The announcement by the United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) came days after its top leaders were detained in Dhaka and handed to India. Ulfa rebels have attacked settlers of Bengali origin, including leaders of minority groups, in the past. They have fought for a separate Assamese homeland since 1979. READ FULL STORY...
PTI, Shillong, 7 January : To ensure smoother movement of mails and emergency aid to the drivers, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) will be installed to track the movement of mail motor vehicles in the hilly and difficult terrains of North-East.
The Department of Posts has decided to make the system operational by March 2010, official sources said. For the purpose, 75 mail motor vehicles will be fitted with GPS devices at a total cost of Rs 12 lakh. "This will help overcome the tough challenges posed by the hilly and thickly forested routes in the North-East and ensure smooth and timely movement of mails and parcels across the region," the sources said.
Installation of GPS devices will help the department to track location of vehicles along the pre-defined locations.
Kolkata, 7 January : President Pratibha Patil today inquired about the health of ailing marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu from his son Chandan.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said over phone that the President made a telephone call to Chandan from Amravati in Maharashtra. The President wished 95-year-old Basu a speedy recovery.
PTI, Dhaka, 7 January : India and Bangladesh are expected to sign at least six deals during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi from January 10, including on cooperation on cross-border terrorism and exchange of convicted criminals, officials said in Dhaka on Thursday.
Senior government officials familiar with the talks said Dhaka expected the MoUs to be inked during the premier's upcoming tour, her first official visit to India since coming to power last year, but added that the summit-level talks could yield more deals which could not be predicted. A foreign ministry source listed the issues for the proposed deals as cooperation on cross-border militancy or terrorism, Indian credit assistance for railway and communication sector development, cooperation on cross-border crime and exchange of convicted criminals, power swap and cooperation on standardisation.
He said sharing of waters in common rivers and particularly in the Teesta, trade gap issue, bilateral and regional connectivity or transit and proposed "frontier bazaar" were other major issues to come up during the talks. Foreign secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, however, earlier said the "summit-level talks between the two premiers could yield tangible outcome on more issues, which could be predicted beforehand."
Dhaka, 7 January : The Bangladesh government on Thursday decided to observe 25 February as 'Pilkhana Carnage Day'. The decision was taken at a meeting at the home ministry with Home Minister Sahara Khatun in the chair. BDR headquarters had earlier taken an initiative to observe the day and sent a letter to the home ministry in this regard.
A number of 74 people including 57 army officers were killed in a bloody mutiny at the Pilkhana headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles in the capital on 25-26 February last year.
Kolkata, 7 January : Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday paid a visit to CPI(M) veteran and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, who is in a critical condition at a hospital in Kolkata following a pneumonia attack.
Manmohan Singh reached the private hospital in Salt Lake at around 1 pm and headed for the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) where Basu is being treated. He was at the hospital for over 20 minutes. He was accompanied by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who also received him at the airport. PM had arrived in Kolkata from Delhi in a special aircraft around 12.30 pm only to visit Basu. After the brief one-and-a-half hour visit to the city, he left from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport.
Basu was admitted to the hospital near his Indira Bhavan residence 1 January and is on ventilator support. န File photo
Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Dipu Moni was present at the roundtable as chief guest. Citing World Bank data, the minister said it cost U$ 2200 to carry a 20-feet container by sea from Delhi to Dhaka and it takes around two months.
Kolkata, 7 January : Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday assured doctors attending CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu that arrangements would be made to bring experts from other parts of the country if required for treatment of the ailing 96-year-old leader.
"Prime minister discussed treatment procedures with doctors and assured them that if any other doctors are required for consultation from any part of India for Basu's treatment, he can make arrangements if informed," former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said quoting him. Chatterjee, who was present at the hospital, said the doctors told the prime minister that they would inform him if the situation so required.
The decision was taken at the fourth meeting of a high-powered taskforce committee on river recovery held at the shipping ministry on Thursday. The committee asked the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Munshiganj to start building the pillars on the riverbanks leases of which had been either cancelled or lifted in a bid to initiate tree plantation. The meeting also decided to restore 13 canals of Dhaka and asked the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to locate them for re-excavation.
The taskforce, headed by Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, also formed a committee to protect rivers from further pollution through raising mass awareness. န File photo
Bankura, 7 January : A CPI(M) zonal committee member was shot dead by armed criminals at Charitadi village under Bakul police station in this district, police today said.
They said about 15-20 armed miscreants forcibly entered the house of Haren Baskey(45) midnight last night. They dragged him out and pumped bullets into his body killing him on the spot. Police said an investigation was on to ascertain if the killers were Maoists. CPI(M) District Committee president Anil Patro, however, alleged that Maoists were behind the killing.
After successful implementation of similar projects initiated by State Bank of India in 2006 in three states - Mizoram, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh - over 2000 workers of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in Tripura are using biometric smart cards to avail banking facilities. Incidentally, it took 12 years for ATMs to reach Tripura, after being launched in India in 1987. Thanks to one such biometric card, Agartala-based Ujjyanta Technology can become the customer service provider as well as mobile bank using a small machine which serves as the link between the bank and consumers in selected villages of Dharmanagar.
TSCB General Manager Amit Bhattacharjee said the project is a spin-off of RBI's Financial Inclusion project. Under this, RBI has asked banks to reach out to people who have not yet benefited, primarily in the areas where it was difficult to maintain branches and ATMs.
From now on the district administration will award Tk 5,000 to each of those who can capture bird hunters. Deputy Commissioner Md Mofizul Islam made this announcement while addressing a meeting on “Costal and Wetland Bio-diversity Management Project (CWBMP)” in the DC's conference room recently. Sounding a note of warning against the poachers, the DC said the district administration has taken some other measures to protect thousands of guest birds in the water body.
Other speakers urged the authorities concerned to cancel lease of the water body and re-excavate it.
Bandarban, 7 January : A woman and her two-year-old daughter were trampled to death by a wild elephant at Muslimpara in Lama upazila, Bandarban early Thursday.
Locals said the elephant attacked the house of Sabera at about 4:00am(BDST) and trampled the two, leaving them dead on the spot. With this, five people were killed in elephant attacks in Lama in last one month.