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By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: The Bangla Sangeet Mela organised by the West Bengal State Government kicked off on Monday in presence of CM Mamata Banerjee and stalwarts of Indian Music Bapi Lahiri, Swantanu Moitra, Sandhya Mukhopadhyay and many others at Nazrul Mancha.

“We are proud to be able to give a platform to our artists. Artists are our assets. One day Bengal’s culture will win over the world,” asserted Banerjee while inaugurating the Sangeet Mela.

The CM further informed that thousands of folk artists have been registered in the last four years for providing monthly stipend and these artists will perform at government functions.

“On December 23, we will have a beautiful cultural function on a ‘vajra’ at Lal Dighi in BBD Bag and Lok Sanskriti Utsav will also begin on the same day,” she added.

Banerjee conferred the ‘Bishesh Sangeet Samman’ award on veteran artists Dwijen Mukhopadhyay, Ajoy Chakraborty and Sandhya Mukherjee. The ‘Maha Sangeet Samman’ was conferred on seasoned artists Shantanu Moitra, Md Aziz, Kumar Bose, Shibaji Chattopadhyay, Sriradha Bandyapadhyay, Dilip Kumar Bose and Fakir Alamgir. The CM conferred the ‘Sangeet Samman’ on Nachiketa.

The six-day festival will continue till December 21 in several places of Kolkata– Rabindra Sadan, Mohar Kunja, Sisir Mancha, Hedua Park, Princep Memorial and other areas.

A special performance by some prisoners of the Dum Dum Central Jail also took place on December 17 at Rabindrasadan.


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Tokyo Olympics 2020 Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar enter semi finals.

Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.