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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Surrendered Maoists, KLO float new party, Pledge support

Jalpaiguri, 13 August : “Overground” Maoist supporters and surrendered Kamtapur Liberation Organisation activists today publicly floated a new political organisation at Dakshin Salsalabari village in Alipurduar block II of Jalpaiguri district. They have named the organisation ‘Communist Organisation for North Bengal (preparatory committee).
Speaking on behalf of the new organisation, former CPI Maoist leader Sudhanshu Das said his party would strive for the right of the farmers, tribal and Other Backward Classes, residing in north Bengal. “A new Leftist organisation focusing on equal rights for all was the need of the hour following the state government's failure to ensure it. We dream of a new democratic society where people would enjoy equal status,” Das claimed. Another “ex-Maoist” leader Ratan Roy said that the preparatory committee has 11 members who would work to build the organization all over north Bengal.
“We published our manifesto today along with the organization's logo - a sickle and a hammer. We are grateful to our former KLO friends who joined our part to work for the development of north Bengal,” Roy said. The police are, however, unaware of the development. The SP, Jalpaiguri, Anand Kumar said that they did not have any information about today's development.

Fulbari, 13 August :
(L) An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier keeps watch along the fenced border with Bangladesh. (R) BSF personnel patrol with a sniffer dog along a stretch of the India-Bangladesh border ahead of India's Independence Day celebrations in Fulbari village, on the outskirts of Siliguri Today. Security has been tightened across the India to ward off any possible militant attacks leading up to India's Independence Day celebrations on 15 August. Photos : Reuters
Dhaka - New Delhi to discuss Tipai dam next month
Dhaka, 13 August : Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni will be in India early next month to discuss the Tipaimukh dam issue and to follow up on assurances given to a parliamentary delegation that went to study the site.
Moni told the media that details of her visit were being worked out and that the visit could be in the first week of September. Parliamentary delegation leader Abdur Razzaq added that the aerial visit to Tipaimukh in India’s Manipur state had yielded three “achievements” with regard to Bangladesh’s concerns about the dam that is proposed to be built on Barak river. India, he said, had assured the team that the dam was meant for a hydroelectric plant, and was not an irrigation project.
India would not build any barrage or structures for stopping water flowing downstream of Tipaimukh site, Razzaq said.

2nd Kolkata Fashion Week to kick off next September
Kolkata, 13 August : Celebrating India's ethnic roots, the second season of the five-day Kolkata Fashion Week would begin here next month with a unique theme of 'Earth Couture'.
"We are trying to put up a very big show this time. We will have more than 40 designers, including reputed and new ones. It will be a five-day event with 36 shows," Yudhajit Dutta, Managing Director of Mindscapes Maestros, orgainsers of the Kolkata Fashion Week (KFW) told Bengal Newz today. The fashion extravaganza would begin from 9 September. The opening show would be hosted by Ritu Kumar, while Manish Malhotra will mark the grand finale, Dutta said.
Reputed designers like Wendell Rodricks, Narendra Kumar, Mona Pali, Dev R Nil, Zubair Kirmani, Satya Paul, Bibi Russell, Abhishek Dutta, among others have confirmed their participation for the event.
West Bengal prepares blueprint for Lalgarh operation
Kolkata, 13 August : The West Bengal government Thursday held a high-level meeting with senior police officers to prepare a roadmap for carrying out further joint operations in trouble-torn Lalgarh, a top official said.
"We held talks with senior police and district officials on how to conduct the Lalgarh operation in the coming days. We discussed the modus operandi of the joint forces and how to resolve the security problem in this Maoist-affected region," state Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters after emerging out of the meeting in West Midnapore district.

Tripura gets its swine flu suspect, admitted Hospital
Agartala, 13 August : An engineering student studying in swine flu-hit Pune was Thursday admitted to a hospital here with symptoms of the disease, in the first such case in the northeastern state, doctors said.
The 21-year-old student, who returned from Pune Tuesday, was admitted to the Agartala Government Medical College and Hospital, after he displayed symptoms of swine flu and his blood samples have been sent to Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) in Kolkata for examination, said physician Pradip Bhowmik. “The patient has been isolated and is under treatment. We expect the report from CDC by Friday and then the appropriate course of treatment would be undertaken,” he added.
For early detection and treatment, the Tripura government has set up counters at the India-Bangladesh check posts and Agartala airport to enable visitors to report any swine flu like symptoms and to maintain a record. “To meet any possible outbreak of the disease, the state government has taken urgent steps to stock adequate quantity of Tamiflu, protective gear, and influenza testing kits in all the district and sub-divisional headquarters,” said state Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty.

