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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Forces capture Ramgarh, the key Maoist stronghold
Ramgarh, 27 June : Security forces on Saturday captured key Maoist stronghold of Ramgarh as they launched a two-pronged attack to reclaim areas in West Midnapore district under control of Maoist who offered stiff resistance by detonating landmines and opening gunfire.
Maoists also torched an office of the Leftist trade union AITUC when they were refused sanctuary in the building shortly before the security forces entered Ramgarh. Security forces headed from Lalgarh in the south and Kadasole, which was secured on Friday, in the north towards Ramgarh this morning, a senior CRPF officer said.
"We have secured Ramgarh. We will establish a police outpost and a camp. The police will retore normalcy. The operations will continue," IG CID (Special Operations Group) Siddhinath Gupta said. Photos : Arpan Mukherjee

Hasina was fed poison in prison : Sajeda Chowdhury
Dhaka, 27 June : Bangladesh Prime minister Sheikh Hasina was fed poisoned food while she was in prison during the 2007-08 military-installed caretaker government, a private TV station quoted a senior Awami League leader as saying on Saturday.
"The leader (Hasina) fell sick having taken the poisoned food and her mouth was swollen. But she never gave in to (pressure)" deputy leader of the parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury said at a programme in the capital. At a discussion marking the birth anniversary of slain national leader AHM Quamaruzzaman in the capital, Sajeda said the prime minister still gets occasional bouts of illness due to the damage caused by the poisoning.
Awami League chief Hasina was arrested on 16 July, 2007 by the Fakhruddin Ahmed-led interim government on a slew of graft charges and was freed on 12 June next year on bail.
Govt's tribal adviser resigns after Lalgarh atrocities
IANS, Kolkata, 27 June : A senior adviser to West Bengal’s Left Front government resigned Saturday to protest against the “torture” of tribals in the state’s Lalgarh area that has just been cleared of armed Maoists who had declared it a “liberated” zone.
“I have served this government with all sincerity. But the way the tribals in Lalgarh are being tortured, I never expected this from this government,” Dhirendra Nath Baske, a leading Santhali scholar, told IANS here. Baske, adviser to the state government’s Santhali publication Pachhim Bangla, sent in his resignation to the director of information.
“I know the tribal psyche. They never want violence. But look at this government. Their police tortured women and innocent people after the landmine explosion on the chief minister’s convoy at Salboni in November”. said Baske.
Left governments to oppose UPA educational reforms
Agartala, 27 June : The Left Front-ruled states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura will not adopt the educational reforms outlined by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, a senior CPI(M) leader said here on Saturday.
"In the name of educational reforms, the UPA government has been trying to privatise and centralise the education system," a CPI(M) central committee member told sources, on condition of anonymity. Indian Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday announced a slew of measures, including optional class 10 board exams, accreditation agencies for schools, free education and private sector involvement in primary learning.
"Before any kind of educational reforms, the union government should take the views of state governments, educationists, guardians, students, intellectuals besides the teachers' and students' organisations," Tripura School Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty. "Any kind of sudden and hurriedly taken decision might affect the future of students and country's educational method," he told media persons here.
CPI(M)'s students wing, the Students Federation of India (SFI) and Tripura Government Teachers' Association and Tripura Non-Government Teachers' Association, both frontal organisations of the CPI(M), have also opposed the new educational reforms of the UPA government.

Maoists blast landmines, forces advance to Ramgarh
Kadasole , 27 June : Security forces on Saturday continued their offensive to drive out Maoists from the trouble-torn area in West Midnapore district where the Naxals put up a stiff resistance and detonated three landmines.
A day after reclaiming fresh territory from Maoists at Kadasole, security forces began heading towards Mohultol village on the way to the Naxal stronghold of Ramgarh. The forces faced stiff resistance at Mohultol village from Maoists who detonated three landmines and CRPF commandos retaliated them with firing from mortars, light machine guns and AK-47s, officials said. Maoists also fired from country-made guns at the forces from the jungles, senior officers told a correspondent at Mohultol, a small hamlet surrounded by dense forest on the way to Ramgarh from Goaltor. Photo : Arpan Mukherjee

