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Monday, August 9, 2010

Railway minister Mamata ready to start peace talks with Maoist

Mamata urges Maoists to hold "dialogue" with government
TMC pay respects to 'departed soul' of Maoist leader Azad
Jayanta Ghosh, Lalgarh, 9 August : Indian Railway Minister and chief of Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee addressed a huge rally at Lalgarh on Monday afternoon and said peace talks with Maoists should be started immediately. Mamata also said she was ready to take the initiative, to visit Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and other affected places to begin the talk process.
Banerjee's statement is being viewed as an attempt to take off from the peace initiatives of Cherukuri Rajkumar or Azad, who was gunned down in an 'encounter' in Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh in early July. Azad was the third in command and the group's chief spokesperson. Banerjee also said Azad had been murdered by the security forces. “That was not proper. I pay my respects to the departed soul. Azad's peace initiatives should restart immediately,” she said.
At this hotbed of Maoist activity, where extremists and security forces have played a bloody cat-and-mouse game for some years now, Mamata said: “Today is the day to commemorate the Quit India movement of the freedom struggle. On this Quit India day, let us take the pledge that terror will quit from Lalgarh.” Banerjee said politics cannot be played with death, at the cost of human life. “I will not support those who are indulging in violence. I invite Maoists to come to the negotiation table and seek a solution through constitutional and democratic means,” she said.
She raised the hopes of the people there by reiterating her demand that the joint operation by the Centre and the state government should immediately be stopped. She said a lot of the violence going on in Lalgarh had been attributed to the Maoists, when in actuality they were being perpetrated by CPI(M) cadres, with the active help of the security forces. Photos : AFP, Arpan Mukherjee READ BBC STORY

Right to Information Act to be included in B'deshi text book
Dhaka, 9 August : Bangladesh Information Commission is trying to persuade the government to include a chapter on the Right to Information Act (RTI) in the text books.
"We have talked to the education ministry to add a couple of pages on the Act in the secondary and higher-secondary text books", said the chief information commissioner Mohammad Zamir whilst speaking at a meeting on the RTI training module. "The inclusion of a chapter on RTI in the text books might have to wait till next year".

Should talk to Maoists : TMC's MP Kabir Suman in Tripura
IBNS, Agartala, 9 August : While Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee hold a massive anti-terror rally at West Bengal's Maoist hotbed Lalgarh on Monday, sympathizer of these Maoists Kabir Suman was found missing from political demonstration.
Instead, the party's Standing Member of Parliament was seen at a concert in Agartala, questioning the present scenario of West Bengal where security forces are trying to win a 'battle against the Maoists with arms'. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the concert, singer Kabir Suman said, “Power corrupts a party when it stays long in the government and so I want the CPI(M) led Left Front government (in West Bengal) to leave the chair...they have to. Who am I, the people of Bengal do not want them anymore.”
"Did any leader to for a talk or dialogue with them (Maoists)?” He further said, “Don’t you think that the government should have gone for a dialogue with the Maoist long ag,o keeping in view the talks between Laldenga (Pu Laldenga was Chief Minister of Mizoram state in North-eastern India from 1986 till 1988) and Rajiv Gandhi. File Photo

Mamata considering to set up a railway factory in Lalgarh !
Lalgarh, 9 August : Aware of the ordeal which the oppressed classes face, Indian Railway minister promised that she will take whatever measures it takes for the development of Junglemahal where there is no road, electricity or schools or colleges. For the creation of job opportunities, she also assured that if need arose, she can consider setting up a railway factory in Lalgarh.

Lefts protest in LS at holding of Mamata's rally in Lalgarh
UNI, New Delhi, 9 August : CPI(M)-led Left parties members today registered their protest in the Lok Sabha against the holding of a rally at Lalgarh in Janglemahal of West Bengal by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress party and its allies.
As soon as the Lok Sabha assembled in the morning for transacting the day's business MPs of the Left Parties were on their feet. They demanded an immediate discussion on this issue. All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) MPs led by party's Chief Whip Sudip Bandhopadhya angrily protested at the demand of the Left parties.

