CM Sarkar also focused on strengthening of counter terrorism and intelligence capacity, strengthening the border and demanded more Central support for capacity building in the state police and police reforms. န File Photos : Parthajit Dutta
PTI, Ranchi, 19 February : Maoists set free Dalbhumgarh BDO Prashant Kumar Layek today, a week after they kidnapped him from East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand state.
"He was set free at 6.35 pm. Now the BDO is with the administration," Home Secretary J B Tudbid told PTI here. Layek's release comes two days after Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren accepted a key demand of Maoists to initiate legal process to free some persons who were allegedly been put in jail at Dalbhumgarh. Layek was abducted by four armed Maoists on Saturday soon after he completed a hearing of public grievances at Dalbhumgarh in East Singhbhum.
'Such wanton violence and bloodshed is reprehensible and unacceptable and has no place in our democracy. The CHRI urges the Maoists to abjure violence and instead work out solutions to their grievances with the government through negotiations,' the organisation said in a statement.
PTI, Guwahati, 19 February : ULFA 'vice chairman' Pradip Gogoi was today granted bail by a TADA court here in three cases while a decision of some other cases will be taken on 23 February.
TADA Judge Soneka Bora granted bail to Gogoi against a surety of Rs one lakh for each case and directed him not to leave Guwahati and also the state without the court's permission.
“I also know that there cannot be talks with handcuffs on and would surely want negotiations with dignity and honour and hence we are working out strategies for meaningful talks although I cannot spell out everything at this point in time,” the chief minister told journalists. Gogoi was reacting to demands by jailed ULFA leaders to free them from prison to open peace talks with New Delhi.
Eight top ULFA leaders are currently in various jails, seven of them in Guwahati - the outfit’s chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, vice chairman Pradeep Gogoi, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, self-styled foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika, publicity chief Mithinga Daimary, cultural secretary Pranati Deka, and ULFA political ideologue Bhimkanta Buragohain.
Siliguri, 19 February : An Indian Air Force MiG-21 combat jet crashed soon after take-off from Bagdora in North Bengal on Friday but the pilot ejected to safety, an IAF spokesman said.
"The aircraft crashed around 3pm soon after take-off and the pilot, squadron leader Rahul Tiwari, ejected safely," the spokesman added. "The pilot was picked up by an SAR (search and rescue) helicopter and has been taken to hospital," the spokesman said. This is the second crash of an IAF fighter in three days. A MiG-27 had crashed near the Hashimara air base, also in North Bengal, on Tuesday.
She may announce the launch of an exclusive television channel for the railways, ministry sources indicated. The channel would be headquartered in Didi's home turf - Kolkata. "Initially, an amount of about Rs 100 crore is likely to be set aside for the purpose," an official, who did not wish to be named, said. The report submitted by Shuvaprasanna suggested that the content of the channel could be developed in a manner that "various facets" of the railways could be brought forth before the public. The panel had also suggested that the channel be used to promote tourism and culture.
The sources indicated that Shuvaprasanna may be appointed the head of the channel. But the artist was not available for comments. Mamata recently appointed advertising professional and columnist Suhel Seth may also shoulder key responsibilities in the proposed channel, the sources said.
Reuters, Kolkata, 19 February : Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.BO), will hire 3,000 people over the next three years as the leading Indian carmaker expands its operations in the fast-growing market, a senior official said on Friday.
S.Y. Siddiqui, head of human resources at Maruti, which is 54.2 percent owned by Suzuki Motor Corp (7269.T), said the company would add 500 staff to its research and development (R&D) and design departments, including about 20 from Europe and Japan. READ FULL STORY
Such BTCL packages came into effect on 1 December to woo more customers in its network. The new packages are competitive and cheaper than the internet services provided by the private mobile phone and Wimax operators. According to the official estimate, BTCL provided 179 new connections in December, while the figure was 69 in November. Moreover, in January alone, such connections reached 210.
Currently, Dhaka, Chittagong and Khulna customers have access to the BTCL's full capacity of ADSL connections. Very soon this service will be widened to the Comilla and Rajshahi users.
Kolkata, 19 February : Rattled by the spurt in Maoist violence in the state, the West Bengal Government has decided to raise a battalion of special combat forces to deal with it.
The battalion, comprising 939 personnel, would tackle extremist violence and work towards restoring normalcy in the western region wracked by an endless cycle of attacks, State Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta told reporters yesterday after a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The battalion would be raised at a cost of Rs 25 crore. It would cover Maoist-hit districts of West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and adjacent areas close to the states of Jharkhand and Orissa, Dasgupta said.
"The state government has also decided to recruit 1,500 persons of the rank of constable in Kolkata Police to raise another special combat force," he said. Similarly, another 3,500 constables would be recruited to strengthen the state police. န File Photo : Tribhuvan Tiwari
Burnpur Cement is drawing up plans to set up cement plants in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and in Nepal, to increase capacity to 10 million tonnes, from the curent 0.3 million tonnes in the next few years.
UNB, Bagerhat, 19 February : Bangladesh Coast Guard members rescued 12 children at Dublar char in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday.
Acting on secret information, a Coast Guard team of Mongla west zone raided the houses of some fishermen at Dublar char and rescued the children. Coast Guard west zone operation officer Lokman Hakim said these children were kept confined at the houses to engage them forcefully in the work of drying fish.
Purulia, 19 February : Suspected Maoists killed a CPI(M) activist at Bandwan in Purulia district today morning.
Superintendent of Police, Purulia, Rajesh Yadav said the bullet-riddled body of Nakul Singh (40) was recovered from a road in Jamdi village early today. The police have started an investigation into the killing. No arrests have been made so far. According to police, around 10-12 Maoists raided the house of Nakul at Jamdi village last night. They barged into his house and took him away.
Port Blair, 19 February : In order to boost India's position in maritime trade in the region, the Indian Government is moving the Cabinet to upgrade the Andaman and Nicobar islands port to a major port.
"We will send our proposal to the Cabinet next week for making Andaman and Nicobar port a major port," an official from the Shipping Ministry is reported to have told an Indian news agency. On the reasons behind the move to grant "major" status to the port, the official said the government keeps reviewing the commercial and strategic importance of various ports in the country for such an upgradation. "The Andaman and Nicobar port is becoming a significant port and is of strategic importance to India. Besides, it is closer to two international shipping lines, Saudi Arabia-Singapore and the US-Singapore," he said.
The Andaman and Nicobar port is a state-owned, minor port. India has 12 government-owned major ports and 200 minor ones, of which 20-30 are privately owned. The combined capacity of the 12 major ports is about 580 million tonnes (MT) per annum while the total capacity of minor ports is 250 MT per annum. The official said the government will provide budgetary allocation of about Rs. 900 million to the port for one year, starting next fiscal.
Guwahati , 19 February : Altogether 9 persons died when a vehicle carrying a marriage party collided it head on a speeding truck in the outskirt of Guwahati city last night.
According to information, the tragic road mishap took place at around 12-30 midnight at Goverdhan near Chaygaon as the marriage party were on the way to Boko from Khetri. Nine persons of the marriage party died on the spot while 5 others have been rushed to the Guwahati Medical College Hospital. The driver and his associate of the truck are absconding.