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Saturday, November 22, 2008


Commandos deployed in Howrah and Sealdah station
Howrah,1December : West Bengal police commandos have been deployed at Howrah and Sealdah stations as part of the railways move to beef up security at all important stations across the state after the Mumbai terror attacks.
The additional director-general of police (railways), Dilip Mitra, and Kolkata police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti today held a meeting with home secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti at Writers’ Buildings. Director-general of police A.B. Vohra also attended the meeting.
“We have already deployed state police commandos at Howrah and Sealdah stations. We will also deploy them in stations like New Jalpaiguri and Kharagpur,” said Mitra, adding that he would visit north Bengal soon. The Kolkata police commissioner said there was no specific threat to the city but a high security alert had been sounded.

Six Islamic activists jailed for Balaka sculpture attack
Dhaka, 30 November : A Dhaka court sent six members of Ulama Anjumane Al Bayenat to jail on Sunday in connection with an attack on the Balaka sculpture in the capital's commercial centre of Motijheel the previous night, said police. Police arrested eight activists of the Islamic outfit as they were caught Saturday night in the act of vandalising the famous monument by renowned sculptor Mrinal Haque.
Al Bayenat attacked the sculpture for being "un-Islamic", the fundamentalist group claimed as they defaced the legs of the six cranes and damaging parts of the bodies. The vandals later retreated in the face of police who filed a case with Dhaka Motijheel station.
Political parties and cultural organisations, meanwhile, have protested against the act of vandalism.
South Bengal Civic Poll :
Voting Clash in Howrah, polls peaceful in other civic
Howrah, 30 November : Voting passed off smoothly for four South Bengal civic bodies Howrah, Krishnagar, Behrampore and Jhargram that went to polls on Sunday. All four places registered a high turnout: 75% at Howrah and Krishnagar, and above 80% in the other two.
At Howrah though, there were reports of scattered violence.
"We received 46 complaints of false voting, booth capture and other irregularities. Thirteen EVMs were replaced as they were not working properly," said returning officer S N Banerjee. Four persons were injured at Baksara after a clash between CPM and Trinamool supporters. RAF was deployed in several areas after the clash. 50 persons were arrested.
At Jhargram, where the shadow of violence was looming large, security was tight. Over 800 policemen were deployed. Bikes and cars were checked thoroughly. But voting was peaceful.
In the Behrampore municipal area, around 82% cast their votes. Though there were no reports of violence, Congressmen alleged presiding officers were telling voters which button to press, which was the button for the Left candidate. Repoll has been ordered in two booths of ward No. 20, following EVM snag.
At Krishnagar, too, voting was peaceful, barring a few EVM glitches. Nadia DM Onkar Singh Meena put the voter turnout at 75%.

Broadband to one third of people by 2015
E-governance to Upazila levels by 2012 and all villages by 2015
Dhaka, 30 November : The Bangladesh government hopes to provide internet facilities to 30 percent of the country's population and community-based broadband to all villages by 2015, the chief adviser's press secretary Syed Fahim Munaim said on Sunday. The press aide was briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting which passed the "National Broadband Policy 2008".
Munaim said the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, in consultation with stakeholders, had finalised the policy with 11 clauses and guidelines for broadband to flourish in the country. "The guidelines reveal that 30 percent of the country's population will be brought under the internet by 2015. All universities, medical colleges, technical universities, research bodies, all ministries, autonomous and non-governmental organisations will have access to the net," he said.
The press secretary also said e-governance facilities would reach Upazila levels by 2012 and all villages by 2015. "At least one national internet exchange will be set up in each divisional headquarter by 2010," he said.
Munaim said the advisory council meeting, chaired by chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, also finally approved the Local Government (Union Parishad) Ordinance 2008 and the Vested Property Return (Amendment) Ordinance 2008.

