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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Maoist attack has strengthened resolve to fight them : Govt

PTI, New Delhi, 17 February : Government said on Wednesday that the "dastardly attack" on Eastern Frontier Rifle jawans in West Bengal has strengthened its resolve to fight the Maoist menace.
"It is a dastardly attack and I can only tell it has strengthened our resolve to fight against this menace...," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, when asked about Monday's attack by the Maoists. Twenty-four jawans of West Bengal's paramilitary force Eastern Frontier Rifle were killed when the Maoists overran their camp at Silda in West Midnapore district after setting it on fire.
Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the attack is "another outrageous attempt by the banned organisation to overawe the established authority in the State." Photo : Reuters

Bangladesh PM Sk Hasina alerts lawyers for quick justice
Dhaka, 17 February : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the lawyers to remain alert so that people of the country could get quick justice.
The Bangladesh prime minister made the call after laying the foundation stone of the multi-storey building of Dhaka Bar Association on Dhaka Metropolitan and Sessions Judge's Court premises. She also launched the website of the bar association, private television ATN Bangla reports. Hasina also revealed her government's stance on militancy saying that the government is determined to uproot militancy that mounted during the regime of the four-party alliance government.
She also hoped that the lawyers, like past, would play a vital role in establishing truth and justice in the society to protect democracy.
New criteria to identify BPL families soon : Minister
Agartala, 17 February : The Indian government will soon announce new criteria for identifying Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, V. Narayanasamy, minister of state for planning and parliamentary affairs, said here Wednesday.
To formulate guidelines to identify BPL families across the country, the union government had constituted an expert group headed by renowned economist Suresh D. Tendulkar. "The Tendulkar committee a month back submitted its report to the government and now the centre and the Planning Commission are examining the report and its recommendations," Narayanasamy told reporters.

W Bengal governor MK Narayanan condoles jawans' deaths
Kolkata, 17 February : West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan on Wednesday expressed deep anguish at the killing of 24 security personnel and a civilian in a Maoist attack Monday.
He also conveyed his "heart-felt condolences" to the bereaved families of the slain Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) troopers, said a statement issued by the office of his secretariat here. "Narayanan expresses his deep sense of anguish at the loss of lives of 24 EFR personnel and that of a local resident in the left wing extremist attack on the EFR camp at Shilda," it added.
The governor reiterated the commitment of the government to deal effectively with the problems existing in the Maoist belts. "The governor reiterates the commitment of the government to restore normalcy which is essential for the socio-economic development of the masses," the statement said. Photo : Reuters

M Readable Passport contract signed with Malaysian firm
Dhaka, 17 February : The Bangladesh government on Wednesday signed contract with a Malaysia-based firm to implement the project for introducing machine-readable passport and machine-readable visa.
Abdul Mabud, director general of the Department of Immigration and Passport, signed the deal on behalf of the government while chief operating officer of IRIS Corporation Berhad Ronald Saade signed on behalf of his firm. The signing ceremony was held at the office of the Department of Immigration and Passport in presence of Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder and Project Director Brig Gen Md Refayet Ullah.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier approved the contract for the long-awaited project to IRIS. The two sides signed contract when with Bangladesh having only 42 days left to comply with an international aviation deadline.

Maoists allow abducted Dalbhumgarh BDO to talk with wife
PTI, Jamshedpur, 17 February : After extending the deadline by 24 hours to meet their demands last night in exchange of the abducted BDO's release, the Maoists today allowed him a brief talk over phone with his wife.
Dalbhumgarh BDO Prasant Kumar Layek, who was abducted by the Maoists on Saturday, talked to his wife Julie Bharti for about one and a half minutes this morning. "My husband told me he is fine and asked me not to worry about him," Julie, who has threatened to immolate herself along with her 4-year-old daughter if any harm was caused to Layek, said.
Bharti said she has apprised the Superintendent of Police Navin Kumar Singh about the phone call and was assured of initiating steps to rescue her husband.

BRAC founder Fazle Abed honoured with knighthood in UK
Dhaka, 17 February : BRAC founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed was knighted on Tuesday in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London for his contribution in tackling poverty and empowering poor.
The Investiture Ceremony was held by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles represented Queen Elizabeth II in the ceremony. While conferring the knighthood to Fazle, Prince Charles recalled his visit to Brac in Bangladesh and thanked him for his long service in reducing poverty. Leaders from around the world have congratulated Fazle on his Knighthood.
Fazle is the first person of Bangladesh origin to be honored with a Knighthood by the British Crown since 1947. Fazle’s wife, Sarwat Abed, and daughter and son, Tamara and Shameran, were present at the ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Pricey 'Aman' eludes Bangladesh government's food stock
Dhaka, 17 February : High price left the Bangladesh government far away from its target of procuring three lakh tonnes of Aman rice by February, Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque admitted on Wednesday.
“Market price of Aman is higher than the price set by the government. But we are not worried about it. We have more than enough stocks of rice and wheat for the period until the boro harvest,” Razzaque told reporters at Hotel Lake Shore in the city. The government on 7 December last year initiated a move to procure up to three lakh tonnes of Aman rice at Tk 22 a kilogram within 28 February. Officials at the food ministry said they could buy only several thousand tonnes of rice.
The coarse rice now retails at Tk 26 to Tk 28 per kg, while medium and fine rice varieties range between Tk 36 and Tk 45. Minister Abdur Razzaque said there were over eight lakh tonnes of rice stock and the government would take the open market sales (OMS) of rice at Tk 22 a kilogram to the divisional, district and even to upazila levels soon.
Besides, the government would distribute fair price cards to 25 lakh ultra poor families across the country to buy rice at Tk 22 per kilogram. Importing around six lakh tonnes of wheat is also under process.