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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Elephants rampage...

Jumbos destroy 150 bighas of BoroField in Midnapore
Midnapore, 21 February : Farmers of Dantan in West Midnapore were livid after a herd of elephants entered the Tararoi gram panchayat area and ransacked a paddy field on Saturday morning. Also, forest officials were allegedly late in reaching the area despite being informed early in the morning.
"A herd of 70 elephants with eight calves entered near Singhda in Dantan and rampaged a huge paddy field," said a villager. "The herd damaged more than a few hundred bighas of boro paddy field at Singhda, Tarorai and Kusturia villages. "The herd, of 70 elephants and eight calves, damaged more than hundred bighas of Boro paddy field. Forest officials delayed in reaching the area, fearing farmers would demand compensation," said Shankar Pal, a farmer of Kusturia.
"I was far away from the villages. So, it took time to get an office car and collect the office staff. We are trying to chase the herd to Nayagram or Jhargram," said M K Mondal, divisional forest officer of Kharagpur.

12 wounded in Gazipur SP office by JMB attack
Gazipur, 20 February : At least 12 people were wounded Friday when a JMB militant in handcuffs exploded a grenade at the office of the superintendent of police for Gazipur Sadar.
"Some 100 journalists and police were gathered at the SP's conference room, As the press briefing concluded, and people were leaving, the photographers were taking photos of the JMB arrestees and the seized explosives, One of the militants, Mamunur Rashid, pounced on one of the grenades that were on display for the press" assistant SP (Tongi circle) Jamil Hasan told Bengal News.
At least 12 people were wounded in the explosion, including officer in charge of Joydevpur Police Station Abdur Rashid and several other policemen and journalists.

Green light for E-W Metro extension till Howrah Maidan
Howrah, 20 February : The East-West Metro will run till Howrah Maidan. The Centre's committee of empowered ministers gave its nod to the extension on Thursday.
The meeting in New Delhi was attended by Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and home minister P Chidambaram while WB transport minister represented the state government. The decision to float tenders for the elevated part of the project was also passed.

Tripura Governor visits remote border outposts
UNI, Agartala, 20 February : Tripura Governor Dinesh Nandan Sahaya today visited air-maintained border outposts at Trulpaibari and Sher in an Indian Air Force Helicopter, accompanied by S K Mishra, Inspector General, BSF Tripura frontier.
An official release here today said Sahaya interacted with the villagers at Trulpaibari and discussed various civic problems faced by them. The Governor also assured them that necessary steps would be taken for the improvement of their standard of living. He also praised the BSF jawans who had been performing their duties well, in difficult locations, while protecting the international borders and also extending all possible help to the local people.

Jobs must be protected, FM Pranab tells industry
PTI, New Delhi, 20 February : With economic slowdown leading to huge layoffs in certain sectors, the Indian government on Friday said jobs must be retained even if it meant cut in compensation.
"Jobs must be protected even if it means some reduction in compensation at various levels," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said at International Labour Conference here. He said the government is making all out efforts to ensure flow of credit to boost trade and investment, consumption and to stimulate additional demand through public and private expenditure.
Mukherjee later told reporters that in the interim Budget he had talked of encouraging investments in infrastructure and in housing and real estate, adding that the government is providing adequate resources for programmes like NREGA and Bharat Nirman.

Seminar on crisis reporting by Media
Kolkata, 20 February : You've seen them on television reporting on crisis situations and read their critical columns. On Sunday, you can see and hear them discuss a crisis that has hit home. For, some of the biggest names in the Indian media world will assemble in Kolkata to discuss the media's role in times of crisis.
The seminar on crisis reporting, organised by NSHM Institute of Media & Communication (NIMC), Kolkata, in association with The Times Of India, has become relevant in the wake of scrutiny and criticism that a section of the media came under following reportage of the 26/11 crisis. The day-long discussions will be held at Vidya Mandir in Kolkata on Sunday.
Veteran media personalities scheduled to participate in the discussion include Peter Mukherjee, M J Akbar, Tarun Tejpal, Aniruddha Bahal, Sudhir Mishra, Pradeep Gooptu, Pradeep Mallik, Chandradeep Mitra and Dr Sandeep Chatterjee. The seminar will be moderated by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Renowned journalist Subir Bhowmik now is in Agartala, so perhaps he could not participate in this seminer.

Russia keen to replicate Grameen Bank model
Dhaka, 20 February : A delegation led by Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Russian Federation Anna Popova arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a four-day visit to Bangladesh to learn about operations and the legal structure of Grameen Bank and to replicate the structure in Russia.
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, MD of Grameen Bank, received the minister and her 9member delegation at Zia International Airport. Gennady P Trotsenko, Russian ambassador to Bangladesh, was also present to greet the minister.
The minister and her delegation visited the branches of Grameen Bank and have discussions with the borrowers today. Anna Popova also meets the Bangladesh finance minister, other government officials and members of the civil society.

Tiger census to begin in WB's Sunderbans this month
Kolkata, 20 February : The jinxed tiger census at West Bengal's Sunderbans will finally take off this month. It will use a new method and employ technology that has never been used for taking a big cat count anywhere else in the country.

