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Friday, November 20, 2009

GJM-sponsored bandh disrupts traffic on NH in Sikkim

PTI, Gangtok, 20 November : Traffic on Sikkim's national highway, the sole road connecting the state with rest of the country, was paralysed throughout the day due to Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJM)-sponsored bandh in Darjeeling Hills.
No vehicles, barring those of army and emergency services, plied through the highway during the day, police said. Traffic between Sikkim and Siliguri in West Bengal resumed at 5 pm after GJM relaxed its bandh, they said.

GJM's 12-hour shutdown hits norma life in Darjeeling
Darjeeling, 20 November : Normal life came to a halt here on Friday as Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists called a 12-hour shutdown in Darjeeling district, demanding permanent status for 6,000 employees working with Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) on temporary basis.
"There are altogether 6,274 employees working in DGHC now. The state government had promised to make them permanent by 17 November this year, but nothing has been done so far. "We're demanding permanent status to all DGHC - the district's governing body - employees and we have called this dawn to dusk shutdown protesting against the administrative delay," GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told Benga Newz.
Shops, markets and tea gardens were closed and buses and cars were off the roads since Friday morning. The attendance rate was also very low in schools and colleges in the district though they were kept out of the purview of the strike, an official in the district administration said. Photo : Arnab Mitra

2 hardcore NLFT militants surrender in Dhalai district
Agartala, 20 November : Two hardcore militants of the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have surrendered to police in Dhalai district.
Kantamoni Tripura and Kutal Tripura deposited one SLR and 120 rounds of bullets when they gave themselves up before the Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Ambassa, Pran Krishna Das yesterday, police said.

Medha Patkar meets Mamata on land acquisition bill
IANS, New Delhi, 20 November : Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar met Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee here Friday to convey her opposition to certain provisions of the land acquisition bill that is to be introduced in the winter session of parliament.

Patkar said the definition of ‘public purpose’ in the land acquisition bill should be unambiguous and should not leave any scope for private interest to creep in. She said there should not be forcible acquisition of land for companies.
Dhaka seeks Interpol help to track down Mujib killers
Dhaka, 20 November : Bangladesh’s supreme court, which upheld the death sentence on five of Mujibur Rahman’s killers, said seven others, who are absconding, were also to be hanged. One of them has been confirmed by the foreign office to have died in Zimbabwe recently.
Sheikh Mujib’s daughter and current PM Sheikh Hasina broke down and was ‘‘overwhelmed with emotion’’ on hearing the verdict, said Syed Ashraful Islam, the ruling Awami League’s deputy leader. ‘‘Our government will act on the verdict and bring back the absconding killers wherever they are,’’ he said.
Dhaka has laun-ched a diplomatic campaign to bring them back home and is seeking the help of Interpol.

Controversial Taslima wants to return to "Kolkata"
Kolkata, 20 November : Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen today said that she longed to be back in Kolkata from where she was bundled out on 21 November, 2007 after violent street protests by the All India Minority Forum.
"I have left everything in Kolkata and I long to return there. I never wanted to leave, but as the government was pressurising me constantly I was forced to," Taslima said speaking over phone from Paris at a press conference here at the Kolkata Press Club. "After I left Kolkata I was kept in a safe house by the government and then forced to leave the country. After that I have been shuttling from one country to another without any permanent location," she said.

Bagan to set up football academy with corporate group
Siliguri, 20 November : In a bid to groom young talents, the PCM Group and Mohun Bagan will set up a residential football academy in Jalpaiguri.
A joint venture between Bagan and the corporate entity, the academy is the first of its kind in North Bengal involving a top-notch soccer club. Addressing a Press confernce today, the General Secretary of Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, Anjan Mitra and PCM group Chairman Kamal Mittal said that a committee comprising celebrated football coaches and former national players would conduct trials to spot the talents.

Foreign airlines in Kolkata look to middle east, SE for traffic
Kolkata, 20 November : At a time when several foreign airlines have closed shop in Kolkata, Air Asia has announced that it's starting a daily flight to Kuala Lumpur from Thursday. This comes on the heels of UAE's national carrier Emirates increasing its number of flights from Kolkata to Dubai from seven to 12 from 3 December.
International traffic is getting heavily tilted towards south east Asia with increasing flight-frequency and airlines on that route. There are 14 airlines in Kolkata going to international destinations, of which only Lufthansa, Air India, Jet, Kingfisher and Emirates cater to US, London, Frankfurt, Brussels and Dubai, that too with just 2-3 flights weekly. Whereas destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong , Bangkok , Dhaka , Kuala Lumpur are covered by 11 airlines throughout the week.
West Bengal government, Sourav Ganguly asked to file affidavit on plot lease
Kolkata, 20 November : The Kolkata High Court today directed Sourav Ganguly, the West Bengal government and others to file an affidavit regarding a piece of land leased to former India cricket captain in Salt Lake here.
A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice Prasenjit Mondal directed all parties to file affidavits within three weeks explaining their position on the allegation that Ganguly was unduely favoured in allotment of a plot at Salt Lake.

Jamuna TV shut down for not having govt clearance
Dhaka, 20 November : The Bangladesh govenment shut down the test transmission of private Jamuna Television late on Thursday night.
Police and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission officials went to the station's office at Pragati Sarani and forced a stop to the airing at 10:30pm(BDST) for not having government clearance. They did not let any crew of the station in. Hours earlier in the evening, telecoms regulator BTRC in message had asked Jamuna not to go on air without the 'no-objection' certificate. "The information ministry told both Jamuna Television and us about the need to have prior permission from the ministry to go on air.

Jackal vanishing from Tripura forest : Researchers
Agartala, 20 November : At a time when Tripura recorded a huge number of new flora and faunal species during study on bio-diversity resources, researchers uttered concerned over declining trend of natural carcass cleaner 'Jackal' in the forest.
During review meeting of externally aided forestry project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) early this week, it revealed that the Jackals were not yet found so far in the prospective hotspots of bio-diversity, which indicated a negative reserve of some faunal and mammal species. The report, however, mentioned, as many as 266 butterfly species were found in Tripura forest of which 51 species had not yet been identified. Besides, seven plant species, including a tree fern and two fish species, in past four months. At initial phase of inventorisation, department found 79 herpato fauna, 372 rare flora and fauna species and 244 medicinal plants.
The Tripura University and College of Fisheries, two leading NGOs working in the field of environment and bio-diversity ARPAN and Dishari were engaged for both survey as well as monitoring the project component.

2 killed, 47 hurt as train derails after Maoists blast
PTI, Ranchi, 20 November : Two passengers were killed and over 47 others injured when eight bogies of the Tata-Bilaspur passenger train derailed after Maoists blew up railway tracks lastnight in Jharkhand's West Singhbhum district.
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee said from New Delhi that the train comprised 10 coaches of which five derailed and three toppled over as also the engine. The blast occurred between Manohar and Posoita railway stations just in front of the engine of the train, some 20 minutes after a pilot engine had passed.
Banerjee said, "Maoists blew up a portion of a railway track which caused the derailment. There were also three to four blasts nearby to deter rescuers." Photo : PTI


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