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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Basanta Utsav celebrated all across the Bengal with colours

Violence mars Santiniketan fest
Shantiniketan, 28 February : Violence and boycott marked the “Basanta Utsav” (Spring Festival) on the Vishva-Bharati campus at Santiniketan on Sunday.
The tradition of celebrating Basanta Utsav at Santiniketan was started by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore himself and it is one of the two occasions that draws thousands to the university to witness and participate in the colourful festivities, including several cultural functions.

In other parts of West Bengal, Tripura, Bangladesh, Assam, Andamans...thousands of people celebrated Holi or Basanta Utsav (spring festival) with songs, dance and other cultural programmes. In Shantiniketan, some students and teachers of Visva Bharati University took out rallies within the campus celebrating the festive fervour and danced to the tunes of Tagore's songs. Many people were seen smearing colour (abir) on each other and exchanging sweets and pleasantries to mark the festival of Basanta Utsav. Tagore had reintroduced Holi as Basanta Utsav in the Visva Bharati University he founded in Birbhum district's Shantiniketan. Thousands of tourists from within the country and abroad also thronged Shantiniketan Sunday to soak in the colours of Basanta Utsav.
As the day progressed, the festival fervour was also seen everywhere, people were seen moving around in groups in their respective neighbourhoods, hurling water balloons and smearing coloured powder on one another. Photos : Timir Raha, Sanjay Bhaduri, Mustafiz Mamun

(L) Villagers having a look on a dead elephant which was knocked down by a train in Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary in the outskirts of Guwahati city on Sunday. Two elephants were knocked down by a train as a group of wild Asiatic Elephant came down to the sanctuary in search of food. One female elephant was killed and the other pregnant elephant was seriously injured in this tragic incident. The pregnant elephant is later given birth a baby elephant in the incident site. (R) A bulldozer carry a dead elephant which was knocked down by a train in Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary in the outskirts of Guwahati city.
All together 10 Elephants died and 9 others are injured from the year 2006 when this division of NF Railway’s track started. Photos : Chinmoy Roy
Theatre personality Kumar Roy dead
Kolkata, 28 February : Noted Bengali theatre personality Kumar Roy died at a city hospital early Sunday, his family said. He was 84.
Born in 1926 in Dinajpur (now in Bangladesh), Roy was associated with popular Bengali theatre group Bohurupee. He was also the president of the Bengali theatre academy. "He was suffering from cardiac enlargement and lung problem. He was admitted to R.G. Kar Hospital Feb 18 with some respiratory trouble. He died at 4.15am today (Sunday)," Indrapramit Roy, son of Kumar Roy, told reporters.
He said Roy had donated his body to R.G. Kar hospital for the purpose of medical research. "The mortal remains of my father will be handed over to the hospital authorities tomorrow (Monday)," he said.

Jaish-e-Mohammed's Pakistani militant held in RAB's raid
Dhaka, 28 February : The Rapid Action Battalion arrested a Pakistani national and four locals for suspected links to Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in the city early Sunday.
The Pakistani, Rezwan Ahmed, had been coordinating JeM operations in Bangladesh, said RAB officials. The other arrestees Nannu Mian alias Belal Mandol alias Billal, Abu Naser Munshi, Imad Uddin alias Munna, and Sadeque Hossain alias Khoka are his local associates. Of the five, Billal was arrested near the foot-bridge in front of New Market and the rest including Rezwan were rounded up in Sukanya Tower, an apartment block adjacent to Gausia Market on Mirpur Road.
Billal had been jailed in India for involvement in hijacking an Indian Airlines plane in December 1999. After serving out 10 years in Guwahati prison, he recently fled back home

Four West Bengal tourists die in Orissa highway accident
PTI, Bhubaneswar, 28 February : Five persons, including four tourists of a family from Howrah, were killed and another critically injured when the autorickshaw in which they were travelling collided with a truck on Puri-Bhubaneswar national highway, police said today.
The incident occurred at Dahisapatana under Pipli police station late last night when they were going to Puri in the autorickshaw, the police said. The victims included an aged couple, their son and 6-year-old grand daughter and the driver.
Radio collar to study Bengal tiger behaviour in Sunderbans
Kolkata, 28 February : For an authentic scientific study of their behaviour, tigers in the Sunderbans, the world's only mangrove eco-system which has big cats, will be fitted with radio collars, forest officials said.
"Last week a tigress which had strayed into Gosaba area in South 24 Parganas district was fitted with a radio collar. We have to radio collar a few more tigers which will provide information about their behaviour in Sunderbans," Sunderban Biosphere Reserve (SBR) director Pradeep Vyas told a news agency. There was no scientific study on the behaviour of the big cats in the Sunderbans and all information was based solely on observation, he said. "So, an authentic scientific study is needed and radio collars will provide us exact information about the behaviour of tigers," Vyas said. It was found that it was the same tigress which had entered the locality for a second time in the past six months.
Experts from the Wildlife Institute of India had last week fitted the tigress with a radio collar after it was tranquilised. Vyas said as per signals received from the radio collar, the tigress was roaming within a three-km area at Chorkhali in Netidhopani where it was released. After every incident of tiger straying into villages, questions were raised from different quarters, including wildlife NGOs, about the lack of prey base in the mangrove forest.
The West Bengal forest department has procured an imported radio collar at a cost of over Rs three lakh from the Dehra Dun-based Wildlife Institute of India.