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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Central forces would remain in Junglemahal: WB CM Buddhadeb

Kolkata, 29 July : Rejecting Trinamool Congress demand for withdrawal of central forces from the Maoist-dominated districts in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said they would remain there till their work was complete.
Replying to questions in the state Assembly, he said 3,500 personnel of central forces, currently in 'jungle mahal' (West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts), would leave only after their work was over. Bhattacharjee said he had discussed the matter with the Centre which, he said, held a similar view. Without specifying the area where peace had returned following operations by the joint forces, the chief minister said a qualitative difference has been noticed at Goaltore and Salboni (in West Midnapore district).
Some success has also been noticed in other areas, he said. A large number of Maoists operating in jungle mahal now want to surrender, Bhattacharjee said adding government will provide Rs 1.50 lakh in fixed deposits, besides a monthly fund of Rs 2000 and other benefits to each surrendered Maoists.

Will overcome Maoist problem in 3 years : P Chidambaram
PTI, New Delhi, 29 July : The government on Thursday said it was confident of overcoming the Maoist problem in the next three years and had prepared a two-pronged strategy of initiating development and police action in the affected areas.
Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the ministry of home affairs, home minister P Chidambaram expressed confidence that the challenge of left wing extremism would be met jointly by the central and state governments. "The government was confident that the problem of left wing extremism would be overcome in the next three years," he said.
West Bengal public transport operators call three-day strike
Kolkata, 29 July : West Bengal's bus, minibus and taxi operators Thursday announced a three-day strike from 10 August to protest against the state government's decision not to increase fares after the recent fuel price hike.
"It is impossible for us to run buses as the expenditure has increased substantially. We are going on a strike from 10 to 12 August as the government is unwilling to increase the bus fares even after the fuel price hike," said Sadhan Das, president, Joint Council of Bus Syndicates. However, the operators said they would withdraw the strike call if the government accepted their demand by 10 August.
B'desh apex court wants safeguards against 'military rule'
IANS, Dhaka, 29 July : Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has denounced the declaration of martial law in the past and has sought safeguards to end “extra-constitutional adventures”.
Bangladesh underwent radical political and constitutional changes during a 15-year period between August 1975 and December 1990 when martial law was promulgated and the country had a series of military-led governments. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in a landmark 186 page ruling upheld a 2005 High Court verdict that had declared the fifth amendment to the constitution illegal. The apex court’s order was placed on the website Wednesday.
“We are putting on record our total disapproval of martial law and suspension of the constitution or any part thereof in any form,” said the apex court. “The perpetrators of such illegalities should also be suitably punished and condemned so that in future no adventurist, no usurper, would dare to defy the people, their constitution, their government, established by them with their consent,” the apex court concluded.
It also said military rule was wrongly justified in the past, and it should not be justified in future on any ground. “Let us bid farewell to all kinds of extra constitutional adventure forever,” it observed. File Photo : AFP
US funds for setting up new galleries in Rabindra museum
Kolkata, 29 July : The US government will provide funds to the tune of Rs 15 lakh to the Rabindra Bharati museum for setting up two new galleries, including an 'America gallery' dedicated to the bard's visits to the US. The funds would be utilised for finishing the entire project by May seven next year, coinciding with the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore, sources in the Rabindra Bharati university said.
US consul-general in Kolkata Beth A Payne will formally hand over the cheque to the University Vice-Chancellor Karuna Sindhu Das tomorrow.
Assembly passes Bill to ensure patients' right to treatment
Kolkata, 29 July : A Bill was passed in the West Bengal Assembly on Thursday to prevent unethical practices in clinical establishments and ensure a patient's right to treatment.
Replying to a debate on the West Bengal Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill 2010, the State's Health Minister Dr Surya Kanta Mishra said that private hospitals and nursing homes will, according to the new legislation, have to admit a patient without waiting for the patient's party to pay.
Reang refugee numbers may spoil Tripura - Mizoram talks
IANS, Agartala, 29 July : A dispute over the number of Mizoram tribal refugees sheltered in Tripura for 13 years might create a fresh imbroglio between the two northeastern states, officials said here Thursday.
A survey sponsored by the Mizoram government says the total number of refugees is 27,261 while the Tripura government says the figure is 40,504. “Disagreement over the number of refugees might create a serious impasse and an uneasy situation over refugee repatriation,” a top Tripura official said on condition of anonymity. Since October 1997, Reang tribal refugees, locally called Bru, have taken shelter in six camps in north Tripura’s Kanchanpur sub-division, adjacent to Mizoram. They fled western Mizoram after ethnic clashes with the majority Mizos over the killing of a Mizo forest official.
“After the repatriation of 1,133 refugees to Mizoram in May, the total number of refugee families are 6,224 comprising 40,504 men, women and children,” Shiva Prasad Biswas, the Tripura government’s relief, rehabilitation and disaster management department director, told IANS.

