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Saturday, June 20, 2009

န Day 2 Of The Battle For Lalgarh

Maoist trigger landmine blast, Two policemen injured
< Police and paramilitary soldiers move towards Lalgarh
Arpan Mukherjee and Jayanta Ghosh, Pirakata, 19 June : Maoists triggered a landmine blast on a police vehicle on Friday evening at Pirakata bazar, 18 km from troubled Lalgarh area, in which two policemen were injured.
The blast occurred as the vehicle, which was preceded by one belonging to the media, crossed the area. The vehicle reportedly belonged to the sub-divisional police officer, but there was no official word on it. The injured policemen were rushed to hospital. This was the first landmine blast triggered by Maoists since yesterday's operation by the police and central forces to reclaim Lalgarh from the tribals. Photo : Arpan Mukherjee

Anti-Naxal COBRA forces begin operations in Lalgarh
Arpan Mukherjee and Jayanta Ghosh, Pirakata, 19 June : Two hundred personnel of the specialised anti-Naxal force, COBRA, began sanitising the Jhitkha jungle as security forces proceeded towards besieged Lalgarh in West Midnapore district. As Jhitka jungle is a Maoist-dominated area en route to Lalgarh, where Maoist-backed tribals are in control, security personnel are waiting for the Command Battalion for Resolute Action to clear their way of possible landmines, informed a senior police official.
While the forces covered the 10 km distance from Pirakata to Pirakuli, another team of security men drove out from Sarenda in adjacent Bankura district in a pincer movement towards Lalgarh to cut off the escape routes of the Maoists, the police officer said.
The security forces used mine detectors to sweep the roads before driving ahead in heavy vehicles. The tribals under the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) blocked the passage to Lalgarh by felling trees and digging up roads and blowing up a bridge at Binpur, 12 km from Lalgarh. Photos : Arpan Mukherjee

P Chidambaram asks WB's Maoists to lay down arms
New Delhi, 19 June : The Centre on Friday asked the Maoists in Lalgarh area of West Bengal to lay down arms and come for talks. Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said he endorsed the appeal of WB Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to the Maoists and the tribals to come for talks. "I endorse that appeal. If they wish to talk, they should come forward to do so. We will be happy to facilitate the talks," he told reporters after a Cabinet meeting in New Delhi.
The Home Minister said the ongoing operation by police and paramilitary personnel in Lalgarh would take more time and the forces should expect the "unexpected". Photo : PTI

Indian scientists make major breakthrough in tiger conservation
Washington, 19 June : In a new study, a team of Indian scientists has announced a major breakthrough in the science of saving tigers, namely, high-tech DNA fecal sampling. READ MORE

Bagdogra gets international status
Bagdogra, 19 June : Bagdogra Airport, about 15 kms west of Siliguri town was elevated to the status of international airport yesterday with the inaugural flight of Druk Air carrying 79 passengers on board from Paro in Bhutan. The flight was flagged in Paro by S M Krishna, India's External Affairs Minister and landed at 10.30 hrs on the Bagdogra Airport.
Kalyan Kishore Bhowmik, Director, Bagdogra Airport said that Druk Air will run four flights in a week Paro-Bagdogra-Bangkok on Tuesdays and Saturdays and return flights Bangkok-Bagdogra-Paro on Wednesdays and Sundays. He further informed that these flights will begin operations from tomorrow. File Photos : The Telegraph
Bangladesh switches to daylight saving time
Nation's Clock goes 1-hr ahead from tonight
Dhaka, 19 June : Bangladesh pushes forward the clock an hour at 11:00pm today (Friday night) to better utilise daylight and save electricity. This means Bangladeshis would practically begin their work an hour earlier than usual. Consequently, many establishments that run till sundown would actually close before sundown and thus reduce pressure on power demands.
With the clock running an hour ahead, Bangladesh tonight becomes GMT+7 and IST+1.30 from GMT+6 and IST+.30. Prayer times for Muslims would move forward by an hour while timing of different offices, schools and other institutions would remain unchanged.
Shops and malls that traditionally remain open till 8:00pm would now use one extra hour of daylight. These would now use less electricity. It cannot be precisely forecasted how much energy can be saved by this measure but the energy ministry expects a five-percent reduction in the national power demand, which would be equivalent to 200 megawatt (MW) of power during the evening peak hour-7:00pm to 8:00pm. The country experiences between 1,000MW and 2,000MW of load shedding during the peak hours daily as power demands swing from 4,800MW to 5,800MW against a supply of around 3,800MW.
As per the government decision, the daylight saving measure begins this year from 19 June and ends on 1 October, when the clock is to be set an hour back. From next year on, the clock would be set an hour forward on 1 April and set an hour beck on 1 October.