Officials of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) confirmed that the decks have been cleared and a blueprint put in place for the job that will also include a study of tiger behaviour in the mangrove forest. The last census was conducted in the Sunderbans in 2001 that put the tiger population at 265. It was later disputed by a software analysis which led to the stalling of the 2006 census.
This time, the WII will use an imported radio collar. Being purchased at a cost of Rs 3.5 lakh each, the authorities plan to buy 10 of them from Canada. These are going to be "tougher and more suitable" for Sunderbans conditions unlike the one used in December 2007 that had malfunctioned. The new collars have been successfully used on elephants, mountain lions and polar bears abroad.

31 dead, 25+ still missing in Barisal launch tragedy
Barisal, 20 February : At least 31 bodies were recovered, and over 20 passengers were still missing feared dead, more than twelve hours after a launch capsized in the Kirtankhola river in Barisal Thursday.
The "ML Happy", heading towards Patarhat from Barisal, capsized at around 6:30am yesterday after a sand-laden cargo vessel hit it at Beltala, some three kilometres out from the district down. Some 50 passengers were initially reported missing based on estimates by BIWTA officials and police. Barisal police assistant commissioner Hayatul Islam told BSS from the site that 28 bodies had been recovered.
Bangladesh Cabinet approves Anti Terrorism Ordinance
Dhaka, 19 February : The Bangladesh cabinet today approved the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance (ATO), 2008 and the Representation of People (amendment) Ordinance.
As per the anti-terrorism ordinance, the government can form special tribunals to bring any offenders to justice. Chaired by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the cabinet in a special meeting approved five other ordinances. The cabinet directed the Election Commission to give its opinion on the necessity of the option for 'no' vote on ballot.

Two tranquillized bison killed
Jalpaiguri, 19 February : Two bison died after the forest department tranquillized them. The incident occurred in Falakata on Wednesday.
The bison, a vulnerable species, had strayed from the Jaldapara forest and entered the Guwabarnagar gram panchayat area around 7 am on Wednesday. Soon, they were spotted by villagers. Seeing the mob, the bison went on the rampage, injuring four villagers. They then entered Malsaga village. Here, they injured three people. Forest officials tranquillized them. The animals were loaded on to a trailer, to be released in Jaldapara. But, on reaching the destination, both animals were found dead. "They died of cardiac arrest," said Silvant Patel, chief conservator of forest, wildlife, North Bengal.

JMB militant along with 'Jihadi' books arrested in Nilphamari
Nilphamari, 18 February : Police today arrested a member of the outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a militant organisation, from a village in Jaldhaka upazila.Jaldhaka police rounded up Mashiur Rahman,40, an assistant teacher of local Rahmania Madrassa in a raid on a house at Purba Khutamara Choupathia village in the morning.
He was arrested on the basis of information provided by 13 JMB men arrested in Nilphamari, Rangpur and Lalmonirhat districts during last two months. A large number of 'Jihadi' books, leaflets and important letters were recovered from Mashiur's possession. The arrestee was being interrogated at Jaldhaka Police Station.

NCB officials seized heroin of Rs 6.5 crore
8 arrested in twin heroin haul
Howrah, 18 February : Eight persons were arrested with 6kg of heroin in two raids by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the detective department of the city police on Wednesday. The haul is worth Rs 6 crore in the international market, sleuths said. NCB officials said they had information about the contraband being transported to Kolkata from Nasik. "We laid a trap at the Chichra checkpost on the West Midnapore-Orissa border and seized two trucks," said an NCB official. "We arrested the drivers and two helpers." The sleuths found 5kg of heroin hidden in boxes in the drivers' cabins. NCB officials also arrested another person in Bongaon, who was supposed to receive the consignment. The heroin was headed for Bangladesh, the sleuths said.
The Kolkata police arrested three persons in front of Race Course Ground while they were heading towards Esplanade in an Ambassador with 1 kg of heroin. "One of the occupants of the car fled," said city detective chief Jawed Shamim.

Bangladesh To Host 2011 Cricket World Cup Opening Ceremony

Mumbai, 18 February : Today International Cricket Council Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said that, the opening ceremony of the 2011 cricket World Cup will take place in Bangladesh. The grand opening ceremony of the 2011 cricket World Cup will be held on 19 February, 2011.Lorgat also said that, ICC has also decided that the opening game will also take place in Bangladesh on the same day which is going to be a Saturday.
He also said that the ICC had a preliminary discussion about the number of matches to be played over 15 venues. Lorgat said after the meeting of the 2011 World Cup Central Organizing Committee which met in New Delhi today.
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will jointly host the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Cox's Bazar beach ranks number one in 7 Wonders !
Dhaka, 18 February : The world's longest unbroken beach Cox's Bazar now ranks number one in the race for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
Cox's Bazar earlier ranked second in “Group G”, a category for seascapes of a total of seven categories under the New 7 Wonders Foundation. The Sundarbans ranks third in "Group E" for forests, natural parks and reserves.
The results of the first phase of voting in the official New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign were announced 7 January at the New 7 Wonders Foundation headquarters and Cox's Bazar initially ranked third. Voting in the second phase to select the top 7 will continue until 7July, 2009.
The overwhelming support of the citizens of the Bengal, including expatriates, helped Cox's Bazar and the Sundarbans to regain the top positions, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation said in a statement today.

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