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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

There can be no talks while in custody : Arabinda Rajkhowa

ULFA rejects peace talks with government from jail
Guwahati, 2 February : Outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom's (ULFA) chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa Tuesday rejected Home Minister P.Chidambaram's offer for peace talks, saying "there can be no talks while in custody".
"Question of writing a formal letter for beginning peace talks from inside the jail and with handcuffs on simply does not arise," Rajkhowa told journalists here. "There can be no talks while in custody." The ULFA chairman, now lodged at the Guwahati Central Jail, was brought to the Regional Dental College here for treating a tooth ailment.
Chidmabaram said Monday the government was ready to hold talks with the jailed ULFA leadership without the presence of the elusive Paresh Baruah, the outfit's self-styled commander-in-chief. Meanwhile, Assam's CM Tarun Gogoi said unless the ULFA leaders express their willingness for talks in writing, no negotiations would take place.
"They must give in writing, otherwise how can talk begin," he told journalists. The jailed ULFA leaders, including Rajkhowa, have been repeatedly saying that they were ready for talks but not in handcuffs.
Mountaineer dies after fall from Purulia's Gajaburu hill
Kolkata, 2 February : A mountaineer died Tuesday after he slipped and fell from the Ayodhya hill in Purulia district while on a trekking mission, police said.Amitava Sen, who was trekking along with two others, fell 100 feet down into a gorge, an official said.
“He is dead. He slipped and the rope bound to his waist gave way,” said an officer manning the state police control room. However, Sen’s body was brought out from the gorge around 9pm.
Dhaka-Delhi Joint River Commission meeting by 20 March
UNB, Dhaka, 2 February : A meeting of the Bangladesh-India Joint River Commission (JRC) will be held within 20 March, Water Resources Minister Romesh Chandra Sen said Tuesday.
“The JRC meeting will be held on ministerial level,” he told reporters in reply to a question after attending a seminar at the National Press Club. The Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development Board (BHWDB) organised the seminar titled `Climate Change Impact on the Haor, Wetland and Environment’ marking the World Wetland Day. Water Resources Minister Romesh Chandra Sen was the chief guest at the seminar.
Replying to another question, the minister hinted that during the ensuing JRC meeting, an agreement might be reached on sharing the waters of Teesta river by the two countries.

Gorkhaland activists to take their agitation to Delhi
Siliguri, 2 February : In a bid to intensify their protests, separate state activists in Darjeeling have decided to take their agitation to New Delhi.
Officials of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), the political party agitating for a separate state of Gorkhaland has said their protests in the State have not borne much fruit, so they will take it to New Delhi. "We will all get together and take out our protests in to New Delhi which will have better effect. People here are suffering because of the protest. We stall traffic, block roads, so we are thinking that we will organise less of our programmes in Darjeeling and more in New Delhi." said Daowa Pakhrin, leader of GNLF.
Meanwhile, a non-political organization that fights for the cause of the smaller states in the country, asked GNLF and all other activists supporting to separate state to work in unison.

SC dismisses pleas against Fifth amendment verdict
Dhaka, 2 February : The Bangladesh Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed two leave-to-appeal petitions against a High Court verdict that had declared illegal and unconstitutional the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution with some observations and modifications.
The six-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Md Tafazzul Islam, pronounced the order saying, “The petitions are dismissed with modifications and observations.” The modifications and observations were not available immediately.
The amendment legitimised all the governments that had been in power following the coup of 15 August, 1975 till 9 April, 1979 including late president Ziaur Rahman's ascension to the presidency. BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain and three SC lawyers Tajul Islam, Kamruzzaman Bhuiyan and Munshi Ahsan Kabir filed two separate leave to appeal petitions with the SC against the HC verdict in May last year.

