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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

West Bengal announces surrender cum rehab plan for Maoists

Kolkata, 28 July : The West Bengal government Wednesday announced a surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for the Maoists with immediate effect.
As per the package, based on guidelines formulated by the union home ministry, surrendering Maoists would get a monthly stipend of Rs.2,000 for a period of three years, while the state government would make a fixed deposit of Rs.1.5 lakh for three years for each. Once the fixed deposit matures, the entire money would be handed over to the rebel if he shows good conduct for three years. "We are also prepared to give them loans for doing business before the fixed deposit matures. The fixed deposit amount would be the security," said Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh.
Officers of the level of additional director general of police (ADGP) and inspector general would monitor the package, while the Left-wing extremists could surrender before a district magistrate, police superintendent or other senior officials. The state government would also provide compensation amount to Maoists for surrendering weapons.
"If they surrender a machine gun they get Rs.25,000. For an AK-47, they get Rs.15,000. Rs.3,000 will be given for surrendering a revolver or a landmine. For every kilogram of explosive we will will pay Rs.1,000," the police chief said. And if they deposit a satellite phone, Rs.10,000 will be provided, he added.

Bangladesh's garment labour unions welcome 'wage hike'
AFP, Dhaka, 28 July : Leading Bangladeshi trade unions said Wednesday millions of garment workers would accept a proposed 80-percent increase in their minimum wage, raising hopes of an end to months of violent protests.
The government said Tuesday it would raise the minimum wage from 1,662 taka, the lowest industry salary worldwide, to 3,000 taka (43 dollars) - below the 5,000 taka demanded by some unions. "A majority of unions have welcomed the wage board decision," said Shamsun Nahar Bhuiyan, a union representative who sat on an emergency wage board looking into the issue. "We feel that we have scored a victory. Obviously we would have liked more, but we are aware of the realities and we don't want to destroy Bangladesh's competitiveness," she told AFP.
Bangladesh's Labour Minister is expected to make a formal announcement of the wage hike on Thursday. Photo : UNB, AFP
Another died, 9 more new swine flu cases in West Bengal
Kolkata, 28 July : A 61-year-old woman died of swine flu here on Wednesday, taking the total deaths due to the A(H1NI) virus infection in West Bengal to two.
Earlier, another person had died of the flu on 20 July. Nine new positive cases of swine flu were detected in the State on the day. The total number of swine flu-afflicted patients in the State stand at 81 since 1 July. According to the State health department's swine flu wing, condition of four of the patients is critical and is being constantly monitored. Dr. Asit Biswas, nodal officer of the swine flu wing, said that 26 out of the 82 affected patients are undergoing treatment at the Beliaghata ID Hospital.
Tripura boy Somdev enters ATP Farmer Classic 2nd round
PTI, Los Angeles (USA), 28 July : Tripura boy Somdev Devvarman advanced to the second round of the USD 619,500 Farmers Classic singles event with a straight set victory over local qualifier Steve Johnson here.
Somdev, who made it to the main draw through a qualifier, beat his American opponent 6-4 6-4 in the first round match which lasted one and half hours. The Indian, currently ranked 103rd in the world, was clearly the dominating player but had to dig deep into his reserves to win long rallies against his opponent, ranked outside the 1000 bracket.
He faces sixth seed and world number 45 Serbian Janko Tipsaveric in the second round.

WestBengal govt to provide OBC reservation in panchayats
PTI, Kolkata, 28 July : West Bengal Government will soon provide reservation to the people under OBC category in panchayat administration and asked the Centre to initiate steps for similar reservation in other states.
In a written statement in the state Assembly today, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, Anisur Rahaman informed that the state government would soon amend the West Bengal Panchayat Act to grant reservation to OBC people. He said identification of a section of OBC people in the state had already been done. The process of further identification was on by the OBC Commission and more people would be included in the list before its final announcement. Inclusion of the OBCs in the three-tier panchayati administration was essential for the development of these people and their areas, he said.
Apart from the members of three-tier panchayati raj system, the state government would also seek reservation of OBCs for the post of chairperson in panchayat bodies. The number of posts to be reserved for OBCs would be finalised on the basis of OBC population in the area, he said.

Move on to activate 'SAARC Food Bank' for food security
Dhaka, 28 July : Steps are being taken to activate the 'SAARC Food Bank' in a bid to ensure food security in member countries.
The next meeting of the organisation, to be held at Dhaka on 27-28 October, will decide on the next course of action. Bangladesh food minister Abdur Razzaque revealed this on Tuesday at a meeting regarding preparation for the 'SAARC Food Bank' meeting at the food and disaster management ministry's conference room. The upcoming meeting is to be attended by representatives from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He also said that all problems regarding the food bank's activation would be solved in the meeting.
Elaborating on the food bank's purpose, Razzaque said, "It will provide regional support to national food security efforts, foster inter-country partnerships and regional integration, and solve regional food shortages through collective action." Photo : PTI