Four including three BSF personnel, killed in Tripura
Agartala, 29 November : Four persons, including three Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, were ambushed by National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants at remote Jalabasti in Dhalai district of Tripura on Saturday.
A group of NLFT ultras who were hiding in a jungle sprayed bullets on a group of road construction workers who were being escorted by BSF personnel to their project site, police said. While three BSF personnel died on the spot, two others, including a construction worker, sustained bullet injuries. The worker died on way to Dhalai district hospital. The construction company, MPCC, was engaged in road construction at Jalabasti-Garjanpasha area, 45 km away from Manikpur police station.
The BSF man was stated to be out of danger by hospital authorities. A heavy contingent of BSF and Tripura State Rifles (TSR) rushed to the spot and launched a massive combing operation there.

Chances of fair polls higher than 2 years ago: UN
Dhaka, 29 November : The visiting UN polls assessment team said Saturday there was "no reason to doubt" the Bangladesh's 29 December polls would be held in a free, fair and credible manner.
"I think that the chances of a credible election today are much higher than there were two years ago," said Francesc Vendrell, chief of the three-member UN panel that arrived on 23 November. "I think that there is no reason to doubt with the cooperation from the political parties, caretaker government, electoral commission that you will have, Bangladesh will have a good election," he said. He said his team hoped that the winners and losers in the next parliamentary polls would accept the results and there would be amicable relations between the ruling party and the opposition.
The UN panel will submit a report on Bangladesh's political situation to the UN secretary-general, Vendrell told a press conference at the Dhaka Sheraton before leaving Dhaka. During its visit, the team had meetings with government representatives, the Election Commission, political leaders, diplomats, civil society members and other stakeholders, he said.
The UN official also expressed surprise that some prominent citizens were in favour of holding the general election under the state of emergency.
Kolkata to get hostage rescue unit
Kolkata, 28 November : A specialized hostage rescue unit and mandatory information on tenants that's Kolkata police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabati's battle plan to prevent or tackle a Mumbai-type terrorist attack. Since Wednesday night, security has been beefed up to an unprecedented scale. The state secretariat and vital installations have been fortified and vehicles searched at checkpoints all over the city.
"We are in constant touch with Mumbai Police and other security and intelligence agencies. Cyber cafes and telephone booths are under special vigil," the city police chief said. The Mumbai attack has made them rethink their entire disaster management plan, Chakrabarti said. "We want to erect a special battalion for handling such situations, like hostage rescue. The Special Action Force and commandos will be part of this elite unit. We have already sent a proposal tot he government."

Red alert in Tripura, Indo-Bangla border sealed
Agartala, 28 November : A red alert has been sounded across Tripura and security has been beefed up by the Border Security Force along the 856-km-long Indo-Bangla border following the terror attacks in Mumbai.
"Police are keeping a close vigil on suspicious movement of people along the entire length of the border which has been sealed. Random checking of vehicles are being done," Tripura DGP Pranay Sahay told reporters. Guarding of vital installations like the civil secretariat, Raj Bhavan, high court and the Tripura Assembly house has been tightened, he said.
The DIG of BSF and chief public relation officer A K Singh said that the strength of border guards have been increased and patrolling has been intensified along the international border.

Eid-ul-Azha on 9 December in Bengal
Dhaka, 28 November : Eid-ul-Azha will be celebrated on 9 December, said Baitul Mukarram Khatib Mufti Mohammed Nuruddin.
The decision came as the Bangladesh National Moon-Sighting Committee announced that it failed to see the Jilhajj moon in the sky over Bangladesh on Friday. "Saturday will be the 30th of Jilkad. The following month Jilhajj will start on Sunday. According to that calculation, Eid-ul-Azha will be on 9 December," Nuruddin said to Press.
The committee sat at a meeting in the evening at the Islamic Foundation conference room, presided over by the committee vice-president and acting religious affairs ministry secretary Mamunur Rashid.

Bangladesh condemns Mumbai attacks
Dhaka, 27 November : Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday the attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 100 people were well planned and probably had "external linkages." Bangladesh on Thursday condemned the terrorist attack on India's financial capital of Mumbai.
Foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury termed the bombing as `cowardly act' and expressed solidarity with New Delhi.

