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Thursday, January 13, 2011

ISRO and NTRO-enabled control room for anti-Naxal operations

PTI, New Delhi, 13 January : A state-of-the-art control room with giant TV screens that will help track the offensive of security forces in Naxal strongholds with satellite imaging and GPS has been activated at the CRPF headquarters here.
Official sources said the control room will enable top officers to track the movement of personnel in thick jungles and hilly terrains across states where anti-Naxal operations are on.
A giant screen comprising 16 LCD screens has been put up, which at the push of a button will show the exact positioning of troops in the area. The preloaded satellite images will give a fair idea of the patrol party's location and nearby areas.
The project was kick-started few years back with the force approaching the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for satellite imaging of Naxal areas. The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) is also part of the project. File Photos : AFP

World Bank to provide $1.2bn for Padma M'purpose Bridge
Dhaka, 13 January : The World Bank, through its concessionary arm- the International Development Association (IDA)- will provide US$ 1.2 billion for the country’s largest ever infrastructure development project, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB).
The government of Bangladesh and the World Bank held successful negotiations of US$1.2 billion concessional credit for the project on January 9, which is expected to have a transformational effect on the nearly 30 million people living in the south west region, and accelerate growth in the country as a whole.

'Take immediate steps to prevent violence'
Kolkata, 13 January : Adopting a pro-active approach, West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan today summoned Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and asked the state government to take immediate steps on maintaining law and order and prevent violence.
Home secretary G D Gautama and DGP N Mukherjee were also present at the 30-minute meeting. Gautama later told reporters at Writers' Building that the Governor reviewed law and order and asked the government to immediately take steps to prevent recurrence of violence and concentrate more attention on maintaining law and order.
"No democracy can allow such violence: no civilised society can tolerate such wanton disregard for human lives and no state can accept such mindless discord," he had said in a statement.
One person held in connection with 7th Jan's Netai killing
Kolkata, 13 January : An alleged CPI(M) supporter was arrested today in connection with the killing of seven unarmed persons on 7 January at Netai village in West Midnapore district.
A senior district police officer today said that Ajit Hembram was arrested from Belatikri village in the Lalgarh area this morning. Two persons had earlier been arrested in this connection.
400Gorkha Janmukti Morcha workers detained in Jalpaiguri
Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, 13 January : Around 400 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha workers, who were holding a road blockade on the second day of their 96-hour bandh to press for Gorkhaland, were detained in Jalpaiguri district today.
The GJM workers, who blocked roads since 6 AM at Nagrakata, were taken to the Jalpaiguri Kotwali police station, police said. Among those detained were GJM central committee members Rajen Lohar and Santosh Rai.
The effect of the bandh was felt at Kalchini, Malbazar, Nagrakata, Banarhat and other areas where the Gorkhas are in a majority with shops, establishments, schools and colleges closed.
In Darjeeling town, GJM workers were picketing at the Chowk Bazar.The offices of the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, DGHC headquarters at Lalkothi, Food and Supply and Drug Control offices at Chowk Bazar were closed, SP D P Singh said.
Picketing by GJM activists was also reported from Sukhiapokhri and Sukna. Photo : AFP

North Bengal people have shown yellow card to govt : BNP
UNB, Dhaka, 13 January : BNP leaders on Thursday said people of North Bengal have shown the Awami League government the yellow card through Wednesday’s municipal elections, for its “misrule and failures. while red card is waiting”.
The BNP leader made the remarks addressing a rally at the city’s Muktangon this afternoon, organized by Dhaka city Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal south unit in protest of killing of Shahidullah Mollah, president Jubodal ward no 32 of the city.

