The event was not only an occasion to remember the great contribution of Sir Jagadish, but to also reflect on the enormous potential that Bengal and the USA have for working together to bring the benefits of modern science and technology to their people, Indian Ambassador to the US Ronen Sen said. Sen's speech was read out by Dr Rolan Anders, Museum Board Chairman.
Congratulating the museum for celebrating Bose's 150th birth anniversary, Sen hoped "that his remarkable life would inspire young scientists and that, in honouring him today, we will also seek a future of deeper India-US engagement in science."
The event was attended by about 100 scientists and technologists from across the USA. Dr Tapan Sarkar, Professor at Syracuse University, Dr Raj Mittra, Professor at Penn State University, and Dr Peter Siegel from Jet Propulsion Laboratories and Caltech made presentations on different aspects of Bose's contribution. The evening also included a Musuem tour on Bose's work and a musical performance by Indian artists.
Dhaka, 16 November : The Rapid Action Battalion arrested a suspected activist of banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh at Pallabi in Dhaka and seized a large quantity of bomb- and grenade-making materials.Based on the statement of Mohammad Hanif alias Kalam, an explosive expert of the militant outfit, RAB also seized three sets of computers and a good number of CDs and 3,000 books on jihad from two houses in the capital.
Kalam was arrested from his rented residence beside the Shaheed Zia Mahila Degree College at Kalsi Road Saturday night following constant watch on him for the last couple of weeks, said Colonel Gulzar Uddin Ahmed, additional director general of RAB, while briefing newsmen at its headquarters on Sunday.
The RAB members also seized bomb- and grenade-making materials, including ammonium nitrate, nitric acid, urea fertiliser, adaptor, sulphur powder and 150 iron-made improvised grenade bodies, from the house. ‘The materials were stockpiled and almost ready to make grenades,’ he said.
A car driver-turned militant, Kalam said he had joined the group to establish Islamic law in the country. After the execution of the seven top bosses, members of the militant group are trying to regroup themselves in the country, including in the capital, Gulzar said. ‘We continued our vigilance on militancy and came to know about their activities in greater Khulna, Kushtia and Faridpur early this year. We arrested a number of JMB activists at the time and handed them over to the police,’ he added.
The existence of JMB first came to light when the militants conducted countrywide serial bomb attacks on 17 August, 2005. They later killed two senior assistant judges of Jhalakati court in a suicide bomb attack on 13 November, the same year.Seven militants, including its chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman and second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, were sentenced to death after they were found guilty in the killing of two lower court judges and they were executed in March, 2007.
Tripura alerts WB on possible terrorist attacks
Agartala, 16 November : The Tripura police have alerted its West Bengal counterparts on possible terrorist attacks in a few locations of the state, official sources here today said.
According to report, Tripura Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) B K Debbarma was informed by the BSF yesterday that a group of Bangladesh-based terrorists had been planning to strike in some important locations of West Bengal.Debbarma had also provided inputs on movements of anti-Indian forces in Bangladesh along with some other confessional statements of suspected international terrorist links.
Terror alert sounded in Kolkata, N. Bengal
City hot spots under scanner. Try to ensure
Kolkata, 16 November : The festive season is over, but the terror threat to the city is hardly gone. Police officers fanned out across roads, stations and popular haunts as the city was put on high alert today — "higher" than during the pujas — after a warning from Delhi that militants were planning to strike. The alert came on a day the Assam government shared an intelligence feed with Bengal about a possible blast in a passenger train from Guwahati to New Delhi. Any train on this route has to pass through north Bengal.
The warning from Delhi said “six to 10” Indian Mujahideen rebels were set to enter Kolkata from Bangladesh one by one and then regroup before carrying out attacks anytime between November 15 and 30. “We are on a higher alert than we were during the pujas,” said special commissioner of police S.N. Sarkar.
“These Indian Mujahideen activists, actually representatives of the (Bangladesh-based) Harkat-ul Jihadi Islami (Huji), are set to enter with a definite plan,” said an officer.
Today’s alert followed a similar input two days before from the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau, which said associates of Huji activist Mohammed Abdul Shaheed alias Bilal, wanted in connection with last year’s Samjhauta Express blasts, could enter the city from Bangladesh.
In north Bengal, state and railway police launched search operations across the region. “The state has received an alert from the Assam government about a possible explosion in a passenger train to New Delhi from Guwahati via north Bengal,” IG (law and order) Raj Kanojia said.
“Our men, in association with the GRP, are checking trains coming from Assam to New Jalpaiguri,” Darjeeling police chief Rahul Srivastava said.
The police are also watching bus terminuses and shopping complexes in Siliguri.
