some inhabitants of School Para area rammed into the house of the blind woman and branding as a witch directed her to leave the locality immediately. The woman alleged that she and her parents were roughed up too by those neighbours.

“I had a tiff with one Bablu Singh on Sunday morning and during altercation I cursed him to fall sick. Incidentally, the man suffered a serious ailment in the afternoon. This made his relatives and friends believe that I am a witch and they drove me away me and my parents threatened us not to go back to our house again. I am afraid, if we go back they would kill me and my parents,” the helpless woman said.

Her mother Jharna Ghosh said, “We run our family by selling fast-food in front of a school. Our daughter is blind since her birth and dependent on us only. We have no idea how she can be a witch.”

She added, “Out of fear of being killed, we have taken refuge with one of our relatives. We lodged a police complaint against six persons including Mithun Das, Munni Singh, Chhoton Das on Monday morning. But police have taken no action yet.”
Tumpa with her parents at their hideaway
Some inhabitants of School Para area however believe that the blind woman has an ominous power. They claimed that whenever she makes a prophecy it comes true. “After she cursed Bablu Singh, he too fell ill. It further fanned the rumour that Tumpa has a evil power,” said Asha Mandal, a local woman.

Malda SP, Banerjee said, “Inspector in charge of Malda police station has been asked to take prompt action so that the blind woman and her parents safely return to their house. Police would take necessary action against the accused.”

Strong police action over Malda bomb blast; Indo-Bangla border vigil intensified

Malda, 7 October, 2014: After the opposition parties strongly pierced the police over the explosion at Narendrapur village in English Bazaar police station on Sunday night that injured three, SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee today said that police took the explosion seriously and necessary action was being taken.

Meanwhile, tight vigil is being maintained along the India-Bangladesh border by the BSF personnel. Sources in BSF informed that few more companies would be deployed to beef up the vigil at the border areas in the district particularly after the recent explosion in Burdwan clearly revealed strong activities of Bangladeshi militants in the state.

DIG of BSF (Malda range) Mr Raj Singh Rathore, however, said, “Round the clock strict vigil is maintained along the border. It has nothing to do with the explosion in Burdwan.” Mr Rathore also refused to comment on whether additional BSF companies would be deployed in Malda though he did not deny it also.

It may be mentioned that three persons – Uzir Sheikh (28), Abdullah Sheikh (23) and Jasim Sheikh (19) were seriously injured in the explosion and were rushed to a private nursing home instead of  Malda Medical College Hospital. Though they had claimed that they were playing cards in an orchard when the bombs were hurled on them, police suspect that the trio along with few other miscreants was manufacturing bombs which somehow exploded and left them injured. Those three injured were referred to Kolkata on Tuesday.

Today BJP, Congress and CPI-M slammed the police claiming that police were trying to belittle the explosion though it might be an index of militant activities in the district. BJP district general secretary Ajay Ganguly, Congress district general secretary Narendranath Tiwary and CPI-M MLA Khagen Murmu criticizing the police in a uniform tone said that being a frontier district Malda is preferred by the militant outfits for their organizational work which the police never take seriously. Such indifference of police may lead to endangering the lives of the citizens, they apprehended.

Mr Banerjee however said, “Police immediately took action after the explosion. A case has been initiated. We are not considering the matter lightly.” In the same breath Mr Banerjee added that police stations at frontier areas have been alerted.

District Trinamul Congress president Moazzem Hossain too appreciated police action and said that his party would launch movement against the oppositions’ attempt to defame the ruling Trinamul.

Explosion in Malda injures three, police start thorough probe

Malda, 6 October, 2014: After the recent devastating explosion in Burdwan, three persons were seriously injured in a formidable explosion on Sunday night at Narendrapur area of Mahadipur gram panchayat in English Bazaar police station merely 15 km from here.

Though the SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said that the explosion was the consequence of criminal activities by local goons, police sources informs that a thorough investigation has been launched to unearth if those criminals had any other motive.

