To save crops from Elephants
ANI, Kolabari village (Darjeeling), 2 November : Farmers are erecting fences in an attempt to save their crops from elephants menace in Kolabari village of Darjeeling district.
Herds of elephants going on rampage and destroying agricultural fields, is a common site here. The Terai belt of Darjeeling is spread up with massive tropical rainforest and is the home to a number of wild animals. Of these the elephant is the most common. The forestlands in the area are inhabited by tribals and forest dwellers who mostly depend on the agricultural activities. Mostly paddy and maize are the principal crops raised by the people of this region. But, at the time of harvesting, the elephants often trample their well-tended crops. Farmers said that the forest department officials are insensitive to their losses.
“Forest department has taken no step, they even oppose fencing saying that elephants do come in forest areas. They say they will take steps to prevent elephants entering agricultural fields but don’t help and leave soon after the animals have fled from the fields,” said Sunil Ghosh, secretary of a forest protection committee.
An arrested Maoist leader in Bihar has reportedly told the authorities that the companies regularly pay the rebels. The Maoist leader, Narla Ravi Sharma, a top leader in Bihar and Jharkhand, was arrested in October. The companies are big players in the metals, mining, steel and manufacturing sectors. But investigators fear these revelations could just be the tip of the iceberg. Sharma has alleged that many big companies regularly pay a levy to the Maoists in both Bihar and Jharkhand. The companies named by the Maoist leader have huge interests in mining, steel and manufacturing and are prominent on India's stock markets. In his confession, Sharma reportedly claims that the Maoists spend nearly Rs 80 lakh every year to run the organisation in Bihar and Jharkhand.
Analysts say that corporate groups usually pay up to avoid disruption in their business or abductions of their employees. Sharma reportedly admitted that during the Nandigram agitation in West Bengal, the Maoists had backed Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress.
While taking part in a procession, one Mokbul Hossain of Bazitpur died of cardiac arrest. The shopkeepers kept their shutters down and government offices, educational institutions, banks and other financial organisations remained closed during the day-long hartal called in protest against move to include three of its upazilas with proposed Bhairab district. People joined protest rallies and demonstrations throughout the district as leaders and workers of all the major political parties participated in the hartal.
All types of vehicular movement remained suspended while six train services could not operate as the agitating people put barricades on rail tracks at different places of the district. Picketers also put burning objects on roads. Locals put up barricade at Manikkhali rail track, preventing running of Kishoreganj-Dhaka intercity Egarosindur Express and Bhairab-Mymensingh local train service.
Black flag was also hoisted at places in protest against the move to include a part of Kishoreganj with proposed Bhairab district. န Photos : STAR
IANS, Agartala, 2 November : Prepaid mobile telephone services will continue in northeast India though the union home ministry has banned it in Jammu and Kashmir over "serious security concerns", officials said here Monday. Like Kashmir, many areas of the northeast are also beset with insurgencies.
"The union home ministry has asked Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and the state governments of the northeastern states to send reports on the use or misuse of pre-paid mobile services by the militants or any unauthorised elements," said BSNL general manager (operations) Deb Kumar Chakraborty. "We do not have specific reports that pre-paid cell phone connections are being misused by any elements in the region. However, we are maintaining a close watch on this," he said.
The union home ministry has recently decided that no prepaid mobile connection would be issued and existing prepaid SIM cards would not be renewed in Jammu and Kashmir with effect from 1 November.
Agartala, 2 November : The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) has started a fresh drive to recruit tribal youths to launch a new offensive in the run-up to the Autonomous District Council elections slated for April 2010, according to Telegraph. Sources in the Special Branch (intelligence wing) of Tripura Police said as the first step towards strengthening the outfit, it had recruited 40 tribal youths and sent them to the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh for training in guerrilla warfare.
"The army is the last resort in internal security measures and the government does not intend to use it against Maoist activities," he told reporters here. He said law and order was mainly a state subject, but the Centre was prepared to extend any support, including providing paramilitary forces to deal with any internal security problem. Maoists have been operating in states like West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and their ideology of violence would be dealt with firmly, Antony said.
"No one including Maoists, will be allowed to take law into their own hands," Antony said. န Photo : The Hindu
PTI, New Delhi, 2 November : Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh today said Maoists and "some major parties" in West Bengal were complimenting each other to gain a foothold in the state.
"Some major parties in Bengal, I would not like to name them, are also behind encouragement of this violent politics because the Maoists do not have base in urban areas and these parties don't have base in rural areas," Singh said indicating Trinamool Congress. He said these parties and the Maoists have "complimented" each other.
Kolkata, 2 November : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will pay a two-day visit to the Maoist-hit areas in West Midnapore district from next Saturday to review the situation and development work, in what is being seen as a morale-boosting exercise.
Home secretary Ardhendu Sen told reporters after a high-level meeting with the chief minister that 'zila sabhadhipatis' and other officials of Bankura and Purulia, two other Maoist-affected districts, would also be present during the review meeting in Midnapore. On being asked whether Bhattacharjee's visit would be a moral-boosting exercise since the people in the Maoist-hit districts were concerned about security, he said, "We are concerned about security. Naturally they (people) will also have that concern."
Admitting that development work in the districts had suffered, Sen said the Maoists were hindering development work and "we have to increase security cover at the block level to overcome this.
Kolkata, 2 November : The West Bengal Congress on Monday rejected the appeal by nonagenarian CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu to Congress supporters to vote for the Left in the upcoming by-elections to 10 Assembly seats in the state on 7 November.
Describing it is an absurd and unacceptable proposal, PCC working president Pradip Bhattacharya said, “This is a clever ploy on the part of the CPI(M) leadership to divide the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance votes.” "After successive debacles at the hustings, the CPI(M) is now desperate to break the opposition's unity," he said.
Labour and Employment Minister Eng Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain placed the bill, which was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry concerned for scrutiny and placing report in parliament. Once the proposed law is enforced, employees of the ports will be allowed to collectively form only one trade body at their work places.
Similarly, other workers and employees appointed by different berth-operators, ship handling operators and other organisations concerned to the two ports can collectively form one trade union at each port of Chittagong and Mongla.
Sea surface temperature is anticipated to rise about three degrees by the end of this century. This is likely to impact marine flora and fauna in a major way. This has been indicated by studies conducted under an elaborate “national network project” on assessing the impact of global warming and climate change on the Indian agro-ecosystems, launched by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Around 15 research institutes are studying how agriculture, fisheries, livestock and other sectors will be affected and what can be done to mitigate the effect.
Coral reefs are known to be highly sensitive to climate influences and are among the most vulnerable of all marine living beings to temperature changes. Reef-building corals are currently the dominant creatures in the coral diversity in the Indian seas.