တ Photo : Firoz Ahmed
Kolkata, 26 March : After fuming protest over ill-treatment to Sourav Ganguly, Kolkata Knight Rider's co-owner Shah Rukh Khan said Dada is the main man of his team and that no decision is final as nothing is etched in stone.
In an interview to The Telegraph, King Khan said, "Sourav is our main man. No idea or decision will be taken without Dada's consent and agreement. And the whole KKR respects and loves him no end. So, there is no reason to overreact by any of us right now," said Shah Rukh.
'Go back Buchanan', shout protesting
Kolkatans just outside Eden Gardens
Kolkata, 26 March : A day after the Kolkata Knight Riders Cricket Manager John Buchanan made it clear that Sourav Ganguly was no more its sole captain, protests broke out today outside Eden Gardens where KKR team camp was going on. A group of youngmen took to the streets protesting the development and shouted slogans like 'Go back Buchanan'. They also burnt Buchanan's effigy outside the stadium.
Ganguly has been axed as the sole leader of the side with Buchanan on Wednesday saying there would not be a "fixed captain" of the team and he wants to go ahead with the strange concept of "multiple captains" during IPL matches.
Sophisticated seismic observatory installed in Tripura
Agartala, 26 March : The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has come up with a sophisticated seismic observatory with digital broadband seismograph and short-period digital seismograph in Tripura for ensuring an accurate prediction of tremor.GSI Director General P M Tejale said here today that the observatory lab would be able to provide early detection of landslips as well as earthquakes.
Tejale pointed out that GSI had initiated a process to prepare a seismic micro-zonation map for the hilly parts of the region, including Tripura, falling under the Seismic Zone V, vulnerable to earthquake.
”The seismic pillar will able to record even a micro-level earth movement up to 20 peripheral surface distance. The equipment, designed after Tsunami, is the first of its kind in the country,” GSI Seismologist O P Mishra said.
RAB seeks modern equipment to fight extremism
ATN Bangla, Dhaka, 26 March : Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has urged the government for raising its strength by equipping it with the modern air and naval facilities to combat crime and extremism of the country.
Director General of the RAB Hasan Mahmood Khandkar said this while attending a ceremony in observance of its 5th founding anniversary in the city this morning. He also said RAB would become an efficient force to serve the country and its people if it is facilitated with the modern equipment.
Six member Foreign delegation visits Tripura
Agartala, 26 March : A six-member delegation from abroad today met Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Governor D N Sahay after visiting the industrial growth centre at Bodhjungnagar. Official sources here today said the delegates comprised the members from Indonesia and Cambodia, adding they were on a two-day visit since yesterday to explore the investment opportunities in the state.
The team includes Ambassadors of the Republic of Indonesia Andi Muhammad Ghalib and Haji Sidek Ali, High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam, Ambassador of the kingdom of Cambodia Yous Makana and First secretary of Indonesia Embassy Leonard F Hutabarat.
The delegation held a meeting with Pabitra Kar, Chairman of Tripura Industrial Development Corporation, along with the officials of state industry and commerce department, leading entrepreneurs and the Tripura Chamber of Commerce.
Midnapore, 26 March : Former Supreme Court judge U C Banerjee will conduct a judicial probe into the death of a third year engineering student in IIT-Kharagpur campus five days back and the subsequent violence.
Banerjee, also the former Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, would examine the circumstances leading to the death of electrical engineering student Anil Kumar on 22 March, the consequent student violence and the alleged heckling of Damodar Acharya who 'resigned' from the Director's post that very night, IIT sources said. Banerjee, currently based in Kolkata, has been briefed about the situation by the chairman, IIT Board of Governors B Muthuraman and is likely to visit the campus shortly, the sources said.
Teaching schedules operated normally in the campus after the elite institution was rocked by student violence during which the bungalow of the dean was damaged and his car vandalised.
26 March marked with calls for peace and progress
AP, Dhaka, 26 March : Bangladeshis celebrated 38 years of independence on Thursday amid tight security as tens of thousands of people visited a national memorial outside the capital to mark the split from Pakistan in which millions of people died.
