The investigation team comprises former inspector general of police MM Abdur Rahim, ex-deputy inspector general Qutubur Rahman, Major (retd) ASM Shamsul Arefin, Additional DIG of the Criminal Investigation Department Mir Shahidul Islam and CID inspectors M Nurul Islam and Md Abdur Razzaque Khan.
The award recipients are AKM Samsul Haque Khan (posthumously), Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury and Belal Mohammad in the category of independence and liberation war, Prof Zillur Rahman Siddiqui and Jatin Sarker in education, Romena Afaz (posthumously) and Dr Mustafa Nur-ul Islam in literature, Waheedul Haq (posthumously), Alamgir Kabir (posthumously), Ferdousi Priyabhashini and Bangla Academy in culture.
The government nominated the eminent persons and Bangla Academy for the award in recognition of their glorious contributions to the nation.
Midnapore, 25 March : A jawan of the elite CoBRA battalion was injured in a fierce gunbattle with Maoists at Hatipota village in West Midnapore district, while armed encounters took place at Dharampur, Silda and Kalsibhanga areas during combing operations in the district today.
Police said Awal Singh of CoBRA 200 battalion was critically injured and rushed to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital.
"Situation at Jangalmahal is very tense now," police said. Maoists also blasted two powerful landmines at Dharampur, and another at Kalsibhanga village at Salboni to resist a combing operation by the combined forces but none was injured in either of the incidents.
A group of Maoists ransacked and burnt down the CPI(M)'s local office at Silda early today.
The ultras also went on the rampage at Etela forest beat office near Silda and burnt down official documents.
Kolkata, 25 March : Concerned over unauthorised constructions in the heart of the metropolis in disregard of rules, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today cautioned the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Municipal Affairs and Urban Development department against such constructions.
"I understand a racket is working in connivance with a section of the administration. The fire at the Stephen Court on Park street, which claimed 24 lives, has opened our eyes and we need to intervene in such situations everywhere to prevent tragedies like these," Bhattacharjee told the state Assembly. He was replying to a point of order raised by the Congress leader, Manas Bhuniya.
"Without stern action against those offending the laid down rules and allowing unauthorised constructions in the metropolis and around, the situation cannot be controlled," Bhattacharjee said. "I can't allow such a situation to take place and I must act on it."
Bhattacharjee said the immediate step would be to remove bodies from the heritage building and ensure treatment of the injured. The accumulated debris have to be cleared and make sure that firemen enter the interiors unhindered.
Forensic experts are scheduled to conduct DNA tests today on four of the 24 retrieved bodies whose identity remained disputed in claims and counter-claims. The firemen, who gained access to the ravaged interiors of the fifth and sixth floors of the building yesterday, were today busy removing the debris in search of missing persons. Police said the stench from one corner of the fifth floor had prompted the firemen to look for possible bodies hidden underneath the rubble.
As a special team of the KMC, assisted by personnel of the civil defence, began demolishing the damaged parts of the top fifth and sixth floors of the building, a section of the residents demonstrated demanding that they be allowed access to the building before the demolition began to collect their valuables.
UNB, Dhaka, 25 March : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said everything related to the Liberation War will be preserved for the next generation.
“The future generation will be able to know the facts about the Liberation War,” she said at a ceremony marking the distribution of the Independence Award at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium. Cabinet Division organised the function where 10 eminent persons and an organisation received the Independence Medal for their outstanding contributions to the country, Liberation War and in social welfare.
Khulna, 25 March : A Khulna court on Thursday issued arrest warrants against Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and deputy chief Delwar Hossain Sayedee on charge of hurting sentiment of Muslims.
Rafiqul Islam Khan, Dhaka city unit chief of the party, who reportedly kept Nizami on a par with prophet Hazrat Muhammd (PBUH), also faces arrest in the case. Khulna Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Md Barekuzzaman issued the warrants in line with a case filed by a former leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League, Prothom Alo reports. The complainant in the case alleged that Rafiqul Islam at a discussion in Dhaka on 17 March compared Nizami with the prophet.
Kolkata, 25 March : Although the ministry of shipping said that INR 267 crore would be released as dredging subsidy to the Kolkata Port Trust which administers the Kolkata and Haldia ports. Ministry officials indicated that this could be last time such a subsidy would be disbursed.
Operations at both the facilities have been substantially hampered in recent months due to heavy siltation of major navigational channels. The situation has been salvaged by dredging of these routes, undertaken by the Dredging Corporation of India which has cost KoPT upwards of INR 250 crore. For this fiscal, KoPT had claimed more than INR 700 crore from the ministry of shipping including old dues and the Budgetary provisions.
As a tribute to Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra and its artistes and songs, Close-up and ntv are jointly releasing “Chetonaye Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra” this Independence Day (26 March) - a compilation of 50 patriotic songs aired from Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. The songs have been re-recorded. The album contains five CDs. Twenty Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra veterans and 20 “Close-up 1” contestants (representing the current generation) have recorded songs for the album.
A concert featuring the songs will be held at the south plaza of the National Parliament on 26 March. Shujeyo Shyam and Ajit Roy are the music directors of the album. Musician Partho Barua has done the music arrangement.
Fakir Alamgir, Kalyani Ghosh, Timir Nondi, Rafiqul Alam, Shujeo Shyam, Gazi Mazharul Islam, Kaderi Kibria, Bulbul Mohalanobish and Manoranjan Ghoshal are among the artistes who have recorded songs for the album.
Dhaka, 25 March : Police on Thursday arrested a top outlaw along with his six associates while illegally entering Bangladesh from India through Bongaon border in Khulna.
Soulendro Nath Biswas, 52, the founder of ‘New Biplobi Communist Party’, an underground outfit operating in Khulna region, left Bangladesh in 1999, police said. A team of Bongaon police captured the outlaw with his six companions at about 11:00am(BDST). The outlaw leader is accused in 30 criminal cases including 22 murders, and received death penalty twice in separate cases.
Kolkata, 25 March : A Bangkok-bound Thai Airways plane with 248 passengers on board made an emergency landing at the airport here.
The Thai Airways plane, TG-318, landed under emergency conditions at the NSC Bose International Airport last midnight after a technical snag was detected, airport sources said today. The passengers were off-loaded and repair work was undertaken, they said, adding the plane was going from Mumbai to Bangkok.