At least eight people were shot dead and 18 wounded allegedly by so-called CPI(M) 'Harmads' in Lalgarh Friday, prompting union Home Minister P.Chidambaram to summon the chief minister to New Delhi. န File Photos : AFP
Dhaka, 8 January : Bangladesh and Bhutan will sign a fresh agreement that allows South Asia's Himalayan landlocked neighbour to use this country's Mongla port.
A commerce ministry official said the deal may be inked during the visit of Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigmi Yoser Thinley next Monday, or anytime this year. Bangladesh is now finalising the guidelines for signing the agreement, he said. Thinley is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka Monday on a four-day visit. "The guidelines for the agreement are at the final stage," the unnamed official was quoted as saying by the Daily Star Friday.
UNB, Rangpur, 8 January : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the armed forces to gain the trust of the masses, and preserve it in view of its importance.
“Remember, the people are the strength of the country, and you are a part of these people. So it is very important to gain their trust and preserve it,” she said at the Darbar 66 Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army after witnessing their winter exercise. She said that the Bangladesh Army has always played a sparkling role for the country whenever it has been needed, apart from their professional activities and training.
Kolkata, 8 January : Expressing shock and anguish over the life sentence given to rights activist Dr Binayak Sen, doctors here Saturday said they would carry out an intensified campaign demanding his immediate and unconditional release.
City-based medical practitioners, who have formed an organisation 'Free Dr. Binayak Sen campaign, Doctors in Solidarity' to protest the conviction, urged the people to come forward and demand his release. "Through our organisation, we have been and will be protesting against the conviction. We need to broaden this campaign and we urge all democracy loving people, cutting across political beliefs, to come forward and demand Sen's immediate release," organisation convener Sanjib Mukherjee told reporters.
"We are in talks with the medical fraternity in other states and plan to converge in Delhi to protest," Mukherjee said. The organisation has also set up a monetary fund to help Sen in his legal battle.
He referred to the “exemplary” work Binayak did to reach healthcare to people in rural Chhattisgarh and said the judgement also raises some questions about India’s democracy, legal framework and Indian engagement with issue of equity. It appears that Binayak has been “unjustly convicted” though the matter is “sub-judice” and “we should not second-guess” the courts,” Dr Sen said, adding, he hopes that the ruling will be changed by the High Court or the Supreme Court.
“The charge of passing communication appeared to have been based on second-hand or third-hand material...even then how the offence of sedition could be made out? There was no indication that he supported or preached violence,” he said. Sen said he was somewhat “amazed” by the nature of the decision and added in a slightly lighter vein, “Tomorrow I may be sued for sedition depending on the content of a letter someone asked me to post in a letter box.”
“As Indian citizens, we have right to pose questions - like how some petty thinking became so dominant in the Indian legal system,” Sen said. He also referred to the sedition charge brought against writer Arundhati Roy and the point made that her comments allegedly offended “patriotic sentiments“. “In a democracy, we have no obligation to air only patriotic sentiments. If some people don’t understand it...this is about the foundation of democracy.”