30 schoolkids injured during I-Day celebrations in West Bengal (Lead)

August 15th, 2008 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 15 (IANS) Thirty children were injured, 15 of them seriously, as a West Bengal school building collapsed during Independence Day celebrations Friday. The building of the Nayabazar High School at Panchanandapur village in Malda district, about 360 km from the state capital, was new.

“Fifteen of the 30 students were seriously injured and admitted to a local hospital,” police said.

Meanwhile Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee urged people to unitedly fight subversive elements in the country.

“Many terrorist groups have become active in India as well as abroad. But we should strengthen our views against terrorism to get rid of this fear psychosis,” Bhattacharjee said in a media statement here.

He said: “If we have to progress and bring reforms in our economy, we need to build up a front against terrorism,”

Bhattacharjee hoisted the tricolour at state secretariat Writers’ Building here Friday morning and also garlanded the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Ghat in Barrackpore, about 20 km north of Kolkata.

Amidst tight security cordons, Independence Day was celebrated across the state with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervour.

“The security arrangements have been stepped up and we are carrying out random checking at major installations like railway station, bus terminals, hotels and all other public places. These activities are on since past two days across the state,” West Bengal Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS.

He said substantial additional police forces were deployed and sniffer dogs and bomb squads have also put on alert.

He said the vigil was particularly high in railway stations like Howrah and Sealdah in Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri station in Darjeeling district.

The national flag flew at most places in the city, including Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) and many political party offices here.

The state’s principal opposition force Trinamool Congress party’s chief Mamata Banerjee hoisted the national flag at a south Kolkata pocket at midnight.

Various cultural programmes were held in schools and colleges and in various localities.

In another untoward incident connected with the Independence Day celebrations, a tourist bus carrying a theatre troupe skidded while heading towards East Midnapore district from Kolkata Friday morning.

“We were going to Contai town to perform in a cultural programme on the occasion of Independence Day. The bus overturned near Deulti in Kolkata’s twin district Howrah. Quite a few members of our theatre group, Bohurupee, were injured in the accident and shifted to Uluberia State General hospital by the locals,” a member of the team Debesh Roy Chowdhury said.

He said some of the passengers received serious injuries in the accident.

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