The government deployed additional security forces in the capital, Dhaka, after officials had warned that Islamic militant groups might launch attacks. It cancelled a traditional Independence Day military parade following February's mutiny by border guards that killed 75 people, including 57 army members. Bangladesh became the province of East Pakistan after British colonialists ceded control of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, leading to the creation of India and Pakistan. Pakistan's military rulers refused to hand over power to an elected party of Bangladeshi nationalists following general elections in 1970. Pakistani forces gunned down thousands of mostly unarmed civilians, including university students, police officers and homeless people sleeping on the streets of Dhaka, in a crackdown in the hours before East Pakistan declared independence, just after dawn on 26 March, 1971.
Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed wreaths at a national memorial in Savar, Dhaka.
The nearest human habitation is the nondescript hamlet of Muchipara, barely 2Km away. Most of the 150 families, residing there, thrive on illegal coal and though the funds for rehabilitation and resettlement are ready, they are just not interested in shifting anywhere. The families, which do not depend on illegal coal, blame the state government for dilly-dallying the issue of R&R, fearing a loss in majority of the Muchipara vote-bank.
Asansol SDO Debashis Sarkar told Bengal Newz, he has sent Salanpur BDO Soma Shaw to the site and also instructed Samrajit Chakravarti, the chairman-cum-managing director of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), to ensure that the flames are doused with mud and water so that the passage of air does not get cut off by the underground fire. Sources said some illegal miners of Sangramgarh also fell ill on Wednesday night. Villagers also prevented two fire tenders from dousing the flames, fearing it would spread further. ECL officials said the abandoned Sangramgarh incline is situated just beside the Sangramgarh OCP.
Villagers agitated in front of Salanpur area office of ECL today, demanding the fire be put out. Nearly 1,500 families of Sangramgarh have demanded immediate rehabilitation. "If the Muchipara residents do not want to shift let them live dangerously but we want to shift but the state government is not thinking about us,"said a local resident.
Kultali, 25 March : Poaching has reared its ugly head in the Sunderbans yet again. An adult tiger's skin was recovered from a fisherman's house at Purba Gurguria in Kultali, leading to two arrests early on Wednesday.
Although the forest department refused to confirm if it was a Sunderbans 195 cm-long tiger skin, some forest guards said the skin looked "fresh", suggesting that the tiger had been killed less than two weeks ago. A probe has been started to identify a poaching racket that is suspected to be involved.
Ending a two-day negotiation, Bangladesh and India renewed the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, first signed in 1972, for two more years. Officials of the two countries said cargo unloading facilities in Dhaka and Narayanganj would help Bangladeshi consumers to get commodities at much cheaper prices. At present, a small portion of cargo, mainly cement raw materials and crude oil, comes from India by waterways using Khulna and Sirajganj jetties. Delegation heads of both the countries termed the existing volume of inland trade “very small”.
But acting shipping secretary Masud Elahi was enthusiastic about the new cargo facilities. “This gives us an opportunity to enhance the existing inland water trade with India,” Elahi told reporters, after the protocol signing at the Sonargaon Hotel.
India-Singapore naval exercises in Andaman Sea
New Delhi, Port Blair, 25 March : Aiming to attain interoperability and train personnel in manoeuvres during war, Indian and Singaporean navies today launched their annual bilateral exercise SIMBEX-2009 in the Andaman Sea. Being the 16th in the series of exercises that began in 1994, this year's edition of SIMBEX would extend from the Andaman Sea to the South China Sea and would go on till 2 April, Naval officers said in Delhi.
The Indian Navy is fielding vessels from its Eastern Fleet, which are currently on a South-East and East Asian deployment. These ships are bound for the Chinese port-city of Qingdao in the Yellow Sea, where they would participate in Chinas first International Fleet Review next month. "Both navies will, as usual, field front line surface and sub-surface combatants for the SIMBEX. This will be in addition to fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft from both sides," officers said.
Agartala, 25 March : Suspected National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants has allegedly abducted a bamboo trader from remote Monacherra area in North Tripura.
Police said here today that a group of unknown miscreants stormed the house of one Pravasanti Reang and forcibly kidnapped the tenant, identified as Md Joynal Uddin (35), who had been involved in bamboo trading. A massive manhunt had been launched though nobody had been arrested so far, police said.
British Petro gets ready for methane hunt in Birbhum
Rampurhat, Howrah, 25 March : BP, one of the largest integrated oil companies in the world, is set to begin exploration drilling in Birbhum district soon. The company, formerly known as British Petroleum, will search for coal bed methane (CBM) here.
