West Bengal: Education and Violence :

Students beat up teachers, five injured

Prevented From Copying In Exam Hall, Students Attack Teachers At Berachampa


Kolkata: Four teachers and a non-teaching employee of Chandraketugarh Sahidullah Smriti Mahavidyalya in North 24-Parganas were beaten up after they prevented some students from cheating in the examination hall.

      The college at Berachampa, North 24-Parganas, was the centre for BA, BSc and BCom examinations and around 400 students from Basirhat College took there exams here.
They have been copying rampantly for the past few days and on Friday too they tried the same. Students taking the Sanskrit exam started copying answers from textbooks. Since it was the last day of the examinations, teachers decided to act tough. Around 1.30pm — 30 minutes before the exam concluded — they seized answer scripts from three students and wrote adverse remarks on them.

      After the examination ended, as the teachers and non-teaching employees were coming out of the examination centre, a group of students, accompanied by some outsiders, pounced on them. They first attacked one of the non-teaching employees who had alerted the teachers. They beat him up with sticks. When the teachers came to his rescue, they were also beaten up.

      Zafar Ali Mondal, the nonteaching employee, and Bengali teacher Atiqul Islam were hit by rods and were critically injured. Three others, including history teacher Rupa Chakraborty, English teacher Saurabh Bhattacharyya and education teacher Sulagna Chatterjee were also injured.

     Atiqul and Zafar received deep injuries on their skulls and started bleeding profusely. They were taken to the Berachampa primary health center and shifted to a private nursing home in Barasat after their conditions deteriorated. The doctors suggested both of them to undergo CT scan.
Meanwhile, trouble broke out at Basirhat College as well. There were rumours that students from Basirhat had been attacked at Berachampa. As a result, studentsof Sahidullah college who were taking their exams in Basirhat College were also attacked by local students.
A large contingent of police, led by senior officers, rushed to Basirhat College and rescued the Sahidullah College students.
A police team also went to Sahidullah College in Berachampa and brought the situation under control.
Education minister Bratya Basu said, “I have sought a report from the vice-chancellor of West Bengal State University with which both these colleges are affiliated. We will punish the guilty irrespective of party colour.”

Bengali teacher Atiqul Islam, who was beaten up by students at Berachampa on Friday

Good Samaritan Barun Biswas Murdered in W Bengal

In Tragedy, A Lesson In Kindness

Crusader Wouldn’t Have Wanted Revenge, Say Students And Colleagues

Sabarmati Roy TNN 

Kolkata: Teachers and students of Mitra Institution, the north Kolkata school where slain social activist Barun Biswas taught, want the assailants to be counseled so that the cycle of terror and violence that plagued Sutia in North 24-Parganas finally ends.

     Barun had raised his voice against the mass rapes by a gang that had terrorized Sutia
in 2001-2003. It was his campaign that forced the administration to act and four of the accused were arrested and jailed.

     Those who knew Barun believe he would have wanted the killers to be reformed.

     “Barun Biswas stood for justice and a world where people — both men and women — could live with dignity. In the crime-prone belt where he carried on his crusade, dignity of life will remain elusive till those who committed the barbaric acts realize they were wrong,” said Santanu Basu, who teaches geography at Mitra Institution. Barun taught Bengali.

      “Barun’s murder, a decade after the Sutia rapes, is proof of the lawlessness in the area. It was clearly a revenge killing. But we don’t want harsh punishment to be meted out to the killers. They must be counseled so that understand what they have done and reform their ways,” said Basu.

      He was among several teachers, former students and guardians who travelled to Barun’s home near Gobardanga on Friday to pay their condolences to the bereaved family. He is survived by an ailing father and two brothers.

      Barun did not marry, fearing it would hamper his social service. “He was a terrific human being, always optimistic and full of life. I still can’t believe he is no more. He was fearless and protested against injustice of any kind, be it trafficking or rape. He refused to get married or get into any relationship that would come in the way of serving the people. Nowadays, it is rare to come across someone as selfless as him,” Basu said.

     His students, too, feel that best respect that could be paid to Biswas was to clean up the belt without the use of force. “What is done cannot be reversed. But if he was here today, he would not have wanted the accused to be severely punished. He was always against corporal punishment and believed that explaining politely, yet firmly, worked better in ensuring that a wrong did not get repeated,” said former student Biswajit Dey.

