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Friday, December 11, 2009

GRP man shot dead by Maoists in running train near Malda

Malda, 11 December : One GRP man was shot dead and another injured tonight as some armed miscreants fired at them in a running passenger train in Malda district, GRP officials said.
Constable Arun Bhadro succumbed to his injuries in the hospital after six-seven armed Maoists suddenly fired at a group of four GRP personnel escorting the Malda-Kathiya passenger train, in Kathiya sub-division of the district, they said. "The motive of the attack is yet to be ascertained. But no passenger was hurt during the attack. It seems that the attack was not attempted at the passengers," GRP IC (Malda) Prabir Kr Das told Bengal Newz. Adding that two rifles were also snatched by the attackers before fleeing away.

WestBengal invites railway officials to visit Singur site
PTI, New Delhi, 11 December : West Bengal government today invited the Railways to visit Singur for the proposed coach manufacturing unit.
"The response from West Bengal government on the proposed coach manufacturing factory was received today," a source in the Railway Ministry said. It is learnt that the state government, keen to utilise the land at Singur, is understood to have invited railway officials to visit the site at the earliest. Agreeing Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's proposal for setting up a coach manufacturing factory in Singur, the state's chief secretary wrote to the chairman railway board on 8 December and sought further advice on the subject.
The following day, railways wrote back to the chief secretary agreeing state government's proposal in principle but insisted that 400 acres land should be returned to farmers who do not want to sell their farm land for the project. File Photo

"Hang Mujib killers", says Bangladesh's lawmaker
Dhaka, 11 December : A senior ruling party lawmaker in Bangladesh wants former army officers sentenced to death for killing the country's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to be hung this month.
Awami League's deputy parliamentary leader Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury voiced the demand "in the name of the people" as the country Friday began celebrations leading up to "Bijoy Diwas," 16 December, the day the Pakistani military surrendered to the Bangladeshi-Indian forces in 1971. Chowdhury reiterated on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government the authorities' resolve to try those who killed unarmed civilians during the 1971 freedom movement, New Age said.
"Bijoy Diwas" gains added importance because of the government's move to hold the trials of those who killed Mujibur Rahman.

Rajkhowa's BD passport cancelled
Dhaka, 11 December : Authorities in Bangladesh have ordered the cancellation of a Bangladeshi passport issued to Arabinda Rajkhowa, the recently detained chairman of the banned Indian insurgent outfit United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), officials here said Friday.

Indian separatists 'increasingly cornered'
Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, Kolkata, 11 December : Separatist rebels from north-east India, facing considerable heat in Bangladesh, are desperate to find a new sanctuary in the neighbourhood, officials say.
Nearly 50 of them have been arrested by Bangladesh security forces in the last two months and quietly handed over to Indian authorities. That includes at least four top leaders of the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa), among them the group's chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa. Nearly 200 fighters belonging to rebel groups in Assam and Tripura have fled the crackdown in Bangladesh and some have already surrendered.
Intelligence officials say many more guerrillas, totally demoralised, may give up soon. The Ulfa have maintained several bases and "safe houses" in Bangladesh since the early 1990s, Rajkhowa told Assam police during questioning. READ FULL STORY

Rising seas threaten 20 million people in Bangladesh
Reuters, Dhaka, 11 December : Rising sea levels, triggered by global warming, will displace about 20 million people in low-lying Bangladesh, a study by a state-run think-tank said on Friday.
"The sea level will rise at least by three meters (yards) submerging some 18 percent of the country by 2050," the Dhaka-based Institute of Water Modeling (IWM) said. READ FULL STORY

Vietnam Dy PM Truong Vinh Trong arrives in Tripura
Agartala, 11 December : A 10-member Vietnamese delegation led by its Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong today arrived here for a four-day visit, officials said.
The delegation was received at the Agartala airport by Information and Culture Minister, Anil Sarkar, Rural Development Minister, Jitendra Chowdhury and other dignitaries. Trong, who is a politburo member and Chairman of the Commission of North-East Vietnam and the delegation would today interact with the ministers.
During their stay, they would visit the headquarters of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), Tripura Legislative Assembly, Tripura University and Boxanagar block in West Tripura district, bordering Bangladesh. Photos : Parthajit Dutta

Rizwanur R case : HC to hear Todis' appeal from Monday
Kolkata, 11 December : A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court will begin hearing the appeal filed by the seven accused in the Rizwanur Rehman death case from Monday.
On a petition filed by the CBI, the Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice Prasenjit Mondal on Thursday directed the agency to serve notices to all the parties related to the case. The appeal has been pending in the High Court for nearly 14 months and its hearing is significant for the trial to begin at the Bankshal criminal court.
Tripura govt unhappy with Mizoram on refugee issue
Agartala, 11 December : The Tripura Government has lambasted its Mizoram counterpart’s “lackadaisical attitude” towards repatriation of Bru (Reang) refugees from Tripura camps.
Rural Development Minister Jitendra Choudhury said the State had been taking the burden of Mizoram residents who had fled from Western Mizoram following ethnic clash in 1997 and recently few more hundred of the Brus took shelter while Karimganj district (Assam) administration pushed out three hundred more refugees from that State. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar visited the refugee camps and interacted with the refugee leaders following which held a meeting with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi and urged him to ensure early return of the Bru refugees.

Shutdown called in three West Bengal districts Saturday
Kolkata, Jhargram, 11 December : Activists of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) Friday called a 24-hour shutdown in three western districts of West Bengal Saturday to protest the death of one of their supporters in police firing.
In a bid to prevent security forces from reaching the Pirakata outpost in West Midnapore district’s Satpati village, where security forces traded fire with Maoists Thursday, PCAPA members blocked various intersections by felling tree trunks and branches, police said. The Maoists and PCAPA activists also tried to lay siege to the outpost under Salboni police station near Lalgarh, leading to an exchange of fire with the security forces. There are no reports of any casualties.

