A Women struggle with their umbrellas against a strong wind and rain in Kolkata >
Twelve people died in the South 24-Pargana district that straddles the Sundarbans delta, mostly when the cyclone flattened their mudhouses. Six people died in Kolkata when huge trees uprooted by the cyclone fell on buses, cars and auto-rickshaws. The rest of the casualties were reported from Howrah(3 killed), Hooghly(4), North 24 Parganas(1) and East Midnapore(1). One each died in Nadia and Bankura. WB's Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said he had alerted the army, while BSF and police have begun rescue operations in Sunderbans in coastal South 24 Parganas district where hundreds of thatched houses had collapsed. Kolkata police chief Gautam Moham Chakrabarty who had asked schools to send home all students just after midday said tree-cutting teams from the city corporation have fanned out across Kolkata to clear roads blocked by uprooted trees. Massive tidal waves ravaged scores of coastal villages and the seaside resorts of Digha, Mandarmoni and Kanthi throughout the day. Fishermen were told to stay away from the sea but some were reported missing.
The Met office said the main brunt of the cyclone spared Bangladesh as West Bengal suffered the storm fury but at least five deaths were caused alone in the coastal Bhola district, which appeared to be the worst-affected area according to initial reports. "The cyclone crossed the coastline after the evening," a Met office spokesman said. Five deaths were reported from Bhola, three from Noakhali, one from Barisal, one from Jhalkathi and one from Patuakhali, with most of the victims being children.
Officials reached here by phone said some 30 people including three children were missing in southeastern Cox's Bazar, where the cyclone also left its scourge breaking up embankments. "At least 50,000 people took refuge at cyclone shelters but another 100,000 are believed to be marooned by gushing waters due to sudden embankment collapse in 13 upazilas," Red Crescent spokeswomen Rezia Jobed said. ။ Photo : STAR
IANS, New Delhi, 25 May : The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to civil rights activist Dr Binayak Sen, who has been lodged in a Raipur jail for over two years under unproven charges of links with Naxalites in Chhattisgarh.
He has been given bail on a personal bond in a hearing that lasted just one minute. Former Indian law minister Shanti Bhushan, appearing for Sen, had earlier pleaded to the court to accord an urgent hearing to Sen's bail plea in view of his precarious health condition, according to IANS.
The Chhattisgarh government has booked Dr. Sen, the vice president of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) under the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, for his alleged links with Naxalite. ။ Photo : AP
Kolkata, 25 May : All flights from the city were temporarily suspended on Monday at the NSC Bose International Airport here as a severe storm with a wind speed of 80 km per hour hit the city, airport sources said.
The sources also said all incoming flights including domestic and international ones are being diverted to different routes since 2 pm as low visibility at the runway is making it difficult for planes to land and take off. A total of seven incoming domestic flights have either been sent back to their place of origin or have been diverted to other airports of Aizawl, New Delhi and Mumbai, they said, adding that international flights like those from Bangkok and Dhaka were also diverted.
The main runway, which was shut down for repairs, was also put to use as the situation worsened since morning.
Family members of Bangladesh's national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam place floral wreaths at his grave on his 110th birth anniversary on Monday. Braving a drizzle, people from across the social spectrum thronged the poet's grave at the Dhaka University mosque premises early in the morning.
36 people killed by tigers in 4 months in Sundarbans
Xinhua, Dhaka, 25 May : Thirty six people were killed by tigers in the world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans in southwestern Bangladesh during the first four months of this year.
These victims were poor people living around the Sundarbans and they fell prey to tigers when they went to deep forest to collect honey, wood, and went for fishing in the rivers. Dilip Kumar Bowmik, chief executive of the Shamnagar sub- district in southwestern Satkhira district of Bangladesh in a cell phone interview with Xinhua said yesterday. Bowmik said at least 100 people are killed by tigers in the Sundarbans annually. Bowmik thought the residents living around Sundarbans should be taken to other profession reducing their dependence on the largest mangrove forest. "If their dependence on the Sundarbans is reduced, the tigers will also be safe," Bowmik said. For safety, villagers usually kill tigers wandering too close to their villages and experts estimate that over a dozen tigers are killed annually by villagers in Bangladesh every year.
Sundarbans is the home to Royal Bengal Tigers. According to estimate by Bangladeshi officials, the tiger population was around 500 in 2007. ။ Photo : AP
CPM supporter beaten up in Nandigram
Nandigram, 25 May : A CPI(M) supporter was severely beaten up allegedly by Trinamool Congress activists in a dispute at Satengabari in Nandigram, police said on Monday.
"Santosh Barman was beaten up when they gathered in the village to solve a family dispute last evening. He has been admitted to a hospital in Kolkata in a serious condition," Superintendent of Police, East Midnapore district, Pallab Kanti Ghosh told Bengal Newz.
Local CPI(M) leader Ashok Guria alleged that TMC workers were "forcing" his party workers to join their party and even Barman was a victim of this. However, TMC leaders denied their supporters' role in beating up Barman. "He was injured in a clash over a family dispute", TMC leader Mamud Hossain said. ။ Photo : Raghu Nandan Mallick