Blaze in illegal Calcutta market kills 19

Indian rescue workers try to enter a burned market in Calcutta, India, on Wednesday. Photo: EPA

A fire swept through a six-storey building housing illegal shops in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta on Wednesday, killing 19 people who were unable to flee the inferno, local officials said.

Wednesday, 27 February, 2013, 3:51pm

A hole in one

'An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut' George Jean Nathan (1882-1958) - American writer

Various holes

We all know what a hole is. We know what it feels like to have a hole in our jeans, for example. But what do these 'hole' nouns mean?

1 a hole punch

3 Jan 2011 - 12:00am

Young designer explains why Asian fashion labels should return to the region

Fashionistas gorged themselves on champagne and chocolates at the Vero lounge, where designer Kanchan Panjabi launched her Kanchan Couture label's ready-to-wear collection on Wednesday night.

16 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

'Vulgar' cheerleaders draw catcalls

Dancers' revealing outfits lead protesters to burn effigies of IPL bosses

Cheerleaders at Indian Premier League (IPL) matches have attracted fierce opposition from a swathe of political and activist groups, with protests ranging from effigy burning to calls for more conservative costumes and demands for an outright ban.

29 Apr 2008 - 12:00am


A potpourri of religions and cultures, this Indian city will flood your senses with its chaotic streets, teeming humanity and remnants of the British Raj.

1. The Maidan

20 Apr 2008 - 12:00am

Order prevails

The paint is peeling off a three-storey grey building in a run-down part of Calcutta teeming with beggars and disabled street children. But busloads of western tourists flock to the spartan house for a guided tour of the new must-see monument in a city rich in colonial history.

27 Aug 2007 - 12:00am

Vanishing coins being melted into razor blades

Police in Calcutta think they have solved the mystery behind the Indian city's acute coin shortage, believing the money is being melted down and smuggled to Bangladesh to be turned into razors and ornaments.

20 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

BJP opposes Indian time zone division

Indian nationalists are opposing moves to introduce separate time zones in India because they fear it will fuel the independence movement in the northeastern states.

The comments come after a proposal this month by India's Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy (PSCE), which asked the government to reconsider multiple time zones as an energy saving measure.

18 May 2007 - 12:00am

Muslims rebuff American cleric on goodwill trip

His visit was supposed to spread goodwill and improve Washington's image abroad. But instead, US Muslim cleric Yahya Hendi found himself rejected by many of India's top Muslim leaders.

16 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Coach tries to get round ban on boy

Budhia Singh, the four-year-old long distance running prodigy at the centre of a controversy in his Indian state of Orissa, will undertake a marathon 560-kilometre walk to Calcutta.

Budhia's coach and mentor, Biranchi Das, who has been threatened with arrest if he makes the boy run long distances again, has decided to shift his base to another state.

17 May 2006 - 12:00am


1 Flower power

26 Apr 2006 - 12:00am

Calcutta's Marxists put British back on their pedestals

A bust of George V was erected with great fanfare in the heart of Calcutta in 1939. It survived India's independence in 1947. But in 1967, within months of a communist-led coalition capturing power in West Bengal, the royal bust was unceremoniously taken down along with statues of many other prominent British colonial figures and dumped in a store.

2 Apr 2006 - 12:00am

Fugitive defends his grisly trade

Indian police have launched a massive hunt to capture a man charged with selling human skeletons to medical students.

Mukti Biswas, 55, is one of West Bengal's most wanted men for running what is being described as a 'skeleton factory' at Purbasthali on the banks of the River Bhagirathi, 200km from Calcutta.

26 Mar 2006 - 12:00am

Free schooling offer to tackle population rate and imbalance

The Indian government has announced plans to offer free secondary school and university education to girls who are their parents' only child, in an effort to curb population growth and the practice of aborting female children.

26 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

Reflections - Inaugural Exhibition

Hong Kong's first contemporary Indian art gallery exhibits Indian artwork including Vijay Achrekar's sensuous female portraits and Sanjay Bhattacharyya's haunting images of Calcutta (above). Mon-Sat, 10.30am-6.30pm, Reflections Contemporary Indian Art, 22/F Onfem Tower, 29 Wyndham St, Central. Inquiries: 2525 5438. Ends Sept 17

29 Aug 2005 - 12:00am