GJM non-cooperation with WB Govt continues
Darjeeling, 27 November : Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has declared that the consumers in Darjeeling Hill will pay only part of their electricity dues in January next year as part of its non-cooperation with West Bengal Government.The bill payment will be for only three months from October to December.
GJM had stopped payment of electricity bills of Darjeeling Hills to the West Bengal Government from April this year as a part of its non-cooperation movement.With GJM agreeing to pay only the bills from October to December, the six months electricity bills from April to September still remain overdue.The ban on paying of

electricity bills of Darjeeling Hills by GJM had resulted in a loss of Rs 9.36 crore to the West Bengal Government till September.
GJM had also stopped payment of other taxes to the West Bengal Government as a part of its ‘non-cooperation movement’ from April. These include, telephone bills, land revenue taxes and vehicle road taxes which have not been paid since April. GJM had agreed only to pay the electricity bills during a meeting with the WB State Government officials and is continuing with the non-payment of other bills and taxes. Particularly, the BSNL is suffering most as its outstanding recovery from its consumers of Darjeeling Hills stand at almost Rs 2.31 crore from April to September. BSNL had responded by disconnecting the landlines, post-paid subscribers and broad band internet connections. It is learnt that BSNL officials met GJM chief Bimal Gurung on Wednesday and requested a relief so that bills are paid by the consumers.
The GJM president is learnt to have told the BSNL team to take this matter to the West Bengal Government.

West-Bengal CM letter to Centre on "Kulpi Port"
Kolkata, 27 November : West-Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is pushing hard for an agreement between his government, the Dubai-based DP World and Kolkata Port Trust soon so that the Kulpi port project can get started.
DP World, along with Keventer Projects, comprising the joint venture company Bengal Port, are supposed to construct a container port and an SEZ at Kulpi in South 24-Parganas. The CM has been holding talks with the Union shipping road transport and highways ministry so that an agreement involving the Dubai company can be clinched immediately. When the original Kulpi port project was launched in 2001, DP World hadn't come into the picture. Only an MoU had then been signed between KPT and the WB state government. On Wednesday, Bhattacharjee wrote two letters, one to Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman, Dubai World, and the other to T R Baalu, Indian minister of shipping. He has assured Sulayem that his government was on the job.

Meanwhile, the West-Bengal CM has taken a strong exception to the BIMSTEC's decision to create a deep sea port at Chattagram instead of West-Bengal. He said, "I came to know about it yesterday. I shall write to the external affairs minister about it."
Valuable Corals in St. Martins Island to be protected
Dhaka, 26 November : Raja Debashish Roy, chief adviser’s special assistant in charge of Bangladesh environment and forest ministry, said the valuable corals in the Bangladesh's lone coral island Saint Martins must be protected at ‘any cost’. He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a photo exhibition organised by the environment ministry on the occasion of ‘International Coral Year—2008’ at Shilpakala Academy in the city, an official handout said. He referred to the measures taken for alternate livelihood for the inhabitants of Saint Martin island and said it was not possible on the part of the government alone to preserve biodiversity of the island. He sought cooperation of all in this regard.
Seventy photos on birds and other biodiversities and 46 coral samples are on display in the exhibition that will remain open from 10:00AM to 8:00PM, BdST till 27 November, the handout added.
Nandigram's CPI MLA found guilty of taking bribe
Following the sting operation by the TV channel
Kolkata, 26 November : An Assembly committee of West Bengal has found former CPI legislator Sheikh Illias Mahammad guilty of accepting money from the representatives of a fake NGO. The report was tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday by committee chairman Gyan Singh Sohanpal.
"The committee is of the view that there is reason to believe that the member had accepted (money) bundle of notes from the reporters of NE Bangla channel, posing as representatives of an NGO," the report said. WB Assembly Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim, however, said since Mahammad had already resigned as an MLA, there was nothing more the House could do.
Following the sting operation by the TV channel, Trinamool Congress moved a motion of breach of privilege and contempt of the House against Mahammad, the MLA from Nandigram. He was shown accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a reporter posing as an NGO worker. Mahammad was also shown issuing a certificate to the NGO.