Three-tier Panchayat elections in Tripura on 20 July
Agartala, 19 June : Panchayat elections in Tripura where over 40 per cent of the total seats of the three-tier panchayat system are reserved for women, would be held on 20 July, official sources said today.
Elections would be held for 5295 seats of Gram Panchayats, 299 Panchayat Samitis, 82 seats of Zilla Parisad and four seats of urban local bodies, including one in Agartala Municipal Council.
Siliguri-Sikkim broad gauge survey
Siliguri, 19 June : The North East Frontier Railway has begun a survey for broad gauge railway project between Siliguri and Gangtok. According to Bimal Samanta, chief survey officer, NF Railway, a broad gauge railway line would be laid up to Gangtok following submission of the survey report. The survey team is now busy at Kalijhora near the Teesta. The report of the first phase of the on going survey would be submitted to the Railway Board along with technical designs by the end of November.
The New Jalpaiguri Division of NF railway would start executing the project from December 2009. According to Samanta, the line would be laid up to Rangpo (Sikkim-West Bengal border) in the initial phase, while the railway line would reach Ranipool near Gangtok at later stages.
First swine flu infection case detected in Bangladesh
Dhaka, June : The first case of infection of the influenza A(H1N1) virus has been detected in Bangladesh, the health ministry said Friday.
The case came to light Thursday after throat swab and nasal wash samples of a patient tested positive for swine flu, the ministry said in a statement. The Bangladeshi national had returned from the US about four days ago. The patient is currently undergoing treatment in Dhaka, while his family members are kept under constant observation, it said.
Legend Sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan dies in USA
UNI, Kolkata, 19 June : Sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, one of the very few who upstaged Indian classical music to the western world, died at his residence in San Anselmo in California today. He was 87.
The end came at 1030 hrs IST, the maestro’s Secretary Asish Roy told UNI here. He is survived by eleven children, including noted sarod player Ashish Khan. Inheriting a rich lineage, Ali Akbar Khan was the son of legendary musician Baba Alauddin Khan, who founded the ‘Maihar gharana’. His mother was Madina Begum. He was born in Shibpur in Comilla district, now in Bangladesh on 14 April, 1922.
Under the tutelage of his father, who was a versatile genius in instruments and vocal music and uncle Fakir Aftabuddin, Ustad Ali Akbar took to music at the age of three. Though initially trained in several instruments, he later took up only Sarod.
Once described by illustrious violinist Yehudi Menuhin as the ‘world’s greatest musician’, Ali Akbar received Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.
2 bombs explode at Akharua rail line, rail link restored
Brahmanbaria, 19 June : Two bombs exploded on the Durgapur rail line on Dhaka-Sylhet railway at Akhaura at around 8am(BDST) on Friday, suspending rail traffic for a while, police said.
Four bombs were planted there. Rail traffic became normal at 9:30am when local people removed two bombs from the rail line. Akhaura police and GRP police went to the scene on hearing the news. The bomb experts of Comilla cantonment had been asked to deactivate the bombs and they were on way, said Hammad Hossain, officer-in-charge of Akhaura Police Station.
Arrested at nightclub, charges of anti-social activities
Dhaka, 19 June : Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and police in a joint operation last night arrested 113 people from a nightclub in the capital.
The law enforcers picked them up from 'Korea and Bangladesh Nightclub' at Banani on charges of their links to different anti-social activities. Police sources said 32 of the arrestees are female. The law enforcers also arrested two people of the club authority, police sources said. During the operation, the law enforcers recovered different kinds of alcohol from the spot.
Rab-1 officials said they handed over the arrested to Gulshan Police Station. Kamrul Alam Mollah, officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station, told reporters that all of the arrested were produced before the court this morning.

Government peace statement airdropped from helicopter in Lalgarh
Lalgarh, 19 June : The WB state government appealed to the Lalgarh people to discuss their problems with the administration.
The copies of the statement, published in both Bengali and Alchiki (santhali) scripts, have been airdropped from helicopters in the areas under Lalgarh block on Friday. Officials said that the policemen, entering the areas would also distribute copies of the appeal.

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