PTI, New Delhi, 16 February : Terming the Maoists attack on a police camp in West Bengal as outrageous, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday accepted there were indications of "failure" in some aspects which only a detailed review would reveal.
The Home Minister also said, "It is only if the whole country rejects the preposterous theses of the Maoists and condemns the so-called 'armed liberation struggle' that we can put an end to the menace of Maoism and bring development and progress to the people in the conflict zones." န Photos : AP, Reuters
Siliguri, 16 February : A MiG-27 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in North Bengal on Tuesday, Defence Ministry officials said. The pilot was killed in the accident.
The fighter plane took off from the Hashimara air force base. The pilot, Wing Commander Aswal, was killed in the crash. The IAF lost two of its Russian-made MiG-27s in crashes last year. In May 2009, a MiG-27 crashed at Jodhpur, and in October another MiG-27 crashed near New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. In both cases, the pilots ejected safely.
During Hasina''s visit both the countries on 12 January agreed that a railway line would be built which will address India''s demand for transit through Bangladesh as Kolkata-Dhaka-Akhaura railway connectivity already exists. The railway track from Lumding in Assam to Agartala would also be converted from narrow gauge to broad gauge and the railway line would be extended up to bordering town Sabroom in South Tripura district by 2014, the sources said.
Dhaka, 16 February : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday launched a Tk 749 crore diesel subsidy programme by introducing the first-ever Agriculture Input Assistance Card.
On the opening day, the prime minister distributed cards among 100 farmers on the premises of Balikandi Madrassa in Atpara upazila of Netrokona, reports ATN Bangla. Of the total 1.82 crore farmers of the country, 91 lakh marginal, small and medium farmers will get the cash subsidy under the programme. The programme is aimed at streamlining the agriculture subsidy system for increased productivity and checking misappropriation of public funds.
Parishad Member Secretary Kachi Khandaker said this at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity. He said 21 February is not only Language Movement Day but also a day when a movement commenced that culminated in the liberation war. He added the organisation has been arranging such programmes since 1977.
Tatka (AHZ Agro Industries Pvt. Ltd) will sponsor the programme while Rtv, the daily Kalerkantho and Radio Amar are the media partners.
PTI, Midnapore, 16 February : Suspected Maoists today damaged a bridge by triggering a landmine blast at Salbani, cutting off Midnapore-Lalgarh road in West Midnapore district, police said.
The police said they blasted a powerful landmine on Nimtala Bridge on Midnapore-Lalgarh road and the bridge has developed wide cracks due to impact of the blast. They have blasted another landmine on a road at Bhatmore, making the area near Lalgarh virtually cut off from rest of the state. The police said Maoists also set ablaze two mini-trucks at Kapgari near Binpur in West Midnapore district.
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) in cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh, UN International Strategy for Reduction (UNISDR), Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will organise the conference. Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque, as the chief guest, is expected to attend the inaugural session of the conference titled “Climate Change and Extreme Cyclones: Regional Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response in Climate Extremes Inflicted World”.
The conference aims to bring a common understanding of the new tropical cyclone surge pattern and its potential impacts, and to examine different cyclones and options and models for risk reduction, an ADPC press release said.
Dhaka, 16 February : Bangladesh's Vested Property Return (amendment) Act 2009 will be passed during the ongoing session of the parliament, said State Minister for Land Mustafizur Rahman on Tuesday.
The state minister said a five-member committee will be formed in district and upazila level to settle the land related problems. Besides, the ministry will set up a tribunal with a retired justice to settle the matters, he said. Mustafizur Rahman was speaking at a roundtable organised by Jatiya Adibashi Parishad (National Indigenous Council) and Gram Bikash Kendra at Cirdap auditorium.
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has finalised a Tk 3.76 billion project to dredge about three kilometres of the river stretching from Sadarghat Lighter Jetty toward some 500 metres upstream of the existing 3rd Karnaphuli Bridge.
The project would also cover construction of 2.5 km marine driveway on east bank of the river on city sides, river protection wall and 1,700 metres RCC jetty for lighter vessels.
ANI, Siliguri, 16 February : The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society (DHRS), a voluntary organization, is on a lookout for the development of the 'Toy Train' West Bengal, with an aim to revive tourism.
Cutting across the steep terrains, the Darjeeling Himalaya Railway or the 'Toy Train' is a two feet narrow gauge railway from Siliguri to Darjeeling run by the Indian Railways. Tourists from all over the world come to visit this place to take ride in this toy train, but for the past few years, the services of the have been affected a number of times due to political movements and the random protests by the ethnic Gorkhas. As a result, the services were being suspended and the tourists coming from abroad had to suffer.
DHRS, an organization formed by people from 24 countries including India, was on having its annual meeting in India to discuss the development of tourism using the Toy Train.
Agartala, 16 February : Two insurgents of the banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) today surrendered to the police in Dhalai district. Bikram Debbarma (22) and Laskarjoy Tripura (21) surrendered at Raisyabari after fleeing from their base camp in Chittagong Hill Tract of the neighbouring Bangladesh, police said. However, they did not deposit any arm or ammunition during their surrender.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), a total of 24,548 hectares in the district have been brought under potato cultivation this season with a production target of 4.15 lakh metric tones (MTs). But the growers cultivated potato on 25,360 hectares exceeding the target. So, the farmers are expected to get a bumper output of around 5 MTs, said a DAE official. There are eight cold storages in the district having a capacity to preserve 30,000 MTs of potato. Two of those are now closed. Agriculturists said at least 25 new cold storages are needed to preserve the expected output of potato.
Meanwhile, the price of potato has also decreased in the market, forcing the growers to sale their product to the middlemen as they have no alternative way to preserve. န Photo : E-Bangladesh