Sunderbans, 25 May : A group of villagers of Gosaba bloc in the Sunderbans are on a hunger strike demanding grants for rebuilding their houses destroyed by Cyclone Aila on this day last year.
Coming from Lahiripur, Rangabelia, Radhanagar, Mollakhali and Bali villages, the people converged before the BDO's office yesterday and began the hunger strike. The BDO of Gosaba, Arijit Mitra, told Bengal Newz that out of the 58,000 affected families, only 20,750 families have received the house-building grants in phases.
PTI, New Delhi, 25 May : The Supreme Court today stayed the death sentence awarded to underworld don Aftab Ahmed Ansari for the attack on the American Centre in Kolkata in 2002.
A vacation bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad asked the West Bengal government to respond within four months to a petition filed by Ansari challenging his conviction and death sentence in the case.
Dhaka, 25 May : Bangladesh's most wanted militant Saidur Rahman, chief of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), has been arrested. Rahman, who is believed to have taken over the outlawed organisation after its leader and five prominent commanders were executed in 2007, was arrested on Sunday from Kadamtali area of the city, The Daily Star reported.
The police immediately did not comment on the arrest as they were expected to make an announcement later, but sources described nabbing of Rahman as a "major success". His arrest came as police and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops in the past two days intensified the anti-militant campaign after a several police officials were injured in gunfights with suspected JMB operatives.
The outlawed organisation has targeted politicians, intellectuals and all other things they have considered anti-Islamic.
BSS, Rangpur, 25 May : Bangladesh is going to achieve complete food security soon through large-scale countrywide farming of flash-flood tolerant Aman varieties from this season to ultimately produce an additional six million tonnes paddy annually.
The farmers became happy following release of seeds of Swarna Sub 1 as BRRI dhan 51 and BR 11 Sub 1 as BRRI dhan 52 last month by the technical committee of the National Seed Board enabling them large-scale farming and producing the seeds commercially. Rice scientists of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) successfully completed all field level experiments, researches and validation of these flash- flood tolerant variety paddies in recent years. The government went to the large-scale farming of these paddies from this season as the experiments showed that the varieties can sustain 10 to 17 days submergence paving the way of producing five tonnes paddy per hectare in the vast flash flood prone areas. The repeated successes in getting expected production of flood- tolerant paddies in Bangladesh and India in recent years have ushered in a new era in the disaster-prone agriculture sector of the country, sub- continent and other flood- prone countries. The success was achieved through farming Swarna Sub1, BR11 Sub1, IR64 Sub1 and Sambamasuri Sub1 flood-tolerant varieties paddy using Participatory Variety Selection Mother Trial and Developed Agronomical Management Method methods. In Bangladesh, scientists and farmers successfully cultivated the paddy in on-station Rangpur BRRI Regional Station and on-farm farmers' fields at Rangpur, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Sirajganj and Nilphamari districts during the past two years.