Basanti , 31 May : A group of angry villagers today tried to gherao West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee here alleging that the relief provided by the state government to cyclone Aila affected people in South 24 Parganas district was not adequate.
"Why have you come so late. Why no relief has been sent by the government till now to the affected people in South 24 Parganas district when the cyclone hit the district on Monday," villagers asked the chief minister and tried to gherao him when he visited the BDO office accompanied by Irrigation Minister Subhas Naskar to take stock of the situation.
Bhattacharjee tried to pacify the demonstrators and assured them that"there would be no shortage of relief material". He was later escorted by police to his car. Bhattacharjee is on a tour to the cyclone affected areas of South 24 Parganas district. From Basanti he left for Gosaba, one of the worst affected area in the district. န File Photo
Malda, 31 May : At least five people, including a girl, were killed and two others injured when lightning struck them in different areas of Malda district.
Santana Das, 8, had ventured out of her house to pluck mangoes when lightning killed her, police said.Bablu Mandal, 30, Md Shakid, 30, Jalekh, 35, and Sunil Ghosh, 32, are also among the dead. The incidents happened in Harishchandrapur, Ratua and Manik Chowk and Sadar areas of the district.
Two others, have been hospitalised in separate cases, police said while adding that the bodies would be sent for post-mortem tomorrow.
The PM's request came while she was inaugurating the three-month long tree plantation movement at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre. "We have to protect the forest, where industrialisation and urbanisation take place. If each and every people plant at least three saplings one of fruit, one of timber and other of medicinal species the ecological balance and bio-diversity will be protected," Hasina told the audience.
Prime minister also awarded 16 people for their contribution in the field of social-forestation.
Later, the forest officials rushed to the spot with a crane and rescued the majestic elephant, believed to be around 11 years in age. The pachyderm was gently hauled up by the crane. After being pulled out of the ditch, the elephant instantly was up on its feet and without wasting a second fled from the spot towards the nearby forest.
“Now, it is healthy. We are feeling very nice. We have been able to save a beautiful animal,” said Niranjita Maitra, Assistant Wildlife Warden, Jalpaiguri Range.
Rajshahi, 31 May : Classes resume at Rajshahi University on tomorrow, 82 days after fierce clashes between Chhatra League and Chhatra Shibir in March left Shibir's RU unit general secretary Sharifuzzaman Nomani dead, scores injured and forced the university to close its doors sine die.
The university's 16 residential halls reopened on Saturday, with RU vice chancellor Prof Abdus Sobhan asking all students to attend classes regularly to make up losses incurred because of long closure since 13 March. He also urged all teachers to ensure examinations are held on schedule. Proctor of Syed Amir Ali Hall, Dr Saiful Islam, told reporters about a third of the students had returned to halls by Sunday afternoon.
"The students may register back with the halls any time between 6am and 10pm with necessary information including their names, department and cellphone numbers," said Islam.
JBIC nod to Kolkata E-W Metro extension till Airport
Kolkata, 31 May : Metro services in Kolkata will be linked to the airport, but not the existing North-South section. The Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) has approved the airport link for the upcoming East-West Metro project, entailing an estimated cost of Rs 800 crore.
The elevated arm that would run along the Bagjola canal will go underground from near the airport hotel and terminate just below the integrated terminal building. People travelling by Metro would need to take the escalator to reach the security-check zone on the surface.
"The target is to complete the link by 2010, when the airport modernisation project will be completed," an airport official said. န Photos : Avijit Mondal