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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

First BDR mutiny verdict in Panchagarh, All 29 accused jailed

Thakurgaon, 7 April : A special court of Bangladesh Rifles sentenced all the 29 accused of 25 Rifle Battalion to different terms of rigorous imprisonment for their involvement in 25-26 February BDR mutiny in 2009.
BDR Director General Maj Gen Mohammad Mainul Islam delivered the first verdict of BDR mutiny case in Panchagarh. After the arguments from the defendants and prosecutors on Tuesday, the Special Court-2 delivered the judgment today. Thirteen jawans were sentenced to seven years' term while one to six years', one to four years', six to three years', two to two years', five to thirteen months' and another to four months'. The same court on Sunday framed charges against the 29 accused. Before delivering the verdict the president of the court said all the facts and evidence proved that the mutiny in Panchagarh battalion took place on 26 February and the accused were involved in it.
The Special Court-2 will resume hearing of charges against 51 BDR men of 20 Rifle Battalion tomorrow.

Tripura govt wants improved connectivity with Bangladesh
IANS, Agartala, New Delhi, 7 April : The Tripura government has asked the centre to improve air and surface connectivity between northeast India and Bangladesh to boost trade and people-to-people contacts, officials here said Wednesday.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Finance Minister Badal Choudhury met Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in New Delhi Tuesday. The state's annual plan allocation of Rs.1,860 for 2010-11 was finalised at the meeting.
'Tripura chief minister has asked the planning commission deputy chairman to take necessary steps with the centre to introduce a direct flight between Agartala and Dhaka and develop the national highways in the northeast to get access of the Chittagong international port in Bangladesh,' a senior official told reporters.

No proposal to use Army against Maoists : P Chidambaram
PTI, Jagdalpur, 7 April : Cautioning against any "knee-jerk" reactions to yesterday's "savage" attack by the Maoists, Indian home minister P Chidambaram today said the government may have to "revisit" the mandate on use of Air Force in the offensive against Maoists.
Maintaining that a "war" has been thrust on government, he told a press conference here that "at this moment we must remain calm and hold our nerves" in our campaign to rid India of the grave threat of Maoists and to save democracy.

Rights groups, Muktijoddhas handed over evidence of war
Dhaka, 7 April : Ain O Salish Kendra, a human rights organisation, and Muktijoddha Sangsad Central Command Council on Wednesday handed over documented evidences of war crimes to the war crimes tribunal.
ASK Executive Director Sultana Kamal handed over the documents, containing a video clip titled ''Albadar', a book named 'Juddhaparadh' and reports on women repression in 1971 to Chief Investigator Abdul Matin at his office. She also gave a gazette issued on formation and duties of collaborators during the Liberation War. Muktijoddha Sangsad Central Command Council handed over a list of collaborators and demanded punishment to the identified war criminals. They also submitted a memorandum to Abdul Matin in this regard.
The chief investigator told reporters that all the documents would help them a lot for holding the trial.
CITU's transport strike on 13th April in West Bengal
Kolkata, 7 April : The labour arm of the CPI(M), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Wednesday called a state-wide transport strike 13 April in West Bengal to protest the hike in petroleum prices across the country.
"We have decided to go on a transport strike 13 April to protest the petroleum price rise. We have been waiting as board exams are on across the state till 12 April," CITU state president Shyamal Chakraborty told a press conference here.
CPM for coordinated action by Centre,State against Maoists
Kolkata, 7 April : The CPI(M) on Wednesday said the brutal Maoist attack in Dantewada, in which 76 security personnel were killed, is a reminder that no state government can single-handedly tackle Naxal violence and called for a coordinated action by the Centre and the States.
“Given the fact that the Maoists are conducting their major armed operations in seven states, it becomes the responsibility of the Central government to ensure a coordinated response and for providing adequate assistance through the Central police forces,” it said, while condemning yesterday’s attack. “Regrettably, the Union Home Minister has been prone to throw the responsibility on to the State governments and to blame them for the consequences of the Maoist depredations.
Such an approach should be given up and proper coordination between the Centre and the states concerned should be established,” the party’s Polit Bureau said in a statement. Photo : PTI

Complete rehab work in Aila-hit areas before monsoon : PM
Dhaka, 7 April : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday directed all ministries and agencies concerned to complete rehabilitation activities in the Aila-affected southern region of the country before the next monsoon.
The directives came from the first meeting of the National Disaster Management Council at the Prime Minister's office with Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the council, in the chair. After the meeting, Prime Minister's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad brief reporters.
She asked all the concerned to take preparations beforehand and complete all the rehabilitation and renovation activities by next January, saying,“ Because it is the government's duty to protect people from the disasters." She also asked to ensure smooth supply of drinking water in the Aila-affected areas in Khulna and Satkhira districts. File Photo

