န (L) Men walk past the Victoria Memorial during a spell of monsoon rain. (R) Pedestrians share an umbrella as they cross the street during a spell of monsoon rain in Kolkata today. Monsoon hit several northern states bringing respite from a heat wave more intense than ever.
BBC News, New Delhi, 30 June : A report on the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid (mosque), which sparked nationwide communal riots, has been submitted to the Indian government.
The Liberhan commission was set up to investigate the events that led to a Hindu mob tearing down the disputed mosque in the town of Ayodhya. The commission has taken 17 years to complete its investigation, which cost more than 65m rupees ($1.3m). The contents of the report have not yet been made public.
The site of the 16th Century Babri Masjid mosque in the northern Indian town of Ayodhya had been a focus for Hindu-Muslim hostility for decades. On 6 December 1992 a mob of Hindu militants tore down the mosque, sparking nationwide communal riots. READ MORE
န Photo : BBC
Nirupama Rao named the next Indian FS
New Delhi, 30 June : Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to Beijing, was today named the next Indian foreign secretary. She will succeed Shiv Shankar Menon who retires on 31 July.
Nirupama, a 1973-batch IFS officer, is the second woman to be appointed foreign secretary after Chokila Iyer who had a brief stint in 2001. Nirupama was the first woman spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs. A postgraduate in English literature, Nirupama topped the IFS in 1973 and joined the service at the age of 21. Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, the Lok Sabha’s first woman Speaker, was from the same IFS batch.
Nirupama has also served as Indian ambassador in Peru and Sri Lanka and as the deputy chief of mission in Moscow.
Bhupinder S takes charge as West Bengal's new DGP
Kolkata, 30 June : Bhupinder Singh, who took over as state director-general of police on Tuesday, said he will try to bring about reforms at the police station level in a bid to restore people's confidence in the force. For the moment, his attention will be on ridding the state of the Maoist menace. In the long run, his endeavour will be to start a continuous process of better policing.
"I have served the people of this state for 34 years. This chair will give me further opportunity to do so. I hope to make an impact. It is true that confidence in police has eroded to a certain extent. But people are watching how we have countered the Maoist menace in West Midnapore. Hopefully, the negative ideas will change to a certain extent," Singh said immediately after taking charge.
He believes that the state police have done exemplary work in West Midnapore and his department plans to reward those who worked there. "Their training may not be as good but the courage shown by the state police personnel was nearly as good as their counterparts in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. I am in a position to judge as I have served in those insurgency-hit states for eight years," he said. န Photo : PTI
CM Gogoi to girls : Marry after 20 and get Rs 10,000
Guwahati, 29 June : Girls below poverty line in Assam now have a 10,000-rupee reason to withstand marriage until they turn 20. Like most states across India, Assam has a dismal record of underage marriages. Official estimates say over 45 per cent of girls in backward, rural areas are married off soon after attaining puberty.
In a bid to reverse this trend, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced a financial incentive to every BPL girl who ties the knot only after turning 20. “We hope this one-time award of Rs 10,000 serves its purpose,” he said while presenting a deficit budget of Rs 4615.11 crore on Monday.
Gogoi also announced a new scheme to ensure a decent living for every “unmarried and unemployed single woman and widow”. An initial fund of Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for this scheme that’s envisaged to take care of the beneficiaries’ monthly requirements. န Photos : Arif Siddiqui
Combing operations in adjoining 22 Lalgarh villages
With Kantapahari recaptured, all borders of Lalgarh had been sealed, a senior police officer said.
"Now we want to ensure that the extremists do not come back to the area. We are consolidating the position we have gained so far," the police officer told. န Photo : PTI
Dhaka Stock Exchange turnover tops Tk 9 bn mark
Dhaka, 30 June : Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange on Tuesday crossed the Tk 9 billion mark for the first time ever, as investors shrugged off a hoax bomb threat that shut trading an hour earlier than the scheduled a day before.
Daily turnover touched a new high at Tk 9.42 billion on the day the parliament passed the budget for FY 2009-10, smashing the previous high of Tk 8.34 billion on 21 June. This is the fourth time this month that the daily transactions have leapt to a new height.
On 4 and 11 June , turnover on the bourse touched Tk 6.72 billion. It soared to Tk 7.81 billion on 7 June.
Endangered 'Pygmy Hog' to find home in Gorumara
Jalpaiguri, Kolkata, 30 June : Pygmy hog the world's smallest and rarest wild pig, which is on the verge of extinction, will soon come to Gorumara National Park, to be precise.
Sus salvanius (its scientific name), is barely 60 cm long, 25 cm high and weighs about 8 kg. It was originally found in the Himalayan foothills across Assam, Nepal and the Dooars. It was declared extinct in 1960. Evidence that pygmy hogs still survived in the region was found in March 1971 by British naturalist J Mallinson at the Barnadi wildlife sanctuary in north-western Assam. He found hog meat being sold in local markets. However, the animals couldn't be protected then.
Then, in 1977, British scientist William Oliver found pygmy hogs in Assam's Manas Biosphere Reserve. Since then, they have remained confined to these forests. Now, WB government wants them back at the Dooars, their original home. Prodded by the state forest department, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has initiated a feasibility study. Once that is done, the forest department will have the hogs brought over from Manas and get on with the breeding project.
About 15,000 candidates in Tripura's 20 July civic poll
Agartala, 30 June : About 15,000 candidates have submitted nominations for election to 5676 seats of three-tier Panchayat in Tripura, including 5295 seats in village Panchayats, polling for which would be held on 20 July.
State Election Commissioner Y P Singh told mediapersons here today that the entire report had not yet been received by the commission and so far the complete details of 12 revenue blocks out of 42 were collected, adding there was no report of any untoward incident during filing of nominations.
According to report, 6427 candidates, including 2372 women, have filed nominations for village Panchayat seats in 12 blocks. Out of these, 2980 are from CPI(M), 3029 from Congress, 46 from Trinamool Congress, 22 from CPI, five each from Amra Bangalee, PDF and INPT, 41 from JD(U) while 92 Independent candidates filed nominations.
Meanwhile, 423 nominations were filed for Panchayat Samitis in 13 blocks, including 158 women, where both major parties Congress and CPI(M) are contesting 184 and 177 seats respectively, besides six other political parties, including two each from CPI and RSP.
Similarly, 218 candidates, including 59 women, filed nominations for 82 seats in Zilla Parishad where CPI(M) is contesting 82, Congress 83, BJP 23 and Trinamool Congress four seats, Singh added.
Tripura renews 'Swine flu' alert
Agartala, 30 June : Tripura government has renewed it's alert against recent outbreak of swine flu across the world while advised the citizen to stay away from consumption of pork.
Health Commissioner Y P Singh said here today that there was no incidence of swine flu reported in the state so far but the concern specialists had already prepared the treatment protocol and made interim isolation arrangement in state Tuberculosis unit under government medical college, if any case found.
''Launching swine flu isolation unit in TB ward is a temporary arrangement and if required, we shall make separate unit with all isolation facilities,'' Singh said adding ''with the advice of Union Health Ministry, authority had been holding frequent district level meetings involving Health and Animal Husbandry department officials.'' Meanwhile, Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty has pointed out the fear of a possible attack of swine flu stems from the large number of piggeries that have mushroomed across the state coupled with the high rate of pork consumption by tribals and large sections of non-tribals and added that more than three lakh people were directly connected with the piggery business.