Hundreds of buses, trucks, cars and small vehicles were seen stranded on the highway which links Siliguri. Police said agitators also blocked the BDO and SDO offices at Islampur in worst-hit Karandighi bloc. န Photo : Reuters
Dhaka, 16 April : The Government of Bangladesh has signed a deal with Russia to build a 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina press secretary Abul Kalam Azad announced.
At a recent meeting chaired by the prime minister, cabinet gave the green light to the new facility, which will be built at Rooppur, some 210 kilometres northwest of the capital of Dhaka. The two countries had reached an initial agreement on the project last year. Now they have worked out its terms and conditions. An official with the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said that the plant will cost up to US$ 2 billion and should generate electricity by 2014.
Kolkata, 16 April : Senior Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy will be produced in the Midnapore court on 26 April in connection with the case of mine blast on the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and former Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in Salboni in West Midnapore in November 2008.
Kobad was scheduled to be produced in the Midnapore court on 12 April, but a Delhi police team escorting him aborted the journey midway at Allahabad and decided to take him back to Tihar Jail following an alert that warned against possible interception of the train and an armed bid to free the leader.
He said: “The act under which the trial of war crimes will be held is the blackest law in the history. The trial of the war crimes under the act will be a great blunder. So far, not a single case has been tried under the act.” The Jamaat chief made the remarks while addressing the inaugural session of the party’s district ameer conference at its Al-Falah Auditorium in the city’s Moghbazar. He said both the moves - to impose ban on Islamic parties and trial of the war crimes - are targeted to remove Jamaat from the political arena.
Nizami alleged that the government’s fascist tendency indicated that it is going ahead to implement the one-party rule in the country in phases. န File Cartoon : New Age
Sylhet, Dhaka, 16 April : Detective Branch of Bangladesh police arrested the UK chief of outlawed Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji) in Sylhet on Thursday.
Assistant Commissioner of the DB Rafiqul Islam confirmed the arrest of Golam Mostofa, a Bangladeshi born British citizen. He is also accused with London police of financing militant groups. Mostofa was arrested in Biswanath upazila of Sylhet and later brought to Dhaka.
He is an Afghan war veteran and had connection with Faisal Mostafa, another British citizen and chief of UK-based NGO Green Crescent, who was arrested on 24 March last year for operating an ammo den inside a madrasa-cum-orphanage in Bhola.
PTI, New Delhi, 16 April : Former Pakistan captain and Kolkata Knight Riders bowling coach Wasim Akram on Friday dropped a bombshell by claiming that bowlers in the ongoing IPL 3 have been tampering with the ball by rubbing red soil on it.
Akram, currently the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders, criticised the field umpires for not taking notice of the ball tampering practice once the floodlights are on and batsmen looking to accelerate. "I won't name anyone but I have seen quite a few cricketers who have been rubbing mud on the ball and that is also tampering," Akram said.
The bridge would connect Sabroom subdivision of Tripura with Ramgarh sub-division of Bangladesh. On completion, the bridge would facilitate transportation of goods from Chittagong port, 75 km from Sabroom, to the north-eastern India.
Following the clearance, joint secretary of the ministry of external affairs, Suresh Reddy, in a recent letter to the joint secretary of Union commerce ministry, Arbind Meheta requested him to take the initiative for construction of the bridge, the sources said. The copy of the letter was given to Tripura chief secretary, Sudhir Sharma.
Kishanganj, 16 April : The train services on the route (between Alwabari-Siliguri) were suspended some two years ago for the purpose of conversion of the track into broad gauge.
The suspension of the service greatly inconvenienced people from the northern parts of Kishanganj, as well as North Bengal. The DRM also announced that two flyovers across railway tracks near Ruidhasa and the high school in Kishanganj would be opened to traffic by 21 April and 15 June, respectively.
Work for the census 2010 could not take off in the Maoist-dominated parts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, though the process is on since 1 April.
Primary school teachers, engaged as enumerators, have been avoiding the Maoist-dominated 12 police stations in Jangalmahal such as Belpahari, Lalgarh, Salboni, Jamboni, Binpur or Nayagram, though the work has to be completed by 15 May. န File Getty Images
PTI, Jamshedpur, 16 April : A six-member group from Delhi University, including a professor and five students, were detained for some time for moving around in Maoist-hit Gurabandha area of East Singhbhum in Jharkhand, a senior police officer said on Friday.
The group, which included three female students, visited two to three villages in the area and interacted with locals on Thursday when they were detained by the police, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Ghatsila) Anup Birtheray said. The members claimed they came to the village to see for themselves the alleged displacement of locals in the area due to mining activities. However, Birtheray said there were no mining activities in the area.
UNB, Rajshahi, 16 April : Rains Thursday night brought respite to the people of Rajshahi from the sultry heat as the mercury rose above the 40 degree Celsius at high noon.
The blessed rains came after eight months relieving the people from extreme hot weather and helping mature growth of boro paddy in the field. Heavy rains started around 10:30pm(BDST) and continued for more than 30 minutes. The rains preceded by stormy winds raising dusts and throwing the city into darkness. The storm continued with rains. First hand report said some thatched houses were blown away or razed to the ground. A number of trees were uprooted. The storm has also caused damage to mangoes and crops.
IANS, Purulia, Kolkata, 16 April : Maoists are suspected to have killed a former CPI(M) worker who had later joined the Trinamool Congress in Purulia district, police said Friday.
The incident took place in Dulaghati of Bandwan area where residents saw the blood-splattered body of Mansaram Singh lying in a shrub near to his house. He had been shot dead, police said. 'We have recovered the body and sent it for post mortem,' a senior officer of Bandwan police station told IANS over phone. He said Singh received bullet injuries in his head and chest. 'The victim was a former CPI(M) worker but later joined the Trinamool,' the officer said. 'We suspect that Maoists are behind the murder.'
''We have a series of meeting lined up in Thailand and Malaysia as we want to start trade links with them,'' General Secretary of Andaman Chamber of Commerce G Bhasker told UNI. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are geographically more closure to Thailand and other South East Asian countries than Mainland India and if direct trade starts in these sectors, cost of transporting good will decrease automatically. ''We can import fruits and hardware from Thailand because it would be very cost-effective for people of these islands. Moreover, we are already having twin city relationship with Phuket and we are in constant touch with the Chamber of Commerce of these countries,'' the general secretary said.
Dhaka, 16 April : Bangladesh government yesterday brought a few but significant changes in posts of the Army, BDR and Ansar.
The present Director General of Bangladesh Rifles Maj Gen M Mainul Islam has been sent back to Bangladesh Army. Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam, present director general of the Ansar, replaced him as the new BDR director general. Meanwhile, Brig Gen Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, now DMI (Director Military Intelligence) has been appointed as the new DG of Ansar and VDP Directorate on deputation.