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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sub-continent bids final farewell to former WB's CM Jyoti Basu

Kolkata, 19 January : A stampede broke out at the assembly premises here as thousands of mourners broke the barricades to have a last glimpse of CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu, however no one was injured, police said.
The stampede occurred when the main gate was fully open for a brief period of 15 minutes, before being closed finally at 3 pm, and preparations were on to take the body in a gun carriage to Mohor Kunj park, some distance away. The body is to be finally donated to the state-run SSKM Hospital from here. The police swung into action to control the swelling crowd of mourners.

CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose appealed to the mourners over microphone to maintain calm and discipline. "Please remain calm and maintain order and do not show any disrespect to the departed leader," Bose appealed. He appealed to the mourners to shift to the nearby Red Road (Indira Gandhi Sarani) to have a glimpse of the body.
After the police closed the southwest gate, meant for the entry of the mourners, at 3 pm, those waiting outside hurled abusive words at the police and banged at the high iron gate. Cutting across party affiliations, lakhs of people from every walk of life and all ages stood in serpentine queues for hours to pay their last respects to CPI(M) legend Jyoti Basu draped in the national tri-colour as it lay in state at the West Bengal Assembly today.
As the day advanced, mourners, coming from faraway districts and even from UP and Bihar, waited patiently in long queues to have a last glimpse of the leader. "The crowd spill over to Prinsep ghat, Auckland square and even Kidderpore," JCP (HQ) Jawed Shamim told Bengal Newz.

A sombre atmosphere prevailed in front of the assembly with the crowd never once turning restive while waiting patiently for their turn to have the last glimpse of their leader. The policemen too did not had to try hard to keep order. However, in front of the Akashvani house, roughly a half-a-kilometre distance from the Assembly the policemen were seen streamlining the queue
The 'Internationale' played over the microphone and the policemen stood hand in hand to control the crowd. Many mourners sported black badges and some held placards which read 'Red salute to Jyoti Basu', 'Jyoti Basu amar rahe' and 'Jyoti Basu, we will not forget you'.
Earlier in the day, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who flew in here, paid floral tributes to Basu at the Assembly premises. She was accompanied by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury were also present on the occasion.
The body of Basu was brought to the Assembly at 10:10 AM after briefly halting at CPI(M)'s state party headquarters at Alimuddin Street and at state secretariat, Writers' Buildings, which was his office for 23 years from 1977. Photos : Avijit Mondal, Shankar Mondal and Indrajit Dutta

West Bengal's Haldia Petchem delays Naphtha unit restart
Reuters, Singapore, 19 January : India's Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd has delayed the restart of its newly-revamped naphtha cracker by more than a week from mid-January, traders said on Tuesday.
The company had shut its cracker in end-October for a 75-day maintenance and expansion works to raise its nameplate capacity by 30 percent to around 676,000 tonnes per year (tpy). READ FULL STORY


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