Fresh water dolphin found dead in Gomati river in Tripura
Agartala, 28 July : A fresh water dolphin was found dead from the banks of the river Gomati in South Tripura district, officials said here today.
Villager Abul Kasem spotted the dolphin weighing about 200kg yesterday after which a team from the forest department took away the carcass.The dolphin might have swum down the backwater from river Padma in Bangladesh and died here due to lower water level, Chief Wildlife Warden Dr A K Gupta said.This is for the first that the mammal species was found in a Tripura river.
Kala Azar affects 252+ people in Malda district this year
Malda, Kolkata, July : At least 252 people have been afflicted by Kala Azar in Malda district this year, a medical officer said Wednesday.
“Six to seven blocks in Malda district are prone to Kala Azar. This year 252 people have been affected,” Chief Medical Officer of Health (Malda) Srikanta Roy told IANS over phone. However, locals claimed that more than 300 people have been laid low by the disease caused by a parasite, Leishmania donovani, in the last one month.
The potentially fatal disease affects the internal organs, particularly the liver, spleen, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Roy said that between January and June, 150 people tested positive for Kala Azar. “We conducted door-to-door survey between 21 June and 5 July and detected 102 more patients,” he added. Roy said special medical teams have been set up for treating the patients.

No threat from Trinamool Congress in Andaman: Congress
Port Blair, 28 July : Andaman and Nicobar Territorial Congress Committee president Kuldeep Rai Sharma ruled out any threat from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to the Congress in the Islands, saying no leader from the Congress would join the TMC.
''The Congress is united from North Andaman to Campbell Bay Island. Those who are truly the Congress workers or leaders will not join the Trinamool Congress. It will be for one's personal benefit, one will be joining that party,'' Sharma told newspersons here.
Assam CM Gogoi to undergo openheart surgery in Mumbai
PTI, Guwahati, 28 July : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, recuperating in a hospital in Delhi, will undergo an open-heart surgery in Mumbai.
"His condition is stable and he is having a normal diet. But he is not discharging official duties," the chief minister's press advisor Deba Bora told PTI. 77-year-old Gogoi was taken ill on Saturday at the meeting of the National Development Council in New Delhi and was subsequently admitted to a private hospital where he was diagnosed to have two heart blockages that needed open-heart surgery.
India's biggest "Travel and Tourism Fair" from 31st July
Kolkata, 28 July : Cambodia and Korea are the two new countries that would participate for the first time in the annual Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF), India's biggest travel mart, beginning here from Saturday at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
The 3-day event, which is a much awaited fixture on the travel industry calendar, will bring together more than 300 participants from all over India, including representations from 26 states and seven countries, under one roof. The countries represented in TTF Kolkata include Cambodia and Korea (participating in TTF Kolkata for the first time), China, Dubai, Egypt, Bhutan, and Nepal, said a release by the organizers. Among the major state tourism participants are Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala.
TTF Kolkata provides a platform to the travel and tourism industry from all India and abroad to reach out to the travel trade, potential tourists and business travellers in the Eastern Region. At TTF, tourists and business travelers can look forward to information on thousands of destinations, attractive hotel rates and best deals in package tours. File Photo

President condoles BNP secretary general Bhuiyan's death
Dhaka, 28 July : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman has mourned death of the former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, who died of lung cancer on Wednesday.
He also prayed for the departed soul and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family. In a separate message, post and telecommunications minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju said: "The void created in the political arena following his death cannot be filled."

Kolkata hosts national civil engineering skills competition
Kolkata, 28 July : About 50 students of civil engineering from across the country are participating in a national competition here yesterday to showcase their design skills.
The competition is being organised by Institute for Steel Development and Growth (INSDAG), a non-profit body established by the Steel Ministry. Speaking on the occasion, INSDAG director general Sushim Banerjee said rapidly changing developments in the field of civil engineering have generated the need for young and trained engineers, particularly in the research and development area.
Hindi flim KHJJS: Masterda Surjya Sen storm period thriller
Chittagong, Kolkata, 28 July : Zoom into flashback mode and discover a duo of dons, molls and the underbelly of the underworld set in the 1970s, with 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai'. Delve further and...you'll be rewarded with 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey', a period thriller based on the Chittagong Uprising Of the 1930s, helmed by Ashutosh Gowariker and patterned on the book 'Do And Die' by Manini Chatterjee.
Abhishek Bachchan (as Master Da Surjya Sen) and Deepika Padukone (as Kalpana Dutta) pair up under the hawk eyed guidance of Gowariker to unveil a saga of grit and defiant bravery, slated to illumine cinemas on 3 December, 2010. Once Abhishek Bachchan enacting Surjya Sen and Deepika Padukone essaying Kalpana Dutta had been pencilled into the project, the search was on through extensive auditions to rope in artistes who could imbibe and reflect the very essence of each of Sen’s team of revolutionaries, bringing these forgotten patriots to life on screen. Their role in the uprising was defined by their personalities, which were varying in attributes.
Master Da Surjya Sen with his team of revolutionaries led the attack on five centres of British power in the town of Chittagong (then a part of undivided India) on the night of 18th April, 1930. The revolutionaries complemented Surjya Sen's leadership and each became an integral part of the attack. Photos courtesy : Bolly Spice