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Proposals to create five new districts to be placed in next state cabinet meeting

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KOLKATA: The state government is preparing on the cabinet papers to place the proposal in the next cabinet meeting to constitute the five new districts – Kalimpong, Basirhat, Sunderbans, Jhargram and Burdwan industrial as announced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

The cabinet meeting is scheduled to be held on December 18 where the proposal is being planned to be placed for approval following which the government will start work on the process to form the district administrations.

As per plans, Kalimpong district will be curved out from Kalimpong sub division and some parts of Doars. Jhargram sub division will be curved out from West Midnapore to form the separate Jhargram district.
The Burdwan industrial district will be formed consisting the Asansol industrial zone as well as parts of Burdwan while the Sunderbans that now occupies parts of North and South 24 Parganas will be curved out from totally to form the Sunderbans district. Basirhat sub division will also be bifurcated from North 24 Parganas district to form the separate district.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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Suzette stands vindicated, says her `happy' kin

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KOLKATA: Suzette Jordan, the gutsy Park Street rape survivor, has finally got justice. Three years and 10 months after she was sexually assaulted by five men inside a moving car on Park Street, a city court on Thursday held three of the accused guilty . Two other accused are absconding.

Aptly, Suzette’s victory came on World Human Rights Day though she didn’t live to witness it. She died of meningitis this March. She was 40. But she had never backed out from her fight despite Mamata Banerjee calling her charges fabricated and the CM’s colleagues casting aspersions on her character. Nearly nine months after her death, Suzette Jordan, who was gang-raped on Park Street in 2012, got justice on Thursday with a court pronouncing guilty all three accused who were on trial.

Suzette believed the “shame of rape” was not her’s and it’s the accused who should bear that burden. She cast aside the veil and was eager to be identified by name and picture. That is why TOI is identifying her despite the law of the land prohibiting the publication of a rape survivor’s identity.

The three -Naser Khan, Sumit Bajaj and Ruman Khan -were convicted of gang rape, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation under various sections of IPC that attract punishments ranging from 10 years in jail to life sentence. The court will fix the quantum of punishment on Friday . The two prime accused -Kader Khan and Mohammad Ali -are believed to have fled the country .

The conviction came as a boost to Suzette’s family , particularly her grandmother who had motivated Suzette to lodge the complaint. The family broke into loud applause when her lawyer came out from the in-camera court proceedings to announce the conviction. “We are all happy that finally the culprits are going to be punished. Suzette stands vindicated,” said father Peter.

The guilty trio broke down pleading innocence. CM Mamata Banerjee, whose “cooked-up story” remark had drawn howls of protests after the incident, changed her stance after Thursday’s ver dict. “I welcome the court or der,” she was forced to concede.

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Source: TOI-Kol

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Antique racket behind vandalism?

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BISHNUPUR: The police suspect that a gang, running an antiques theft racket, is behind the recent vandalism at a 17th century temple in Bishnupur.Investigators had earlier suggested that treasure-hunters had damaged the nationally protected structure, in the temple complex. On Monday , intruders dug up the sanctum sanctorum and damaged parts of the wall inside the Kalachand temple, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India had said. Both ASI and the police suspect the accused left midway , without completing the entire digging.

According to the police, one of the gangs dealing in antiques in the eastern part of India, particularly in Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa, could have launched the “operation” after conducting a recce of the spot over several nights.

Their suspicion is reportedly not completely unfounded. Six antique statues were stolen from Varahanath temple complex in Jajpur in Orissa only a few months ago.

The police have now tightened the security around the temple complex though residents said no guard could usually be found at the temple.”Though two guards are allotted to each temple, no one is there to oversee their job,” an official said. Bankura DM Mo umita Basu said, “We will work closely with ASI to ensure betterment of the complex.” ASI regional director Dr P K Mishra said, “We want to free the site from encroachers and build apath way connecting all the 20 temples in the complex.”

A team, comprising ASI deputy superintendent Mihir Kumar Sarkar, ASI deputy superintendent P K Nayek, ASI assistant conservation and conservation assistant Arnab Roy , visited the temple. Bishnupur SDO Parha Acharya said, ” After the vandalism, ASI officials were upset with the security .We assured them there would not be any issue with it.”

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Source: TOI-Kol

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