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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jhargram-Lalgarh area on alert in wake of Maoist Azad’s killing

Kolkata, 3 July : The West Bengal police have issued a high alert for police stations in the Jhargram-Lalgarh region after the news of CPI(Maoist) Spokesman Azad’s death in a police encounter spread. The police and the intelligence agencies are fearing attacks on security forces, police stations or security force camps in retaliation.
Azad was ranked number 3 in the CPI(Maoist). DGP Bhupinder Singh said, “Every time any of their senior leaders are killed or arrested, they retaliate in a dangerous manner to show the command they have and how they can kill. Keeping this in mind, we have alerted all our units in three LWE districts including Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore. There can be an attack anywhere in these districts. We have directed our forces to be prepared for retaliation.”

Mock drill in Kolkata airport
Kolkata, 3 July : Passengers were evacuated from the airport here as police and bomb disposal squad searched for an ''explosive'' planted in the domestic terminal during a mock drill today to test the alertness of staff and securitymen. The security personnel were informed at 1.45 pm that a bomb had been planted somewhere in the domestic terminal of the N S C Bose International Airport, airport sources said.
Following this airport police, CISF personnel, bomb disposal squad and sniffer dogs arrived and began searches as panicked passengers were evacuated from the terminal, they said. After about 15 minutes, the securitymen were informed by the authorities that it was a mock drill.
However, flight schedules were not affected by the exercise.

BNP siding with war criminals : Prime Minister Sk Hasina
Dhaka, 3 July : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused opposition BNP of siding with the war criminals of 1971.
"They have become restless just as the government is moving to prosecute the war criminals," she said on Saturday while inaugurating an extended meeting of Swechchhasebak League. Hasina said (BNP's) real face had surfaced alleging that the main opposition had lent its support to the war criminals, without naming the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami. BNP has recently declared that it endorsed Jamaat's protests against the arrest of its top leaders.

Govt to give all facilities to ULFA if they come for talks : CM
PTI, Guwahati, 3 July : The government is prepared to provide all facilities under law to the jailed top United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) leadership if they come forward for talks, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said today.
"We will give all facilities within the existing provisions of law to them (ULFA) to hold talks. But no proposal has been received so far from them," Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati. "The leaders who will talk have to come forward. We have got only one letter so far from an ULFA leader expressing willingness to talk," he said.
"But we want more leaders to come forward so that the talks are successful and complete. We want even the fence seaters, including (ULFA 'c-in-c') Paresh Barua, to come for negotiations," Gogoi said. "Our attempt is to bring the majority of their leaders to the negotiation table. But we cannot wait indefinitely," he said.

Power crisis to be solved by 2012 : Finance minister Muhith
Dhaka, 3 July : Bangladesh Finance minister AMA Muhith has stressed the need for sustainable investment in the power sector to address the ongoing crisis.
He was speaking at a conference titled 'Investment in Power Sector of Bangladesh: Opportunities and Challenges,' at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Saturday. Muhith also said that power crisis would not be solved before 2012. "There will be a gap between demand and supply this year and next year. The situation will be normal sometime after 2012," he added.