It has been learnt from police sources that the enormous explosion scared the locals around 8.30 pm last night. Three injured – Uzir Sheikh (28), Abdullah Sheikh (23) and Jasim Sheikh (19) were injured on spot. Condition of Uzir has been stated to be very critical. Interestingly, the trio was rushed to a private nursing home by some of their associates instead of
An explosion victim at MMCH on Monday morning
Malda Medical College Hospital (MMCH). Such action further instigated the suspicion of police and intelligence officials that the entire matter was tried to be hushed up quickly.

But a team of police rushed to the nursing home and started primary investigation from there. Though the injured claimed that some miscreants had hurled bombs on them while they were playing cards, the statement does not seem to be credible to police officials.

A senior police officer said, “If the bombs had been hurled on them, the injured would have wounds on their back or chest. But their hands were damaged which hints that they were manufacturing bombs themselves.”

Police further anticipate that at least six persons fled from the spot after the explosion. Searches have been initiated to nab them. Police sources have further informed that three senior officers are probing into the matter. Ingredients collected from the spot would be sent for forensic test.

As the inter-state railway track and NH-34 are located at the proximate areas from the spot of explosion, questions are being raised whether those miscreants had any greater disruptive motive behind manufacturing bombs.

SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said, “Police have started an investigation. Primary investigation suggests it was an act of local criminals. We have started thorough enquiry as we do after each such incident.”

Dacoits loots two traders in Chanchal and Samsi, kills one

Malda, 5 October, 2014: Taking opportunity of the festive night dacoits robbed houses of two traders separately and killed one of them on Saturday night at Chanchal and Samsi respectively. Though the SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee informed that police had started extensive comb searching in different areas to nab the robbers, Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce (MMCC) have expressed strong discontent with two robberies in one night and murder of a jeweler.   
Police sources informed that the gang of 15 robbers first entered the house of a jeweler Gopal Roy (64) around 8.30 pm, overpowered him and slit his throat while Roy was about to lock his jewelry shop. Later, they entered into his house located at Chanchal bus stand and tied his wife Sima Roy (57) at the gun point. Later, they looted gold and silver ornaments and a huge amount of cash breaking the lock of the almirah and the chest.

The couple’s only son Jyotirmoy was busy at the nearby puja pandal at the time of occurrence. He first discovered the body of his father and found her mother tied. Jyotirmoy’s yell gathered his neighbours and friends.

Sub divisional police officer (Chanchal) Pinaki Das and Inspector in Charge Tulsidas Bhattacharya rushed to the spot with a large contingent of police and spoke to Mrs Roy and her son.

In a separate incident gang of dacoits rammed into the house of a businessman Masud Alam at Samsi rail station area in Ratua police station around 3.30 am today. Mr Alam said that a gang of eight to ten robbers looted approximately Rs 2 lakh and valuable from the go-down and shop adjacent to his house.

Secretary of MMCH Uzzal Saha said, “Consecutive robbery at houses of two traders in Chanchal sub division has alarmed us. We are discontented with the role of police. If police fail to provide security to traders, we would be compelled to arrange our own security.” Saha further threatened that if police failed to nab the robbers immediately, the merchants would take the issue to the street.

SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee said, “Police have started comb operation in search of the robbers. Primary investigation has revealed that the dacoits wrapped their faces while robbing and their ages appeared to be between 15 to 23 years.” “Police have also investigating to know if the same gang was involved in both incidents,” Banerjee said.

Misuse and Replication of car-passes harass police and pandal-hoppers during puja days

Malda, 5 October, 2014: Fake currency peddling has been a perennial headache for Malda police but during the festive days this year the police personnel had to battle against fake vehicle-pass holders. The special vehicle-passes during During Puja days, when vehicular restriction was in force, were issued by none other than police to be used for special necessities and not for pandal hopping.

Senior officials of district police including the SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee conceded that the unauthorized use of such car-passes actually proved to be a menace particularly in the district head-quarter English Bazaar.