BANGLADESH VOTE :
Saifur, Nizami, Mojaheed released on bail
Dhaka, 16 November : BNP leader M Saifur Rahman, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary general Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed were released on bail Sunday, a top prisons official said. The three—former ministers in the Khaleda cabinet—secured bail from the High Court on 12 November in the Barapukuria coalmine graft case. The court had granted a two-month anticipatory bail to Saifur, former finance minister, Nizami, ex-industry minister, and Mojaheed, former social welfare minister.
It had halted proceedings in the trial court for the period. Hundreds of supporters greeted their freed leaders with flowers.
The Anticorruption Commission filed the case against 16 persons including former prime minister Khaleda Zia and 10 of her cabinet members on 26 February this year.
Mamata demands return of land at Singur by 2nd Dec.
Singur, 15 November : If the West Bengal government will not return the land acquired from farmers "not willing" to part with it for the now abandoned Tata Motors. Nano project here by 2 December, cultivation would be started on it, the Trinamool Congress threatened on Saturday.
"If the WB government does not return the land to unwilling farmers by 2 December , potato, cucumber and vegetables cultivation will begin as the farmers will have to survive," TC chief Mamata Banerjee told at a party rally here. Banerjee said she along with other party leaders would begin token cultivation of vegetables on December two and thereafter farmers on a mass scale if the land was not returned by then.
She opposed the state government's efforts for Faw automobile company of China to start an industry on the plot and demanded that a global tender be floated for new industry there.
Charges dropped against 7 Salboni blast accused
Lalgarh, 15 November : The CID today gave a clean chit to seven persons arrested in connection with the 2 November, blast, encouraging tribals to demand the release of all those held in the last 10 years on the suspicion of being rebels.
The CID told the chief judicial magistrate of West Midnapore that it did not have evidence to nail the seven, including three schoolboys. The court accepted the plea. All seven are already out on bail.
"The decision has proved that the seven persons were innocent but were made to suffer in the police lock-up. Now, they (the police) will have to release all those arrested for no fault of theirs in the past 10 years," said Sukhshanti Baskey, a leader of the newly formed Pulishi Santras Birodhi Jonogoner Committee, which is backing the tribal agitation against police raids in Lalgarh.
Baskey said. "We are collecting the names (of the arrested persons) to prepare a list. We will continue the work tomorrow. The list will handed over to the district administration on Monday." Tribals have dug up roads in the Lalgarh area to put a stop to police raids. Yesterday, the committee demanded that the police be disallowed from carrying out searches between 5pm and 6am. "If the police can admit that they made a mistake by arresting innocent persons after the blast this time, they should also admit they had committed the same mistake earlier," Baskey said.
"We are with the people of Lalgarh and our protest will continue till their problems are sorted out," said 18-year-old Jonaki Tudu, who was armed with bow and arrows.
Today tribals also beat up a member of the Bharat Jakat Majhi Marwa, a group of elders that was negotiating with district officials till two day ago to end the road blockade in Lalgarh. Munshiram Murmu, the convener of the group's youth wing, was assaulted by the tribals when he tried to remove branches of trees at Kalabani, near Jhargram, along with additional district magistrate (general) R.A. Israel. He had to apologise before 500 tribals gathered there. "Munshiram is a betrayer. He is no one to decide when the blockades will be withdrawn," said Madhu Hembram. This is the second time Munshiram has been assaulted. On Thursday, he was attacked by the tribals while trying to clear a road in Jhargram.
BANGLADESH VOTE :
Adviser hints at elections without emergency
Dhaka, 15 November : The national elections will be held in "a free environment", an adviser said on Saturday, hinting at an environment free of the state of emergency.
"The government will consider fully lifting the state of emergency if the election environment develops smoothly," commerce adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman told reporters at a press briefing at the Chief Adviser's Office today.
Before the full withdrawal, another phase of relaxation of emergency was under consideration after the nomination process was complete, he said.
With BNP continuing to press its demand for a total withdrawal of emergency as a condition to joining the election, and Awami League declaring it is "all set" for parliamentary polls on 18December, the adviser's statement signals continued attempts to smooth an accord with the two major parties. "The government is determined to strictly control any tendency that influences the electoral process," Hossain Zillur said. If the EC received any complaint of bias, proper measures would be taken in this regard, he said.
On the pending trial of a number of cases against potential candidates, the adviser said that the issue was under the purview of independent judicial system. Asked about the redrawing of constituencies, he said: "As the issue has been resolved in the court it is no more relevant."
Agartala, 14 November : The Tripura government today decided to withdraw the scheduled escort from National Highway 44 soon.