20 injured in GJM-JJM clash at Malbazar in Jalpaiguri dist
PTI, Jalpaiguri, 7 April : At least 20 people were injured when supporters of the Jana Jagaran Morcha, an organisation of non-Nepalese people opposed to Gorkhaland, and GJM supporters clashed at Malbazar in Jalpaiguri district, police said today.
The clash took place when a motor-cycle rally of GJM supporters from Kalchini was intercepted by Jana Jagaran Morcha (JJM) supporters at Caltax More on Tuesday, Additional Superintendent of Police, Jalpaiguri, V. Soloman told reporters. JJM President Apurba Das was seriously injured in the clash. The JJM supporters said the rallyists had no formal permission to hold the meeting at Kalimpong. This resulted in an exchange of words culminating in a clash in which both sides pelted stones.
Police took the GJM supporters to a police station for their safety but the agitated JJM supporters, joined by local people, attacked the police station. The police burst five tear gas shells to bring the situation under control. Photo : Arnab Mitra

Army stands by Dhaka Water Supply & Sewerage Authority
Dhaka, 7 April : Bangladesh Army personnel Wednesday morning took charge of helping Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority to ease the persisting water crisis in the capital.
The army men would maintain security and manage smooth supply of water at every zone across the capital. The government decided on 29 March to engage troops to cooperate with Wasa from 1 April, but a request from army headquarters to the LGRD ministry and Dhaka Wasa postponed the engagement. The city dwellers have been facing acute water crisis over the last few weeks.
Tight security in WB's police camps after Dantewada attack
PTI, Midnapore, 7 April : After the attack on CRPF personnel in Dantewada, the joint forces are carrying out operations in three Maoist-affected districts of West Bengal more cautiously and security has been tightened in camps.
"Security personnel have been asked to be on alert in view of the attack in Dantewada yesterday and anti-Maoist operations in three districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura were being conducted in a 'controlled manner', district sources said today. Eleven block development officers in West Midnapore district have been instructed to move to Midnapore town after sunset every day for their safety.
"There is likelihood of Maoist attacks on BDOs," the sources said, adding that the instructions have been given to the BDOs of Belpahari, Lalgarh, Jhargram, Jamboni, Nayagram, Salboni, Goaltore and other blocks in the district. File Photo : Reuters

Ship-breaking sector faces conspiracy : Ship Breakers
UNB, Dhaka, 7 April : Bangladesh Ship Breakers Association Wednesday deplored that the ship-breaking industry is earning disrepute due to persistent propaganda and conspiracy by some local and international elements.
“A deep-rooted conspiracy is on against the ship-breaking industry by local and international vested groups to ruin the promising sector,” Association President Zafar Alam told a press conference at National Press Club. He said nearly 1.5 lakh people are directly involved in the ship-breaking industry that meets 80% of demand for domestic iron.
West Bengal gears up for Tagore's 150th birth anniversary
Kolkata, 7 April : Rabindranath Tagore's birthplace at Jorasanko, his cremation ground at Nimtala and publication of his full collection of works will mark the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the poet Nobel laureate from West Bengal.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said the year-long celebrations will also include bringing out a collection of Tagore's paintings. The celebrations will be held in all district headquarters and universities.

The Indian government was in talks with Bangladesh to organise the Nobel laureate's birth anniversary celebrations jointly. Both India and Bangladesh have adopted Tagore's songs as their national anthems.
Announcing the formation of a core committee headed by renowned poet and Bangla Academy president Nirendranath Chakraborty for the occasion, Bhattacharjee said various government institutions like the Natya Academy, Sangeet Academy, some central government bodies like Sahitya Academy and Lalit Kala Academy will be represented in the committee. The 28-member body, which will meet soon, has been authorised to draft in more members from other organisations and notable personalities.
The chief minister said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has promised him in writing of the central government's help in organising the celebrations. 'For projects like renovating Jorasanko Thakurbari, where the poet was born, we need financial help from the centre. The Jorasanko project will cost us around Rs.1 crore. The central government funds are also needed for renovating the Nimtala burning ghat where the Nobel laureate was cremated,' he told reporters at the state secretariat on Monday. The Bangla Academy has taken the responsibility to bring out a new comprehensive collection of the litterateur's entire works.
Bhattacharjee said his government also had plans to create permanent infrastructures like cultural auditoriums in the district to mark the celebrations. 'But for this I need help from the central government. Though the prime minister has promised funds, I am yet to get that. I am waiting for that before making more announcements.'