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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

All police stations and camps put on alert in West Bengal

PTI, Kolkata, 6 April : All police stations and camps in West Bengal, especially in three Maoist-affected districts, were today put on high alert after the Maoist attack on security personnel in Chhattisgarh.
"All police stations and camps have been asked to be on maximum alert and personnel directed to intensify patrolling and vigilance, particularly in Maoist-hit areas," IGP (Law and order) S Purkayastha told PTI here. The three Maoist-affected districts are West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. Instructions have also been issued to intelligence agencies, the IGP said.
Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty condemned the massacre and said "it is barbaric, dastardly and shocking. Except for persons with a sick mentality, everyone should condemn such incidents."

West Bengal govt condemns Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
Kolkata, 6 April : The West Bengal government today condemned the killing of 73 CRPF and police personnel in a Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh.
"It is dastardly, shocking and barbaric. Except persons with a sick mentality, everyone should condemn such incidents," Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakraborty told reporters in Kolkata.

Pakistan won't interfere in war trial : Law Minister Shafique
Dhaka, 6 April : Pakistan will not interfere in the Bangladesh government’s move to try the war criminals of 1971, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said Tuesday.
Islamabad will not launch any campaign against the initiative to hold the trial of those committed crimes during the Liberation War, the law minister said quoting Pakistan High Commissioner in Dhaka as saying. “Pakistan has changed its position about holding the trial of the war criminals,” Shafique told reporters after a meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner to Bangladesh Ashraf Qureshi at his secretariat office in the afternoon.
Emerging from the meeting, the Pakistan envoy also told the newsmen that holding trial of the war criminals is an “internal affair of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a sovereign country. Pakistan believes in its sovereignty. So, it will not interfere into these internal affairs of Bangladesh,” Qureshi said.

Maoists attack again, killed 74 CRPF men in Chhattisgarh
PTI, Raipur, 6 April : In the biggest attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh, at least 74 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been killed in the ambush and several have been injured critically near Chintalnar in Dantewada district.
The attack took place while the forces consisting of around 120 personnel were returning to their base camp on Tuesday morning when the Maoists ambushed the troopers of 62nd battalion. Reinforcement have been rushed to the spot from neighbouring districts and choppers pressed into rescue operations. The Bastar inspector general of police T J Lonkumer told PTI that the ambush was followed by landmine blasts and encounters. “So far 25 bodies have been traced but we fear the casualty figure may rise as it was the major planned attack by the ultras”, the IGP said.
Top police officials believe that more than a thousand Maoists might be involved in this meticulously planned attack and the CRPF perhaps walked into their booby trap.
Top state police officials including the DGP of CRPF, special DG CRPF are on their way to assess the situation on how the forces suffered high casualties despite heavy deployment of security personnel in Bastar region ever since the mega operation against the left wing extremists began in Chhattisgarh. Photos : PTI, Mahendra Sethiya

Something must have gone drastically wrong : Home Min
PTI, New Delhi, 6 April : Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said something must have gone "drastically" wrong in Chhattisgarh where a CRPF patrol during Operation Green Hunt came under Maoist attack.
"The casualty is very high and I am deeply shocked at the loss of lives...This shows the savage nature of CPI(Maoist) and their brutality and the savagery they are capable of. Senior officials will be reaching their shortly," he said. "Government of Chattisgarh and CRPF together had planned this operation. They had mobilised both the state forces and the CRPF but something has gone drastically wrong. They seem to have walked into a trap set by Maoist," he said.

BJP hints put an end to honeymoon with AGP in Assam
IANS, Guwahati, 6 April : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday almost put an end to the year-long honeymoon with Assam’s main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) by hinting to fight the 2011 assembly elections on its own and take power in the state.
“If they (AGP) want an alliance we can talk, or else we are ready to fight the 2011 elections on our own,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari told journalists at the end of a two-day visit to Guwahati. On Monday, the BJP president was even more vocal about snapping ties with the AGP.
“We have asked our party cadres to work towards having a BJP chief minister in Assam by next year,” Gadkari told a public rally in the city. Photo : Chinmoy Roy

Coal India Expects to Launch 'Initial Public Offer' in July
Wall Street Journal, New Delhi, 6 April : Coal India Ltd., the world's largest coal producer by output, expects to launch its initial public offer in July and list its shares in August, the state-run company's chairman said.
The IPO will be part of the Indian government's plan to raise funds for social-welfare and infrastructure projects by selling stakes in state-run companies. It proposes to sell 10% of Coal India, including 1% to the miner's employees, to raise about 120 billion rupees ($2.7 billion). READ FULL STORY