     Other ex-students said Biswas was a great teacher, cool tempered and forever ready to offer advice. While he was against corporal punishment, he was firm and made sure mistakes were not repeated.
Very few know that Barun regularly organized blood donation camps and raised funds to distribute blankets among the needy in winter.

     Gopal Chandra Mridha, a colleague and relative of Barun, rued the lack of support from the administration. “Had the administration been proactive, Barun would not have met this fate,” he said.

      Though political leaders have jumped in to cash in on the sympathy wave, his close associates and family strongly deny he had any kind of political leaning whatsoever.

       (Clockwise fro top) Women in Sutia protest the killing of social activist Barun Biswas on Friday; former student Biswajit Dey stands in protest in front of Mitra Institution where Biswas taught; infuriated women attack a policeman after Biswas’ murder

‘Rape village’ up in arms after crusader’s killing

Cop Outpost Ransacked, Road Blocked

Sanjib Chakraborty TNN

Gaighata (North 24-Parganas): Hundreds of women, armed with brooms and bamboo sticks, attacked police, ransacked a police outpost and blocked a key road for 10 hours on Friday in Sutia, some 80km from Kolkata, to protest against the murder of a schoolteacher who had saved the area from a gang of rapists ten years ago. At least 40,000 people turned up for the funeral of ‘Mastermoshai’ Barun Biswas.
The spontaneous outburst of anger took the administration by surprise. Sutia residents are furious with police for not being able to protect Barun despite several earlier attempts on his life. The RAF was called in to lift the siege but the armourclad men did not know how to take on an army of women.

Locals believe Barun was murdered by the gangsters who were jailed or forced to go underground because of his crusade against the rapes. Their suspicion was deepened by the arrest of Bhim Biswas, a close aide of Susanta Chowdhury, one of the prime accused in the Sutia gang-rape case.

Between 2000 and 2003, Sutia was one of the worst badlands in the country. Gangrapes were a daily affair. Teenagers were raped in front of their mothers, wives in front of husbands and mothers in front of children in a horrific strategy to terrorize the population. If any woman protested, the gang would barge into the house and rape every female in the family. Women could not even step out of Sutia as the gang ran it like its personal fiefdom. Even the police didn’t dare interfere.
Then, Barun, a quiet 26-year-old schoolteacher, rose in protest and led a campaign that ended the reign of terror. Barun’s fightback is the stuff thatBollywood blockbusters are made of, but the blood, guts and bullets and bombs were all too real.

He was shot dead by three men on a bike as soon as he stepped out of Gobordanga railway station on Wednesday evening. The gang shot him in the back, as a hundred people watched in horror. Biswas turned around to face his killers and took the second bullet in the chest. If the killers had planned to silence the voice of protest, the result was just the opposite.

People streamed out of their homes at night and when daylight broke, the sleepy policemen in Sutia outpost found themselves surrounded by a huge crowd of women. The mob stormed in, drove out the cops and wrecked furniture. A police bike and a jeep were damaged. Then, the protesters moved to the streets. The blockade of Gobardanga-Berigopalpur Road started at 5am. Bombs and bullets fail to deter crusaders Apolice team from Gaighata tried to evict the women by force but was beaten back. SP Champak Bhattacharya rushed to the spot with a large police and RAF contingent but the mob refused to budge, demanding to know why 11 of the Sutia rape accused were still roaming free. It took hours of negotiation before the blockade was lifted at 3pm on the promise that the killers would be arrested.

Police records say that at least 30 women were repeatedly raped in Sutia between 2001 and 2003. The actual number could be even more. This is apart from 80 murder and robbery cases in the tiny hamlet, about 15 minutes from the Bangladesh border. With the mafia land out of police jurisdiction, the people were virtually enslaved until Barun Biswas, who lived in nearby Panchkuta village, gave them hope. He roped in locals to form the Pratibadi Manch. Hundreds flocked to him, from farmers to students and homemakers to doctors.

