October 29, 2011

Why is WB CM Mamata Banerjee silent?

TIMES NOW, 29 Oct 2011, 0937 hrs IST, AGENCIES

30 infants have died in 72 hours but that has still not prompted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to come out and clarify on what her government is doing to stop babies from dying in government hospitals.

Thirteen newborns died in the Burdwan Medical College and four more at Kolkata's B C Roy Children's Hospital, which has witnessed a series of crib deaths, taking the toll in the two government hospitals in West Bengal to 30 on Friday.

Though the deaths have raised a question mark on the standard of healthcare in paediatric hospitals in the state, authorities claimed that it was not unusual.

Since Thursday, four babies died at the B C Roy Children's Hospital and 12 at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, which also saw a death yesterday. "The one-to-three day-old babies were underweight and suffering from jaundice, encephalitis and septicaemia," Burdwan Medical College and Hospital Deputy Superintendent Tapas Kumar Ghosh said.

Deputy Director of Medical Education Susanta Banerjee and Health Commissioner Dilip Ghosh were sent by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to the hospital.

Banerjee said that there was no medical negligence in the death of the babies as they were referred in a moribund stage and that one or two deaths occurred daily. He said that in two and half months the number of beds would be increased to 190 from the current 60.

The Deputy Medical Superintendent of the hospital said the doctors did their best to save the lives of the babies at the hospital where 160 infants were being treated against its capacity of 60 beds.

At the B C Roy Children's Hospital, another four babies died taking up the toll there to 17 in the last three days. "Four babies, referred to us in a critical condition, died since yesterday," its superintendent D Pal said. There was "nothing abnormal or unusual" in the death of babies, mostly below one month, Pal said, as they were admitted in extremely critical conditions.

Pal said on an average, five infant deaths occurred in the hospital of the daily admission of nearly 300, mostly referred by district hospitals.

Noting that the hospital was overburdened with patients referred from district hospitals, Pal maintained that the best of care was given to the babies admitted.

The health department earlier gave a clean chit to the B C Roy Children's Hospital after an internal inquiry. The Director of Medical Education said no lapse was found in the treatment of the babies, who were brought in a moribund state.  


Sixteen more babies die in WB govt hospitals; toll 29

The Asian Age, 28 Oct, 2011

Four more babies died at Kolkata's B.C. Roy Children's Hospital, which has witnessed a series of crib deaths, besides 12 newborns in the Burdwan Medical College, taking the death toll in two government hospitals in West Bengal to 29 today.

Though the crib deaths have raised a question mark on the standard of medical care in paediatric hospitals in the state, hospital authorities claimed that it was 'not unusual'.

Twelve babies have died at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital in Burdwan district and four at the B.C. Roy Children's Hospital here since yesterday, authorities said today.

"The one-to-three days old babies were underweight and suffering from jaundice, encephalitis and septicemia," Burdwan Medical College and Hospital Deputy Superintendent Tapas Kumar Ghosh said.

Doctors did their best to save the lives of the babies, but all were born with critical complaints at the hospital where 160 infants were being treated against its capacity of 60 beds, he said.

In Kolkata, at the B.C. Roy Children's Hospital, another four babies died taking up the toll there to 17 in the last three days.

"Four babies, referred to us in a critical condition, died in the hospital in the last 24 hours," its superintendent D Pal said.

There was 'nothing abnormal or unusual' in the death of babies, mostly below one month, Pal said, as they were admitted in an extremely critical condition.

Pal said on an average, five infant deaths occurred in the hospital of the daily admission of nearly 300, mostly referred by district hospitals.

Stating that the hospital was overburdened with patients referred from district hospitals, Pal maintained that the best of care was given to the babies admitted.

But The health department yesterday gave a clean chit to the B.C. Roy Children's Hospital after an internal inquiry.

Director of Medical Education Sushanta Banerjee said no lapse was found in the treatment of the babies, who were brought in a moribund state.

October 26, 2011

Demand coal royalty from Centre, Left’s Asim tells govt

Express News Service Posted online: Tue Oct 25 2011, 05:56 hrs

Kolkata : Amid Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s demand for a financial package from the Centre, Asim Dasgupta, the former finance minister in the Left Front government, on Monday said the state government should demand Rs 5,000 crore coal royalty from the Central government.

He said other states too have been getting coal royalty from the Centre and thus they cannot oppose the West Bengal government's demand. The state government's demand for a financial package from the Centre had angered other states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu whose chief ministers, Narendra Modi and Jayalalitha respectively, had alleged step-motherly treatment by the Centre.

