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Saturday, December 5, 2009


'ULFA' boss Rajkhowa, aides produced in Guwahati court
We did not surrender, never will, says Arabinda Rajkhowa
Guwahati, 5 December : United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) chairman Rajib Rajkonwar alias Arabinda Rajkhowa and two of his aides were remanded to 12-day police custody after they were produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (Kamrup) in Guwahati on Saturday evening.
The three, ferried in a bus from the Assam Police's Special Branch headquarters in Kahilipara locality amid tight security, were brought to CJM Robin Phukan's court at 5.28 pm. They were taken back after the proceedings ended at 5.53 pm. "The CJM remanded Rajkhowa, Barua and Bora to 12-day police custody after hearing our plea," said the arrested ULFA leaders' counsel Bijon Mahajan. "They were arrested under section 384 of the Indian Penal Code and section 10/13 of Unlawful Activities Act in connection with a Special Operation Unit case (number 2/98) filed in 1998."
Emerging from the court, Rajkhowa and Barua said "we did not surrender, never will". Rajkhowa, while being ushered back to the bus, said: "Safe passage is a necessity; we cannot sit across the negotiation table as prisoners." Photo : Reuters

Water sports enthusiasts flocking toAndaman islands
PTI, Port Blair, 5 December : Scuba diving is catching up with youngsters who are keen on discovering marine life in the pristine waters of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The islands lie along an arc in a long and narrow broken chain, approximately over a distance of about 800 km and attract large number of tourists. These islands are still unexplored, commanding a rarity in contrast to other islands in the Indian Ocean. As water sports enthusiasts flock parts of the island like Havelock, Ross and others which offers exotic diving experience, some diving centres have already come up to cater to their needs.
One among such centres is Planet Scuba India, a Bangalore-based firm, which has already started the country's "first" Scuba Diving Institute.

Joint Rivers Commission body talks Teesta sharing
Dhaka, 5 December : Sharing of Teesta water dominated the second day's talks of the technical committee of the Bangladesh-India Joint Rivers Commission Saturday, a Bangladesh foreign ministry spokesperson said.
The meeting, which kicked off Friday in city, also discussed issues relating to dredging of the Icchamati river and undertaking irrigation projects along the Feni river, he said. Bangladesh's Joint Rivers Commission member Mir Sajjad Hossain leads his side while the Indian delegation is headed by S P Kakran, the JRC member. Saturday's meeting took place at the state guest house Meghna. Journalists were not allowed into the venue. On Friday, the two sides finalised a report on sharing of Ganges water. Sharing Teesta waters came up for discussion today.
The Indian delegation is due to meet water resources secretary Sunday, water ministry officials say. he government officials term the 3day technical committee meeting crucial for any deal with India on sharing of the Teesta a lifeline of the farmers in the greater Rangpur area, a food producing region.

West Bengal Govt. keen to develop "river tourism"
Kolkata, 5 December : The West Bengal Government is likely to form JV company to give boost river tourism.
The state government is keen to put up a Rs 130-200-crore project to develop river tourism in JV with a private company. In this regard, the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation is likely to invite the tenders shortly. The state government has earmarked Rs 50 crore for building infrastructure such as jetties, heritage ghats and accommodation along the navigable stretch of the Ganga in the state.

Bomb scare on Jet Airways Dhaka flight in New Delhi
IANS, New Delhi, 5 December : A Jet Airways flight from New Delhi to Dhaka was called off Saturday after a man claiming to be outlawed ULFA leader Paresh Barua threatened to blow up the plane.
The flight, which was expected to take off around 1.30 p.m., was aborted following the phone call to the airline’s call centre, a senior airport official told IANS. “All 115 passengers were immediately evacuated and the aircraft was put at the bay. The search operations inside the aircraft have begun,” said the airport spokesperson.

"KMDA" plans Rs 300-cr upgrade for Howrah and adjoining areas
Kolkata, 5 December : The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is planning to spend Rs 300 crore towards development of Howrah and adjoining areas.
Vivek Bharadwaj, chief executive officer, KMDA said the money would be utilized to improve basic infrastructure, like construction of new roads, to facilitate the development of the area. Under Vision 2025 - a perspective plan for improvement of traffic and transportation, water supply, drainage, sewerage and sanitation has been finalised for 25 years by KMDA. The plan visualises the future urban structure and lists out the development strategies to be adopted for the purpose.
Under the plan, projects worth Rs 6,939 crore has been identified for infrastructure development.