Eventually, news of his protest trickled out and made front-page headlines. The administration was forced to act and the kingpins of the gang — Susanta Chowdhury, Bireswar Dhali, Ramen Majumdar, Ripon Biswas, Anil Bala and Laxman Tarafdar — were arrested. In 2004, five of them were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Barun, as the prime witness in the case, was repeatedly attacked but refused to give in. Mancha president Nani Gopal Poddar, who too has escaped several attempts on his life, alleges that those absconding in the gang-rape accused and those jailed had plotted the murder. “On March 14 last year, two gunmen fired at me in Sutia Bazar. In 2003, goons hurled bombs at me. I somehow survived but was hospitalized for a long time,” said Poddar. “Barun’s murder was the handiwork of those who are operating from behind bars. Police should have been more active to arrest all the culprits,” he added.
Barun’s neighbour Arup Biswas also believes that the murder was plotted from behind bars to bring back the reign of terror in Sutia. “But the people will not bow to the criminals. The fight that Barun started, hundreds of people will continue,” he said.
Police say they are not yet sure what led to Barun’s murder. “The exact motive has not been ascertained. We are looking into all possible angles. We arrested a suspect on Thursday night and he is being interrogated. Raids are on to nab the others,” said the SP.

Food minister Jyotipriya Mullick condemned the murder and demanded a proper investigation. He said Barun was a Trinamool Congress activist.

LAWLESS ZONE: Residents of Sutia protest against the killing of Barun Biswas

Health : Cooking Oils

Know your cooking oils

       Physician Geeta Sundar gives tips on which oils are good for

      your  health and how we should consume them

The best oil is unsaturated, has high Omega-3 content, is naturally extracted in a cold press, and doesn’t contain chemical additives or adulterants. Soya, ricebran, mustard, til (sesame), rapeseed (canola) and olive oil are considered the best. Sunflower and safflower come a close second.

       Refined oil Refining involves removal of free fatty acids, bleaching and removal of objectionable odours. However, this destroys natural Beta-carotene and Vitamin E (which protects oil from becoming rancid) and leaves toxic cancer-causing residues. But refined oils have longer shelf lifes.

      Storage Oil should be stored in steel, glass or earthenware containers and never in plastic or tin, and in a dark place, away from direct light or heat to prevent it from disintegrating fast. Ideally, consume within a month of extraction. So don’t buy your oil in bulk.

      Packaging label This should display date of extraction (not date of packaging), toxic residue levels and vitamin levels.

      Deep frying Try not to deep-fry your food at more than 180º C (smoking oil); it can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, mental depression, and fatty liver. Use a shallow pan with minimal oil and a low flame. Water in oil is also harmful; do not re-use oil especially if it contains food residues.

     Combining oils Use a combination of oils (alternate between the good oils) during cooking.

      How much oil to use? After our growing years, we need only about five teaspoonfuls a day. Excessive intake of oil is not good and leads to weight gain and other health problems because of obesity.

      Olive oil Its advantage is its high good fat content — MUFA (73 gms per 100 gms) and PUFA content (11 gms per 100 gms) and Vitamin E (14 mg per 100 gms). Virgin and extra virgin olive oil are names given to oil naturally and slowly extracted with no addition of chemicals. They have the best taste and are ideal for salads and pickles. They cannot be normally used for deep frying (use refined olive oil for this), since they ‘burn’ quickly and leave a bitter taste in the food. They can also solidify in winter although unsaturated, due to the presence of natural waxes. Olive oil disintegrates fast and has to ideally be procured fresh.

Terrorism: Innocent Muslim Youth Lured

‘Terror groups lure Muslim youth’

Mohammed Wajihuddin TNN 

Mumbai: The increasing arrests of educated Muslim youth from Bihar on terror charges is a cause of concern for the Muslim intelligentsia. Muslim scholars have started airing their views both in private and in publicon the “frenzy” with which educated Muslim youth are being picked up for alleged terror activities.

       The concern is also deep because most of the recent arrests have been made from north Bihar, especially Darbhanga, a backward district. In the last one year intelligence agencies have arrested 14 Muslim youth from Bihar, mostly from Darbhanga.

       The detention of Fasih Mahmood, an engineer from Darbhanga, in Saudi Arabia, is the latest proof that IM has widened its trap and might have succeeded in radicalizing a section of the educated Muslim youth. “There is a trust deficit among Indian Muslims about what the agencies say regarding involvement of Muslim youth in terrorism. If Indian Mujahideen really exists and is radicalizing educated Muslim boys, they are the biggest enemy of Indian Muslims,” says Mohibul Haque, political scientist at Aligarh Muslim University.

      Many are dismayed at the existence of a ‘Bihar module’. “The districts in Bihar from where these Muslim boys have been picked up are backward. Most of the arrested terror accused are educated. Their arrest will halt the stride Muslims had taken in education and employment post-Babri masjid demolition. The resurgence in Muslims’ educational advancement will be affected by these arrests,” said Urdu columnist Hasan Kamaal.