12 poachers arrested at Bangladesh Sundarban
UNB, Bagerhat, 26 November : Forest officials, in separate drives, arrested 12 deer poachers from the Sundarban area early Tuesday. Sundarban East Zone officials also seized a deer, a slaughtered deer, six deer heads and 100 kgs of venison and 600 traps during the drives.
Bangladesh Sundarban East Zone DFO SM Shahidullah said, acting on a tip-off, forest officials conducted a drive at Kachikhali in Sarankhola upazila and arrested 10 deer poachers along with a slaughtered deer, three deer heads, 20 kgs of venison and 600 traps. Another team of forest officials arrested two poachers from Pashur river in Mongla upazila and recovered a deer, three deer heads and 80 kgs of venison from their boat.Separate cases were filed in this connection.

Tribals Uplift : WB Government admits failure
SNS, SURI, 26 November : The Birbhum district administration today admitted that it had failed to provide basic facilities to tribal villages. The authorities sought time to implement development schemes.Nearly 300 tribals, under an apolitical banner ‘Birbhum Adibasi Unnayan Gaunta’ (BAUG), staged a demonstration in front of the DM's office today for about three hours. A delegation of the BAUG submitted an 11-point memorandum to the DM where he admitted the authorities' failure to implement development schemes and provide basic services.The BAUG leadership said they would launch a greater movement if the district administration failed to implement development schemes and stop police excesses in tribal villages.

Rabin Soren, secretary, BAUG, said: "We shall wait for a minimum time as we believe they will fulfill their assurances. But if the condition remains unchanged, then we will launch a Lalgarh-like movement in the entire district''.
Bangladesh Cyber cafe's, small ISPs to get licence
Dhaka, 26 November : The Bangladesh telecoms regulator has moved to bring cyber cafe and small internet service outlets under the licensing regime for a small fee, according to a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission press release. "If the unauthorised ISPs are brought under licence then the young people linked to these businesses will get a chance to earn an honest living," said BTRC chairman Manzurul Alam Wednesday.
"As a result, the internet business will expand legally and the usage of the net will increase," he added in the statement. People in the towns and rural areas will get the chance to access the Internet at a reasonable cost if the outlets are licensed, he said. "However, anyone found to be linked to illegal business after the introduction of the licence will be punished," he warned.
The regulatory boss had a meeting with the ISPs, cyber café and cable operators on Monday where a draft policy to bring these organisations under licencing regime was presented. The draft will soon be posted on the BTRC website and feedback on the draft can be sent for seven days after publication.
The BTRC will publish a final policy after assessing the views. The licencees can purchase bandwidth from international internet gateway and local ISPs, and sell them to the subscribers. The policy prohibits handing out sub-lease to bandwidth and applying for VSAT and IP Telephony.
Angry tribals launch fresh agitation
Villagers obstructed police to remove blockade
Why we don't have anything even six decades after Independence ? Asked tribals
Lalgarh, 25 November : Tribals launched a fresh round of agitation in Lalgarh on Tuesday. Roads were dug up again at Penchapara in Salboni, 27 km from Lalgarh, and many other places like Chilgeria and some villages between Chandra and Dherua.
Salboni BDO Pravat Chattopadhyay, Midnapore Sadar SDO Partha Ghosh and DSP (operation) Arnab Ghosh rushed to Penchapara to remove the blockade but failed as villagers obstructed police.
"We will remove the blockade ourselves only if the officials decide to go to Dalilpurchawk and solve the problem of Lalgarh. But we will continue with our stir if you neglect our demands," said Prankrishna Soren, a schoolteacher.
"Why are police and administration fearing common people? Are police officers and civil officials feeling guilty themselves? Why don't we have one standard road, electricity and pure drinking water even six decades after Independence," asked Shyam Chand Murmu, a protester. "Gana Mukti Parishad" president Sunanda Sanyal went to Chhoto Pelia with six other members to listen to tales of police torture on Tuesday. "This is not the fallout of just one incident. The area has been neglected by the government for three decades and we condemn the role of the police," he said.
'Sunil Mela' Organised by Sunil literature Practice and Research Centre
Bengali literature still has bright prospects - Sunil Gangopadhyay
BSS, Madaripur, 25 November : Eminent Bengali poet and litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay said that Bengali literature still has bright prospects, as the readership in West Bengal and Bangladesh is sizeable and growing.

