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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mamata Banerjee gets into row with 24-Ghanta TV channel

Kolkata Press Club strongly condemned Mamata's act
Kolkata, 14 October : Trinamool Congress, the main opposition in West Bengal, has got into a scrap with pro-CPI(M) Bengali news channel 24Ghanta, accusing a journalist and two cameramen of trying to kill railway minister Mamata Banerjee !
The party has filed a police complaint against the TV crew for allegedly ‘following’ Mamata’s car. The channel has filed counter complaint against TMC. According to sources, it all started with a brawl between Union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy and the TV crew in front of painter Suvaprasanna’s house in Salt Lake’s BH Block. Where Mamata meets her artist colleagues.
The Kolkata Press Club condemned the incident, and appealed to all political parties that journalists should be allowed to carry out their duties unhindered. In a statement, Kolkata Press Club president Prema Nanda Ghosh said journalists are becoming the victims of attack time and again in the state.

Dhaka Stock Exchange's index touched all-time highs
Dhaka, 14 October : Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange on Wednesday touched an all-time high after topping Tk 12 billion.
The premier bourse's benchmark general index also touched a new high, closing at 3296 points, after it topped 3280 points on Tuesday. The daily transaction surged to Tk 12.01 billion, increasing by a billion from the previous day. The previous turnover high was at Tk 11.49 billion on 2 July. Wednesday's high was backed by a huge trading in Bex Tex with turnover of Tk 820 million and state-owned energy entities, Titas Gas and Jamuna Oil, whose turnovers crossed Tk 500 million.
Experts said increased participation by both retail and institutional investors caused the market to surge. "But, hypes did not follow fundamentals, posing a disturbing sign for long-term investments," Salahuddin Ahmed, a former CEO of Dhaka Stock Exchange, said.
Silt in Haldia port channel rises up to ‘alarming level’
Kolkata, 14 October : The Kolkata Port Trust said on Wednesday that the depth of the main navigation channel of Haldia port had silted up by 0.3m in the past month to an “alarming level” of 3.7m, against the ideal depth of 5.5m.
“It’s a critical situation,” said Anindo Majumdar, acting chairman of the Kolkata Port Trust, which controls the facilities at Haldia and Kolkata. Currently, the average draught at the port, which is the depth of the river bed plus the water level during high tide, is 6.9m. Bulk carriers carrying only up to 12,000 tonnes of cargo can enter at this draught.
West Bengal govt officials to visit Lalgarh next week
Kolkata, 14 October : Senior West Bengal government officials will visit Lalgarh next week to assess the situation and to get a first-hand feel on ongoing development activities underway by the West Midnapore district authorities.
Sources at Writers’ Buildings on Wednesday said these officials would try to assess the progress made with regard to carrying out development activities in Maoist-infested Lalgarh and on their return to Kolkata, they would submit a report to the state government.
A few months ago, senior state government officials visited Lalgarh and stayed there for some days to encourage holding of development activities like rural electrification, improving healthcare facilities and digging tubewells. "These officers had also made some recommendations regarding carrying out development work in Lalgarh. Now we will try to examine the progress rate of our development activities in Lalgarh," said a senior official in Writers’ Buildings.

PM has every right to campaign in Arunachal: Pranab
Kolkata, 14 October : Rejecting China's claims over Arunachal Pradesh, India on Wednesday made it clear that the state is an integral part of the country and its Prime Minister has every right to visit it.
"Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and the just-concluded Assembly election has proved that it was held under the Indian Constitution," Union finance Mmnister Pranab Mukherjee told a press conference at WBPCC headquarters here after a party state secretariat meeting. Mukherjee said that just a few months back people of the state had sent their representatives to Parliament under the Indian constitution. It was therefore appropriate that the Prime Minister of the country should visit Arunachal Pradesh as leader of the Congress party for election campaign, he said.
"I too visited Arunachal Pradesh for campaigning and we consider it as our legitimate right. It is a proper action on our part," Mukherjee emphasised. The minister was reacting to Beijing's objection and protest over the Prime Minister's recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

German Human Rights Ambassadors travel to B'desh
14 October : Günter Nooke, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, has arrived in Bangladesh together with the Human Rights Ambassadors from Denmark and the Netherlands.
The goal of the joint trip is to assess domestic developments and the human rights situation since the democratically elected government came to power in December 2008. To this end, the Commissioner and the Ambassadors will have talks with, among others, the Foreign, Justice and Interior Ministers, as well as representatives of civil society and relief organizations. The talks will focus on challenges in the spheres of impunity, land and women’s rights.
The delegation will also travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This region is beset by tensions between those who have lived there for generations and Bengali settlers. A durable peaceful resolution of the conflicts is not in sight at present.
Before embarking on the trip, the Commissioner issued this statement
Tough times boost Chittagong shipbuilding jobs
AFP, Chittagong, 14 October : When Bangladeshi labourer Abdul Karim was laid off from his shipbuilding job in Singapore because of the global recession, he did not expect to find the same sort of work at home.
But the 35-year-old, like similarly skilled shipbuilding laborers who have worked abroad, returned six months ago to find the industry booming and his expertise much in demand. "My salary is about 40 percent lower than it was in Singapore, but overall I'm better off in Bangladesh and I get to stay close to my family," said Karim, who now earns around 300 dollars each month. READ FULL STORY
Bangladesh parliament to sue ex-speaker, 2 officials
Dhaka, 14 October : The Bangladesh parliament has decided to sue its former speaker and two senior officials for alleged misappropriation of funds.
The Jatiya Sangsad (national assembly) passed a unanimous resolution Tuesday to recover Taka 25 million ($389,049) from former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui, and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain. They reportedly drew the amounts as medical bills, additional fuel allowances, and other expenses during the tenure of the last parliament (2001-06). While Sircar is presently an opposition lawmaker belonging to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, Hossain is the party’s secretary general.
The house also unanimously passed a resolution to refer the charges, probed earlier by a a parliamentary committee and found to be prima facie true, to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) for further investigation. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