Addressing mediapersons in Kolkata, Dasgupta said the Centre has not given the state any royalty for the coal dug up from Bengal since 1991. “Moreover, there is a Supreme Court order on giving coal royalty to the states,” he added.

Dasgupta, who had been handling the state's finances for nearly two decades said the incumbent government has not highlighted the coal royalty while demanding financial aid from the Centre. He even termed that some of the claims made by the Mamata Banerjee-led government on the financial status of the state as “misleading”. “The total revenue receipt of the state government is Rs 65,848 crore of which 74 per cent and not 94 per cent, as claimed by the present government, is spent on paying salaries, pensions and interest,” said Dasgupta, who called the new government as “incompetent”.

Dasgupta said the total income of the state government stands at Rs 87,643 crore, and out of this 63 per cent is spent of salary, pensions and interest to the loans. He said the remaining, Rs 32,713, crore be spent by the state to meet various expenses.

Alleging that the incumbent government has not been able to manage the state’s finances effectively, Dasgupta said the Left Front government had borrowed Rs 5,000 crore from the open market last year, but the new government has borrowed Rs 10,000 crore in the same period this year. He also said that while last year the state government had been able to increase the tax collection to 29 per cent, this year the growth has been only 19 per cent against a target of 30 per cent.

He also rejected the government's claim that the state has “humongous” debt. The former finance minister said that while Bengal has a debt of Rs 1.92 lakh crore, other states like Maharashtra has a debt of Rs 2.36 lakh crore and UP has Rs 2.35 lakh crore as debts as on March 31,2011.

Asim data duel with Mamata

THE TELEGRAPH, Issue Date: Tuesday , October 25 , 2011

Calcutta, Oct. 24: Former finance minister Asim Dasgupta today opened a war of numbers with Mamata Banerjee by calling into question the data used by the chief minister to seek special assistance from the Centre to overcome Bengal’s financial woes.

During her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week, Mamata had highlighted that the state government was left with only 6 paise from every rupee it earned to fund development and blamed the crisis on the Left’s 34 years of “misrule”.

“Out of one rupee, 94 paise are spent on salary and other responsibilities of the state. Only 6 paise are left for development. How will we do with such little money? The Centre has to think,” she had said in Delhi.

Dasgupta said that according to the financial statement (Abstract of the Annual Financial Statement 2011-12 and Trends of Expenditure and Growth Trajectories) tabled by his successor Amit Mitra, the state’s outgo on salaries, pension and interest payment constituted 74 per cent of the revenue receipts.

No one from the government was available to explain the accounting Mamata had used to arrive at the 94-paise figure.

“I don’t know how the figure of 94 was arrived at,” Dasgupta said.

“If the Centre extends help to the state government, it will be good. But what was said while seeking extra assistance was misleading and incomplete,” he added.

Dasgupta has held several news conferences in the past five months to rebut Mamata’s claim that the Left’s misrule had plunged Bengal into bankruptcy. On all such occasions, the attempt was to defend the Left record and its policies by rolling out economic data.
Today, he went on the attack, first questioning the numbers that form the basis of Mamata’s strident demand for special central assistance, the absence of which even after five months in power appears to be frustrating her. Non-Congress states have opposed a special package for Bengal, alleging this would amount to discrimination against them.
“This government had set a target of 30 per cent growth in tax revenue collection, but till now the growth has been only around 19 per cent. In the corresponding period, we had achieved a growth of around 29 per cent last year,” said Dasgupta.

The former finance minister also mentioned that the new government’s market borrowing had touched Rs 10,000 crore — the highest among all states — in the five months of the current fiscal year while the Left Front had restricted it to Rs 9,500 crore for all of 2010-11.

“Government employees have not received even one instalment of the dearness allowance this year,” he said. The issue of arrears and DA for government staff is sensitive as the state employs over 10 lakh people.

October 23, 2011

‘Unfit to drive’, 156 fire engine drivers hired by Left told to take a retest

Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay

INDIAN EXPRESS, Posted online: Thu Oct 20 2011, 02:37 hrs

Kolkata: The West Bengal government has ordered a retest for a batch of 156 engine drivers of the Fire Service department who got their jobs about eight months ago after going through all necessary tests.