This is the first exploration work that the global giant with a revenue of over $365 billion is taking up in India. “Our preparations are in the final stages. We hope to begin drilling work in the next few weeks,” a BP official told Bengal Newz on Wednesday.
It has received all the necessary clearances for the project, including the Union environment ministry’s approval. The area of the block is over 248 square kilometres. However, the company will not require more than 50 acres for exploration activities, which will be done over four-and-a-half years. Industry experts see good potential for the block in Birbhum, which has large unexplored coal deposits. The first commercial production of coal bed methane in the country is taking place in the Ranigunj-Asansol belt of Burdwan, which is not far from Birbhum. Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd is undertaking production.
ONGC and Essar are also exploring CBM in the state. However, this is the first time a global oil and gas giant such as BP is doing significant exploration work in West Bengal, which has so far been unlucky in petroleum.
။ Coal bed methane is a form of natural gas which is extracted from coal beds. It has become an important source of energy in recent years, especially to generate power and for heating.
Committee reviews laws on war crimes trial
'The trial will begin soon,' said the Minister
UNB, Dhaka, 25 March : An inter-ministerial meeting on war crimes trial met for the first time today to review provisions of the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 to see if the trial is possible under this law.
After the meeting, State Minister For Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj told reporters that they also discussed the formation of tribunal, appointment of prosecutors and investigation agencies. “We want to hold trial of the war criminals according to our election commitment and the present session of parliament passed a resolution for quick trial of the war criminals,” Taj said.
Bangladesh Home Minister Sahara Khatun, Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed, secretaries of the home ministry and war of liberation affairs ministry, additional attorney-general, IGP, chiefs of RAB and Special Branch and a director of NSI were among others present at the meeting that lasted one and a half hour. ။ Cartoon courtesy : The Daily Star
Sourav Ganguly dropped as 'fixed' Kolkata Knight Riders captain
Buchanan wanted 'Dada' to be axed as captain
Kolkata, 25 March : Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan has dropped Sourav Ganguly as “fixed” captain of the IPL team for the Twenty20 tournament to be held in South Africa from 18 April.
The team will have four captains, team coach John Buchanan announced on Wednesday in Kolkata. He said the decision to have multiple captains has nothing to do with Ganguly's performance or fitness and denied any rift in the team.
“Chris Gayle (West Indies), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) and Ganguly will all captain KKR. There will be a nominated captain for each game," said Buchanan.
"Reacting to KKR's 'four captain' formula, Sourav Ganguly said, "It is new and I think we will have to access it. John has all the right to make the decision, he is the coach of the team...He has been pretty open about his views and we will stick to it. I have nothing to say about this." Even before Ganguly could finish his response, Buchanan intervened to say "He is the King of Kolkata."
Clearly dejected, Sourav Ganguly, however attempted to put up a brave face and said he was not upset by Buchanan’s decision.
Editor-in-Chief of Assam Daily 'Aji' shot dead
Veteran journalist Anil Majumder shot just outside his residence
PTI, Guwahati, 24 March : Unidentified gunmen on Tuesday night shot dead Anil Majumder, the Editor-in-Chief of local Assamese daily 'Aji', who had been writing in favour of ULFA coming for talks with the government.
Majumder, in his late 30s, was shot dead by youths near his residence on Rajgarh Road at around 10 pm. One of the five gunmen, who were waiting in front of his house in a silver Indica car, fired from point blank range several rounds at Majumdar as he got down from his Honda City car in front of his house.
Police sources said. Majumder was accosted by a seven-member unidentified group while opening the gate of his residence on return from office and fired at .
Meanwhile, the journalists’ fraternity has severally condemned the killing. ။ Picture courtesy: TimesNow.tv
Trains withdrawn from terror zone
Silchar, 24 March : The Northeast Frontier Railway today withdrew train services from the Lumding-Silchar section after an unsuccessful attempt by militants to blow up tracks in North Cachar Hills last evening raised fears of more attacks on railway staff and property.
The Badarpur area office of the Northeast Frontier Railway, about 25km from Silchar, received a message from the railway divisional office in Lumding this afternoon that indicated that the apprehension of subversive activities was the primary reason for the decision.
Last evening, at least a dozen militants, suspected to be from the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel) were trying to blow up a part of the metre gauge railway track near Harangajao station on the Silchar-Lumding hill section. Police said a team from the army rushed to the area and engaged the rebels in an encounter. Though one militant was killed, the rest managed to flee in the dark.