BD Army to ensure Dhaka water supply from Wednesday
Dhaka, 6 April : Army personnel will officially take charge of assisting Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority to help ease the persisting water crisis in the capital from Wednesday.
According to a decision taken at a regular cabinet meeting on 29 March, the government decided to deploy army men to cooperate the Wasa from 1 April to ensure smooth supply of water in crisis areas of the capital. As per the decision, army would maintain security and manage water at every zone across the capital. But the army headquarters requested the LGRD ministry and Dhaka Wasa to postpone the deadline till 6 April due to an event of the armed forces, Prothom Alo reports.
Wasa currently produces 185 to 190 crore litres of water a day, whereas the demand goes up to 220 crore litres during the season. File Photo : Reuters

KU'versity closed after clash over photographer’s abduction
Khulna, 6 April : Khulna University authorities early Tuesday closed the university for an identified period following a clash between students and police over abduction of a photographer of a Bengali daily 'Prothom Alo'.
The decision came from a syndicate meeting of the university with KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Saifuddin Shah in the chair. The meeting also asked the residential students to vacate the dormitories Tuesday. The halls have already been vacated.
The problem ensued when 20/25 students of architecture department of the university picked up Shahnewaz, a staff photographer of the daily Prothom Alo, when he was returning after attending a discussion organised by the Prothom Alo Bandhu Shova at the university. He was confined to a room in the university’s second academic building for about three hours.
Khulna Journalists’ Union and Khulna Press Club is due to hold a joint meeting at noon protesting the incident.
BIWTA starts eviction drive in Buriganga, Balu, Turag rivers
Dhaka, 6 April : Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and Dhaka district administration Tuesday morning jointly started an eviction drive against the encroachers of Buriganga, Balu and Turag rivers.
The operation, led by Dhaka district Executive Magistrate Mohammad Al-Amin, began in Kamrangirchar area at about 11:00am(BDST) and demolished about 33 illegal structures, Prothom Alo and ATN Bangla report. The magistrate said they have started the drive as per a High Court order for evicting illegal structures from the area.
New butterfly species spotted in Jahangirnagar University
Dhaka, 6 April : Researchers of Jahangirnagar University have spotted four new species of butterflies on the campus. With this, the variety of butterfly species on the campus rose to 84.
The newly spotted species are Bamboo Treebrown (Lethe europa), an endangered species, Chestnut Angle (Odontoptilum angulata), Blue Pansy (Junonia orithya), and Tiny Grass Blue (Zizula gaika). A five-member team comprising of a teacher and students of Zoology Department spotted the species. Associate Prof Monwar Hossain led the team.
In 1996, Ismail Hossain and Shafique Haider Chowdhury of Chittagong University and Monwar Hossain identified 44 species on the campus. Thereafter, 36 more species were identified until 2003. The researchers said frequent arrival of new species of butterfly at Jahangirnagar University (JU) indicates destruction of habitats. “Butterfly wings have scales that work like tiny solar cells. Laboratory tests have revealed that butterfly wings can absorb sunlight more efficiently than conventional dye-sensitised cells," said Monwar Hossain. In Bangladesh where power crisis is acute, butterfly wings can open a new possibility to ease the situation, said the researchers.
Recently a group of Korean and Japanese scientists claimed that replicating the biotemplates of butterfly wings, it is possible to make various optically active structures. These could be used as more efficient solar cells for powering homes, businesses centres, and other applications in future, they added.
The researchers said there chould be up to 600 species of butterflies in Bangladesh. Photo : Courtesy Emran Hossain

Essar Oil plans to lay big pipeline from Durgapur to Kolkata
PTI, New Delhi, 6 April : Essar Oil plans to lay a 160-km pipeline from Durgapur to Kolkata in West Bengal to transport gas from its CBM blocks to consumers in the state. Essar Oil has applied to the sectoral regulator, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for permission to lay a 24-inch pipeline from Durgapur, according to the company's 13 January application to the regulator. The company is likely to start producing gas found below coal seams, called Coal Bed Methane (CBM), from its Raniganj block in West Bengal this quarter. Initial output is likely to be 9,000-10,000 cubic meters per day with peak production of 3.5 million standard cubic meters envisaged in mid-2013.