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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Saptami : Festive mood overwhelms entire Kolkata and Bengal

Kolkata, 14 October : The colourful night of Mahasasthi finally faded out to give way to the dawn of Mahasaptami and with this the festive mood of Durga Puja has started to reach the crescendo from Thursday.
The entire state is bubbling with joy and enthusiasm; be it a child or an adult...everyone has zeroed on his/her plans to make Mahasaptami all the more special. But amidst all the celebrations, the true colour of the festival lies in the worship of Durga and the various rituals associated with it. The main ritual on Mahasaptami is Nabapatrika snan or Kolabou snan.
Thus, the fervour of Durga Puja-the biggest festival of Bengalis-started on Thursday amid beating of 'dhak' (local drums), pandalhopping and cultural functions at various marquees. Photos : Soumik Kar, AFP

Depression over Bay intensifies, ports asked to hoist sig - 3
Dhaka, 14 October : The depression over east-central Bay and adjoining North Bay moved northwestwards intensified into a deep depression over the same area.
It was centered at 6am on Thursday about 585 kms south-southwest of Chittagong port, 520 kms south-southwest of Cox’s Bazaar port and 510 kms south of Mongla port. It is likely to intensify further and move in a northwesterly direction, said a special bulletin of Met office. Maximum sustained wind speed within 48 kms of the depression centre is about 50 kph rising to 60 kph in gusts or squalls. Sea will remain rough.
Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar and Mongla have been advised to hoist local cautionary signal number three ® three. All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

Ninety corrupt Tripura officials suspended
IANS, Agartala, 14 October : A total of 90 Tripura government officials have been suspended since last year for corruption, a minister told reporters here Wednesday.
"Around 90 government officials, including four block development officers (BDOs) and 13 middle ranking bureaucrats, were placed under suspension for financial misdeeds," said Tripura Rural Development Minister Jitendra Choudhury. The suspended officials included 70 panchayat secretaries posted in the rural areas across Tripura. "For achieving the desired goal in implementation of central and state government schemes, the government has engaged all principal secretaries and commissioners in monitoring works at grass root levels," the minister said.
"Departmental vigilance and audits are also being further strengthen to deal with corruption," Choudhury added.
Equations with PM and Sonia are good: Pranab Mukherjee
PTI, New Delhi, 14 October : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said his working equation with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is "excellent" and there is no no "trust deficit" between him and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
He said even Rajiv Gandhi, with whom things were said to have "gone wrong", had said that "many things said about him (Mukherjee) I found weren't true". At one point in an interview to "India Today", Mukherjee says he was already 75 and "there is a limit beyond which you cannot go. How long do you expect me to stay. I have overstayed my wicket."

Norway gov keen to invest in various sectors in Bangladesh
UNB, Dhaka, 14 October : Norway is very keen to invest in various sectors of Bangladesh including power and energy, shipbuilding, communication, ICT and agriculture.
The interest of the Norwegian government was conveyed when outgoing Ambassador of Norway Ingebjorg Stofring paid a farewell call on President Zullur Rahman at Bangabhaban today. During the meeting, the ambassador said her country is very willing to further contribute to the social sector of Bangladesh through expanding the trade and commerce in the coming days.
Kolkata Sex workers oppose traditional brothel soil practice
Kolkata, 14 October : Sex workers of Sonagachi, the largest red light district in the metropolis have once again opposed the ritual of collecting soil from their doorsteps for Durga puja, terming it as a "stigmatisation" of the community.
The 'ganikalay mitti' (soil from the doorstep of a brothel) is collected in the belief that a sex worker's client leaves behind his virtues and therefore the soil available there is fit for worshipping the Goddess and is much sought after before the pujas.
"We have been opposing the practice for the past three to four years. You label us as impure, but claim that the soil from our doorstep is required during puja," Sikha Gayen, a sex worker and an active member of Durbar Mahila Samannay Committee, the apex NGO of sex workers in West Bengal said. She said, "We don't care if this ritual is obliterated.