He made the remark while talking to a BSS correspondent on the concluding day of the three-day 'Sunil Mela' that ended on 23 November. Sunil literature Practice and Research Centre organised the 'mela '(fair) marking the 75th birth anniversary of the poet at his ancestral home at Purba Maijpara village under Kalkini Upazila.
Sunil was accompanied by his wife Swati Gangopadhyay, elder brother Anil Gangopadhyay and daughter Konika Gangopadhyay. A total of 20 stalls displaying books written by Sunil at the fair, turned into a festival with the presence of poets, litterateurs, artistes and bookworms, among others. A library and a healthcare centre, named after him, are being set up at Sunil's ancestral home.
Sunil Gangopadhyay was born on 7 September, 1934 in Faridpur. He obtained his Master's degree in Bengali from the University of Calcutta in 1954. He was associated with the Ananda Bazar group, a major newspaper-publishing house in Kolkata, for many years. He is now the president of Sahitya Academy after serving as its vice-president for five years.An author of more than 200 books, Sunil is widely regarded as one of the most prolific writers having excelled in different genres, but he proudly declares that poetry is his "first love. "He was the founder-editor of "Krittibas," a poetry magazine that became a platform for the new generation of poets, experimenting with many new forms in poetic themes, rhythms, and words.
"USA-UK tried to block Bangladesh creation"
Says a book by a former Indian diplomat cited in a Times of India report
Kolkata, 25 November : The USA and UK tried to persuade a top advocate of Bangladesh to

help roll back the country's liberation struggle in 1971, citing future threats from "Hindu majority India", says a book by a former Indian diplomat cited in a Times of India report.
But Justice Abu Sayeed Choudhury, who was based in London, not only rejected the Western interventions but personally conveyed the secret American move to then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi.
According to Sashanka S. Banerjee, author of "A Long Journey Together: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh", Choudhury told Gandhi in London that US Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco hurriedly contacted him on behalf of the Nixon administration, which was against Pakistan's break-up. Choudhury, a former chief justice of the Dhaka High Court, was also told that if he stopped backing the then jailed Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he would be rewarded with the presidency of a united Pakistan. Banerjee says Choudhury's revelation did not shock Gandhi. "Those were the days of the Cold War... It confirmed the rock-solid permanence of the US-Pakistan strategic relationship." Choudhury, the book says, correctly interpreted the American diplomat's suggestion as a last ditch attempt "to save Pakistan from disintegration". "He told Gandhi that the State Department official had also taken the line that Hindu-majority India could make it quite difficult for a breakaway Islamic East Pakistan to retain its independence once it had been achieved." British Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home separately met Choudhury and stressed that "India with its large Hindu majority" would end up surrounding a future mainly Muslim Bangladesh. Choudhury assured him that there was nothing to worry on that count.
Choudhury, also a former vice chancellor of Dhaka University, led the Bangladesh independence struggle from London. He was appointed president of Bangladesh and held the post from 1972 to 1975. Another reason Choudhury met Gandhi in London was to persuade her to quickly recognise Bangladesh. He felt that an Indian diplomatic recognition would greatly boost the independence struggle.
When Pakistan finally released Mujibur Rahman, he flew to London. From there he was to originally fly to New Delhi, on his way to Dhaka, in a special Air India plane.
"Fearing that the (Air India) flight could be booby-trapped by enemy agents, Gandhi requested British Prime Minister Edward Heath to provide an RAF (Royal Air Force) plane to fly the Bangladesh leader first to New Delhi, then on to Dhaka. It was a move with a motive."