Gas production at Raniganj CBM block by Sept : Essar Oil
PTI, New Delhi, 29 July : Essar Oil today said it will begin gas production from its Raniganj CBM block in West Bengal by September and will achieve peak output in late 2012.
"Production will begin this quarter... Either by end- August or early September," EOL Head of E&P Shishir Agrawal told reporters here. The Raniganj coal bed methane (CBM) block will produce 90,000-100,000 cubic metres per day of gas initially and will touch a peak output of 3.5 million standard cubic metres per day by the fourth quarter of the 2012 calendar year, he said. EOL is investing $300 million for CBM gas production.
Family refuses to accept body of PCPA leader Sidhu Soren
ANI, Midnapore, 29 July : The Family of Sidhu Soren Maoist leader and General Secretary of the People Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) in west Midnapore district has refused to accept his body.
Soren along with five other rebels were killed in a gun battle with the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the state police in the dense Goaltor forests on Monday. Sidhu Soren was also the head of Sidhu-Kanhu Gana Militia. Family members of Soren are accusing the security forces of wrongfully killing Soren.
"If the police come, I want to ask them why they killed him. They (Police) should have broken his arms and legs rather than killing him. They should have fired below his knee. They are well aware of the law and court of justice. What did he do? How many people did he kill? Give me proof," said Jamadar Baskey, father of Sidhu.
Soren was wanted in several cases of murder, kidnapping and for setting several police stations in the area on fire. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered from the forest area after the encounter. File Photo : AFP

At least 42 dead in southern Bangladesh floods, landslide
AFP, Dhaka, 29 July : At least 42 people have been killed by landslides and flash floods in southern Bangladesh and dozens more are missing, police and local officials said.
In the worst affected area of Teknaf - which is on the border with Myanmar and home to tens of thousands of ethnic Rohingya refugees - at least 25 people were killed and six missing, local official A.N.M Nazim Uddin told AFP. The countrys flood warning centre said that most of the countrys southeast had experienced heavy rainfall during the past 24 hours, with 24.2 centimetres (9.5 inches) falling in many areas.
“Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in makeshift camps on the hills around Teknaf have been affected by the floods,” he added. “All the roads are under water. We cant reach areas where thousands of people are trapped by the floods,” he said by phone.
'Kolkata Fashion Week' organizer faces cheating case
Kolkata, 29 July : Sports and event management company Mindscape Maestro, which organized the 2009 Kolkata Fashion Week (KFW), has been sued by the modeling agency Elite Model Management on charges of cheating. It has filed a FIR against Yudhajit Dutta, Pratik Sen, and Randeb Paul, the directors of Mindscape.
According to a statement by Elite, the case is registered under the section 420 with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Northeast to have its own fashion event
PTI, Kolkata, 29 July : In an effort to place the north-east on the country's fashion map, a three-day extravaganza will be held next month in Guwahati where top national designers and models are expected to participate.
The first of its kind, 'North East Fashion Weekend', which begins on 11 August, will feature the works of designers originating from the north-east along with ace designers like Ritu Kumar and Wendell Rodericks. "It is an opportunity to present the talent that has largely been restricted to the region so far. The event aims to bring out the best of the Northeast and give it a national platform," Paramita Saha, CEO of Arts Forward, the organisers of the event, told PTI.
The event will enable the business of fashion to prosper in an area that is rich in local textile traditions, heritage weaves and tribal inspirations.