The order was issued by Indevar Pandey, Principal Secretary, Fire department, some time back after Director of Fire Services Gopal Bhattacharya wrote to the government that 27 of the 156 drivers, who were recruited during the fag end of Left Front rule, were not fit to drive fire engines and were recruited without proper tests.

Since the 27 could not be singled out, the fire department called all the 156 for a retest of their driving skills.

“The tests are going on. I will not say anything more on this,” Bhattacharya told The Indian Express.

The move, however, has not gone down well with a section of officials believing that it could lead to complications.

“If any of the drivers goes to court, the government would be in a fix as they were taken in after all the tests, including medical. Apart from that they are in service and have been receiving salary for the past eight months. How can you take a retest now? What will you do if any of them disqualifies,” asked one official.

In another mysterious development, the complaint sent by Bhattacharya to the Secretary was on Wednesday found missing from the file.

“This must have been an insider job, somebody is trying to shield the man or group of men who were responsible for those appointments during the Left Front government,” said one official.

The Fire Department is facing a leadership crisis as Pandey, who handles two other departments as well - Home (Personnel) and Disaster Management — hardly finds any time it.

“He never sits in his office in the Fire Department. Many projects and plans have fallen. The department is in doldrums,’’ an official alleged.

Coal shortfall hits steel production in West Bengal

IANS, Oct 18, 2011, 02.48pm IST

KOLKATA: Production in the secondary steel sector of West Bengal has fallen as heavy rains have prevented the state-run Coal India Limited (CIL) from supplying enough of the vital raw material.

The sector expects to be further hit because there will be no e-auction of coal for it this month. It is on hold to divert the raw material to power stations. These auctions are a 'lifeline' to the secondary steel sector.

Coal supply to power and steel plants are badly affected as the coal giant was unable to meet its target in the first half of the current fiscal, the output falling short by around 20 million tonnes (MT) due to adverse weather conditions.

Against the target of 196 MT, largely due to heavy rains the Maharatna company could produce only about 176 MT of coal from April to September.

Steelmakers said the coal crisis for the steel sector will aggravate further with CIL's recent decision to offer four million tonnes of additional coal by e-auction to the power sector in October.

"Plants in West Bengal are on the verge of closing down due to acute coal shortage," Kolkata-based Shyam Steel director Lalit Beriwala told IANS. "We have been particularly facing severe shortage of coal for the last six months because of short supply from the CIL."

Beriwala said the state was currently producing at half its installed capacity.

"No new coal linkage has been given for the last four years in the state," he said.

He said prices of coal distributed through e-auction were very high; moreover, no trader should be allowed in the e-auction because they tend to jack up prices.

The coal distribution policy in the country has to be changed, he said.

On CIL's decision to put on hold the e-auction for the month of October, Beriwala said it will aggravate the coal crisis for steel producers as they purchased a bulk of coal through this medium.

"Now 70 percent of the steel plants will be closed down in West Bengal. I do not know what will be the fate of industry in the state if the government does not take any action," he added.

Another major steelmaker in the state, Jai Balaji Group, said it had resorted to more coal import from abroad.

"For the last few months, we have been facing severe shortage of domestic coal supplied by CIL and its subsidiaries," Jai Balaji Group chairman and managing director Aditya Jajodia said.

"Due to that our coal import has been increased by 25 percent. As a result cost of steel production has soared by about 40 percent," he added.

Jajodia said CIL's decision on e-auction of coal was a "negative development". "It will hurt steel sector as a whole," he added.

Santosh Bajaj of the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce ( MCC) said the steel sector in the state was facing supply as well as demand constraints.

"Bengal steel plants are facing a raw materials crisis, more in the recent times, because of the short supply in coal. Demand for steel is low because of low spending on infrastructure. If demand was high then the base price would have been higher. It would have ensured good profit for steel makers," Bajaj said.

Moreover, according to him, steel producers are also facing a working capital crisis as interest rates are too high.

"Financially they are in a pathetic condition," he added.

Low foodgrain production in high-yielding states: Study

BUSINESS STANDARD / New Delhi October 17, 2011, 1:09 IST

Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Karnataka have shown high-growth momentum in agricultural foodgrain production during the last five years and have the potential to contribute significantly to India’s foodgrain basket.

The share of these low-foodgrain yielding states in the total foodgrain production of India have improved from 17.4 per cent to 19 per cent during 2002-06 period over 2007-11 period.

However, the contribution of the states with high-yield foodgrain production like Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh to the national basket has declined from around 41 per cent to around 38 per cent during the same period, a study conducted by PHD Chamber Research Bureau said here today.

