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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bengali music legend Ramkumar Chattopadhyay dead

Ramkumar Babu was 'Last Emperor' of traditional Bengali music
IANS, Kolkata, 18 March : The death of legendary singer Ramkumar Chattopadhyay, who was regarded as the repository of Bangla Puratoni Gaan (old Bengali songs), marked the end of the era of vernacular traditional music, feels the music industry here. Chattopadhyay, 89, died here Wednesday at the Belle Vue Clinic.
'Chattopadhay was the 'last emperor' of Bangla Puratoni Gaan. The era of Bengali traditional music ended with him today,' city-based singer Haimanti Shukla told IANS. Noted singer Arati Mukherjee too feels the same. 'His mere presence was like a roof over the Bengali music industry. Personally, he was a father-figure...learnt so much from him...I feel orphaned now,' Mukherjee said.
Chattopadhyay who popularised the genre of Bengali Baithaki songs (songs sung at elite evening gatherings). Besides, there were his signature parodies. He was in true sense Bengali traditional music personified. Bangla Puratoni Gaan and Ramkumar Chattopadhyay have become synonymous. Chattopadhyay was an exponent of various genres of Bengali traditional music, especially Baithaki songs, parodies, Shyama Sangeet and 'tappa' songs composed by musician Nidhu Babu.

Fire broke out at Asansol's market, Fears heavy loss
Asansol, 18 March : Fire broke out in Durga Market at Asansol in Burdwan district today morning, triggering panic among the locals and traders. According to the locals, smoke was seen billowing out of one of the showroom around 9.45 am. The local authorities were informed. But that was just the beginning.
Around 10.30 pm, there was a huge fire ball, after which, smoke and flames started emanating from entire market and adjoins.
The locals also alleged that the fire tenders arrived late.
“Currently, fire in hole market has been controlled. Initial investigations reveal that the fire was caused by short circuit in any shop,” Asansol chamber of commerce Secretary Subrata Dutta told Bengal Newz. He said 12 fire tenders had been pressed into service, but the fire was so huge that it was not possible for the fire tenders to extinguish the flames. Photo : Niraj Modi

Fresh Tension Reported on B'desh-Myanmar Border
< Fishermen land their boat in Teknaf today, at the Bangladesh, Myanmar border. Photo : AFP
Dhaka, 18 March : Fresh tension has gripped Bangladesh-Myanmar border as Yangon reportedly mobilised extra forces and started erecting a barbed-wire fence on the frontline. The tensions, according to officials, appear to be an offshoot of a standoff between the maritime forces of the two countries in the Bay of Bengal few months back over off shore oil exploration.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni refused to comment on issue, saying, “I do not like to voice any opinion now”. “We will firm up our stance after considering the situation,” she told reporters late yesterday. Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder, however, acknowledged that Myanmar had pushed reinforcement of paramilitary forces across the river Naaf and had started construction of infrastructure for them near the frontline.
Officials said that Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border guards were asked to stay alert on Myanmar-Bangladesh borders as reports said panic had gripped frontier villages. Bangladesh and Myanmar have a 200-kilometre border line.

Bascule Bridge damaged at Kolkata Khiderpore port

Kolkata, 18 March : The bascule bridge, which opens on two sides to facilitate entry and exit of ships at Kolkata port, was damaged today when an empty vessel hit the guard wall while exiting.
The incident took place at 3 am in the morning when 'Jindal Tarani' was going out of the port after unloading cargo and hit the guard wall of the bridge. Kolkata port sources said that engineering experts were inspecting the condition of the bridge and the necessary repairs would be done by this evening. The bridge served as a key connector between Khiderpore and Garden Reach areas, contagious to the port.

Cycle Bomb explosion kills 2, injures 12 at Alipurduar
PTI, Alipurduar, 18 March : A bicycle bomb exploded near Alipurduar’s crowded municipal supermarket this morning, killing two persons one of them flung 50 feet away by the impact of the blast on Wednesday.
The cycle-bomb exploded at a super market complex at Chowpathy in a busy area of the town, IG, north Bengal, K L Tamta told PTI. He said the bomb was a very powerful one. However, its exact nature was being ascertained. Asked if it could be the handiwork of the ULFA, he said, he said, “Terrorist groups must definitely be behind this powerful explosion, which occurred in the heart of the town. The style of operation was similar to Barobisha and Belakoba explosions. Terrorist groups like the KLO, Huji, or the Ulfa may have been behind this incident,” Tamta said the area had been cordoned off and a bomb squad has been sent to the area. Ananth Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Jalpaiguri, said some people escaped with minor injuries. The injured have been admitted to a Alipurduar sub-divisional hospital.
The deceased has been identified as Sujit Das, 27. Extremists of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation and ULFA are active in the area.

Live gelatin sticks found inside Kolkata bus
Kolkata, 18 March : Seven live gelatin sticks were recovered from the back seat of a private bus in a suburb here, police said Wednesday.
‘We have recovered seven gelatin sticks from a private bus late Tuesday night at a bus stand of Bidhan Nagar,’ sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Suvankar Bhattacharya told IANS Wednesday.

Security beef up at Bangladesh Secretariat and PM's residence
Dhaka, 17 March : Bangladesh Army personnel pile up sand bags as security tightens in front of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's official residence Tuesday.
The Bangladesh government has intensified security measures at all key point installations including the Secretariat and PM house to avert any subversive incident. Security forces will now search the cars of all barring ministers, state ministers and cabinet division secretary as part of the government's plan to shore up security at the Bangladesh Secretariat and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's official residence.
Photo : Firoz Ahmed

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