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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tax officials claim 'evidence' against Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata, 22 April : Tax officials who conducted search operations at the offices of the Bengal Cricket Association and Shah Rukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders till the early hours of Thursday here claimed to have found "incriminating evidence" of irregularities.
"We have found incriminating evidence. We will investigate further. We needed to have a look at certain transactions and we've found whatever we were looking for," said Indian Revenue Service Deputy Director Akhilendu Jadhav. The main angle that the sleuths of the Directorate of Income Tax Investigation were looking for on the probe into the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises was the legality of money transfers from tax havens abroad, primarily Mauritius, officials explained.
This apart, officials of the Directorate of Enforcement were probing the legitimacy of transactions between the franchise and the state's cricket board, the officials added. Searches at both the board's office at the Eden Gardens stadium and the premises of Kolkata Knight Riders and its parent Red Chillies Entertainment of actor Shah Rukh Khan at ITC Sonar Bangla and Shakespeare Sarani began at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The federal revenue department had Wednesday broadened the probe into the financial deals of IPL, even conducting search operations on three of its event management and broadcast firms in Mumbai, apart from the franchises. Photos : AP, Avijit Mondal
16 dead, 50,000 displaced as rains lash Indian North-East
Agartala, Guwahati, 22 April : Incessant rains caused havoc in the northeastern states of Tripura, Asssam and Arunachal Pradesh claiming at least 16 lives and displacing over 50,000 people, officials said Thursday.
At least four people were killed and more than 50 injured when a cyclonic storm lashed several parts of Tripura, leaving a trail of destruction, a relief department official told reporters. The pre-monsoon rains accompanied by strong winds and hailstorm Wednesday night also damaged more than 2,000 houses and killed many head of cattle in western and southern Tripura. Heavy rains also damaged railway tracks in northern Tripura and adjoining southern Assam.
GJM unwilling to compromise on Siliguri and Dooars
PTI, Siliguri, 22 April : The GJM has made it clear that it was unwilling to compromise on the demand for inclusion of Siliguri and Dooars in the interim setup proposed for the administration of Darjeeling hills.
GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri told PTI over phone today that his party was not ready to exclude Siliguri and Dooars from the proposed jurisdiction of the interim hill council. The party's leadership had informed this to Vijay Madan, the interlocutor for talks on separate Gorkhaland, he said.

Meghnaghat graft case against PM Sheikh Hasina quashed
Dhaka, 22 April : The High Court on Thursday quashed all the proceedings against Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Meghnaghat Power Plant corruption case.
An HC bench pronounced the quashment order after hearing a petition filed by Hasina, also the Awami League chief, for quashing the proceedings against her. The court in the judgement said that there was no element of offence against Hasina in the case. The name of Hasina was implicated in the charge sheet of the case only to politically harass her, the court observed.
On 11 December, 2001, Gulam Mostafa, a director of the now-defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAC), filed the case with Ramna Police Station, accusing former state minister for power Prof Rafiqul Islam of misappropriating Tk 17.89 crore from the government exchequer during the process of installing the Meghnaghat power plant in Narayanganj.

Quake observatories to be set up in Andaman and Shillong
PTI, Mumbai, 22 April : To beef up further monitoring of earthquake prone areas in Andaman Islands and the Himalayan belt, the Government has decided to establish two observatories there, officials said.
Multi-parametric Geophysical Observatories (MGPOs) are being established in Andaman Islands and Shillong in Meghalaya, by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) in collaboration with city-based Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG), a unit of Department of Science and Technology. These facilities would assist in understanding the earthquake precursory phenomena in the regions and provide real time data to the scientists for quick analysis, MoES Secretary Shailesh Nayak told PTI.
The observatories will have seismographs and accelerographs to measure ground vibrations and radon gas measurements, Prof Shobana Alex of the IIG said. The MGPOs to be set up in Port Blair and Shillong are likely to start functioning by the year-end, Alex said.
India's ban on cotton exports to hit B'desh textiles industry
Reuters, Dhaka, 22 April : Bangladesh's prime export industry textiles may suffer badly following India's restrictions on cotton exports this week, a business leader said on Thursday.
Bangladesh buys 30 percent of its cotton needs from India transported by land, but supplies have stopped after the export ban was imposed, said Abdul Hai Sarker, president of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association. READ FULL STORY

Chinese dam will not impact Brahmaputra : SM Krishna
IANS, New Delhi, 22 April : China has assured India that a dam it is constructing on the Tsang Po river in Tibet for generating power will not impact downstream flow to the Brahmaputra, Indian external affairs minister S M Krishna said on Thursday.
"It is a fact that when we met in Beijing, the question of the power station did come up. The Chinese foreign minister assured me that there would be no water storage at the dam and it would not in any way impact on downstream areas," Krishna said during question hour in Rajya Sabha.

North-East's trade with Bangladesh, Myanmar registers rise
Agartala, 22 April : The volume of trade between the Indian Northeastern states and Bangladesh and Myanmar has increased substantially in the last financial year while the Centre has initiated several steps to reduce non-trade barriers.
Official sources here said following the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), India provided preferential trade exchange to neighbouring Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and also signed the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) under Duty Free Tariff Preferential (DFTP) Scheme.
''The export between India and Bangladesh has been recorded at Rs 5105.81 crore in the first two quarters of the last fiscal against import of Rs 521.70 crore, which was Rs 11,317.21 crore and Rs 1418.46 crore for the whole of 2008-09,'' officials said, adding the export trade with Myanmar was recorded Rs 458.05 crore against import of Rs 2872.02 crore during the period.

Maoist-backed PCPA calls for indefinite road blockade
Jhargram, 22 April : Maoist-backed PCPA today called for a road blockade in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia, a day after it announced an indefinite bandh in these tribal-dominated districts.
The road blockade would continue till the Centre and the state government call off the anti-Maoist operations in the three districts, People's Committee against Police Atrocity (PCPA) leader Manoj Mahato said. Mahato alleged that the security forces were harassing the locals in these districts during anti-Maoist operations.
Crack cause of concern for villagers
Rajshahi, 22 April : A 300-metre long crack has developed at Nawpara village under Mohonpur upazila of Rajshahi district.
People of all 30 houses at the village fear that their houses and farmlands may subside any time as the crack is getting longer and deeper. Experts said extraction of excessive ground water might have caused such incident at the village. While visiting the tiny Nawpara village yesterday, some 30km from Rajshahi city, this correspondent found hundreds of people from neighbouring villages and distant places were visiting the village. The villagers said they did not care the 20 feet long crack that appeared first at the mango orchard of one Taser Mia near Barnoi River a year ago. After Thursday night's nor'wester, the villagers found the crack extended. It was over one foot wide at some places while it looked like hairline at other places.
STAR correspondent measured the length of the crack by his motorbike's mileage meter to be over 300 metres. When contacted, Dr Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of geology and mining department of Rajshahi University said the crack might have developed at the village due to its location close to a river bend. Geography teacher Dr M Shamsul Alam Bir Protik said excessive extraction of underground water can result in cracks and cause land subsidence. News and Photo : STAR
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