B'desh "Swadhinata Utsab" begins at Shaheed Minar
Trial of '71 war criminals demanded
Dhaka, 24 March : Speakers at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day "Bangladesh Swadhinata Utsab" today demanded immediate trial of the war criminals. They also demanded fanaticism and militancy be eliminated from the country. "Sammilita Sangskritik Jote" is organising the event at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city.
Noted academic Prof Serajul Islam Chowdhury stressed the need for developing a cultural movement that can inculcate the true sense of freedom in people. “A combined social and cultural movement can bridge the gap among people from different backgrounds and form a social bond of unity, which was the true spirit of the liberation war,” he added.
The festival was also inaugurated simultaneously at Rabindra Sarobar at Dhanmondi today.
4 JMB men held, arms, jihadi books seized in Bhola
London-based NGO runs Bhola madrasa: RAB Major
Bhola, 24 March : The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) today arrested four people allegedly linked to outlawed Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Ramkeshore village of Borhanuddin upazila some 20 kilometres from Bhola district headquarters this afternoon. A resident teacher of Green Crescent Madrasa, was among the four arrested.
The Rab recovered two pistols, two revolvers, five short guns, 700 rounds of bullet, around 3,000 splinters and 200 grams of gunpowder from his possession. RAB also seized a briefcase and huge number of jihadi books. And also a links of a London-based NGO was found to the madrasa. Major K M Mamun, leader of the Barisal-8 RAB team that raided the madrasa complex for three hours from 12 noon (BDST), said London-based NGO Green Crescent built the madrasa and the orphanage building on 12 acres four years ago. ။ Photo : STAR
South Africa to host IPL- 2 (NRIPL): Lalit Modi
New Delhi, 24 March : South Africa will now play host for the second edition of the cash rich Indian Premier League which is expected to begin from 17 April, 2009. The IPL commissioner Lalit Modi Cricket South Africa CEO Gerald Majola will address the press at 9 pm IST in this regard.
Earlier, Modi and Gerald Majola had a meeting at undisclosed venue this afternoon to discuss the possibility of hosting event in South Africa. According to sources, Modi will check out the possibility of hosting the event here after the Indian government back home had an issue with the dates of the tournament which clash with the Lok Sabha elections.
South Africa had an edge over England as a potential host of the cash-rich event because of the good weather in the April-May period.
Moderate intensity quake hits Andaman and Nicobar
PTI, New Delhi, 23 March : A moderate intensity earthquake today hit the west coast of Andaman at 19.15 hours, a meteorological department release said.
The quake, epicentered at 10.8 degree latitude and 91.8 degree longitude, was of slight intensity, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, it added. So far, no loss of life or property has not been reported, an official of the meteorological department said.
Don't care for Nano or No-No: Mamata
Kolkata, 23 March : As the world watched the launch of Tata Motors' Nano in Mumbai, an agitated Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she was not bothered by the event and lost her cool with journalists for asking whether she now regretted her campaign that forced the world's cheapest car out of West Bengal.
"We don't care for Nano. That is not our business. We ignore it," Banerjee said when asked by mediapersons for her reactions to the Nano launch. Banerjee, who had called the media to release her party manifesto for the coming Lok Sabha polls, got angry when asked whether she regretted the sustained campaign against land acquisition launched by her that forced Nano out of the state.
"Why? We are not bothered whether it is Nano or No-No. We can't interfere in their business. I am not a partner," she said, raising her decibel. "You can't ignore the interests of common people there (in Singur) whose land was forcibly taken by the government," she said. Lashing out at the journalist who posed the query, Banerjee countered: "Why are you asking this question? What interest do you have?"
။ Lok Sabha Vote, 2009
Notification issued for polls in Andaman and Nicobar
Port Blair, 23 March : The process for elections to Andaman and Nicobar parliamentary seat began today after the issuance of poll notification. No nominations were filed on the first day, Returning Officer, A&N Islands Parliamentary Constituency, S N Jha, said.
There are 347 polling stations in Andaman, of which East Island polling station is the smallest with only 7 male voters. All of them are employees of the forest department. Like last elections, this time also some tribals like Onge, Shompens and Great Andamanese are included in the voters list, sources said.
A total of 25, 61 and 16 people from the tribes of Great Andamanese, Onge and Shompens have found place in the voters list. The total number of voters in the islands are 2,63,694.