Confusion prevailed over whether a bomb blast or an act of sabotage by removal of fish plates led to the derailment, in yet another Maoist attack targeting railways.
With rescue and recovery operations still on, the toll was likely to rise further, South Eastern Railway CPRO Soumitra Majumdar said. Putting the tally of the injured at 149, the official said 78 of them were admitted to the Kharagpur Railway Hospital, 39 to the Midnapore State General Hospital and 25 to Kharagpur Government Hospital. န Photos : PTI, Arpan Mukherjee READ BBC STORY
Kolkata, 28 May : Resolving to counter the danger posed by the Maoists in the wake of the attack on a Mumbai-bound train in Jhargram, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said operations against the Maoists would be intensified.
"The Maoists have done this work. Operation against them will be intensified and all out efforts be made to free the state and the country from this danger", he told reporters here in Kolkata Press Club.
"We have to return to 1972 Constitution through parliament, not through verdicts of the Supreme Court. The higher courts have given their guidelines by canceling the amendments to 1972 Constitution," he said adding: "A bill would be placed before parliament soon for amending the Constitution for returning to '72 Constitution and we hope it would be passed unanimously." The minister was speaking as the chief guest at the "National Convention 2010 Against Communalism and Militancy" held at the Engineers' Institute of Bangladesh here today.
Jhargram, Sardiha, 28 May : Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that a "bomb blast" triggered by Maoists on the rail track caused the derailment of the Howrah-Kurla express train and that TNT explosives and Gelatine sticks were found at the accident site.
"It is a bomb blast case. After the blast, the train derailed and the accident happened. According to information given by Railway Police Force and officials TNT and Gelatine sticks were found at the accident," Banerjee told reporters shortly after visiting the spot. န Photo : Arpan Mukherjee
Jhargram, 28 May : West Bengal government today announced Rs three lakh as compensation to the families of those killed in the derailment of the Mumbai-bound Gyaneswari Express.
Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta, who visited the accident spot, told reporters that the government would also bear the cost of treatment of the injured passengers. A medical team and six ambulances were at the spot to treat the injured. A forensic team had arrived as also Kokata Police personnel to assist the National Disaster team. "The rescuers will be divided into five teams to search for trapped passengers," he said.
Official sources said one of the IEDs weighing 10 kg was recovered from West Midnapore district incidentally on the same road where Maoists killed five CRPF personnel in a blast on 19 May.
On 19 May, five CRPF personnel, including a Deputy Commandant, were killed in an IED blast triggered by Maoists in the West Midnapore district. န Photo : AP
Xinhua, Dhaka, 28 May : The mobile phone has become a major communication device in Bangladesh which covers half of all families in the country, said a Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics ( BBS) survey.
The survey shows 48.3 percent households in Bangladesh owned mobile phones at the end of 2009, the survey was quoted by leading English newspaper The Daily Star on Friday. READ FULL STORY
Kolkata, 28 May : Fish plates were found removed at the spot where the Mumbai-bound Gyaneswari express derailed early Friday morning leaving 65+ people killed, a senior police official said.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Surojit Karpurokayastha said that according to preliminary investigation, fish plates were found removed at the derailment site.
Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), the state-run non-banking financial institution, is observing the week. Minister for Fisheries and Animal Resources Abdul Latif Biswas declared Majpara as Biogas Union by inaugurating a plant at a dwelling house.
Jalpaiguri, 28 May : A strong squall struck West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri region, leaving scores of people homeless.
The cyclonic winds also disrupted communication links. "The houses crashed down and fell on one another. We managed to salvage some items from our homes and take them out. And now we are living in the house of another family. Our children also got injured," said Anima Das, a victim. Though the intensity of the squall subsided in the morning, the weather conditions are still adverse.
According to ULFA publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary, the General Council meeting was held in response to the government's invitation for peace talks. Rajkhowa, who is in jail, was joined by ULFA vice chairman Pradip Gogoi and Mithinga Daimary from outside, as intense discussions were held with the Council's jailed leaders. The modalities of the talks and where they would be held was yet to be decided as the discussion was in the initial stage, Daimary said.
The Council members were also hopeful that the banned underground orgnisation's Commander-in-Chief Paresh Baruah, still at large, would abide by their decision on the talks.
PTI, New Delhi, 28 May : State-run steel major SAIL today reported a jump of over 40 percent in net profit to Rs 2,084.9 crore for the fourth quarter ended March, 2010, against Rs 1,485.20 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.
Total income of the company rose to Rs 12,672.69 crore in the January-March period of FY'10 from Rs 12,519.33 crore in the same quarter of the previous year, Steel Authority of India Ltd said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Kolkata, 28 May : In the wake of the Maoist attack on a Mumbai-bound train in West Midnapore district, the South Eastern Railway today cancelled the Howrah-Barbil Janshatabdi Express and Howrah-Jamshedpur Ispat Express.
The Hapa-Howrah express, Azad Hind express, Koraput- Howrah express, Ranchi Hatia express, Mumbai mail via Nagpur were being diverted.
PTI, Kohima, 28 May : Naga Students' Federation (NSF) today said it will intensify its ongoing blockade of Manipur- bound vehicles on NH-39 due to "failure" of the Manipur government in fulfilling their demands.
This decision was taken yesterday at an emergency meeting here, where it was resolved to continue the ban imposed on Manipur-bound vehicles on NH-39, which connects Imphal with Dimapur, since 4 May, NSF sources said.
"The PCAPA have left two posters near the rail tracks clearly owning responsibility for the derailment of the Kurla-bound Gyaneswari Express," IGP (Law and Order) S Karpurakayastha said here. The posters read, "We earlier demanded withdrawal of the joint security forces from Jangalmahal (West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia) and end of CPI(M) atrocities, but those demands were not met." Another poster demanded immediate withdrawal of the joint forces from the area. Police have seized both posters.
On 27 October last year, the PCPA had detained the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express for eight hours during a bandh called by the outfit. န Photo : Arpan Mukherjee