Kolkata: Violence-hit Bhatpara in West Bengall’s North 24 Parganas district on Sunday wore a deserted look as very few people stepped out amidst prohibitory orders in the area. Shops remained closed as an atmosphere of panic and apprehension prevailed in the area under the Barrackpore industrial belt, three days after clashes that claimed two lives and left at least four people injured. Kankinara market, which otherwise bustles with buyers on Sunday mornings, remained empty with very few people moving out of their houses. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess Durga “We are unable to run our business normally due to the disturbance in the area. For the last 35 days, we could hardly open our shops as miscreants are hurling bombs every now and then,” a local businessman said. A number of police pickets have been set up at important crossings near Ghoshpara and Kalyani highway to prevent outsiders from entering the area. Police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel carried on with their area domination work. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers A three-member delegation, comprising Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs S.S. Ahluwalia, Satya Pal Singh and Vishnu Dayal Ram, visited the house of the two deceased – Rambabu Shaw and Dharambir Shaw – in Bhatpara on Saturday afternoon. Fresh tension erupted shortly after the delegation left the area as a group of locals agitated against the police accusing them of inaction and pelted stones at the personnel on duty. Police resorted to a baton charge on two occasions to disperse the mob resulting in one person sustainimg a head injury. The region, which falls under the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency, has been tense since the election results were announced on May 23. Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA from Bhatpara Arjun Singh, who defected to the BJP just before the elections, won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, while his son Pawan Singh won the Assembly by-election. Protesting against the police brutality, BJP workers led by local MP Arjun Singh, held a demonstration outside the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate on Friday.
Sounds like water charges might be a step to far #finegael #rtept— MB (@mairinber) May 18, 2014 Source: LAURA/Twitter While Gilroy described Pat ‘The Cope’ as Pat ‘Can’t Cope’ and at one point referred to “ethnically cleansed fish”.Whatever they are.The second debate features Ireland South candidates an is on RTÉ One at 10.35pm tonight. On The Trail: 9 odd, weird and wonderful things from Election 2014Keep up to date: All things Election 2014Read: Spending cuts and immigration policy main issues in EU Commission presidency debate Even Marian Harkin had strong words for the Monaghan councillor saying he was “trying to wrap the austerity flag around him”. But Labour’s Higgins, whose chances of winning a seat are slim, had a go several times, “He’ll be outside the room, while I’ll be in the room.” She even said she’d met Martin Schulz. But how many voters know who he is?2. Water, water, everywhereIn a constituency which includes Roscommon, where in some parts they might end up paying for undrinkable water, it’s no surprise that H2O was a big issue. It formed the basis of Katie Hannon’s pre-debate report and was the first question.Nobody seemed particularly happy about the situation. McGuinness, of Fine Gael, bemoaned the fact Ireland had in the past ignored a bunch of EU water directives and conceded that nobody should pay for water people don’t drink. Format of this debate means all established parties are attacking SF – there’s no one else with a divergent view. #rtept— Colette Browne (@colettebrowne) May 18, 2014 TJ Fay: People are “stressed beyond belief” about water charges. #rtept— Órla Ryan (@orlaryan) May 18, 2014 Lorraine Higgins said Labour had got fairness out of the water deal. The opposition criticised the setting up of Irish Water, Carthy in particularly pivoting back to his anti-austerity message. A Ming Montage #rtept pic.twitter.com/IsUZUNtAW5— LAURA (@AnastasiaQuiche) May 18, 2014 Source: Hugh O’Connell/Twitter 3. Names were dropped, policies were discussedThe crop of current MEPs tried their best to talk about the work they did. We heard about banking union – or, as Harkin put it: “Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted” – while Pat ‘The Cope’ discussed fishing policy. Jim Higgins talked about leaving politics at the door and sticking on the “green jersey”.Both he and McGuinness talked about how great Michael Noonan is while Higgins said he’d met a commissioner who no one’s ever heard of and had written to Joan Burton about the youth guarantee.Ah but has she written back enquired debate moderator David McCullagh? “I’m waiting for an answer,” poor Jim admitted. Source: Órla Ryan/Twitter Jim Higgins: I’ve written to Joan Burton….. urging here… to keep her eye on it… I am waiting for an answer. #rtept— Hugh O’Connell (@oconnellhugh) May 18, 2014 Source: Mairin/Twitter Strange contrast between panel 1 and panel 2 for the European Elections debate #rtept— Aine Mc Manus (@ainemm91) May 18, 2014 Source: Aine Mc/Twitter Source: Colette Browne/Twitter THE FIRST OF three RTÉ Prime Time debates featuring almost all of the European election candidates took place last night with Midlands North-West hopefuls getting their turn.Thirteen of the 14 people running in the vast, 15-county constituency turned up for the debate which was not without its controversy beforehand with the format earning the ire of independent hopefuls Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and Rónán Mullen.The duo were part of the second panel of night, but felt aggrieved at being excluded from the first which was made up of sitting MEPs and those with parties or independents with 10 per cent support or more at the last election.Panel one was Labour’s Lorraine Higgins, Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness and Jim Higgins, Fianna Fáil’s Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher, and independent Marian Harkin.Panel two was Direct Democracy Ireland’s Ben Gilroy, Fianna Fáil’s Thomas Byrne, the aforementioned Ming and Mullen, the Green Party’s Mark Dearey, and independents TJ Fay and Mark Fitzsimons.And here are a few things we learned in case you were in bed/doing something better…1. Almost everyone targeted the Sinn Féin candidateMatt Carthy is a big favourite to take a seat in MNW and for that reason alone the other parties were keen, at every opportunity, to have a pop at him particularly after he reeled off the standard Sinn Féin spiel about the current crop of MEPs pursuing “an austerity agenda”. He even held up a copy of the party’s “fully-costed” pre-Budget submission.Lorraine Higgins said the SF’s policies made her “smile” while McGuinness went for an old favourite, telling Carthy: ”Your form of negotiation is almost to put a gun to the head of people… ” 4. The inclusion of two Fine Gael candidates in the first debate was a mistake. Having two MEPs from the same party on the one panel was slightly pointless and that became all the more apparent in the second half when there was no government representative. Mullen claimed this would have sent most people off to bed.Fitzsimons said at one point in the second debate: “You have a lot of people on the same side here, there’s no mix-up in it.” He was right.5. The format of the debate came up Mullen launched into a long criticism of RTÉ for the way they’d constructed the debate. He took “exception” to the structure and earned the applause of at least two other candidates. “You should have drawn lots,” he told Miriam O’Callaghan before at one point accusing her of “listening to the voices in your head”. Maybe he meant her producers. 6. Nigel Farage made an appearanceMiriam was keen to probe DDI candidate Ben Gilroy’s past praise of controversial UKIP leader Nigel Farage and sure enough Gilroy was only to happy to say Farage calls it as he sees it.Later he described Farage as a “lone soldier, but a strong voice” admitting he could well allay himself with the outspoken MEP in the next parliament.7. There were plenty of odd and funny moments Marian Harkin called David McCullagh “Donagh” while Thomas Byrne made the startling admission that ”the past happened, absolutely.”For no particular reason, Ming gave Gilroy pure evils when the latter was talking about the national debt.