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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Maoist menace decimates tourism in W Bengal's Junglemahal

Amitava Roy, Kolkata, 5 September : The Maoist menace has decimated the thriving tourism industry in West Bengal's Junglemahal area spread across three districts, a popular weekend gateway for city-dwellers here.
Several tourist attractions in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, which till a couple of years back reported 100% occupancy in all hotels and resorts during the peak season, now wear a deserted look round the year.
Admitting that the Maoist activities has affected tourism industry in the area, state Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee said, "It is a political and law and order problem". "It has negatively impacted the tourism industry in these districts and we can only hope that normalcy returns to the area so that tourist inflow increases once again," he said.

Anthrax spread in Bangladesh, health officials on high alert
BBC News, Dhaka, 5 September : Bangladesh has put health officials on high alert after the number of people infected by anthrax in the north of country rose to more than 300.
About 150 cattle have so far been killed by the disease that can be transferred to humans who handle or eat infected animals. The current outbreak is the biggest in the country's history, an official said. READ FULL STORY
SAARC finalises democracy charter to protect democracy
Dhaka, 5 September : SAARC members finalised the draft of its charter on democracy for protecting and strengthening democracy in the region, a top official said on Sunday.
Ending a two-day technical meeting in the city, representatives of all eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) okayed the draft prepared by Bangladesh. Foreign secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes told reporters that the proposed charter would strengthen the SAARC process in future as development and democratic governance were closely linked.
"Today, we have built an excellent foundation of democratic commitment in the South Asian region. We have adopted a clean draft of the charter on democracy," Quayes, who chaired the meet, told journalists at Sheraton Hotel.

Eight die as truck collides with car on NH-34 in Malda dist
Malda, 5 September : Eight people were killed and ten others injured when a truck collided head-on with a car on NH-34 in Malda district early today. All the victims were in the car, they said, adding that the truck collided with the car in Kaluadighi area.
National Highway (NH) 34 runs from Dum Dum in north Kolkata to Dalkhola, where it meets NH 31, which connects it to Siliguri, several towns in north Bengal and the North-East. The injured have been admitted to Malda Sadar Hospital, where their condition was stated to be critical.

Women sexually exploited in Maoist groups: J'khand Police
PTI, Ranchi, 5 September : Police have alleged that the so-called Maoists have been sexually exploiting women, specially in remote and backward villages.
Most women Maoists who either surrendered or were arrested, including one who recently gave herself up in West Bengal, have alleged that they were sexually exploited, a senior Jharkhand police officer said. "They are exploiting economic weakness, social weakness and remoteness of villages, which are mostly situated near or surrounded by forests," Inspector General of Police, R K Malik told PTI.
He said a a large number of condom packets were found in Maoist hideouts during recent operations in Khunti and Bokaro. "These people go to the villages to seek shelter. The villagers might be afraid to complain against them. But whatever reports we have, they are exploiting the women, no doubt," Malik said.
Trinamool Cong's to hit streets to oppose Tuesday's strike
Kolkata, 5 September : Trinamool Congress workers will hit the streets to oppose the 'bandh politics' of Left parties who were backing a nation-wide industrial strike on Tuesday called by the central trade unions, party chief Mamata Banerjee said here.
"We will take out processions and hold meetings on Tuesday to protest the strike, but will not go for confrontation," Banerjee, also the Railway Minister, told reporters.
Big banners matter a lot in Bollywood: Rituparna Sengupta
Joginder Tuteja, New Delhi, 5 September : After acting in about six films in Bollywood, National award-winning Bengali actress Rituparna Sengupta thinks that she is yet to receive her due in the Hindi industry in terms of recognition and offers from big banners.
This is the reason why the actress is excited about her upcoming film 'Life Express' in which she plays a corporate woman who approaches another woman (Divya Dutta) to step in as a surrogate mother. "This is something that has never been tried before.
Earlier in 'Chori Chori Chupke Chupke', Preity did play a surrogate mother but that was through a physical relationship with Salman's character. In 'Life Express', there is no such affair as surrogating is done medically. Divya's womb is hired and she is only the carrier of the baby," Rituparna told PTI.