Lalmonirhat, 7 March : Peasants in once barren lands of Char Rajpur, Char Chinatoli and Char Kholai Ghat on Teesta River basin in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila are now busy working at their pumpkin fields as the profitable cultivation brings bright prospect for changing their lot.
Earlier peasants in the char areas of Lalmonirhat district failed to get expected yield from cultivation of other crops and vegetables but soil and climate in the areas have been found to be suitable for growing pumpkin. In 2006, industrialist Anwarul Islam started pumpkin cultivation on sandy land at Rajpur Char and got good profit. He recruited char peasants to work in his pumpkin field and provided them with necessary training on pumpkin cultivation on sandy land.
Following the initiative, a large number of peasants in Rajpur Char area on Teesta River basin started cultivating pumpkin on once abandoned lands in 2007. Bumper yield of the vegetable and high profit from it encouraged many others to follow.
Traders from different parts of the country including the capital come to char areas in Lalmonirhat and purchase pumpkin from the growers on the spot. One kg pumpkin is sold at 6 to 8 Tk in local markets.
"It feels very frightening to see what happened in Lahore. Hopefully such incidents will not happen in the future," Ganguly told reporters in Patna.
"It is terrible for the game of cricket where players are attacked by terrorists. Definitely, Pakistan is not safe now," he added.
Six Sri Lankan cricketers and assistant coach Paul Fabrace was injured, while eight people, including six policemen were killed when 12 gunmen opened fired at the team convoy on Tuesday while it was on its way to Gaddafi stadium for the third day's play in the second Test.
In Bangladesh the day marks the fiery and dynamic speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Dhaka's Race Course Maidan (now Suhrawardy Udyan) that declared the decisive battle against the then repressive Pakistani junta. On this very day in 1971, before a historic gathering at the Race Course Maidan the 'Father of the Nation' delivered the most inspiring diction, “Ebarer sangram amader muktir sangram, ebarer sangram swadhinatar sangram [this movement is for our freedom, this struggle is for our independence]” echoed through the ground and the hearts of 70 million Bangalee people.
In his speech, the great leader and orator Sheikh Mujib called for a civil uprising and declared the war against the then Pakistani junta. He said, “Since we have sacrificed blood, we will sacrifice more. We will definitely liberate the Bangladesh.” His bold speech stimulated the people from all walks of life to prepare for the Liberation War.
Hatey Khori Jatiya Parshad organised the programme marking the 2nd year of Hatey Khori Utsab to promote this traditional culture of teaching; the first writing ceremony for children in urban social life.
The programme was inaugurated by ringing a bell, which is traditionally practised to start a school day. Prof Anisuzzaman, language movement veteran Ahmad Rafiq, Justice Golam Rabbani and artist Hashem Khan taught the children how to write Bangla alphabets.
The children also rendered songs, danced and recited rhymes at a cultural programme.
Kolkata, 6 March : A top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist wanted in 40 bomb blasts in several cities across India including Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai and Hyderabad between December 1996 and January 1998 was arrested at Sealdah railway station on Friday. Abu Taher alias Mohammed Zakaria, an explosives expert and recruiter, had sneaked in from Bangladesh a few days ago, says the city's anti-terror force, STF.
The 45-year-old Abu claims to be the father-in-law of his recruiter, the dreaded LeT bomber Abdul Karim Tunda now aged around 70.
On Friday, STF commandos were lying in wait for Abu after being tipped off that he was coming to Sealdah from Lalgola (Murshidabad) to catch another train. "Our men arrested him the moment he got off the train. We have already identified some of his associates," said special additional commissioner (STF) Rajiv Kumar.
He sneaked into India several times and played a key role in the blasts masterminded by Tunda. In 1999, Tunda sent him to Muridke near Lahore for advanced arms and explosive training. Here, he married and had a son and daughter. He gave her in marriage to Tunda a few years ago.
Abu married a second time in Rajshahi. On Friday, during interrogation by STF, he admitted to many terrorist activities in India and Bangladesh during this period. He indoctrinated youths studying in the madarsa and even gave them basic arms and explosive training. In 2005, Abu was arrested as a member of Jamat-ul-Mujahidin Bangladesh following a blast there, but he jumped bail and sneaked into India.
The Sheikh Hasina government in Dhaka today increased the border area allowance for BDR soldiers cutting across ranks, intelligence sources said. “We have received reports that the allowance was raised from Tk 260 to Tk 500,” a source said.
However, some of the demands of the BDR mutineers, who killed the army officers leading them allegedly over disparities in pay and perks, echo those put forward by Indian paramilitary forces. The Sixth Pay Commission last year approved the hard area and risk allowances for the paramilitary forces, but left it to the home ministry to decide the quantum. The cabinet committee on security also gave its in-principle sanction recently.
Yesterday, Indian home ministry officials sat through a presentation on the issue from paramilitary forces. The Centre has also set up a committee headed by an additional secretary (finance) to look into the issue, sources said.
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UNB, Dhaka, 6 March : Comrade Ali Aksad, Language Movement veteran, journalist and a member of Communist Party of Bangladesh, passed away at city's Square Hospital today morning.
One of the organisers of the War of Liberation in 1971, Comrade Aksad left behind his wife, one son, two daughters and a host of relatives, and admirers to mourn his death.
He will be laid to rest at Mirpur Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard in the afternoon.