At least one person was killed and several others injured in firing in the Bhatpara-Kakinara area of North 24 Paraganas, about 30 km from Kolkata. The deceased was identified as Dharamveer Shaw.While the police confirmed the death of Mr. Shaw, a street food vendor, locals said one more person was killed, a claim that could not be confirmed. At least three more civilians and a few policemen were injured.It was after a two-hour clash, during which miscreants hurled bombs at each other, that the police reached Bhatpara. They claimed that they had been attacked by the locals and “vehicles were vandalised”. However, one person, who claimed to be an uncle of Mr. Shaw, said that “the police opened fire without any provocation and killed his nephew.” His body could be seen lying in a pool of blood, while the bullet that presumably hit him pierced the shutter of a shop. A police officer said they had not “fired and killed civilians.”The area, predominantly inhabited by migrant workers from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, witnessed sporadic violence following the election result, which saw BJP leader Arjun Singh defeating Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress. The locals described various incidents — which were also communal — caused by the turf war between the Trinamool and the BJP.The State government has decided to set up a new police station in Bhatpara, and it was supposed to be inaugurated on Thursday. But the inauguration was postponed following the violence. Additional Director-General of Police (Barrackpore Police Commissionerate) Sanjay Singh reached the area with a huge force. The Rapid Action Force was also deployed. Director-General of Police Virendra also reached there and held meetings with officials.Home Secretary Alapan Banerjee said Section 144 had been imposed. “Section 144 has been imposed in Bhatpara, Jagaddal and adjacent areas. Law and order will be restored and the situation will be normalised,” Mr. Banerjee said.BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said the party was sending a team of MPs to Bhatpara. “It is a clear case of the police opening fire and killing an innocent person. [Chief Minister] Mamata Banerjee has lost mental balance and the State government has failed to control the situation despite continuing violence in the area for quite some time,” he said. He said a team of BJP MPs would visit Bhatpara on Friday. Local MP Arjun Singh said the police “fired and killed Shaw from a close range.”TMC leader Tapas Ray said the BJP was “instigating such violence to destabilise the TMC government.” “The TMC came to power with popular mandate and still has a majority in the Assembly. But it is routinely disturbed by the Central government. This violence is an attempt of the Centre to dislodge the State government,” Mr. Ray said.
When the news of a one-time BCCI benefit purse of Rs 20 lakh, to be distributed to retired cricketers, was broken to former Punjab and Uttar Pradesh fast bowler Ubaid Kamal on Thursday, he broke down and disconnected the line. The tears were of joy.Kamal, who bagged 178 wickets between 1990 and 2000, was only doing a Nirupama Mankad, wife of ex-Test batsman Ashok. She had disclosed to MAILTODAY in May 2012 that she wept on hearing the news that the BCCI would extend the benefit purse to widows. Ubaid, now 41, soon recovered and returned the call. “I was expecting that the Board would give us Rs 10 lakh each. So when I heard that the amount was Rs 20 lakh, I couldn’t hold back my tears. I thank the Board for thinking about players who retired before good money, and the IPL, came in,” the Allahabad bowler-turnedcoach told MAIL TODAY. Ubaid said he would invest all the money – it’s expected that players would only receive Rs 14 lakh after tax deduction – on an academy he’s setting up in Barabanki, a few kilometres from the ancestral home of hockey legend KD Singh ‘Babu’. “I want to produce fast bowlers for India,” he said.The BCCI’s finance committee on Wednesday approved the proposal for this one-time benefit purse, having given in 2012 heftier purses to all Test players and also to those who had played 75 or more firstclass matches. The present slab is between 50 and 74 matches, the only condition being they should have retired by the 2033-04 home season. The finance committee’s recommendation will now go to the working committee for final approval. “About 50-60 players will benefit under this scheme,” said a source.advertisementAmong those who qualified include Madhya Pradesh players Sanjay Jagdale, who as BCCI secretary had suggested to president N. Srinivasan to include Ranji players too in the one-time benefit scheme, and late Syed Mushtaq Ali’s son Gulrez Ali, Haryana all-rounder Dhanraj Singh, Narendra Menon, and Punjab wicketkeeper Arun Sharma.Dhanraj, too, got emotional, but is clear where he would use the money. “I got my daughter married recently. I had taken some loan for her wedding, and this amount would help me pay back the loan,” Dhanraj, who was part of Haryana’s only Ranji Trophy title triumph in 1990-91, told MAIL TODAY. “I’m grateful to the BCCI for this gesture. At the same time, I’d request them to slightly enhance our monthly gratis,” said the man who played 51 matches from 1990-1999. Gulrez, who played 74 matches, said: “We played tough cricket in the days when remuneration was very small. The number of matches was also less in those days, so playing 74 game is no joke.”