US sees room for improvement in rules for 'war crimes trial'
UNB, Dhaka, 13 January : US Ambassador-at-Large Stephen Rapp has stressed the importance of bringing potential changes to the rules under the International Crimes Tribunal Act of 1973, in order to hold an open and transparent trial of war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971 that is recognized under international law.
Speaking at a pre-departure press conference at the American Club, he said Bangladesh has decided to prosecute not ordinary crimes, but international crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 1971.
Rapp said it is possible to try people who committed murder, rape, arson and robbery on a massive scale through an international system in compliance with international treaties like the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the International Criminal Court (ICC), both of which have been ratified by Bangladesh.
Recalling the passage of the International Crimes Tribunal Act by the Bangladesh parliament in 1973, later amended in 2009, the Ambassador said the rules need to be reformed by incorporating accepted definitions for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, like those set by the ICC and international tribunals in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia on war crimes.

Remarks against Buddhadeb expunged after Left protest
PTI, Chennai, 13 January : Tamil Nadu Assembly today witnessed heated exchanges between Congress and the Left parties over some remarks made by Congress whip S Peter Alphonse against West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, which were expunged later.
Trouble erupted when Alphonse, speaking on the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address to the Assembly, made some remarks against Bhattacharjee while flaying the Left parties, drawing strong reactions from the Lefts.
Assam under grip of "cold"
Guwahati, 13 January : Cold wave conditions prevailed in Assam today as the mercury plummeted to a record low of eight degrees Celsius affecting normal life.
A spokesman for the Regional Meteorology Centre here said the cold wave would persist for a couple of days more, which came as dampener for those preparing to celebrate the Magh Bihu harvest festival starting tomorrow. Cold north-westerly winds from north India have resulted in the dip in temperature. The cold wave was persisting in north India and Gangetic West Bengal due to Western Disturbance in the Himalayas, he explained.
Normal life was affected in many parts of the state which came under a thick blanket of fog as people were seen huddling around bonfires to keep themselves warm. Attendance in government offices was also low. Photo : Chimoy Roy

HC declares illegal corporal punishment to school students
UNB, Dhaka, 13 January : The High Court on Thursday declared illegal as well as unconstitutional all kinds of corporal punishment to the students in schools and madrasas enforced by teachers.
Delivering the judgment on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the High Court also asked the government to formulate an effective policy guideline to bring to an end of all kinds of corporal punishment in classrooms to ensure a more conducive atmosphere for the students, as the existing procedure against the perpetrators lacks propriety.
The Education Ministry admits that teachers of some educational institutions impose inhuman punishments on the students for various reasons including violation of discipline and negligence in studies, resulting in students’ progress being hampered, and impeding their physical and mental growth from flourishing.
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) jointly filed the PIL writ petition that sought necessary directives on the government to stop corporal punishment for the school students at all levels.

Kolkata to host Indian Senior National TT from 17 January
PTI, New Delhi, 13 January : Kolkata's Netaji Indoor stadium will host the 72nd Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships from 17 to 23 January.
A total of 31 states, including 2 institutions will participate in the men's team event, while in the women's section 27 states, including 2 institutions, will vie for top honours. According to a Table Tennis Federation of India release, for the first time Arunachal Pradesh will be participating both in the men's and women's team championship.

Minor reshuffle in Okram Ibobi Singh's ministry in Manipur
PTI, Imphal, 13 January : In a minor reshuffle, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has reallocated some portfolios in his Secular Progressive Front (SPF) ministry.
Y Erabot, who was earlier the civil supply minister, will now hold charge of commerce and industry, an official notification said today.
Documentary on Hiuen Tsang's 17 year' journey to be shot
PTI, Varanasi, 13 January : Famous Chinese Buddhist monk Hiuen Tsang's 17-year-long journey to India in 629 AD is the focus of a new documentary by NRI filmmaker Ravi Verma.
'Hridaysutram' is a part of 'Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra', which inspired the monk to travel to India. Hiuen Tsang later returned to China with three copies of the sacred text and translated it into Chinese.
Bihar-born filmmaker Verma, who shifted his base to the US, is a follower of Buddhist teachings and plans to complete the documentary in the next six months.
Verma says the documentary will detail different aspects of Buddha's life but the primary focus will be on Hiuen Tsang, who travelled to India to collect authentic Buddhist parchments and spent his entire life transcribing them.