Now Khaleda invited Prime Minister Hasina to an iftar party
UNB Dhaka, 9 August : Leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia has invited Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to an iftar party on 17 August.
BNP will host the iftar at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in honor of the country’s political leaders. Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia’s PS Saleh Ahmed and APS Surutuzzaman formally handed over the iftar invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s PS (2) Selima Begum at the PM’s office at 12:30 pm today. On Sunday Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to an iftar party on 5 Ramadan

Three ULFA militants arrested in Assam, RDX recovered
PTI, Guwahati, 9 August : At least three ULFA militants were today arrested and 500 gm of RDX recovered from one of them as police said they had planned violence ahead of Independence day celebrations.
Police said Kiron Barua alias Ranjit Moran, who had taken refuge in Majuli after coming from Myanmar, was arrested from the Dhudan Chapori area of the river island in upper Assam and 500 gram of RDX recovered from him. In another incident, two cadres Utpal Deka and Dinesh Kalita were held from the Chandmari area here.

Four PCAPA members arrested from Lalgarh rally venue
Lalgarh, 9 August : Four members of the Maoist-backed PCAPA were arrested today from near the venue of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's rally in the area, a hotbed of the Maoists.
"One of the four Sushil Mahato was re-arrested after he fled from police custody, while three others were taken into custody for extortion and criminal activities," West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma said. He said that Mahato was re-arrested from Nischintapur village and three others from Gohmidanga village when the rally was underway. All the four members of People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) were unarmed. The SP said that the rally lasted nearly three hours and passed off peacefully. "We will be keeping a close watch on the situation," the SP said.
The joint forces, meanwhile, were conducting an intensive combing operation in Gohmidanga forest since morning on an intelligence tipoff that PCAPA Secretary Manoj Mahato and his associates were hiding there. Photo : Arpan Mukherjee
Assam' BarakValley youths protest outside Mamata's home
Kolkata, 9 August : Even as railway minister Mamata Banerjee was busy in Lalgarh, a group of youths from Assam's Barak Valley held a demonstration outside her Kalighat residence in south Kolkata on Monday to protest the delay in converting the Lumding-Silchar railway line into broad gauge.
The "indefinite hunger strike", staged by All Barak Youths and Students Association (ABYSA), was withdrawn, however, after Union minister of state Dinesh Trivedi and Mamata's close aides in the railway ministry talked to them, promising speedy action. It was learned that Mamata herself had asked Trivedi to talk to the agitators when she heard about the dharna while going to Lalgarh.

2 National Liberation Front of Tripura insurgents surrender
PTI, Agartala, 9 August : Two insurgents of banned National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have surrendered to the Assam Rifles at Kanchanpur in North Tripura district, police today said.
The duo - Dahan Chandra Reang and Purnaram Reang - surrendered to the 38 battalion of Assam Rifles in the area yesterday. They deposited one rifle, two gelatine sticks and two detonators.

Bus strike between Dhaka and 22 South dists withdrawn
Dhaka, 9 August : The strike that halted bus service between Dhaka and 22 districts of the Bangladesh's southwestern parts has been withdrawn. Gabtali terminal transport workers called the strike on Monday morning following a conflict with their Faridpur counterparts over forcible toll collection.
Andaman tribals not primitive: E&F Minister Jairam Ramesh
IANS, New Delhi, 9 August : Indian Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh Monday objected to calling the native tribals of Andaman and Nicobar “primitive tribes” even as their decreasing numbers continue to be a major concern.
“We must stop using the term primitive, use the term original inhabitants,” Ramesh said while replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha. Great Andamanese, Onges, Jarawas, Sentinelese and Shompens are the identified tribes from the islands.
“They are away from the mainstream. They are original Negroids who migrated from Africa, how the local administration saves them is a challenge,” Ramesh said. Photo : Thierry Falise