     Fasih studied engineering at a college in Karnataka where is he said to have come in contact with IM members. “Muslims will have to be vigilant about terror ideologues looking for fresh recruits. There is no reason why youths should join terror organizations and become mercenaries of death as they have not faced any serious discrimination,” says Firoz Ahmed who teaches at Akbar Peerbhoy College.

Bengaluru: BDA fools Innocent Citizens

I’m 67. Will I live TO SEE MY SITE?

BDA Chief Doesn’t Turn Up To Meet Arkavathy Allottees


Bangalore: “I am 67 years old. I have been working all my life to realize a dream of living in my own house. But I don’t know whether I’ll even live to see my dream plot,” said J Madhava Rao. He was allotted a 30 ft x 40 ft site by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) in Arkavathy Layout in 2005.
Though Rao got the site registered seven years ago, he couldn’t get possession as the original owner has encroached upon it. He is among 8,813 Arkavathy allottees who haven’t got their plots as the layout is enmeshed in maze of land acquisition and compensation disputes. Most allottees haven’t even been able to get their sites registered.

  On Friday, Rao was among 200 Arkavathy allottees who gathered at the BDA office, off Bellary Road, to meet the commissioner and press for speedy disbursal of the plots. The delegation organized under the aegis of the Arkavathy Layout Allottees Association was in vain as commissioner Pradeep Singh Kharola failed to turn up.

      The allottees waited for him during the 3pm to 5pm window allotted for public interviews. They were allowed into the BDA compound and told the boss was on his way. After waiting for some time, a few allottees went to the commissioner’s office and were told that he was at the Karnataka High Court.
“The commissioner’s office was informed of our delegation’s arrival around 2.30pm. We had handed a questionnaire to him two days ago. Why did he avoid us? We only want to know why the BDA is not registering the sites even after seven years of allotment.” said Arun GK, joint secretary, ALAA.
“We shouted slogans against the BDA and police pushed us out. We plan to meet again at Cubbon Park on July 15,” said G Gajendra, an allottee.

  BDA officials said a board meeting would soon pass a resolution to resolve pending issues.

     Project announced in 2003 2,37,090 applicants for 20,000 sites over 3,900 acres Preliminary notification issued for acquiring land off Bellary Road Final notification in 2004 to acquire 2,750 acres Land acquisition runs into problems — BDA allots only 8,813 sites in 2006

     Supreme Court rules in 2010 that allotment should be completed and just compensation awarded to farmers BDA will give 40% of developed land as compensation to affected farmers 

Site of travails 
I’m an ex-serviceman and going to be 80 soon. All my money has gone to pay tax for a vacant site which is not even in my possession. My father died a freedom fighter. I’ve fought for the country. Will I not be able to live in my own house? Is this the treatment I deserve from my country and my state?
Prakash SG 
My father was allotted a site on land which was later denotified. A court order said we’d be given alternative plots but our site was in a prime location. I wonder if the alternative site would be in a similar location. Even if we get an alternative site, as per BDA rules, we’ll have to pay more again to register the site.
Arun GK 

    I’ve got my site registered and a building plan was also sanctioned. When we went to the site, we were chased away by rowdies and former landowners who threw stones at us. I’ve not been able to construct my house, even though I have all the clearances.
BS Lakshmikanthan

    The BDA office was a pitiable sight on Friday. Over 200 Arkavathy allottees, many of them senior citizens, gathered there and waited for hours to meet the commissioner

Good work by Police Woman

Lady cop rescues missing Mumbra boy

Nitin Yeshwantrao TNN

Thane: Woman police constable Deepmala  Nair’s presence of mind saved the Ansari family from Mumbra a lot of grief after she safely escorted their nine-year-old missing son Azaruddin back home on Saturday.

    Nair is working with the Naupada police station here and commutes daily from her home in Pune to her workplace in Thane. Early on Saturday, as Nair was waiting for theSinhagadExpress atPune station she noticed a boy chatting with a tea vendor at the platform and sensed something amiss.

    Nair summonedtheboy. “I tried to comfort him first and made discreet enquiries about him and his home. After some coaxing he said he was from Mumbra’s Amrut Nagar and that he had wandered away from home but now wants to get back to his parents. Immediately, I took him in the train with me and brought him to Thane,’’ she said. Later, the boy was reunited with his parents.