The decision to withdraw the escort after a decade and a half was taken following a noticeable decline in insurgency and demand from the Tripura Motor Transport Operators Co-ordination Committee (TMTOCC). After holding a meeting with TMOCC officials and security agencies here Transport Minister Manik Dey told media that the Director General of Police(DGP) was asked to finalise the modalities of reorientation of escort system on the Assam-Agartala lifeline.
However, Tripura DGP Pranay Sahay stated that the state home department would review the security system and threat perception on the Highway and then the final modalities would be set up. Sahay said the government had been forced to introduce the system of having long convoys of vehicles escorted by soldiers in 1995 on Tripura’s lifeline with the rest of the country following brutal activities of banned militant outfits.
PTI, New Delhi, 14 November : Exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has again been "forced" to leave India after her brief stay here, prompting the controversial writer to question the country's alleged secular credentials. The writer, who
returned to India on 8 August, said she had to leave on 15 October following the Indian government's dictum.
"Yes, I was forced to leave India once again... The government gave me resident permit for 6 months with a secret condition that I must leave the country in a few days," she said in an e-mail interview. The ex-physician-turned-feminist author, who is under attack from Muslim fundamentalists for her book 'Lajja', said she is now somewhere in Europe, delivering lectures.
Taslima's second exit from India comes seven months after she was forced to leave the country in view of protests by fundamentalist groups against her presence here. Prior to her departure, she had been living in Kolkata since 1994 after being exiled from Bangladesh over her book, which was dubbed anti-Islam by the fundamentalists. "The condition of getting permission to reside in India is yet a direction for not to reside in India."
She said she will "go back" to India in January,2009.
BTCL to launch broadband internet by December
Dhaka, 13 November : The Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) says it has decided to launch broadband internet service through outsourcing by December,2008.
The BTCL board at a meeting presided over by chairman Muhammad Mahbubur Rahman made the decision on Thursday, the company said in a press statement.
The board also decided on the procurement policy and awarding incentives to the company's staffers.
Petition filed for 'Declare Ghulam Azam,Nizami war criminals'
Dhaka, 13 November : A petition has been filed today asking for a court order to declare Jamaat-e-Islami's former chief Ghulam Azam, incumbent chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed and 33 others "war criminals" and accordingly bar them from running elections, a lawyer said.
The plaintiffs appealed to Dhaka District Judge's Court to issue an injunction to bar them from filing nomination for the polls, the deadline for which is 20 November, K Mohibul Hasan Apel, the lawyer, said.
The plaintiffs are advocates Liton Mia, Md Safayet Hosain Sajib and Rajib Ahmed. A good number of political and socio-cultural bodies have been demanding to the Bangladesh EC to declare a number of Jamaat leaders "war criminals" and stop them from contesting the next general elections. They also urged the EC not to register Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party.
On 4 November, the Sectors Commanders' Forum, a forum comprising the sector commanders during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, unveiled an "initial" list of 50 war criminals, most of them from Jamaat.
The forum had also demanded an election ban on them and their trial fro alleged war crimes. Bengal News also conduct a weekly poll on that issue. But the EC registered the party.
India govornment extends ban on rebel groups
The ban on the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) has been extended by 2 more years.
Kolkata, 13 November : Indian authorities have extended a ban on two separatist groups who have been blamed for last month's serial blasts in north-eastern Assam state. The explosions killed 84 people and left more than 200 others injured.
The ban on the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) has been extended by two more years. The Indian interior ministry ban on these two separatist groups was supposed to expire later this month.
The Ulfa is the leading Assamese separatist group, and the NDFB fights for an independent homeland for the Bodo tribe. Though both groups have denied any involvement in the explosions. As they did before. "But we have evidence that both these groups were involved in the serial explosions. So we have decided to extend the ban," an interior ministry spokesman told the BBC.
Eight other Assamese and Bodos, believed to be close to separatist organisations of their ethnic groups, have been arrested for alleged involvement in the blasts.
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BANGLADESH VOTE :
Hasina ready to sit with Khaleda
Dhaka, 12 November : Sheikh Hasina is ready to sit with her rival Khaleda Zia but on issue-based discussion, the Awami League's spokesperson said on Wednesday.
"Our president is ready for discussion. But that must have an agenda," Syed Ashraful Islam told reporters after Hasina met with three envoys at her Sudha Sadan home.
Ashraful said: "The 18 December election must be held. It is necessary for a good future of the country." "The country's future is depending on the elections now," he said. "We have told the government a free and fair election should take place with the participation of all parties. People will not accept it if the date is deferred."
Tapasi Malik rape & murder case verdict :
Singur's two CPM leaders get life term
Chandannagar, 12 November : In a major blow to CPM, party heavyweight from Singur Suhrid Dutta and supporter Debu Malik were on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Tapasi Malik who had rallied farmers against land acquisition for Tata Motors's Nano project.
