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Friday, February 5, 2010

Kolkata High Court upholds Aftab Ansari's death sentence

In 2002's American Center attack case in Kolkata
Kolkata, 5 February : Kolkata High Court today upheld the death sentence of Aftab Ansari for his involvement in the American Center attack in which five policemen were killed and 14 seriously injured in 2002.
Capital punishment has also been upheld for Aftab’s accomplice Jamiruddin Nasir. Musarat Hussain, Sakir Akhtar sentenced to five years for forgery. Hasrat Alam, Rehan Alam and Adil Hassan have been acquitted. A division bench of Justice A K Banerjee and Kalidas Mukherjee, who had heard the appeals for 77 days, pronounced the verdict at 1 pm on Friday.
All the seven had been given death sentence by a special CBI court in April 2005. The court awarded death sentence under section 121 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for waging war against the state. They were also given life imprisonment under section 302 (murder) and section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC.
Aftab and Ansari and Jamiruddin Nasir can appeal to the Supreme Court against the order in three months. File Photos : AP
WB Governor M K Narayanan to attend Munich Conference
ANI, New Delhi, Kolkata, 5 February : Two representatives from India will for the first time be taking part in the Munich Security Conference which starts today.
National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and his predecessor and now Governor of West Bengal M.K. Narayanan will attend the security meeting, informed sources said. Raj Bhawan sources in Kolkata confirmed that Narayanan will be away till 8 February. Naryanan has been a regular participant in the Munich Security Conference before heading off to the Raj Bhawan in Kolkata last month. This is the 46th annual conference and it is a rarity that a former NSA is invited to the event, diplomatic sources said. Narayanan's personal rapport with German NSA Christoph Huesgen has earned him the invitation even after his departure from South Block.
Andaman and Nicobar islands to have more Airbases
IANS, Port Blair, 5 February : With hundreds of uninhabited islands in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago making it vulnerable from the security perspective, India is planning to open more airbases in the islands.
Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma Friday said India was planning to revamp the infrastructure in the 572 islands in the Bay of Bengal. "The airstrip up north (Northern Andaman islands) needs to be refurbished. Even for smaller aircraft it is a tight fit," Verma told reporters here. The airfield at Shibpur is about 1,000 feet in length and is inadequate for smaller cargo aircraft like Dornier and AN-32. Currently, only helicopters are capable of conducting operations from the airfield.
More airfields and helipads will boost the surveillance and logistics capability of the Indian armed forces along the archipelago, located about 700 nautical miles away from the Indian mainland. Presently, there are airbases in Port Blair, Car Nicobar, and Campbell Bay. According to senior Indian Naval officers, plans are afoot to spread out air power in other islands like Katchul and Hut Bay.
PM Sk Hasina pays tributes to Bangabandhu at Tungipara
Dhaka, 5 February : Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Friday morning paid tributes to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his mazar at Tungipara following the execution of his killers.
Her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, nephew lawmaker Fazler Noor Taposh and Commerce Minister Faruk Khan, among others, accompanied the premier, reports ATN Bangla. Earlier in the day, the prime minister arrived at Tungipara by a helicopter. She attended a milad and special doa mahfil at Bangabandhu mausoleum mosque after Juma prayers to express gratitude to the almighty Allah for execution of the verdict in Bangabandhu murder case. This is her first visit to Tungipara after execution of the verdict.
Special security measures had taken at Tungipara in connection with the prime minister's visit. Police and Rab personnel are searching vehicles on roads leading to Tungipara.
File Photo
Indian Navy's largest war game begins in Andaman Islands
ANI, Port Blair, 5 February : Exercise Milan, the largest four-day naval war game hosted by India started on Friday with the participation of 12 navies of the Asia-Pacific region within the context of the Indian Navy's "Look East" policy and naval interactions to this effect.
Milan is a biennial gathering of navies of the Indian Ocean region and is held for building friendship and mutual understanding between participating navies. This year's multinational exercise takes place from February 5-8 at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Indian Navy is organizing Milan at Port Blair since 1995, and the seventh edition of this exercise this year will see participation of nine naval ships from eight countries and representatives from four others in a tabletop exercises.
Naval ships of Singapore (two ships), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, with representatives from navies of Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam and New Zealand joining Exercise Milan.
GJM's students set vehicles on fire, confine DM, SDO
PTI, Siliguri, 5 February : After a lull, crisis erupted in Darjeeling Hills with Vidyarthi Morcha, the students'' wing of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) confining the district magistrate and three sub-divisional officers in their homes and setting two police vehicles and two buses on fire, police said today. The trouble erupted late last night following a rumour that 22 Vidyarthi Morcha activists were seriously injured in police lathi-charge at Darjeeling More in the afternoon when they were demanding permission for holding a public meeting at the spot tomorrow, they said.
Indian Air Force fighter jets to armed with BrahMos missiles
RIA Novosti, Singapore, 5 February : India's fleet of Su-30MKI Flanker-H fighter jets could be armed with BrahMos missiles by 2012, the vice president of the Irkut Corporation said at the Singapore Airshow 2010.
The corporation is a prime contractor in manufacturing the Su-30MKI multi-role fighters for the Indian Air Force. Its share of Russia's arms exports is 15 percent. "The modernisation programme includes re-equipping of some 100 Su-30MKI fighters, which are currently in service with the Indian Air Force," Vladimir Sautov said on Thursday. "It is being carried out by the Rosoboronexport, the Sukhoi Design Bureau and NPO Mashinostroyeniya. If things go well, we may offer modernized Su-30MKI fighters to our other foreign partners as soon as 2012," he added.
The BrahMos missile has a range of 290 km and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kg. It can effectively engage ground targets from an altitude as low as 10 meters and has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the US-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile. The Indian Air Force originally ordered 50 Su-30MKI aircraft from Russia in 1996 and an additional 40 planes in 2007. India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was also contracted to build 140 aircraft in India between 2003 and 2017 under a licensed production agreement.
Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace, a joint Indian-Russian venture, produces and markets BrahMos supersonic missiles. The sea-based and land-based versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy. Photos : PTI, Indian Military
Dhaka Zoo beefs up biosecurity for outbreak of Bird Flu
Dhaka, 5 February : Biosecurity measures on Dhaka Zoo have been strengthened in the wake of fresh outbreak of bird flu.
The zoo authorities beefed up the biosecurity measures, as bird flu broke out at the government's central poultry farm at Mirpur adjacent to the zoo. Dhaka Zoo Curator Dr Mosaddek Hossain told reporters that disinfectant has been being sprayed on the bird sheds thrice a day. "However, the birds in cages are less vulnerable to H5N1 virus, known as bird flu. It mostly infects the poultry birds in farms," Dr Mosaddek said.
Earlier this year, bird flu attacked three poultry farms in Joypurhat and Sirajganj.

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