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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

န Fire in world’s oldest Digboi Oil refinery, two killed

Tinsukia, 13 May : Two employees, one of Digboi Oil Refinery, were killed in a devastating fire that broke out in the world’s oldest functional refinery this morning. The fire spread into residential areas.
Sources said a major fire was reported in the Indian Oil Corporation-controlled refinery at Digboi in Tinsukia district. The fire was noticed at 6.30 am in the Dilute Coke Unit (DCU). Kamal Saikia, an employee of a contractor and an Indian Oil Corporation Limited employee Basav Bhattacharjee lost their lives.
The fire was brought under control inside the refinery campus, but it went out of the campus through the sewerage drains. As the drains that use to carry residual of refinery products were highly inflammable, a major fire broke out in Muliabari, about three km from the refinery. According to sources, about 35 houses and shops were destroyed by the fire, and till the time of filing this report, fire was out of control. There was, however, no casualty. Photo : Assam Tribune
70% polling in West Bengal, One killed, 15 injured
Kolkata, 13 May : The third and final phase of the Lok Sabha polls in 11 of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal today saw a voter turnout of 70 per cent and passed off, by and large, peacefully.
The fortune of 100 candidates, including that of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata South, CPI(M)'s Md Selim in Kolkata Noth, former union minister and BJP candidate Tapan Sikdar in Dum Dum and CPI(M) candidate Amitava Nandy in the same seat were sealed in EVMs.
State Chief Electoral Officer Debasish Sen said the percentage would go up as long queues were reported in front of many polling booths towards the end of polling hours.
A CPI(M) local leader was shot dead allegedly by Trinamool Congress supporters in Joynagar (SC) Lok Sabha constituency in South 24-Parganas district, while 15 persons were injured in clashes in North 24-Parganas and South 24-Parganas districts.
Forward Bloc's Barasat Lok Sabha constituency candidate Sudin Chattopadhyay alleged that he had been attacked by Trinamool Congress workers who also assaulted his security guard and damaged his car near Ashoknagar.
Photo : Reuters
Dhaka and Moscow sign MOU on Nuke-Power deal
Dhaka, 13 May : Dhaka and Moscow today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on setting up a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh and its peaceful use.
Acting Chairman of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Mosharraf Hossain and head of the three-member Russian delegation NM Fpaffkiy signed the MOU this afternoon at the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
On 18 March, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the parliament that her government would set up a nuclear power plant to meet the growing demand for power. “We are taking initiative to set up a nuclear power plant at Rooppur site,” Hasina said responding to question from a member during the prime minister's question-answer session in the parliament.
China and South Korea also offered assistance to Bangladesh for setting up the nuclear power plant.

4 injured at Bhangar, Lathicharge at Maheshtala
Diamond Harbour, 13 May : Four persons were injured in clashes between CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress supporters at Bhangar, while police lathicharged voters at Mahestala in South 24 Parganas district during the fifth and final phase of Lok Sabha polls today, the police said.
Sundarbans residents vote happily in home islands
IANS, Gosaba, 13 May : Ashok Mondal of Jamespur village walked 45 minutes to reach his polling station Wednesday. He was happy he didn't have to travel hours by boat instead, as officials set up a polling station in his island in the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world.
"There was a good turnout in most polling stations," Mondal told IANS. "People seemed upbeat after exercising their right this time." He said this year the polling stations were set up almost in all the islands so that people do not have to travel far in their boats.
"Most of the voters in our Satjeli islands have voted comfortably this time as the polling stations were placed at convenient locations. Of course, the election officials had to come by boat as there is no other way to get here."