Jharkhand posted 40 per cent growth in the foodgrain production during the last five-year-period (2007-11) over the previous five-year period (2002-06), growing from 2.28 million tonnes (mt) (annual average) in 2002-06 to 3.20 mt (annual average) during 2007-11 period.

Similarly, Rajasthan posted a foodgrain production growth of 21.84 per cent over the same period, growing from 12.62 mt (annual average) in 2002-06 to 15.38 mt (annual average) during 2007-11.

Foodgrain productions in Karnataka and Maharashtra have also grown at impressive rates of 24.09 per cent and 22.3 per cent, respectively, the PHD Chamber study said.

The green revolution effect of high-yield agrarian states like Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh seems to be fading. The foodgrain production growth in these states has reached a saturation point, the study pointed out.

Punjab, the significant contributor to the foodgrain production of India where per hectare yield is also highest in the country (4,148 kg/hectare), has registered around eight per cent growth in the last five-year period (2007-11).

Foodgrain production in West Bengal (2,561 kg/hectare) and Uttar Pradesh (2,260 kg/hectare) have grown at modest (-)2 per cent and eight per cent, respectively, the study added. Kerala with 2,896 kg/ hectare foodgrain production has grown at a disappointing (-) 10.9 per cent.

It is a matter of concern that the states with high yield of foodgrain production like Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh have registered a declining trend in the growth of food grains.

Their contribution to the national basket has declined from around 41 per cent in 2002-06 period to around 38 per cent during 2007-11 period. In comparison to this, the share of the low-yielding states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Karnataka have improved from 17.4 per cent to 19 per cent during the same period, according to the study.

On the contrary, states with low-foodgrain yield per hectare, which have not been exploited to the fullest, have registered high-growth potentials during the period, the study said.

West Bengal madrasas see conspiracy in Mamata’s affiliation offer

Submitted by admin4 on 16 October 2011 - 4:00pm

By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.net

Kolkata: In a setback to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s move to please Muslims, a representative body of private religious madrasas in the state has rejected Mamata’s offer of affiliation to 10,000 madrasas. West Bengal Rabeta Madaris-e-Islamia Arabia rejected the offer saying there is a conspiracy to bring religious madrasas in political fold.

“Muslim should be aware of the government recognition offer for Islamic madrasas. Most of the Islamic madrasas in West Bengal are following the syllabus of Darul Uloom Deoband and Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur. Any madrasa run by Rabeta will never take Government recognition announced by the Chief Minister of West Bengal,” said Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband.

(L-R) Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury, Principal Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur Maulana Sahid, Prof of Jamia Sahi Muradabad Mufti Salman.

Addressing a press conference here on 13th October, Maulana Nomani said “If Government wants to do something leave targeting Madrasa. Madrasa should have right to go their own way, destination Islamic Education.”

“Religious Madrasa should not take any Government Assistance. In Sachar Report we have seen only 4% Madrasa students. The rest are going to school or modern education centres. Government should take care of schools not Muslim-run Islamic Madarsa. Madrasas are teaching Islamic lesson. We have right to teach Islamic Education and build Islamic Educational Institution to our choice, which stated in Indian Constituency. We will abide Indian Constituency not State run Government Rule,’ Maulana Nomani roared.

He and other leaders of West Bengal Rabeta Madaris-e-Islamia Arabia questioned the affiliation offer of the CM by raising the issue of the number of madrasas in the state. They said the largest madrasa body Rabeta is running only 700 madrasas. So how will the govt get 10,000 madrasas in West Bengal?

Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury said the declaration of recognition to 10000 Madrasas by Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal Government is totally fake. Because there are not 10000 madrasas in West Bengal right now. It is a conspiracy against Islamic education, he said.

In reply to a question about Mamata’s claims that 90% of Muslim development issues has been covered successfully, Chowdhury said, the people of West Bengal knows well, they are doing nothing. This is a totally fake propaganda.

Principal of Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur said: If Madrasas are willing government assistance then Islamic Lesson might be dropped. So, Muslims should keep distance from Government Affiliation.

These eminent clerics and heads of renowned madarasas in the country were speaking at a press conference called at the end of two-day conference (12-13 Oct) of madrasas called by West Bengal Rabeta Madaris-e-Islamia Arabia at Jamia Islamia Madani near Dumdum Airport in Kolkata.