Officer in charge (traffic) Manabendra Saha informed that 100 passes were issued for two-wheelers and another 120 passes were issued for four-wheelers.

But to the dismay of police personnel at least 300 to 400 vehicles kept running to and fro causing huge inconvenience to the common pedestrians though the police assured them of smooth and peaceful pandal hopping on foot.

A police official from English Bazaar police station anticipated that many of those authorized passes were scanned or photo-copied in ditto and a number of persons used those fake-passes at random disrupting the traffic. “A hologram may prevent such replication of car-passes during puja,” he said.

It has also been alleged by the common people that some nongovernmental organization members collected a large number of passes from police and simply misused them in the name of rendering service to people. Pramila Banerjee, a house maker in her mid-thirty, said, “It is quite disgusting to see some so-called elite people keep running on wheel with car-passes at the cost of our smooth pandal hoping. I just wonder what these people do by opening road-side stalls in the name of serving the people and collect car-passes only to hamper our uninterrupted walking!”

Sources in police further informed that not only some NGOs but even some petty leaders of the political parties collected and misused car-passes. No wonder the allegation is more against the ruling party leaders than the other parties. “You know it all. We have to compromise in some cases. So, we kept our eyes shut though we know what is what. Moreover, some government and autonomous bodies too collected more than required number of passes,” said an officer from English Bazaar police station.

SP, Malda Prasun Banerjee, who relentlessly kept monitoring the law and order himself round the clock is also aware of the menace and did not suppress his strong annoyance. “It is simply a breach of trust by many of those whom we issued those passes. We issued the passes on good faith but I have heard that those were misused in many cases. Some instances have been reported to us already. We are considering how this menace could be eradicated,” Banerjee said.

He informed that at least a hundred youths were detained from and around Ramakrishna Mission areas on 2 October during Kumari puja anticipating nuisance by them.

BJP criticizes TMC-CPM bonhomie during puja

Malda, 30 September, 2014: Durga Puja, the biggest festival of the state has not only cast its charm over the people from all walks of the society, the message of harmony as fluted by the festival has also brought the die-hard political enemies together in public.

Youth wings of the Trinamul Congress and CPI-M have built stalls at the heart of English Bazaar town to reach the people capitalizing on the large turnout on the four days of festivity. The two stalls constructed by the political opponents have hardly any distance between.

Interestingly, the area where Trinamul and CPI-M youths constructed their stalls is known as Shyamaprasad Mukherjee square named after the founder of Hindu Mahasabha, the predecessor of the BJP which has recently posed a huge political threat in the state both for the Trinamul and the CPI-M.
BJP's stall at a distance

Neighbouring puja stalls of TMC and CPI-M youth wings
BJP is no less away in utilizing the festive season as well. A careful notice would reveal the stall of the BJP at less than 50 meter distance from those of the CPI-M and the Trinamul.

When asked whether setting up the stalls with virtually no gap of space was made meticulously to bury the hatchet during the puja days, former district SFI secretary Animesh Sinha said, “It was merely coincidental. We are against the ways and policies of the Trinamul Congress but have no personal bias against any individual. We would do our public relation and do not mind if the Trinamul does the same from their stall. We believe in democracy.”

President of English Bazaar town youth Trinamul Anirban Das too preached political fraternity quite contrary to the theories preached by some their party leaders like Anubrata Mandal, Tapas Pal or Manirul Islam. “Existence of CPI-M’s stall just beside ours shows that the allegation of political highhandedness against us is fictitious. We are sure people would see our political endurance as always preached by our supremo Mamata Banerjee,” Das said.

District BJP general secretary Ajay Ganguly, however, did not let the opportunity to mock his opponents. “The neighbouring puja stalls of the CPI-M and the Trinamul our symbolic of their resemblance in corruption and atrocities. We are much different from them and so our stall is at a safe di8stance from them here also,” Ganguly said with a smile.