Lalgarh, 23 April : An influential tribal body in West Bengal's troubled Lalgarh block on Thursday urged people to vote against the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the Lok Sabha polls.
Spelling out the stand of the tribal body Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), its leader Chhattadhar Mahato said people could support any party other than the CPI(M). Lalgarh is a Maoist insurgency affected area in West Midnapore district. "We wanted a common opposition nominee in our constituency. But since there are several such candidates, people are free to vote in favour of any of them. But we shall not vote for the CPI(M)," Mahato said here.
Angry over alleged police excesses in the past, tribal leaders in the Lalgarh area, which has around 40,000 voters and falls under Jhargram constituency, had earlier said they would not allow the police to enter the area to enable polling 30 April.
< Voters await their turn to cast their ballot at a polling station in Ramchandraghat village (Left) and Gamchacobra village (Right) in Tripura today.
Agartala, 23 April : Voting to elect two Lok Sabha members from the northeastern state of Tripura ended peacefully Thursday evening with more than 80 percent people exercising their franchise. “Over 80 percent of the 20.8 lakh voters cast their ballot across the state,” said Dilip Acherjee, additional chief electoral officer.
The prominent candidates are six-time MP Bajuban Reang of CPI(M) from Tripura east while his party colleague Khagen Das contested from Tripura west. Altogether, 19 candidates, including one woman, were in the contest for the two seats, polling for which was held amidst tight security. The total number of voters in the state is 20,82,205, the sources said. DIG (Police control), Nepal Das said not a single untoward incident was reported from any part of the state. “In the wake of possible militants’ violence, 30,000 security personnel were deployed while two air surveillance teams led by senior police officials also keept vigil by two military helicopters,” Das said.
State CPI (M) leader and Tripura Rural Development & Panchayet Minister Jitendra Chowdhury expressed happiness over the peaceful and huge turn out. “We are happy with the (huge turnout) and the polling so far is peaceful,” he told Bengal Newz.
Six central observers, 266 magistrates and 500 micro-observes were appointed to oversee the poll process and ensure free and fair elections, said Sanjeev Ranjan, the chief electoral officer of the state. About 20,000 poll officials escorted by security forces were manning 3,008 polling stations across the state, the poll official said.
Besides sealing the India-Bangladesh international border, night curfew was imposed along the 856-km long territory with Bangladesh, Ranjan said. ။ Photo : Reuters & Parthajit Dutta
"We have asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to open the gates on the border fence for the whole day to facilitate the voters to exercise their franchise," said Dilip Acherjee, additional chief electoral officer. The fence is 150 yards from the actual border, and many Indians have their homes and farms in between. The gates are usually opened 2-3 times day to enable them to move back and forth.
An estimated 45,000 people from 10,000 families were displaced after their homes and farms fell outside the fence. Though a large number of people shifted their houses inside the fencing, several thousand families still live outside.
Barisal, 23 April : The Sher-e-Bangla Medical College in Barisal will reopen on 27 April, 11 days after the authorities shut the college, the principal has said. The decision came from an academic council meeting on Thursday. The five residential hostels will be open to students on 26 April.
The college authorities shut the college following clashes between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League on the night of 16 April.
UNI, Port Blair, 23 April : The shipping department of Andaman has initiated action for verification of documentary proof of passengers while embarkation and disembarkation, the objective of which is to curb black-marketing of ship tickets.
The Directorate of Shipping Services has appealed to the passengers to purchase tickets only in their name and carry documentary proof while traveling and produce it on demand.
Bimal Roy, a leader of Neil Island, described it as a welcome step. ‘We have been demanding for such steps since last several years. Tour operators take away ship tickets in bulk in fake names and we are made to suffer.’ ‘Initially during such checks, the passengers who traveled with tickets in false names were not allowed to board the vessel and their tickets seized, but subsequently, the department made sure that not only the tickets are seized but also cases of impersonation are filed and these are dealt severely as per the provisions of law,’ an official release of Shipping Services said.
Yet, he’s a troubled man. That’s not just because KKR got off to bad start or that relations between ex-captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Buchanan continue to be strained. It’s mainly got to do with an unknown blogger - who claims to be a KKR team member - bent on letting the cat out of the bag all the time.
The blogger - calling himself Fake IPL Player - is sure he’ll never be a part of the playing XI. "But, there’s one thing I do very well. Serve drinks. And that’s what I am expecting do in South Africa," he writes.
Evidently, he’s doing much more. The day begins with posts on what KKR did at the breakfast table to what Khan had to say to his team, who listened, who smirked, what the coach did the whole day, how’s Ganguly coping with lost captaincy and of course, what the rest of the teams and their players have been up to.