Additional Chief Sessions Judicial Magistrate Amar Kanti Acharya, who had
The verdict comes as a major embarrassment to the ruling party in West Bengal as its top leadership, including central committee member Benoy Konar, have been strongly defending Dutta, a former zonal secretary of CPM in Singur, as innocent.
Debu Mallik was given two life sentences for murder and conspiracy, while Dutta was sentenced to life for murder, conspiracy and for destroying evidence.
The counsels for the convicts said that they would appeal against the verdict.
The charred body of 18-year-old Tapasi, an agriculture labourer's daughter, was recovered from a pit inside the fenced off area for the now abandoned small car project at Bajemelia in Singur on 18 December, 2006.
The case was initially handled by the CID, but in the wake of protests, West Bengal chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee handed it over to the CBI.
Debu was arrested on 24 June, 2007 and taken to Delhi for a polygraph test. Dutta was arrested on 28 June on the basis of statements given to the CBI by Debu.
The CBI submitted the chargesheet based on Debu's confessional statement on 15 September, 2007. Trial began on 27 January, 2008 and continued till August this year. 65 witnesses were examined during the trial.
Sourav, his daughter and wife (extreme right) returning home >>
Kolkata, 11November : A day after playing his final test in International cricket Sourav Ganguly arrived in Kolkata to heroes welcome tonight (11November). The people of Kolkata rolled out the red carpet to their Prince as a huge crowd welcomed Dada back to his home town. Ganguly signed off on a high as Team India beat World Champions Australia in a series for the first time in five years to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy. Ganguly was one of the highest run-getters in the series with 300-plus runs and the people of Kolkata gave him a rapcious welcome as returned to his home town.
The Prince of Kolkata -- Sourav Ganguly's magestic career came to a thrilling end, after team India won the Border Gavaskar series against world champions Australia.
It was an emotional moment for Bengal's Dada, who took field for the last time in his international career. Ganguly's team mates clapped in honour as the former Indian captain walked out to take the field on the last day of the fourth test match at Nagpur.
He was also greeted at the end of the historic win, with the Aussies offering congratulations to one of India's most celebrated batsman and skipper.
The classically elegant Ganguly had announced that he will play his last Test in this Orange City before hanging up his boots after having embellished the fans of the game with his feisty approach and never-say-die attitude when the chips were down.
Bangladesh Elections Code Of Conduct For Media
CEC urged to media : Don't give unofficial results
Dhaka, 11November :Bangladesh chief election commissioner on Tuesday urged the media not to publicise the elections results unofficially before the Election Commission does it officially.
At the same time, ATM Shamsul Huda called upon all concerned to ensure that all political parties and contestants got equal and fair shares of publicity.
"We are asking the mass media not to publicise the unofficial polls results because it might give rise to confusions before the returning officers announce the results at the field level," explained Huda at a ceremony at Dhaka, Biam auditorium while receiving a draft code of conduct for media coverage of elections from UNESCO.
He said they would review the draft code of conduct in a week and were expected to finally determine the role of the mass media during the elections. In that time, they would invite the media's opinion on the proposed code.
"The Election Commission will assess later if it should seek the assistance of any press council or other professional bodies in this regard."
NB : Awami League had demanded of the Election Commission early this month to appoint neutral observers and provide a general code of conduct for the media.
On appointing polls observers, the CEC said, "The Election Commission is attaching utmost importance to engaging both national and international observers. To ensure quality, the Election Commission has started registering such organisations adhering to some guidelines."
Tapasi Malik rape & murder case verdict :
Singur's two CPM leaders convicted
Chandannagar, 11 November : Former CPI(M) Singur zonal committee secretary Suhrid Dutta and party supporter Debu Mallik were on Tuesday convicted for murder of Tapasi Mallik, whose half burnt body was recovered from the Tata Motors plant site in 2006. The additional chief sessions judicial magistrate, Amar Kanti Acharya, here convicted the two for murder, criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence. CBI counsel Partha Tapaswi told reporters "The verdict proves that our investigations were correct." Prime accused Dutta's counsel Arindam Bhattacharjee said his client would move the Kolkata High Court.
The body of Tapasi, an 18-year-old Singur girl, who was active in the "Krishi Jami Raksha Committee" floated by the Trinamool Congress after land acquisition for the Tata Motors Nano project, was found on 18 December in 2006 at Bajemelia area in Singur.
The case was initially taken over by the CID and was handed over to the CBI by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee as demanded by the opposition.
Within five month's of the CBI investigations Debu Malik was arrested and Dutta three days later. The CBI had submitted the chargesheet against the two in September 2007.