The conference was attended by around 700 Madrasas from 19 districts of the state. Eminent figures who featured the conference were Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani (Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband and president of All India Rabeta Madaris-e-Islamia Arabia) Maulana Shahid (Principal of Mazahir Uloom Saharanpur), Mufti Salman (Professor of Jamia Shahi Muradabad) and Maulana Yusuf (Gujarat Darul Uloom). The conference was presided over by Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury.

From deferent districts of West Bengal lots of Islamic clerics and teachers attended the conference.

Some important points discussed at the conference:

1. To make good relation among Madrasas and should take care to build up coordination.
2. Rabeta Members will have an eye on Anti-Madrasa campaign
3. To increase quality of learning system-- Madrasa concern has to be taken special care.
4. To save Islamic Culture we have to spread benefit of Islamic education in the society.
5. Darul Uloom Deoband and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind advised to keep safe distance from Government Financial help to run the madrasa. Madrasa should follow as usual process to collect donation form Muslim Community, society.
6. Govt of West Bengal declared to give the government affiliation to the 10000 Madrasa in West Bengal. This is the conspiracy to manage the Madrasa in political outfit. So, Madrasa should not take any government recognition. 

'Mamata failed to deliver on promises to Maoists'

Last Updated: Sunday, October 16, 2011, 11:31 

Ashok Jiban, Jhargram: Spokesperson of the People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), Ashok Jiban, has said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has failed to deliver on the promises she made to the Maoists before the state elections.

While reacting to recent statements by Mamata Banerjee, Jiban said: "She (Banerjee) talked about peace during her visit here. We also want peace and for making the environment conducive for peace she will have to keep her promises and then the process of continuous discussions will bring back permanent peace here."
He also said that the Maoist prisoners arrested during the conflicts must be released as was promised earlier.

"First we want withdrawal of the security forces, then we want the unconditional release of all the prisoners and withdrawal of false cases. In the past, when the CPI(M) established a new government, they released prisoners without any condition. Uttar Pradesh government also released prisoners on her birthday, recently the Orissa government also released prisoners and the military junta government of Myanmar controlled by Army also released 6300 prisoners. They all didn't establish their respective governments with any promises but the Chief Minister of West Bengal made these promises before the elections," he added.

Jiban also said that Banerjee's call to the Maoists to give up arms is a farce as there are other gangs controlled by political parties, which need to be disbanded.

"The Chief Minister said that the rebels have given up arms. But the people don't have any arms. It is in the hands of the CPI(M)'s Harmad. It is in the TMC's (Trinamool Congress) Bhairab Bahini's hands. Arms are also in the Maoist's hands, but Maoists are not like the Harmad and Bhairab gangs because they have their own ideals. They should not be compared with these gangs under any circumstances. But these gangs attack villages regularly so their arms must be seized first," he asserted.


Congress says ministers not being allowed to work in Bengal

INDIAN EXPRESS, Posted online: Fri Oct 14 2011, 09:20 hrs

Malda : Congress, which runs an alliance government with the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, today alleged its ministers were not being given a free hand to work in the state and warned against "undermining" the party's importance.

"Congress party workers are not being given a free hand in the state despite being an alliance partner. This should be protested against," said senior West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee leader Abdul Mannan.

"The Trinamool Congress government should work for the betterment of the people of the state and this has to be done jointly with the Congress," he said, addressing a party panchayat function here.

Addressing the gathering, WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya said, "Congress' importance as an alliance partner should not be undermined and should be judged realistically."

"Workers must learn to shed their frustration and work for the party," he added.

Don’t include Dooars, Terai in GTA: Tribal leaders

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 15:37

Chalsa (WB): Adivasi leaders of Dooars and Terai in West Bengal today met state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and said they would not allow any area from the two tribal regions to be included in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration formed recently.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had demanded at the time of the GTA agreement that some mouzas of the two adivasi regions be included in the authority. While Dooars has 98 mouzas, Terai has 123.

The Dooars lies on the foothills of the eastern Himalayas around Bhutan while Terai is the area near the Siwalik range, the lowest outer foothills of the Himalayas.

Representatives of various adivasi organisations like the Toto Kalyan Samiti, Bodo People's Forum and Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad in a meeting with the Chief Minister here put forward three alternatives. 

Either an authority on the lines of the GTA to be named as Adivasi Territorial Administration for the two regions be formed, an Adivasi Autonomous Council be created or both the regions be included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

They also submitted some memorandums containing their demands to the Chief Minister.

Mamata said she needed some time to consider their demands.