State emergency lifting depends on normalcy : Matin
Dhaka, 25 November : The lifting of the state of emergency depends on normalcy of situation, said Bangladesh home adviser M A Matin Tuesday.
"Lifting of the state of emergency is a government decision. I am just a part of the government and cannot tell you anything with certainty," he told reporters after a meeting of the sensational cases monitoring committee. He said that the law and order situation of the country has become "normal" but stressed that to maintain social order, assistance of all quarters is required. "To prevent mugging, robbery and crimes during Eid, steps have also been taken," said Matin.
Home secretary Abdul Karim, Dhaka city police commissioner Naeem Amhed, director general of RAB Khondokar Hassan Mahmud and other officials were present at the meeting.
Tripura government passes bill to curb corruption
Agartala, 24 November : The Left Front government in Tripura Monday passed a bill in the state assembly to check corruption and maintain transparency among the elected representatives and public functionaries.
The assembly passed the Lokayukta (State Vigilance) Bill unanimously. “Under the bill, the Lokayukta will have the power to enquire and investigate charges of corrupt practices against public functionaries and recommend suitable action if found guilty,” said Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. The elected representatives and public functionaries include chief minister, ministers, member of state assembly and elected representatives of local government bodies. “The bill enables the citizens to make complaints to the Lokayukta against any public functionaries for corrupt practices,” Sarkar told the house.
According to the bill, a sitting or retired judge of a high court will be appointed by the governor in consultation with the chief minister, the speaker, and leader of opposition to head the Lokayukta. According to the bill, if anybody makes any false complaint against public functionaries, he would be punished with imprisonment for a maximum term of one year and a fine of Rs.5,000.
The bill will now be sent to President of India Pratibha Patil for her assent.

Explain suspension of fundamental rights: HC to Govt.
Dhaka, 24 November : The High Court on Monday asked the Bangladesh government to explain in four weeks why constitutional amendments allowing the suspension of fundamental rights of the people during emergency rule should not be declared void.
The bench of justices Syed Mahmud Hossain and Quamrul Islam Siddiqui passed the order on a writ petition filed by journalists M Asafuddowla, Nurul Kabir and Amir Khasru, and anthropologist Rahnuma Ahmed. The court also asked the government to explain why the president's order of the proclamation of emergency and suspension of fundamental rights should not be declared unconstitutional.
Barrister Mayeen Firozee moved the petition while deputy attorney general Razik-al-Jalil was present during the hearing. Barrister Firozee submitted that articles 26(3), 141B, 141C and 142 (2) were inserted through the Constitution (Second Amendment) Act 1973 for the obvious purpose of curtailment of the fundamental rights of citizens. He said, "Fundamental rights are a provision of the Constitution." Barrister Firozee contended that through the second amendment, therefore, the harmony of the Constitution had been destroyed.
He further argued, "The president invoking his power under article 141C issued a proclamation of emergency on 11January,2007 and issued two emergency powers orders suspending fundamental rights." Barrister Firozee continued, "Curtailing the right to move before the High Court for enforcement of fundamental rights, the independence of judiciary has also been curtailed." HC asked the Bangladesh law secretary, the president's secretary and home secretary to reply the rule.

2 suspected Maoists arrested in Murshidabad
Arrested from local RSP leader's house !!
Indo-Asian News Service, 23 November : Two suspected Maoists, carrying handbills declaring West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacahrjee as their number one target, were arrested from Naoda in Murshidabad district on Saturday, police said.
The two, identified as Tajuddin alias Chandan and Achintya Das, are believed to be members of a Maoist action squad in the state. The police said the two were arrested from the house of Harman Sheikh, a leader of the state's ruling Left Front constituent Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), in Kodalkati village.
Two stenguns were recovered from them. "They were carrying 25 handbills which had names of several Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M) leaders as their targets. Bhattacharjee's name figured on top of the hitlist," a police official said.

