Kolkata, 18 July : Indian Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee said Saturday the much-awaited Kolkata Metro extension project linking Tollygunge and Garia will be operational from next month.
“The Metro extension project between Tollygunge and Garia is near completion and would be hopefully inaugurated 23 August. The journey between Tollygunge and Garia would cover a 4-km stretch and have six stations,” Banerjee said at a press conference at her south Kolkata residence. She said all the six stations would be named after legends of West Bengal like renowned poet Nazrul Islam, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, freedom fighter Khudiram Bose and Masterda Surya Sen, with one named after Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize winning work “Gitanjali”.
“The Tollygunge Metro station would be named after (Bengali actor) Uttam Kumar,” she said, adding the new Metro service will be a puja gift for the people of Bengal.
The first victim was CPI(M) Jhargram zonal committee member Jaladhar Mahato, who was on his way back home from Jhargram to Andharisole near the Kalabani forests when he was shot. Around 7.30 pm, Ashok Ghosh, a CPM worker from Goaltore's Jirapara was killed. The two murders were preceded by a panic attack in Jhargram town as as residents of Manikpara woke up to "death warrants" against nine CPI(M) leaders in the district. The targets include CPI(M)'s West Midnapore district committee member Hiralal Mahato and Manikpara local secretary Shatadal Mahato.
The threat posters pasted on shops at Ramkrishna Bazar read : "CPI(M) netader shighroi pantha boli dewa hobe (CPM leaders will be beheaded soon)". The posters renewed the scare that had subsided after security forces moved into the area. The Maoist posters convey the decision of a Maoist gana adalat (people's court) held at Manikpara in Jhargram. န Photo : PTI
Agartala, 18 July : Tripura police Saturday arrested seven militants, including a woman, of an outlawed Manipuri separatist group, officials here said.
“The seven guerrillas of People’s United Liberation Front (PULF) including their self-styled army chief Mohammad Abdur Rahaman, were detained from a motor stand in Agartala with some Bangladeshi mobile SIM cards and incriminating documents,” said Director General of Police Pranay Sahaya. “The rebels unsuccessfully tried to cross the border through Sonamura in western Tripura and then they returned to go to Bangladesh through another route,” he said.
The rebels told the police that they have links with Bangladesh-based separatist outfits.
Sheikh Hasina back from Egypt, to call on president
Dhaka, 18 July : Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina is set to call on president Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban on Saturday to brief him on the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt.
Local television channels had earlier reported that new cabinet ministers and state ministers were set to take oath at around 5:30 pm at Bangabhaban. But neither the prime minister's press secretary Abul Kalam nor the president's press secretary Abdul Awal Howlader confirmed the news. "This will be a courtesy meeting on the prime minster's return from the two-day summit in Sharm el Sheikh," Azad told reporters.
Hasina returned home Friday night after attending the Egypt summit, where she was elected vice chair of NAM's Asia Zone. The global economic recession, climate change, the Middle East and food security dominated the two-day summit, which was attended by heads of state and governments from over 100 NAM nations.
Former West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu's condition stable
Kolkata, 18 July : The condition of former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, under treatment at a private hospital here, is stable, his personal assistant Joykrishna Ghosh said on Saturday. However, no date has been set for his release from the hospital.
The 96-year-old patriarch CPI(M), who was admitted to the hospital following gastro-intestinal complications and transient loss of consciousness on Sunday, was shifted out of the intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU) to a room Tuesday as his condition improved. Asked whether any date has been decided for his release, Ghosh said: "Nothing has been decided yet. No date has been fixed."
Partial relief for Sikkim, NH-31 blockade 12hr relaxed
PTI, Gangtok, 18 July : In a partial relief, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday morning relaxed for 12 hours its indefinite blockade of the National Highway 31A to allow the vehicles bearing Sikkim number plates to ply on the sole road link between the Himalayan state and Siligudi.
As many as 300 vehicles bearing Sikkim number plates has passed through the inter-state check post at Rangpo since 6 am, a police official told PTI in Gangtok. The GJM activists were, however, not letting the vehicles bearing West Bengal number plates to run on about 60-km stretch of the highway even during the relaxation hours due to political reasons, the official said.
"We will continue to give such concessions to Sikkim in future also to ease the difficulties of the people of the border state," GJM leaders said. န Photo : Ahijit Das
50 crore Rs Heroin seize in Asansol by NCB joint raid
Asansol, 18 July : Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials of Kolkata and Lucknow jointly raided and seized heroin worth Rs 9 crore and raw materials worth Rs 50 crore for making heroin from Fatehpur area in Asansol on Saturday. By doing so, NCB has busted an international drug-peddling racket in the Asansol South police station area.
A 10-member team, led by Sanjoy Tewrai of Lucknow and L K Dutta of Kolkata raided the palatial house, Chauhan Mission, from around 7 am to 4 pm. The kingpin, Ayodhya Chauhan, fled through the rear entrance of the house situated beside GT Road.