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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Indo-Bangla border: Fencing forces thousands in no man's land

PTI, New Delhi, 31 January : Fencing at the Indo-Bangladesh border has pushed thousands of Indians in the 'no man's zone', even as the fenced villagers complain of lack of basic amenities and curbs on their movement in the Indian mainland, official documents have said.
Fencing at the border to check infiltration from Bangladesh into India is supposed to be done 150 yards (137 metre) away from the zero line, which is not followed at many places and is done about a kilometre away from it, thus leaving precious Indian land on the Bangladesh side. "It has been brought to the notice, That National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) and National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) have been constructing the composite type fencing without taking any care for the distance of the fencing from the zero line," Deputy Commissioner Karimganj M Angamuthu said in a note (dated: 18-05-2009) on the 'Status of Indo-Bangladesh Border Road Cum Fencing in Karimganj district (Assam), citing irregularities adopted in the fencing procedure.
"The existing border cum-fencing was constructed at varying distance of about 900 mts, 700 mts, 500 mts and 300 mts from the zero line of the international border and at some place fencing was constructed at about 400 mts to 1000 mts away," the note added. Photos : Aritro Roy, Sankar Das

3 CPI(M) workers killed in clash at Labpur in Birbhum
Bolpur, 31 January : Three CPI(M) workers were killed in bombing when a clash erupted between activists of the ruling party and rival Trinamool Congress at Kazipara under Labpur police station in Birbhum district last night.
Police today said activists of both the parties clashed and hurled bombs at each other, in which three CPI(M) cadres were killed. The deceased included former member of Birbhum Zilla Parishad Fazlul Karim Sheikh.

'Know Your Army' exhibition concluded at Fort William
Kolkata, 31 January : 'Know Your Army' exhibition for citizens of Kolkata concluded today at 4pm. The Exhibition was hosted to give people an insight into the life in the Army and introduce them to various weapon systems and equipment. This was give the citizens of Kolkata a 'hands on' experience about the various arms and ammunition used by the Indian Army.
The theme of the exhibition is 'Indian Army - Partner in Nation Building'. The aim of the 'Know your Army exposition' is to reach out to the youth of the country and give them a glimpse of the Army. Eastern command's PRO Mahes Upasani told Bengal Newz yesterday, "this exhibition will attract them towards joining the organization. During the exhibition, the Army would be displaying an underground bunker using which the Soldiers guard our frontiers. Apart form this Antitank guided missile, Early Warning Radars, Nuclear, Biological & Chemical warfare equipment would be also on display. The citizens of Kolkata would also be able to see, hold & click photographs of various small arms and helicopter from the Army Aviation corps".
The exhibition was open for public. The entry for the exhibition is from George Gate, opposite to Princep Ghat memorial. Photos : Shankar Mondal

UK suspends 'student visa application's from Bangladesh
BBC Online, 31 January : The UK Border Agency has temporarily suspended student visa applications from Bangladesh, Nepal and northern India after a jump in numbers.
In the last three months of last year, there were 13,500 applications from northern India alone, compared with 1,800 in the same period of 2008. British officials say the system has been overwhelmed and there are concerns that many cases are not genuine. Unscrupulous offers of visas as a way of settling in the UK are not uncommon.
While extra checks take place, visa applications have been temporarily suspended - a decision which will be reviewed at the end of February.... READ FULL STORY

Central team to visit Assam's Bodo areas, to review security
PTI, New Delhi, 31 January : In the wake of unabated violence, a high-level Central team will visit Bodo-dominated areas in Assam on 10 February and review the prevailing law-and-order situation there.
The team, headed by Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai, will visit Kokrajhar and hold a meeting with top officials of Assam government, paramilitary forces and others and review the steps taken to stop violence in Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) areas. Sources said violence in BTC areas has increased abruptly - 74% - in 2009 compared to the previous year, primarily due to the fratricidal clashes among different Bodo groups. In 2008, 110 people were killed in Assam due to insurgency-related violence but in 2009, 194 people - mostly in BTC area - lost their lives due to different violence.
Bangladesh Railway will introduce 'SMS ticketing' service
Dhaka, 31 January : Bangladesh Railway will introduce SMS ticketing service through mobile phone next month to ease sufferings of commuters.
"Initially, the service will be launched on the Dhaka-Chittagong route. If successful, it will be expanded to the countrywide rail network. All necessary technical aspects have been checked and duly completed. We hope to launch the service at the end of February," said BR Joint Director General (operations) M Shahjahan. BR is the first organisation to introduce SMS ticketing in the subcontinent, the BR joint director general said.
Anyone can book seats and transfer credits for buying tickets by sending SMS from anywhere in the country. On completion of credit transfer, the customer will receive an SMS notification with a transaction ID number, said the official. The software used for the service will allow mobile phone companies to check automatically whether the customer has enough credit to his or her cell phone account and deduct the amount of the fare from it.
Before boarding a train, passengers can obtain tickets from designated booths at train stations by showing the notification. The same information will be available on the Internet. The BR online database will be used for the SMS ticketing service.

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