Withdraw cop's medal for role in abuse case : Tripura Rights group
Agartala, 2 February : A rights group in Tripura Tuesday urged the union home ministry to withdraw the police medal of a senior official for shielding his bureaucrat brother, who has been accused of sexually abusing a woman. The victim later committed suicide.
The Tripura Human Rights Organisation (THRO) has written to the home ministry, alleging that Deputy Inspector General (DIG) (southern range) Bimal Krishna Roy be stripped of the president's police medal given to him.
"In a letter, we have strongly urged the union home ministry to withdraw the medal from the DIG for his involvement in interfering in an alleged sexual abuse case to save his senior civil servant brother," said Purosottam Roy Burman, secretary of the rights group.
Bangladesh bag 3rd gold in 11th South Asian Games
Dhaka, 2 February : The host Bangladesh achieved their third gold medal in the 10m air rifle women's individual event in the 11th South Asian Games on the fifth day on Tuesday.
Sharmin Akhter Ratna secured the gold medal at the National Shooting Range Complex in Dhaka. Her compatriot Syeda Sadia Sultana bagged silver while Mampi Das of India achieved a bronze in the event. Earlier, three women- Sharmin Akter Ratna, Tripti Datta and Syeda Sadia Sultana -secured the second medal in the 10m air rifle group event in the afternoon.

'PCPA' bandh affects four blocks in Purulia district
Purulia, 2 February : Four blocks in the district were affected today owing to the indefinite bandh called by the People's Committee against Police Atrocities' (PCPA) in Junglemahal area against the combined forces' operation.
Sub-Divisional Officer, Purulia Sadar, Avijit Latua said traffic movement in Bandwan, Balampur, Bagmundi and Barabazar areas was less and shops and markets remained closed. Although schools, colleges and offices were open, they had very thin attendance. Meanwhile, Sarenga, Raibandh and Barikul under Bankura district also witnessed a similar scenario, the SDO said, adding no untoward incident has yet been reported.

Dhaka HC orders on Zia Orphanage case pleas 3 February
Dhaka, 2 February : The High Court will order Wednesday on two petitions filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman seeking stay on the proceedings of Zia Orphanage Trust embezzlement case.
After hearing arguments from the counsels of both sides of the case, the HC bench of Justice MA Wahhab Miah and Justice Md Abdur Razzaque fixed the date. The court said it will pass order on the petitions in presence of the petitioners’ counsels, the attorney general and advocate Anisul Huq, a lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) which had filed the case.
The ACC filed the case against Khaleda and Tarique and five others on 3 July, 2008 with Ramna Police Station in connection with embezzlement of over TK 2.10 crore by forming the Zia Orphanage Trust.
Maoist magazine 'People's March' editor dies in SSKM
Kolkata, 2 February : The arrested editor of the Bengali edition of the banned Maoist magazine People's March, Swapan Dasgupta, a blood cancer patient, died in SSKM hospital Tuesday, sparking allegations that the authorities had hastened his death through neglect and lack of proper treatment. A senior official of the SSKM hospital said a post-mortem and forensic examination will be conducted to pinpoint the exact cause of his death.
Dasgupta, along with the magazine's publisher Sadananda Singha, was arrested from their residences in the southern outskirts of the city 7 October and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for publishing the banned periodical that allegedly contained "seditious matter".
More farmers in Rajshahi areas cultivate Onion this year
UNB, Rajshahi, 2 February : Farmers in three upazilas of the district have brought vast tracts of land under onion cultivation as its cultivation proved to be more profitable than other crops.
Some 15,570 hectares of land have been brought under onion cultivation in the district this year against 14,622 hectares last year. Bangladesh farmers are showing interest in onion cultivation as its production cost is lower this season due to low price of its seeds. On the other hand, the market price of the produce is higher than last year's initial rates.
A large number of farmers in Durgapur, Bagmara and Puthia upazilas have been cultivating various varieties of onion including Taherpuri variety.
After visiting different areas, it was found that the farmers were busy in cultivating onions on their fields. Onion cultivator Ayub of Ratanpur village in Durgapur upazila said he cultivated onion on two bighas of land last year. “But, I brought four bighas of land under onion cultivation this year as I got high price of my produce last year.”
Onion traders from all over the country, particularly from Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet, come in barges to the bazaar on the bank of the Baronai River. They hire 'chung' (space under rooftop of a house), buy and store onions and carry the stock by waterway to their trading centres during the season.

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