Thousands of people thronged the National Mausoleum to pay their respects to the Liberation War martyrs. After placing the wreaths, the president and the prime minister stood in solemn silence for some time in respect for the martyrs as the bugle played the last post. A smartly turned out contingent of army, navy and air force presented state salute on the occasion. Later, the president signed the visitors’ book at the National Mausoleum. န Photos : Syed Ashraful Alom
Kolkata, 26 March : With the recovery of four more body from fire ravaged Stephen Court, toll mounted to 30 today.
The body was found from the fifth floor of the building and its gender was yet to be ascertained, the police said. The body, charred beyond recognition, was taken to SSKM Hospital for postmortem. Several persons are still missing after a massive fire swept through the 150-year-old multi-storeyed heritage building housing offices and residences in Kolkata's busy Park Street on Tuesday. A stench from one corner of the fifth floor had prompted the firemen to look for possible bodies hidden underneath the rubble that was being cleared by the Kolkata Municipal Workers employees.
IANS, Agartala, 26 March : Bangladesh's 39th anniversary of Independence was Friday marked in Tripura's capital Agartala as part of first-ever celebrations in Indian cities and 58 other countries.
'For the first time in 40 years, the Bangladesh government has decided to hold cultural programmes, seminars and other events to observe the Independence Day in 59 countries where the country's diplomatic missions exist,' a Bangladesh government official told IANS requesting anonymity.
Besides Tripura, these programmes are being held in New Delhi and Kolkata. Tripura is the only state in northeast where Bangladesh has a diplomatic mission, he said. 'Indian leaders, intellectuals, cultural activists, journalists and people from all walks of life are taking part in these programmes,' he said.
The intention was expressed when visiting Chief Minister of Tripura Manik Sarkar paid a call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Gono Bhaban in the city. During the meeting, they discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including expansion of trade and business between the two neighbouring countries for the benefit of the two peoples, said Prime Minister's Deputy Press Secretary Mahbubul Haque Shakil after the meeting.
Manik Sarkar said his government has decided to provide a house for setting up Bangladesh Trade Centre in Agartala, the capital of Tripura, for expansion of bilateral trade and business.
Manik Sarkar invited Sheikh Hasina to visit Tripura and the prime minister accepted the invitation saying that she would visit the state at a convenient time in future. န Photos : PID
“You will build the country as a developed and prosperous one by 2021. I have strong optimism that you will be able to do it. So, prepare yourselves in that direction,” she said addressing the National Children-Youths rally at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. The district administration of Dhaka organised the rally.
The prime minister said the children will have to grow up to lead the country. They have to know the real history of the country.
She urged the children to groom themselves in order to make the country developed in science and technology. “You’ve to be patriotic, you’ve to be expert in science and technology, you’ve to be capable to build the country as `Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021,” she said. န Photos : Reuters, Mustafiz Mamun
Kishenji, the elusive Maoist leader, might have been injured in a 12-hour-long gunbattle between the rebels and the security forces near Lalgarh. A senior police official of West Midnapore, not willing to be quoted, informed that Koteswara Rao alias Kishenji, was likely to be seriously injured in the exchange of fire that took place at the Hatishol forest close to Lakhanpur village, around 8 Km east of Lalgarh, since 6am on Thursday.
Dhaka, 26 March : Bangladesh Home Minister Sahara Khatun on Friday said the government issued instructions for all major airports, seaports and border points not to allow any listed war criminals to leave the country.
The home minister said this to reporters after paying homage to the martyred police personnel at Rajarbagh Police Lines marking the 40th Independence Day of the country. On if the government has any plan to arrest anybody before investigation, Sahara said some might be arrested if needed. She also expressed her government’s firm determination to put the war criminals on trial.
Continuous loud explosions were heard at the army base from 1 in the night for two hours. The base also has a munition that caught fire. However, there were no reports of casualties. Army personnel tried to rein in the fire throught the night. In the morning the fire appeared to be under control. The sky turned red, yellow and black as the explosions triggered high flames leaping into the air, triggering panic among the villagers of neighbouring Bud Bud village.
“Thousands of villagers came out of their homes in panic and gathered on National Highway 2 at the dead of night. But the defence personnel sealed all the gates and none was allowed to go near the camp,” said Swapan Khan, a local resident. “Our houses were shaking due to the explosions,” Khan said. န Photo : Niraj Modi
UNB, Dhaka, 26 March : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated two electronic services--Electronic and Mobile Money Order and Postal Cash Card to improve digitisation of services to the people.
Launching the electronic service at Ganobhaban yesterday evening, she transferred Tk 5,000 to the caretaker of her Tungipara residence Boikantha Babu through the mobile money order. Earlier, the PM released commemorative postal stamps on the occasion of the Independence and National Day.
PTI, Guwahati, 26 March : The Assam State Zoo with its whopping 1200 odd animal species, including rare ones such as emus and black panthers, has over the years become a tourist favourite while also witnessing manifold increase in revenues.
From a humble start in 1957, the Assam State Zoo and Botanical Gardens (ASZBG), located in the heart of Guwahati has crossed many hurdles from being one of the worst managed zoos with a serious fund crunch to one that can boast of a series of successes in breeding rare and endangered animals.
In year 2009-10 the zoo's earnings rose to a record Rs 60 lakh as over 5,24,598 Indian tourists and 166 foreigners visited the zoo spread over an area of 175 hectares of scenic landscape which also provides a crucial green lung to the every growing city, Narayan Mahanta, Zoo Director told PTI.
BSS, New Delhi, 26 March : "Celebrations of Bangladesh National Day always take me back to the heady days of 1972 when Sheikh Mujib signed a treaty of friendship with India, and India drew up a plan to assist in reconstructing his country which had been ravaged by the Independence War."
Former BBC correspondent and author Mark Tully said this in an article published in the Indian media on the occasion of the 40th Independence and National Day of Bangladesh.
"By a strange irony of history the present Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was the author of that plan," he said. Tully in his article also recalled his meeting with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during his first visit to Dhaka after liberation when Sheikh Mujib expressed his deep gratitude to India and a personal affection for the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
"Unfortunately Sheikh Mujib and Indira Gandhi's dreams of two countries living in harmony, respecting each other, and establishing economic and other ties which would benefit both were not fulfilled. န File Photo : Indrajit Dutta