Govt to set up 1350mw mega coal-fired power plant in Ctg
Financial Express, Dhaka, 3 July : Bangladesh government has decided to set up amega coal-fired power plant worth over US$1.0 billion by independent power producer (IPP) to generate 1,350 megawatt (mw) of electricity in port city Chittagong, officials said Friday.
"We will build the coal-fired power plant under an IPP project to initiate electricity generation from the plant as soon as possible," Prime Minister's Adviser on energy issues Tawfiq-w-Elahi Chowdhury told the FE. He said the coal-fired IPP project, which would be the first of its kind in the country, would be put on offer before the private sector. READ FULL STORY
Brazil loss too much to bear for Bangladeshi Football fans
AFP, Dhaka, 3 July : At least 15 people were injured and Bangladesh's largest hospital recorded a jump in cases of sedative poisoning following Brazil's shock departure from the World Cup, a doctor said Saturday.
The injured and poisoned were taken to the state-run Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after Brazil lost its quarterfinal match against Netherlands, a game watched by nearly 80 million Bangladeshi fans. Firoz Ahmed, an emergency ward doctor at the 1,700-bed hospital, said among those treated Friday night were at least 15 Brazil or Argentina supporters. "They fought after some Argentine supporters celebrated Brazil's shock defeat. Most have head injuries, hit by sticks or stones," he said.
Most Bangladeshis support either of the two Latin American football giants and flags of Argentina and Brazil have been fluttering around the South Asian nation weeks before the tournament began in South Africa last month. Ahmed said at least five Brazilian supporters were admitted to the hospital due to "excess taking of sleeping pills as they could not digest the loss. Photos : AFP
Jyoti Basu' portrait to be unveiled in West Bengal Assembly
Kolkata, 3 July : A life-size portrait of late West Bengal chief minister and CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu will be unveiled in the state Assembly on 8 July.
The portrait by noted painter Wasim Kapoor would be unveiled by former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on the 96th birthday of Basu, West Bengal Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim said here today. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, Finance Minster Pranab Mukherjee, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat are among the leaders invited to the programme, he said.
Rajshahi-Dhaka private air service starts again this month
Rajshahi, 3 July : Air service on Rajshahi-Dhaka route will start again on a limited scale this month.
Galaxy Flying Academy, a private flying training school, signed a contract with the aviation authorities for the service. Rajshahi Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton informed the media about this at a news briefing yesterday. Alongside its regular training schedules, the academy will provide air services to passengers on the route. The academy constructed a hangar at Shah Makhdum Airport of Rajshahi and bought five Cessna airplanes for the training-come-passenger services. Each plane will travel carrying at least two passengers during the day within an hour of reservations.

Again Maoists kill CPI(M) leader in West Midnapore district
PTI, Jhargram, 3 July : A CPI(M) worker and former panchayat member was shot dead by suspected Maoists at Jhargram in West Midnapore district.
The police said the bullet-riddled body of 50-year-old Ganesh Murmu was found lying on the road with Maoist posters strewn beside it. A group of 20 armed Maoists had called Murmu from his home at Jaynagar village last night and he was shot from close range outside the forested village, the police said. The posters claimed that Murmu was a police informer and CPI(M) goon, the police said.
5.5-magnitude earthquake hits Andaman & Nicobar Islands
AFP, Port Blair, 3 July : A moderate 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit off Andaman & Nicobar Islands late Friday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning.
The quake struck at a depth of 27 kilometers (16 miles), the US Geological Survey said, 167 kilometers south of Port Blair on the Andaman Islands, in the Indian Ocean. USGS said the earthquake hit at 11:53 p.m. (1823 GMT). The Andaman Sea area witnesses frequent earthquakes caused by the meeting of the Indian tectonic plate with the Burmese microplate along an area known as the Andaman trench. The Andaman area witnesses frequent earthquakes.
Rail services in NE restored
IANS, Silchar, Agartala, 3 July : Rail services between the northeastern states of Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and southern Assam and the rest of India were restored partially Saturday after 18 days, an official said.
The services were suspended 15 June following heavy landslides and damage to tracks. 'From Saturday we are running goods train from Guwahati to southern Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. After observing the performance, we would run passenger trains from the middle of next week,' Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) spokesman Subrata Hajong told IANS over phone from Guwahati. 'Railway workers have cleared most of the debris in (southern Assam's) North Cachar Hills district. The huge mudslides covering more than 150 metres of rail track near Harangajao have also been cleared,' he said.
Torrential rains also washed away soil and stone chips under the railway track along a 300-metre stretch in Mailongdisa area in the same district. This was also set right after round-the-clock work, the spokesman added.
The metre gauge railway line from Guwahati passes through southern Assam connecting landlocked Tripura's capital Agartala and parts of Manipur and Mizoram with the rest of India. Photos : Chinmoy Roy