South Eastern Railway sources said a five-member gang, most of them carrying firearms, of dacoits boarded the train as passengers and after commiting the robbery fled by pulling the emergency chain at Maoist-hit Kanimouli jungle between Chakulia station in Jharkhand and Gidhni station in West Bengal at around 6.30 pm. Ornaments, cash and laptop sets from passengers travelling in coach numbers C-1, C-2 and C-3 were looted by the dacoits during a ten-minute attack, the sources said.
They said several passengers were manhandled when they refused to part with their valuables but no one was seriously injured.
Abdul Awal Mintoo, former president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and Chief Executive Officer of Multimode Group, distributed certificates among the participants as the chief guest. Mintoo in his speech said proper training, continuous practice and correct pronunciation can make a good news presenter. They should also have personality and confidence, he added. Farida Yasmin, senior sub-editor of the Daily Ittefaq and Shameem Mahboob, chief news presenter of Channel one, were present as special guest with BIJEM Executive Director Mirza Tarequl Qader in the chair.
A total of 38 participants, including 28 female students of different universities and colleges, took part in the course.
ANI, Darjeeling, 1 August : Acting on a tip-off, officials detained an oil tanker in Darjeeling district on Saturday and seized marijuana worth Rs 42 lakh.
The marijuana was found packed in 61 cartons and weighed about 1201 kilograms. The detained tanker was reportedly plying with a Haryana registration plate and was travelling from Manipur, Bihar via Siliguri. “Put together, including the vehicle, the total seizure comes to 50 lakh,” said R. Mangababu, Additional Commissioner of Customs, North Bengal and Sikkim. No arrests have been made so far and investigations are on to find the drug peddlers.
The north-eastern part of the India has emerged as a favourite transit point for drug peddlers.
A wild elephant crosses a railway track along Deepor Beel, a wild life sanctuary on the outskirts of Guwahati. A herd of twelve wild elephants came down from the nearby hills last week in search of food and water as a drought-like situation continues to prevail in Assam state. The herd returned to the hills on Wednesday while this elephant was left behind.
Dhaka, 1 August : An Indian militant nabbed here has disclosed that two Pakistan-based Islamist militant groups supplied grenades that were used to attack a 2004 rally addressed by Bangladesh’s current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a media report said Saturday.
Maulana Mansur Ali, hiding in Bangladesh for the last 15 years, told interrogators here that militant outfit Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF), which is based in Pakistani Kashmir and works with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), supplied grenades to LeT’s Bangladesh chapter leader Moulana Tajuddin. Twenty-three people, including senior leaders of Hasina’s Awami League, died and over 300 were injured in the attack that took place on 21 August, 2004. Hasina was also fired upon while being whisked away in a bullet-proof vehicle. She developed an eye and hearing impairment thereafter.
Mansur Ali is one of the three Indian militants caught hiding in Bangladesh and the security personnel are looking for more of their accomplices since last month’s breakthrough. န In pictures : Bangladesh blasts
Kolkata, 1 August : Two government buses were damaged by unidentified persons in south Kolkata as police and officials of public vehicles department started seizure of 15-year-old commercial vehicles today to comply with the Kolkata High Court order.
Some people damaged the two state transport corporation-run buses in the Regent Park area, Superintendent of Police, South 24 Parganas district, Ajay Ranade said. Kolkata police sources said the seizure process in the city was totally peaceful elsewhere with police and PVD officials impounding one auto, three taxis and one private bus. Commuters had a harrowing time due to lesser number of vehicles plying on the streets. The auto owners had called a strike during the day adding to the woes of the commuters.
The Supreme Court yesterday refused to grant interim stay on the Kolkata High Court judgement directing the West Bengal government to phase out from the metropolis commercial vehicles which were 15-years-old. The SC said it would hear the bus-owners' petition seeking stay of the High Court order on next Tuesday.
ANI, New Delhi, 1 August : Steel Authority of India Ltd will spend Rs 3,340 crore of its Rs 10,300- crore planned expenditure this year to rebuild the IISCO plant in Burnpur. “We will spend about Rs 4,000 crore this year in West Bengal and more in the coming years,” said SAIL chairman S.K. Roongta.
The total cost of completely refurbishing the Burnpur facility, which will eventually make nearly 3 million tonnes of hot metal, will be Rs 14,443 crore. IISCO has an antiquated plant in Burnpur, which churns out about 4 lakh tonnes of steel a year. A new blast furnace with a capacity of 4060 cubic metres, SAIL’s largest so far, will be set up at the Burnpur site. SAIL has not built a furnace in the last three decades. The IISCO modernisation project includes a coke oven battery, two sinter machines, a new blast furnace and a new wire rod and bar mill. The state-run steel maker plans to spend more than Rs 18,000 crore on its plants in the state. Apart from the IISCO plant, another Rs 3,500 crore will be spent to modernise Durgapur and Alloy Steels plants and build specialised metal works facilities at Kulti.
West Bengal has been a favoured destination for steel makers because of abundant coal supply, good rail and road linkages with the rest of the country, besides port facilities at Haldia. Orissa and Jharkhand’s iron ore mines provide easy access to raw materials.
Kolkata, 1 August : US President Barack Obama will next month award the highest US civilian honour to 16 "agents of change" including Desmond Tutu, Stephen Hawking and Muhammad Yunus, the White House said on Thursday.
Obama will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom on 12 August to Tutu, a South African anti-apartheid veteran, British physicist Hawking and Yunus, Bangladesh's micro-financier who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, AFP said. Other figures tapped to receive the nation's highest civilian honour included six women from sport, entertainment, science and government; a Native American war chief, a civil rights leader, an African-American actor, two US politicians and a doctor.
"These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds," Obama said in a statement.