Centre committed to Katwa thermal power plant: Shinde

Farakka (West Bengal), Sep 28 (PTI): The Centre today said it is committed to setting up the Katwa thermal power project in West Bengal.

"NTPC will set up a power plant in Katwa. I also announce that we will offer 50 per cent of the capacity to the state," Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said here today.

He was speaking at the inauguration of full-load commercial operation of NTPC''s 500 MW stage III unit at Farraka.

With the addition of 500 MW, the Farraka thermal power plant''s total capacity increased to 2,100 MW.

Shinde''s assurance brought new hope to the power project, which is mired in problems of land acquisition, although he asked the state government to arrange for land and water.

State power minister Manish Gupta, who was also present at the event, said that the government would offer full cooperation and support to Centre’s power projects in the state.

The West Bengal Power Development Corporation is supposed to transfer the 1,320 MW thermal power project to the NTPC which has acquired only 458 acres out of 1,100 acres required for the project.

NTPC Chairman Arup Roy Choudhury also expressed hope, saying the new land policy favours government support of infrastructure projects.

"We are also ready to pay the land owners directly the price the WBPDCL had paid. We need the original land owners'' list from the government," he said.

Gupta called for permission for setting up hydel power projects in the northern part of the country and in Bhutan.

Meanwhile, NTPC is targeting to reduce share of imported coal for Farraka plant to 10 per cent from 20 per cent by increasing domestic coal supply.

October 21, 2011

CPI (M) Keshpur Zonal office set on fire by Trinamool hooligans

27th September, 2011

West Midnapore: More than hundred Trinamool hooligans with firearms attacked CPI (M)'s zonal office at Keshpur in West Midnapore district Tuesday morning. Trinamool activists, who were taking out a rally near the office, attacked Comrade Jamshed Ali Bhavan building; they barged into the office premises, ransacked it and set the ground floor on fire. Near about 45 party workers are trapped on the second floor of the office then. The incident happened before the police force deployed there. But they didn’t intervene or resist Trinamool attackers. After Rapid Action Force rushed to the site, Police had to resort to lathi charge to control the crowds.

The attack was launched allegedly after some CPI (M) supporters were seen with arms at the office. This could not be confirmed. Actually, after the last assembly election police and Trinamool hooligans two times searched Keshpur Zonal office with the allegation that there were lots of arms inside the party office. But they didn’t find anything.   

This time story was slightly different. On Monday, there was a clash between two factions of Trinamool Congress at Mirpara village of Keshpur left one dead and several injured. A group of TMC supporters at Panchami received information that one Ajmera Biwi was attacked and her home ransacked at Mirpara village. When some local leaders reached the spot at around 2:30pm, they found the other faction waiting for them with arms. The armed group also belongs to Trinamool. Soon an altercation followed and the new group opened fire. Sheikh Samiyet (18) was critically wounded after two bullets hit him. He was rushed to Midnapore Medical College where he succumbed to his injuries. Among the injured were Roshan Khan (35), Moinuddin Khan (28) and Jalal Khan (40). All three were hit on their legs by stray bullets.

Trinamool West Midnapore district President Dinen Roy, however, refused to see it as an intra-party clash. But SP Midnapore (west) Praveen Tripathi said, "There was violence between two groups. Bullets were fired, villagers were attacked. We have reports of several injuries and one person have been killed. We have arrested three people in connection with the violence. The role of political parties is under scrutiny."

Actually, these two groups belongs to Chitta Garai, Trinamool block president of Keshpur and Asish Pramanik, who contested as TMC candidate of Keshpur in last assembly election.  There was palpable tension at Panchami village were the two factions have been at loggerheads. The bone of contention between the two warring factions is over the controlling of the locality. But after the incident Trinamool state leadership want hushed up the factional war. After their instructions, late on Monday evening, the TMC members started a demonstration in front of Keshpur police station demanding a thorough search in the erstwhile CPI (M)-dominated villages that have huge arms in store. And in the morning they attacked CPI (M) Zonal Office.

West Bengal Left Front Chairman and CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose strongly condemned the attack. He said, ‘Many workers have been injured. Around 45 of our workers have been locked inside the first floor. The miscreants are trying to set the office ablaze.’  Biman Bose said, ‘After the assembly election Trinamool and Police force jointly attacked, ransacked, set fire more than 600 hundred of our party offices. Our 40 comrades killed. TMC govt. and party launched a Political vendetta against us. This should be stopped immediately in a democratic system.’