Bangladesh to export Bricks to North-East India
IANS, Agartala, 13 August : Bangladesh will export 400 million bricks to Tripura, with the first consignment reaching the bordering state 20 August, officials said here Thursday.
'To boost the brick trade, the Indian government has removed the 2.5 percent central custom duty from this month while the Tripura government reduced the value-added tax (VAT) to 4 percent from 12.5 percent,' said Tripura Commerce and Industry Minister Jitendra Chowdhury. To commence brick exports to northeast India, a formal function will be held 20 August at the Akhaurah check post, where Chowdhury will be present along with Bangladesh commerce minister Faruk Khan. The India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) expects Bangladesh's exports to the northeastern Indian states to increase to $1 billion by 2011.
'We are ready to supply 40 crore pieces of bricks worth Bangladeshi Taka 2 billion (Rs.140 crore) to Tripura and a deal has been signed with the Tripura government last month,' said IBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad, who led a team here. Explained Chowdhury: 'Since Tripura's existing brick fields are not able to cater to the demand, the state government has decided to import bricks from Bangladesh.' Tripura also imports large quantities of stone chips and cement from Bangladesh.

Locals halt Khagrachhari BDR camp withdrawal
Khagrachhari, 13 August : Local people today halted the Bangladesh government's move to withdraw a BDR camp in Chhoto Panchhari of Panchhari upazila in Khagrachhari district.
Panchhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sheikh Abdul Kader told The Daily Star that they failed to withdraw the camp because of the protests by Bangla-speaking people. The protesters said they had been feeling unsafe in the area since the withdrawal of army camps. They fear the incidents of abduction and killing may rise if the BDR camp is too withdrawn. Around 400 protesters put barricades by felling trees on the Fatemanagar-Panchhari road in the morning to prevent the authorities from dismantling “the important border outpost” in the backwoods of the hill district.
The authorities had tried to withdraw the 30 Rifles Battalion on 9 August but the attempts went in vain thanks to strong protests. The government started withdrawing army camps from the district last Friday as per the CHT peace accord and four army camps were withdrawn until this morning. Photo : STAR
Leopard rescued from a Tea garden in Jalpaiguri dist
Jalpaiguri, 13 August : Wildlife officials rescued a male leopard from a tea garden in Jalpaiguri. Locals from in and around the tea garden crowded the cage to have a glimpse of the wounded animal that had unleashed fear in the area.
Dipendra Nath Saha, the range officer of the Khunia said the leopard was trapped as it was terrorising the garden workers. "This is the fourth rescue of its kind from this region in a span of two months. This leopard was doing damage to the garden workers," Saha added. With tiger population dwindling in recent years as a result of poaching, wildlife officials say hunters have increasingly set their sights on leopards, killing them for their skins as well as bones, claws and penises for use in traditional Asian medicines.
Depletion of their habitat has also threatened the leopards, forcing them to stray into human settlements-attacking people and cattle-and often getting killed in return. India had about 7,300 leopards in the wild according to a 1997 census, but conservationists say the number is now likely to be much lower.
Agartala Lawyers seek separate high court for Tripura
Agartala, 13 August : Lawyers in Tripura have called for a one-day strike on 24 August following the Centre's reluctance to set up a separate high court here.
"Our programme includes the 24 August strike and a march to the Assembly during the monsoon session which is scheduled to start from 31 August," Apanshu Mohan Lodh, senior lawyer and president of the High Court Bar Association of Agartala bench said. "Before marching to the Assembly, we will organize a rally in the city. We will also submit a memorandum to chief minister Manik Sarkar and Opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath," he added.
At present, higher-level cases of Tripura are settled by the Agartala bench of Guwahati High Court. "It is beyond our comprehension as to why our demand for a separate high court is being ignored for so long despite clear provisions in Section 214 of the Indian Constitution," said the senior lawyer who is also the editor of a local daily. "We plan to organize a convention with people from a cross-section of the society to generate public opinion," he added. Though Tripura lawyers have been demanding a separate high court for a long time, the Centre has remained silent on the issue. Last year a delegation from the Tripura Bar had called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention, but, no progress was made. "Many cases are pending which cannot be heard and settled in the absence of a separate high court," lawyer Madhumita Bhattacharjee said.

"In spite of not having any pending cases, Sikkim has a separate high court and so does newly formed states like Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chattishgarh," she added. UNI File Photo

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