န Dhaka, 27 June :
A worker collects dry leather in front of a tannery at the Hazaribagh area in Dhaka.
Bangladesh's High Court has ordered the closure of all tanneries and factories across the country if they fail to install effluent treatment plants by 2010 to halt massive pollution of the environment.
Photo : Reuters
UK counter-terrorism minister arrives in Bangladesh
Dhaka, 26 June : The British minister for security and counter-terrorism is arriving in Dhaka on Saturday on a three-day visit, a press release from the British High Commission said.
Lord West will see the development of a UK-Bangladesh 'Joint Working Group', proposed by former UK home secretary Jacqui Smith in April 2008. The UK will assist the group to implement rapid anti-terrorism operations by enhancing co-operation. West will call on Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, high officials of the government and opposition chief Khaleda Zia, among others, the high commission statement added.

Villagers still fighting hungry tide in "Aila"-hit areas
Kumarmari (South 24-Parganas), 27 June : A month after Cyclone Aila hit the Sunderbans, the hungry tide continues to be fought by thousands of hungrier people. On half-empty stomachs, diarrhoea-ridden villagers many of them without homes are still working to keep the rivers at bay. With little governmental help and sapped by a constant exodus of people away from the region, enthusiasm is low and progress slow.
External help notwithstanding, many members of the 210 families in the area stayed away from the embankment work. Of those abstaining, a significant number are afflicted by diarrhoea. There has been little to eat here since the cyclone and people are weak. On top of that, because of the water, many are getting diarrhoea. The collapsed houses have to be reconstructed as the rains are coming. But despite this, some are going to work at the embankments so that they can buy food with the money.
With the crucial embankment reconstruction process still floundering a month after Aila arrived, if the indicators are accurate, the transition from relief to reconstruction in the affected parts of the Sunderbans is likely to be more tedious than expected. Photos : Indrajit Dutta

completes 70 pc seismic survey in Block-7
UNB, Dhaka, 27 June : Chevron, a US-based international oil company, has completed 70 percent of a two-dimensional (2D) seismic survey in hydrocarbon Block-7 located in onshore and offshore areas of the country's southern region.
According to official sources, the 2D survey is being conducted covering a total area of 460-km seismic line as part of oil and exploration programme. Of these, 250 km line is in onshore areas while the remaining 210 km seismic line in offshore areas. The seismic areas cover parts of Barisal, Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola districts located in the country's southern region.
As the country has been experiencing a nagging energy crisis, Petrobangla officials believe the 2D seismic survey of the Block-7 may bring good news for the energy sector.

Confusion over master plan draft for Port Blair city
Port Blair, 27 June : The Draft Master Plan, prepared by Andaman PWD, for the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has created ripples in this remote archipelago.
Andaman PWD recently came out with a draft master plan for Port Blair city for 2028 and fixed 30 June as the last date for submitting suggestions and objections. But islanders alleged that they could not get an important document of the draft master plan for review. ''Only a few copies were kept in the offices of Port Blair Municipal Council, Assistant Commissioners office and a few offices where general public hardly have any access,'' Bimal Kumar Roy, a grassroots leader of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said. The most controversial point in the Draft Master Plan is construction of an International Airport at South Andaman, which will be constructed at the cost of three thickly populated areas viz Calicut, Beodnabad and Bimblitan. Meanwhile, the Congress Party of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have also expressed concern over this issue and requested the Lt Governor of A & N Islands to extend the last date for submission of objections and suggestions for the draft master plan of Port Blair city. Photo : Andaman Chronicle

Tripura to improve tourism structure to woo tourists
Agartala, 27 June : The newly-constituted Tripura Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) has stressed on the need to provide standard service to attract more tourists to the state. The Corporation had undertaken various efforts to promote the Tourism industry in the state.
A review meeting was also held here yesterday in this regard. According to official sources today, the meeting discussed in details about the existing tourism infrastructure and the need to provide a standard service. The Secretary and Commissioner of Information, Cultural and Tourism department, Nepal Chandra Sinha dwelled on the need to expand the tourism industry and maintain a proper standard. He appealed all to render all possible hospitality services and keep the toilets clean, arrange good food and potable drinking water facilitities, among others.
To evoke interest among the new generation about Tripura, the corporation will arrange a special tourist package for the students of various schools and colleges, sources added.
Photos : TTDC

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