Maoists unleash violence inJhargram Lodhasuli forest
Jhargram,Simlipal, 5 December : Suspected Maoists again set two trucks and a car afire on the national highway near Jhargram's Lodhasuli forest in West Midnapore district on Saturday.
The attack came on the fifth day of a Maoist-sponsored ongoing indefinite shutdown in the West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts. The shutdown was called to support the Maoist demand for a withdrawal of joint paramilitary forces in Lalgarh.
Katwa's thermal power project gets fresh impetus
Kolkata, 5 December : After being stalled due to agitations over land acquisitions, the West Bengal Power Development Corporation's (WBPDCL) thermal power project at Katwa has finally got off the ground.
The project's viability at the location had been severely jolted last year as significant resistance, in the wake of the Singur fiasco, had halted the procurement of land. Opposition parties had then said that the notified land was fertile. Situated in the coal-rich Burdwan district, the Katwa project is critical to the state's ambitious industrilisation drive in the near future.
On Thursday, however, state power secretary GD Gautama indicated that substantial headway had been made. “The Katwa project is on track and the land acquisition process has already started,” Gautama said on the sidelines of a CII seminar here.

Hussain Muhammad Ershad to visit ancestral home in WB
Cooch Behar, 5 December : Students and teachers of Dinhata High School (Boys) in Dinhata village in West Bengal are geared up to recieve the institution’s most famous alumni General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, Bangladesh’s former military ruler.
Ershad, 81, will visit his ancestral home in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district Sunday and will also meet one of his ailing childhood friends, Asit Chakraborty. He last visited Dinhata sub-division in the district in 1975. He would attend a programme at Dinhata High School (Boys) Tuesday from where he completed his matriculation in 1946 and migrated to the then East Pakistan in 1947.
Benapole land port activities resume after strike
UNB, Benapole, 5 December : Export-import activities through Benapole Land Port resumed on Saturday morning after two days of suspension.
Hamidur Rahman, customs cargo officer of the port check post, said trucks loaded with export-import goods started crossing the border.
Export-import activities through the land port were suspended on Thursday as hundreds of activists of CITU demonstrated in West Bengal Petrapole port protesting the killing of a labour leader on Bangaon court premises by miscreants. Thousands of trucks loaded with export-import goods got stranded on both sides following the strike.

Andaman and Nicobar Bar Association decides to abstain from work
Port Blair, 5 December : Andaman and Nicobar (A and N) Islands Bar Association members have decided to abstain from work to demand posting of Additional District and Session Judge (ADJ) at Port Blair and similar other things.
The Bar members also advocated for handing over of possession of canteen and Bar room for proper sitting of the Bar members and allotment for land for construction of chambers for the lawyers. ''The post of Additional District & Session Judge and the subordinate staffs were sanctioned by the Government of India on the request of A&N administration four to five months back following which sub-ordinate staffs have already been recruited,'' Hemraj Bahadur, president of A & N Bar Association, informed reporters here.
Launch operators defy restriction on "overloading"
Kishoreganj, 5 December : Launch operators in Bangladesh's southern parts continue to defy the restriction on carrying excess passengers as people are returning from Eid holiday to their work places with the tragic Bhola launch capsize still fresh in their minds. It left 85 passengers dead.
Similar practice of carrying passengers much beyond the capacity of launches and other modes of passenger vessels is also visible on the Mawa-Kawrakandi route in the Padma River.
Launch owners and port authorities, however, are blaming each other for the failure to check overloading, which is solely responsible for accidents in the waterways and such accidents take place more during rush hours especially before and after the Eid vacation. Photo : AP

Kishoreganj boat capsize,5 sued
Kishoreganj, 5 December : Police on Friday night filed a case against five people in connection with the motorboat capsize in Daira river in Kishoreganj.
Sub-inspector Abdul Motalib of Mithamoin Police Station filed the case against two officials of the sunken trawler and three staff of the launch that hit the motorboat on Friday morning. Meanwhile, the floating body of another victim, was recovered from the spot on Saturday morning raising the death toll to 48. Earlier on Friday, 47 bodies were recovered after a motorboat capsized on the Daira river at Mithamoin upazila of Kishoreganj.
It was the second such disaster in a week. The night before Eid-ul-Azha, at least 87 people died in a launch capsize at Lalmohon in Bhola. Photo : AP

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