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Friday, November 12, 2010

West Bengal's sloth Bears evacuated on fears of 'Maoist threat'

BBC News, Habib Beary, Bangalore, 12 November : Fearing Maoists attacks, Indian forest officials have moved 22 sloth bears from West Bengal to the south.
It took four days for the 12 male and ten female bears to be brought from Purulia to the Bennerghatta national park, near Bangalore, some 2000km away. Forest officials decided to rescue the animals because they felt they were under threat, the zoo's director said. The bears were moved after warnings from a conservation group who feared they were at risk from Maoist rebels. "The threat was real," SOS Wildlife's founder, Kartick Sathyanarayan, told the BBC. "The Maoists had put up a poster saying: 'Leave the forest if you want to remain safe'," he said. Maoists, he said, were believed to be behind a 2009 attack on Jhargram Zoo, in West Bengal, during which many animals were burnt alive. READ FULL STORY

Fire destroys Buddhist tribal chiefs palace in Chittagong HT
Dhaka, 12 November : A fire has destroyed the palace of Raja Debashish Roy, chief of the Chakma Buddhist tribe, in Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts, a media report said Friday.
The "mysterious" fire Wednesday night totally destroyed the palace in Rangamati "within minutes", The Daily Star reported. No member of the royal family was present during the fire. Raja Debashish Roy was in Bangkok and his daughter was in Dhaka. The palace was reputed to have rare books and furniture that were handed down over centuries. Fire fighters could save nothing as the fire burnt the palace to ashes within half an hour.

Ex-Bangladesh minister denied bail in Chittagong arm haul
Dhaka, 12 November : A court in Chittagong has denied bail to a former minister being probed for links to the 2004 seizure of a huge consignment of arms meant for an Indian militant group operating from Bangladesh.
The court order came late Thursday night after government lawyers and those of Lutfozzaman Babar, a minister in the former Khaleda Zia government, ‘engaged in a hot debate’ over the bail petition, The Daily Star said Friday. Babar is the first politician to be detained and questioned for the last five days about the arrival of truck-loads of arms, ammunition and explosives that, as per media reports here, were meant for the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

Jogmohan Dalmiya withdraws suit against Indian Cricket Br
Kolkata, 12 November : Former Indian cricket boss Jagmohan Dalmiya on Friday withdrew a civil suit filed by him against the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI).
In view of revocation of expulsion by BCCI in its last AGM, the suit which challenged the expulsion became infructuous and hence withdrawn, Dalmiya’s lawyer Ushanath Banerjee said. The suit, which was pending before Justice Sanjib Banerjee, was today mentioned before his court by Dalmiya’s counsels who sought its withdrawl. The prayer was granted by Justice Banerjee. Having apparently patched up with Pawar and his group after they fell out with his one-time foe Lalit Modi, Dalmiya withdrew the suit.
The process of reconciliation between Dalmiya and BCCI started at its AGM when it decided to revoke his suspension and also withdrew a civil suit that the board had filed against the Cricket Association of Bengal chief. The BCCI had in 2006 expelled him on charges of misappropriation of PILCOM (Pakistan-India-Lanka Committee) funds.
Under Pawar, who had come into power defeating Dalmiya at the BCCI elections in 2005, the board had initiated criminal cases against him. PILCOM was formed when the three countries hosted the 1996 cricket World Cup when Dalmiya was at the BCCI’s helm.