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Friday, August 6, 2010

With Pranab visit,India signals changed approach to Bangladesh

Indrani Bagchi, New Delhi, 6 August : India will signal its seriousness in engaging Bangladesh with a special gesture, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will personally go to Dhaka on Saturday to sign a $1 billion credit agreement, the largest package that India has ever given to any country.
Mukherjee's personal appearance is deemed crucial because PM Dr Manmohan Singh wants to send an important message to its eastern neighbour, that Bangladesh is very high on the priority list. This signal is important because there has been speculation lately that Bangladesh was unhappy about the slow progress in bilateral matters after the visit of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.
Mukherjee is expected to meet the foreign and finance ministers in Dhaka as well as have a one-on-one meeting with the PM herself, before returning on Saturday night. He will announce a gift of 3 lakh tonnes of rice, but much more important, will tell the Bangladesh government that India is ready to schedule a meeting of the joint boundary working group after the Eid festival.

Mamata's 9/8 Lalgarh rally security to cost over Rs 1 crore
Kolkata, 6 August : The security arrangements before and during the rally to be organised by Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in Lalgarh on 9 August will cost over Rs 1 crore. The CRPF deployment in Lalgarh on 8 and 9 August to ensure the security of the Union ministers in West Midnapore on both the days will alone cost Rs 1.03 crores.
Home department sources revealed that deployment of one battalion of the Central forces in West Bengal costs Rs 8.6 lakhs per day. With six CRPF battalions depl-oyed in the state to assist the state police in anti-Maoist operations, atleast Rs 51.6 lakhs is spent every day.

2 BSF jawans killed in ambush, ultras flee to Bangladesh
Agartala, 6 August : Two BSF jawans guarding the ongoing border fencing work were on Friday killed in an ambush by suspected National Liberation Front of Tripura insurgents at Ratiacherra, a remote tribal hamlet in Dhalai district bordering Bangladesh.
A group of BSF jawans were patrolling on foot at Ratiacherra village bordering the Chittagong Hill Tract of Bangladesh. They were providing security to a construction company erecting barbed wire fencing when a group of ultras suddenly opened fire at them, DIG, BSF, A.K. Singh said. “The ultras also threw grenades at the jawans and injured two of them. The jawans retaliated by opening fire and the ultras fled to Bangladesh,” he said. The injured jawans, identified as Bajrangi and Arup Das, succumbed to injuries on the way to Agartala Medical College and Hospital.
DIG, Singh said it was suspected that some ultras were also injured but it could not be immediately known. BSF and Tripura State Rifles have launched a combing operation in the area.

Alipore Zoo to release deer as food for Sunderban's tigers
Prabir Ghose, Kolkata, 6 August : The Alipore Zoo has decided to release at least 60 spotted deer (chital) into the Sunderbans, they would keep the tigers busy as well as double up as tiger food.
The Royal Bengal tigers of the Sunderbans keep wandering into human settlements and walking off with cattle and other livestock apart from, at times, humans. There is a need to protect the tiger population that is a global affair. Therefore, if the tigers can get their type of food in the Sunderbans, they might refrain from entering the houses of humans. That is the logic behind the release of spotted deer into the deltas. Of course, the increase in numbers of the deer in the zoo is another factor that prompted the decision - these deer breed too fast.

Genetically modified crop may cause environment disaster
UNB, Dhaka, 6 August : Bangladesh's environmentalists have expressed deep concern over the genetically modified (GM) crops now cultivated in the country fearing environmental disaster as such GM crops could change the genetic characters of indigenous species of crops and plants.
They urged the authorities concerned to remain alert about genetically modified crops, which can cause wide variety of health problems, including accelerated aging, immune dysfunction, insulin disorders, organ damage and reproductive disruption. “We're very scared about the genetically modified foods and the main reason is uncertainty. As we don’t know how much harm these foods can cause for us,” said Abu Naser Khan, chairman of Paribesh Bachao Andolon (save environment movement).
Talking to UNB on Thursday, he said the genetically modified foods could destroy not only the nature but also the humanity. “Such foods are produced with the use of various harmful chemicals.” Abu Naser Khan said indigenous species of crops should be produced more to meet the increasing food demands. “We'll have to emphasize on producing selected high-yielding breeds of paddy to produce more crops.”