Bangladesh vote fresh schedules announced :
Bangladesh General election on 29 Dec
Elections to the upazilas will be held on 22 January
Dhaka, 23 November : The Bangladesh general election will be held on 29 December and Upazila Parishad polls on 22 January,2009. the chief election commissioner announced on Sunday after a week of intense negotiations between the EC, government and major parties.
"The changes have been carried out to ensure the participation of all parties in the election and we hope that these amendments will be acceptable to all," ATM Shamsul Huda said at a crowded press conference at the Election Commission Secretariat today. According to the third amendment to the electoral schedule, the last date for the submission of nomination for the parliamentary election is 30 November.
Selection and evaluation of the nomination will be done on December 3 and 4 and 11 December is the last date for the withdrawal of nomination. For the upazilla election, the last date for filing nomination is 13 December, and the selection and evaluation will be done on December 17 and 19. The last date for withdrawal is 31 December.

Meet on climate change and dwindling Hilsa fish stocks
Kolkata, 23 November : One might ignore people grumbling over the vanishing "Gangar Ilish" at the dinner table, but the dwindling supply of fish points to a problem much deeper than just a gastronomic one. Environmental and climatic changes are telling upon the distribution of fishes, their growth rate and migration pattern, leading to erratic fluctuations in their breeding.
A recent report by the UN Environment Program reveals how global warming has affected fish stocks, impacting millions of people who depend on fishing for a living. The fast-degrading water quality is telling upon the fish population. All these issues will come up at the special symposia and technical sessions at the Indian Fisheries Forum that is in session at Salt Lake in Kolkata from November 22 to 26.
West Bengal Fisheries minister Kiranmay Nanda dealt with some of the problems confronting the state in his address on Saturday. About 500 research workers and planners are attending the four-day session organized by the Asian Fisheries Society India Branch and Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute.

Media can play more effective role for free, fair polls
Satkhira, 22 November : Speakers at a discussion today said the media can play a more effective role to ensure a free and fair election by unveiling the misdeeds of musclemen and black money holders. They urged the political parties not to nominate the musclemen and black money holders to contest in the upcoming parliamentary and upazila polls for the interest of the people and also for institutionalize democracy.
The discussion on “A free and fair polls can be ensured freeing musclemen and black money holders by publishing neutral and objective news” organised by Satkhira district chapter of Bangladesh Manabadhikar Bastabayan Sangstha held at Bar association auditorium. with its president AKM Shahidullah in the chair. The musclemen and black money holders try to influence politics as their aim is to earn money through corrupt means by using political power.
Journalists through their writings can unveil the real face of musclemen and black money holders and create awareness among the people, they said, adding that there is no alternative to free politics from the control of musclemen and black money holders to institutionalise democracy and develop the country.

Bangladesh general election will be deferred
Election not on 18 Dec, new schedule tomorrow : CEC
Dhaka, 22 November : Bangladesh general election will be deferred, the chief election commissioner said Saturday after talks with Awami League and its allies. The new polling date is likely to fall between December 27-29, CEC ATM Shamsul Huda said, adding that the new schedule will be announced Sunday.
"The elections won't be held on 18 December," the CEC told reporters after around a one-and-a-half-hour meeting over the rescheduling of the general elections with an Awami League (AL) led electoral alliance delegation this afternoon, adding: "A new schedule will be announced tomorrow." Earlier yesterday, the commission held a similar meeting with the four-party alliance.
BNP Chairperson and chief of the four-party alliance Khaleda Zia on Thursday night announced that the alliance would join the parliamentary election provided the polls are rescheduled for 28 December. The alliance also demanded that the state of emergency be withdrawn on the closing date for withdrawing nominations, upazila polls delayed by a month, and the EC's authority to cancel candidature be done away with.
Emerging from the meeting, AL spokesperson Syed Ashraful Islam told the Bengal News the electoral combine will firm up its position after the EC and the government's decision on rescheduling of the polls. He said the government and the EC will have to decide on this matter as three parties including the government, the EC and the BNP led alliance are involved the issue, adding: "We demand the elections on 18 December as we are already taking preparations targeting the date."

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