CID inquiry into cyber fraud in Tripura
IANS, Agartala, 13 May : Alarmed by a spurt in cyber crimes in the northeastern state of Tripura, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has launched an investigation to smash the racket, an official said here Wednesday.
“The cyber crime racket comprises both Indians and foreign nationals,” Tripura police spokesperson Nepal Das told IANS. “We are trying to track down the criminals with the help of our counterparts in other states. It may take some time but we are seeking the help of cyber experts,” he added.
Police have also launched an awareness campaign about cyber crime in the state bordering Bangladesh.
Left may loss seats this time, but play important role
Somnath Chatterjee told reporters after casting vote
Kolkata, 13 May : Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who was expelled from CPI(M) in the wake of the Left’s withdrawal of support to the UPA government, on Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. Wednesday said the party will get "reduced number" of seats this time but will play an "important role" after the polls.
However he parried questions on whether he will rejoin the CPI(M). "The important thing is that nobody is ignoring the Left. It will play an important role in Indian politics. Left has to be at the forefront and I hope it plays a proper role," Chatterjee told reporters after casting his vote here.
Asked whether he would rejoin CPI(M), the veteran leader, however, maintained: "I did not leave the party on my own. The party felt in its wisdom that I am not fit to be in the party and I have accepted their verdict. I never challenged it. I said I have my own conscience."

8,000 Bangladeshi workers died abroad in past 5 years : Report
Dhaka, 13 May : Bangladesh, whose economy depends heavily on remittances from citizens employed abroad, received over 8,000 coffins in the last five years, a report said. Job insecurity, tension at work, poor working conditions and unhealthy food habits have been cited as among the main reasons for the deaths.
The debate over the deaths is on as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured major concessions for Bangladeshi expatriates from Saudi Arabian authorities during her visit earlier this month. Around 44 percent of the Bangladeshi migrant workers who returned home in coffins between 1 January and 9 May this year had died of cardiac arrests in West Asian and Southeast Asian countries, raising serious questions about the living standards of migrant workers in those countries, The Daily Star said Wednesday.
Charjatrasiddhi villagers get to vote, after 28 years
More than 500 voters also boycott the polls today
Kalyani, 13 May : They waited in vain for 28 years, election after election, but the chance to vote never came. Today, the villagers of Charjatrasiddhi under Chakdah block in Nadia are finally exercise their voting rights after nearly three decades of administrative confusion over whether the village was part of Nadia or Hooghly.
To mark the moment, Nadia district magistrate Omkar Singh Meena come in Charjatrasiddhi on Wednesday morning when the villagers get out to vote. For 28 years, the changing course of the Hooghly and erosion sparked disputes over whether the village belonged to Nadia or Hooghly. As a result, EPIC drives were not conducted by either district and people were denied their voting rights. After delimitation, the village has become part of the Bongaon Lok Sabha constituency.
A special four-day drive was conducted in the area for inclusion of names in the voters' list and EPICs were distributed on 10 and 11 May. Chief electoral officer Debashis Sen also visited the village.
Despite getting the chance to vote, most in Charjatrasiddhi are not sure if the election will usher in any change. Tucked in a remote corner of Nadia, Charjatrasiddhi is plagued by problems like bad roads, poor drinking water and erratic power supply. So more than 500 voters of Charjadubati village have boycotted the polls today. File Photo
Jyoti Basu injured after fall, can't vote this time
First time in past 63 years that Basu has not exercised his franchise
Kolkata, 13 May : Former CM of West Bengal and Communist Party of India (Marxist) patriarch Jyoti Basu fell at his residence Wednesday morning, his personal aide said.
"Basu fell while going to the washroom early this morning. He received a minor injury in his left leg. He's now been administered medicine by the doctors," Basu's personal assistant Joykrishna Ghosh said. "Basu is now under medical supervision at home. But doctors said there's no cause for worry. He can't vote this time because of his ailing health. He is now resting," Ghosh said.
The 95-year-old CPI(M)'s poster boy, who resides in the satellite township of Salt Lake, is a voter in the Barasat Lok Sabha constituency of North 24 Parganas district. This is the first time in past 63 years that Basu has not exercised his franchise.

In 1946, he contested his maiden election to the Bengal Provincial Assembly from the Railways Reserved constituency.

One killed in pre-poll clashes in Barasat Lok Sabha
Barasat, 13 May : One person was killed early on Wednesday morning in a clash between Trinamool Congress activists and CPI(M) cadre at Baliguri on the outskirts of Kolkata, hours before the last phase of polling.
21-year-old Saminul Haque died on the way to a local hospital after being hit by a crude bomb during a clash. However, polling began amid tight security in the area which falls under Barasat Lok Sabha constituency.

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