A fire has been burning under the Jharia coalfields for nearly a century. Buildings and roads have caved in because of the slow-burning fire whose fumes cause breathing disorders among the local people. Burdwan’s Raniganj, the oldest coal mining area in the country, is less affected by the fires but the long-term danger to the area is as much.
The fires can start at rather low temperatures but if not checked early can burn for many years. န File Photos : Niraj Modi
"Neither have we succumbed to terrorism nor will we stop talking," Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha during a debate on issues arising from the Prime Minister's foreign visits, including his trip to Egypt where he met Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Action on terror was independent of any composite dialogue, he asserted. "The NDA did it. The UPA did it. This is the way the world of diplomacy moves," Mukherjee said while reminding Parliament that over the last 10 years, governments across the political spectrum in India kept talking to Pakistan despite brief disruptions after terrorist attacks.
"We can't erase Pakistan. It's going to exist. War is no solution," Mukherjee said while underlining the importance of keeping talks going with Pakistan.
BSS, Bagerhat, 30 July : Bangladesh Coast Guard members rescued six fishermen from the Sundarbans late Wednesday night who had been abducted by alleged pirates of Kabir gang on 26 July.
The coastguards searching through Supati, Katka and Kochikhali areas in the eastern Sundarbans found six of the eight fishermen held hostage by the pirates for Tk 8 lakh ransom. Search operation will continue until the rest two fishermen are found, lieutenant Lokman Hakim, the operation chief of the BCG, Mongla western zone, said. No member of Kabir gang, however, could be arrested so far.
On 26 July, while fishermen were returning from the Bay of Bengal after a hilsa trawl, the alleged pirates stopped them in Kochikhali area of Sharankhola Range in the east Sundarbans, seized their trawler and abducted them. The rescued fishers returned to their families on Thursday.
verdict in Journalist murder case
ANI, Guwahati, 30 July : Angered by the court verdict in the case of a journalist’s killing, various journalist and human rights organisations called for a 12-hour shutdown in Guwahati.
The activists accused the CBI of being hands in glove with the accused. “This judgement is unfortunate. We feel that CBI is purchased by the accused. The CBI has also betrayed the people of Assam by compromising with the culprit,” said Bubumoni Saikia, President, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, a human rights organisation. A local court on Tuesday acquitted Mridul Phukan due to lack of evidence. He was the prime accused in Parag Das murder case that took place in 1996.
Parag Das was the executive editor of Asomiya Pratidin, an Assamese vernacular daily.he judgement came 13 years after the murder took place. Das was killed on May 17, 1996 in broad daylight when he was returning home after picking up his son from school. The gunmen had pumped several bullets from point blank range, killing Das on the spot. န Photo : PTI
Reuters, Dhaka, 30 July : Bangladesh's leading shipbuilders have won deals worth $355 million to supply over 30 smaller ocean-going ships to shipping firms in Germany by next year end, officials said. "German ship-owners have already ordered Bangladeshi shipbuilders to supply more than 30 ships worth 250 million euro," Frank Meyke, German ambassador to Bangladesh told reporters.
The ships, with a deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 4,100-4,800, are contracted to be supplied by the end of next year, an official of Western Marine Shipyard Limited (WMSL) told Reuters. WMSL, based in the southeastern port city of Chittagong, and Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Limited, located at Meghnaghat on the river Meghna, near the capital Dhaka, are prominent ship builders in Bangladesh.
PTI, Midnapore, 30 July : A CPI(M) local leader was shot dead and five other party members were abducted by suspected Maoists in trouble-torn West Midnapore district where a joint operation by police and para-military forces against Naxalites is on, police said today.
The police said that CPI(M) local committee member Sagar Masanta, a resident of Patharpara village at Goaltore in the Lalgarh police station area, was found dead and his body was recovered from the field near the village. Five other CPI(M) members - Arun Mahato, Amal Mahato and Brahmanya Singha Roy from Salboni village in the Lalgarh police station area and Sailen Deb Sinha and Anadi Deb Sinha from Kalaimuri village were abducted from their homes by suspected Naxalites last night.
Siliguri, Kolkata, 30 July : Kolkata In spite of the losses incurred by the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) because of the turmoil in Darjeeling, it has gone ahead with promoting tourism in the region. The corporation launched its website and the schedule of its bus service on Tuesday to help people get more tourism-related information.
“Besides NSBTC, there are other government undertakings which are also coming up with tourism packages. Such initiatives are part of the infrastructure development vision which the state government has undertaken,” said state Tourism Minister Manabendra Mukherjee. “If these buses start earning profit then private investors will also be encouraged to invest in tourism infrastructure in West Bengal,” the minister added. The NBSTC in the past one year has extended its tourism services to other divisions in Siliguri, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Malda, Beharampur and Raigunj. According to some officials, it was important to extend the tourism in the region beyond Darjeeling.
For residents of Kolkata, the NBSTC has launched 10 new tourism packages during the Pujas. Besides its 12 tourist buses, which ply from Kolkata, two new ones were added on Tuesday linking the city with the Dooars. Four new bus routes of NBSTC from Kolkata have been launched that include Kolkata to Dooars, Kolkata to Siliguri, Kolkata to Sikkim, Kolkata to Bhutan.