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Friday, October 23, 2009

Vijay Madan is interlocutor for talks on Gorkhaland issue

New Delhi, 23 October : Lt General (retd) Vijay Madan has been appointed as interlocutor for talks on Gorkhaland issue with all stake holders, it was officially announced tonight.
Madan's appointment was made before the scheduled fourth round of talks among the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leaders, the West Bengal government and the Centre to be held in Darjeeling on 21 December. The third round of talks was held in Delhi in August.

120 Left Front activists killed in West Bengal: CPI(M)
PTI, New Delhi, 23 October : Over 120 Left Front activists were killed in West Bengal between March and October this year, the CPI(M) claimed today.
A total of 124 people were killed in pre and post-poll violence unleashed by anti-Left forces in various parts of the state between March three and 22 October this year, the party said in a statement. Out of this, 120 belonged to the CPI(M) and two of them were children from families of CPI(M) members. More than half of them were killed by Maoist gangs, it said.
"The CPI(M) Central Committee salutes the memory of these comrades who have becomes the victims of depredation by extremist Maoist gangs and the Trinamool Congress combine," the statement said. File PTI Photo

UN's sec gen Ban Ki-moon arrives in Dhaka today
Voice of South Blog, 23 October : The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, arrives in Dhaka this afternoon to discuss a wide ranged of issues relating to politics, economy and social affairs ahead of Bangladesh’s general elections.
Bangladesh Foreign affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury will receive the UN chief at Zia International Airport at 5.30pm(BDST). Now on a four-nation Asia visit, Ban will fly to Dhaka from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu in a two-day tour. Ban’s visit to Bangladesh ahead of the general elections is considered to be a significant event as the polls, slated for 18 December, would mark the nation’s return to democracy after two years of rule under an un-elected and military-backed interim government. READ FULL STORY

N-East records 20 percent rainfall deficit this season
Agartala,Guwahati, 23 October : The southwest monsoon has withdrawn from the northeastern region, which has suffered a 20 percent rainfall deficit this season, India Meteorology Department (IMD) director Dilip Saha said Friday.
“During the monsoon (since 1 June), the northeastern region, comprising eight states, on an average has suffered a 20 percent shortfall compared to the normal rainfall,” Saha told reporters in Agartala. “The southwest monsoon withdrew from eastern and northeastern states and some other parts of India on 20 October, a week after the normal schedule of withdrawal from the hilly region,” he added.
According to the officials of the Regional Meteorology Centre (RMC) in Guwahati, Nagaland has suffered the maximum deficit among the northeastern states. It recorded a rainfall deficit of 49 percent.

WB CM meets Chidambaram, discusses Maoist surge
PTI, New Delhi, 23 October : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and is understood to have discussed issues related to the Maoist surge in the state.
Issues related to the anti-Maoist operation in Lalgarh and the deployment of Central paramilitary forces in the state were believed to have been discussed, sources said. Bhattacharjee is believed to have briefed Chidambaram about the prevailing security situation in the state and the measures taken during the about 20-minutes meet, they said. The kidnap and subsequent release of West Bengal police officer Atindranath Dutta was also discussed, they added.
Emerging out of the meeting, Bhattacharjee refused to say anythinmg to waiting journalists. Dutta was released in Lalgarh yesterday by Maoist, 58 hours after he was kidnapped from Sankrail police station in West Midnapore district. Photo : PTI

Tribal militants planning attacks ahead of Tripura local polls : CPI(M)
Agartala, 23 October : The Left Front government in Tripura Friday accused tribal militants of planning to “unleash a reign of terror” in the run-up to local council elections.
“Militant outfits from Tripura have sent a delegation of tribal leaders to New Delhi to meet the prime minister, home minister and Congress party president Sonia Gandhi to prepare a blueprint to unleash a reign of terror ahead of elections to the tribal autonomous district council,” said ruling CPI(M) spokesperson Gautam Das today.

Choppy waters in the Bay of Bengal
IRIN, Dhaka, 23 October : Fishermen and experts agree: climate change is taking its toll in the world’s largest bay, with more sudden changes in atmospheric pressure and storms. “Global climate change is responsible for the increasing number of tropical storms in the Bay of Bengal,”
A.Q.M. Mahbub, head of Dhaka University’s Disaster Research Training and Management Centre, told IRIN. “Global warming is raising the temperature of the tropical ocean regions, resulting in more atmospheric disturbances,” he said, estimating that by 2030 the bay’s temperature may rise by 1.3 centigrade. From 1991 to 2000, 20 depressions originated in the bay, including 12 cyclones, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) reported. READ FULL STORY
MIG-27 crashes in North Bengal, Pilots ejects safety
Siliguri, 23 October : A MiG-27 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed in a tea garden near New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal today but the pilot managed to eject safely.
"The aircraft was on a routine training sortie from the Hashimara airbase and crashed at around 1310 hours, nearly 15 kilometres from its take off base near near New Jalpaiguri," IAF officials said. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Gautam managed to bailout safely before the aircraft crashed, they said. The IAF has ordered a Court of Inquiry to investigate the causes behind the crash, they said. This was the ninth accident involving an IAF aircraft this year.

21 missing as sand-laden trawler sinks in Faridpur
Faridpur, Dhaka, 23 October : At least 21 people went missing after a trawler capsized in Padma River in Sadarpur upazila of Faridpur district on Friday morning.
Witnesses said the engine boat, carrying around forty people, collided with a sand-laden vessel at about 5:00am en route to Narayanganj from Shoitankhali of Sadarpur. Twenty passengers managed to swim ashore. The identities of the missing could not be known immediately, reports BSS. The relatives of the missing people were seen waiting on the banks of the river while some others were looking for their dear ones in the area.
Sources said the search operation was being hampered due to strong current and depth at the point of the river where the trawler sank after the violent collision.
Injured Mortaza out of Zimbabwe OD, Shakib to lead
Dhaka, 23 October : All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has retained the Bangladesh captaincy for the one-day series against Zimbabwe starting Tuesday (27 Oct), the Bangladesh Cricket Board said.
Shakib led Bangladesh to their maiden Test series victory against West Indies in July after replacing an injured Mashrafe Mortaza midway through the first match. Under Shakib's leadership, Bangladesh also won the subsequent limited-overs series 3-0 and beat Zimbabwe 4-1 in a one-day series in August. Mortaza underwent surgery on both knees in Australia and would not be able to start bowling again until the second week of November, chief selector Rafiqul Alam said.
"He (Mortaza) is not definitely playing against Zimbabwe in this series," Alam told reporters.
Freed W Bengal policeman back with ecstatic family
Kolkata, 23 October : Emotional and ecstatic scenes were on display here as abducted police officer Atindranath Dutta was re-united with his family early Friday after spending 54 tension-filled hours in Maoist captivity. Escorted by state police commandos, Dutta returned to his in-laws’ home in north Kolkata around 2:15 a.m., and was welcomed by his parents, wife, other relatives and neighbours.
“Now I just want to spend the next few days with my family and unwind,” said the Sankrail police station officer-in-charge, as he hugged his mother Chanda. “I cannot say how happy I am,” said Chanda, as tears of joy rolled down her cheeks. The old and non-descript house had been hogging the limelight for the past two days, as the media had virtually laid siege to it in their bid to bring their readers and viewers every moment of the fast-changing drama.
“During these two days I only wanted to get him back. Now I feel very emotional. Thanks everybody - Kishanjee, administration, the media, and also those who sent so many messages to the news channels praying for his release,” Dutta’s wife Indrani said, clasping her husband’s arms. Photos : AP, Avijit Mondal

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