Trinamool supporters attack CPIM district office at Tamluk
Tamluk, 11 December : With the political rivalry between the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress at its height in Haldia, Trinamool activists today attacked the CPI(M) district committee office at Tamluk. Yesterday, CP(M) cadres had attacked a Trinamool rally led by party MP Suvendu Adhikary at Haldia, in which Adhikary was injured.
The CPI(M) district committee secretary, Kanu Sahoo, said that about 500 Trinamool activists made an attempt to enter the party office today. They pelted stones and bricks at the party office in which Prasanta Pradhan, former MP of the party, was injured. The Trinamool men escaped when policemen arrived at the spot, Sahoo said.

Silchar experiences chilly winter...
Silchar, 11 December : With the advent of winter, poor souls unable to afford warm clothes are passing a tough time during the chilly nights. According to the pavement dwellers, winter this year is exceptionally cold.
Even during daytime, people are seen moving with warm pull-overs. According to weather report of the Metereological Department, the mercury will continue to dip down causing appreciable fall in temperature. Today, it recorded 22 degree celcius during the day which will go down to 15 degree celcius. The forecast till Monday states that the temperature would be between 23 to 11 degree celcius and this Sunday would be the coldest with temperature sliding down to 11 degree celcius at night from 24 degree celcius during the day. With the sky remaining sunny and cloudy during the week, people will feel the pinch of cold. It is not unusual to come across working class people making a sort of bonfire along the road side to keep themselves warm in this shivering cold.

Guwahati jail turns into meeting point for ULFA leaders
Guwahati, 11 December : The Guwahati central jail has become the meeting point for four top separatist leaders of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) to set the wheels of the deadlocked peace process moving, a step facilitated by the government.
ULFA vice president Pradeep Gogoi, self-styled foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika, and the outfit's publicity chief Mithinga Daimary have been holding intense discussions inside the Guwahati jail over the past two days. According to prison officials, the four ULFA leaders were allowed to share a common cell so that they could exchange views and talk amongst them for the larger interest of peace in the state.
Security and legal experts said the government might very soon try and complete the interrogation process of arrested ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and the deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah and also send the duo to the Guwahati jail.

72 railway stations not operating in Paksey, Lalmonirhat Div
Rajshahi, 11 December : Seventy-two railway stations under Lalmonirhat and Paksey divisions have not been operating for a long time due to want of adequate manpower and the strong security to be provided to the passengers, merchandise and railway staffs of those stations in consequence whereof the government has been being deprived of revenues of millions of taka.
At the same time, tens of thousands of passengers using those stations for their journeys to and from are facing untold sufferings because there is no second fair communication.

Ship with combustible material being checked at Haldia
800 tonnes 'Ammonium nitrate' seized from "MV Fani"
Haldia, Kolkata, 11 December : Indian intelligence agencies were checking a Panama-registered cargo ship detained at the Haldia dock near here that was carrying combustible material that can be used as explosives. The 24 members of the vessel’s crew are from Pakistan.
The ship M.V. Fani, coming from Estonia, has been berthed at the Haldia dock in East Midnapore district since 4 December. The cargo was meant for a company in Jharkhand, Indian Explosives Limited. “It is carrying ammonium nitrate, which is used in the commercial explosives industry like in mines. But at the same time it can be used in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IED),” state police director general Bhupinder Singh told Bengal Newz. Bhupinder said the police sleuths were checking the ship to see whether it has all the requisite documents for carrying such materials.
East Midnapore police superintendent Bastab Baidya told Bengal Newz that sleuths of the state’s Criminal intelligence Department (CID) and Intelligence Bureau conducted checks and spoke to the crew Wednesday and Thursday. Photos : Raghu Nandan Mallick
NFF demands scrapping of N-power plant at Haripur
Kolkata, 11 December : The National Fishermen''s Federation (NFF) today threatened to launch countrywide agitation if the Centre did not scrap its plan to set up a nuclear power plant at Haripur in West Bengal''s coastal East Midnapore district, after opposition from Trinamool Congress on the issue. "If the Centre does not scrap its plan to set up a nuclear power plant at Haripur, over one crore coastal fish workers will rise in a massive opposition all over India," an NFF resolution adopted at its annual general body meeting here said.
Describing the Centre''s proposal as "very dangerous", NFF''s acting Chairperson M Saldhana and acting General Secretary R Patil expressed fear that installation of such a plant in coastal belt might cause accident "resulting in ecocide like that in Chernobyl years back." The resolution said there might be radiation hazards that inflict irreversible damage to all living beings as well as marine life.
Union Minister of state for rural development and senior Trinamool leader Sisir Adhikari has already opposed the Centre''s move to set up a nuclear power plant at Haripur. "When thousands of people thrive on nature''s yield in the area, setting up of such a plant will directly evict 10,000 farmers and fishermen and rob them of their livelihood," the NFF resolution said.

Workshop on BD's heritage opens in Bogra today
Bogra, 11 December : A four-day workshop on “Formulation of Draft Outline of National Plan for Management of Cultural Heritage of Bangladesh” begins at Mahasthangrah Museum site in Bogra today.
Department of Archaeology under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Unesco, Dhaka, have jointly arranged the workshop, aiming at capacity building of national staffs, assessment of impact of previous workshop held in May this year and formulating draft outline of national plan for management of cultural heritage.

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