Kamla to take oath as Tripura new governor 2morrow
Agartala, 14 October : Tripura governor-designate Kamla, who is to take the oath of office and secrecy tomorrow, said the Centre and the state government will work together for development of the state.
On her arrival here today, Kamla, a former deputy chief minister of Rajasthan, said that Tripura is a beautiful place. "Centre and the state government will work together for the development of the state," she said. Chief minister Manik Sarkar and his cabinet colleagues, including finance minister Badal Chowdhury, tribal welfare minister Aghor Debbarma, forest minister Jiten Chowdhury and chief secretary Sudhir Sharma received her at the airport. The outgoing governor Dinesh Nandan Sahaya yesterday left for his home state of Bihar.
Artists from Pakistan and Bangladesh to participate in 'Peace Festival'
IANS, Amritsar, 14 October : Amritsar is all set to host the 10-day ‘Peace Festival 2009′ from Wednesday that will see the participation of around 90 artists and activists from neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh.
This festival is being organised by the South Asia Foundation, a non-profit organisation that has eight autonomous chapters in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This is happening for the first time in the history of India and Pakistan that such a huge number of artists are coming to Amritsar from Lahore to participate in this peace festival,” said theatre director M.K. Raina.
The festival will also include a play directed by Raina called “Stay a While”, which includes a multimedia presentation based on conversations between Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatama Gandhi.
Photo : AFP
Kolkata Metro service disrupted due to technical snag
Kolkata, 14 October : Metro rail services were disrupted here following a technical snag putting office goers in great difficulty on Wednesday.
Metro railway sources said that around 10 am the third line which supplies power developed a crack at the Jatin Das Park station when a Dum Dum-bound train was passing. The train was immediately stopped and the passengers were evacuated. This had led to dislocation of the service in the entire railway stretch. The authorities, however, made arrangements to operate services between Dum Dum and Maidan station. The fault has been attended to and normal service is likely to be normal by noon, the sources said.
Bangladesh’s media regulator given approval to launch 10 more private satellite TV channels
Dhaka, 14 October : BBC Monitoring reports that Bangladesh’s information ministry has distributed no-objection letters allowing these TV stations to go on air.
The channels are: Ekattur Television (backed by journalist Mozammel Huq Babu), Channel-9 (backed by Syeda Mahbuba Akhter, the wife of retired Brig-Gen Syed Shafayetul Islam, who is younger brother of LGRD Minister and ruling Awami League General-Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam), Independent Television (Salman F. Rahman, Vice-Chairman of Beximco Group and adviser of Awami League chief), ATN News (Mahfuzur Rahman, owner of ATN Bangla TV), Somoy Television (Ahmed Zubair), My TV (Nasir Uddin), Machhranga Television (owned by Anjan Chowdhury, Director of Square Grp), Mohona TV (Kamal Ahmed Majumder, a ruling party MP), GTV (owned by Gazi Golam Ashriar) and Bijoy TV (Chittagong mayor A.B.M. Mohiuddin Chowdhury).
A top official of the information ministry has confirmed the approvals of these TV channels. Bangladesh has 11 privately-backed channels already on air, plus two state-backed stations (BTV and BTV World).
Maoists blast rail tracks @ Dalbhumgarh in KJP divi.
PTI, Jamshedpur, 14 October : Maoists blasted rail tracks near Dalbhumgarh station in Jharkhand late tonight on the second day of their strike today, badly affecting train movement between Kharagpur and Tatanagar under South-Eastern Railway.
Railway sources said a feet-long track in the up section was blown up by the extremists just after a goods train passed the stretch under Kharagpur sub-division of SER. Long distance train services along the Howrah-Mumbai route were halted following the incident as a special patrolling team went to the spot. The district police force, railway protection force and CRPF also rushed to the site.
The incident took place on the second day of Jharkhand shutdown called by the Maoists to protest the Centre's crackdown against left wing extremism.
Students form human chain for fencing of India-Bangladesh border
ANI, Sonahat (Assam), 14 October : Thousands of students formed a human chain in the Sonahat region in Assam on Tuesday to demand fences along India-Bangladesh border.
Insurgency-hit Assam shares a 272-kilometer long border with Bangladesh of which about 70 per cent has been fenced with barbed wire. All Assam Students Union (AASU), an influential student organization in the state, organised the event. Demanding implementation of the Assam Accord within a specific time frame protestors demanded the completion of border fencing on a war footing.

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