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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No airport at Arial Beel in Munshiganj, PM tells Cabinet meeting

Dhaka, 2 February : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wednesday said her government will not push for building a new international airport in Munshiganj, after protests that turned violent this week.
There will be no airport in Arial Beel "against the will of the people", she said at her cabinet meeting, in a reversal of her government's earlier decision. A policeman had died and over a hundred people, including some journalists, were injured Monday in the clashes at Arial Beel in Munshiganj. Police booked over 3,000 protesters and resorted to large-scale arrests to quell the protests.
The issue also turned into a political confrontation with a case filed Tuesday against opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia. Zia was accused of inciting violence at a meeting in Dhaka where she attacked the government for re-locating the project from Trisha to Arial Beel. File Photos : Reuters, AFP

BNP calls countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal on 7 February
UNB, Dhaka, 2 February : Bangladesh's main opposition BNP has announced countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal on 7 February to protest false cases against its chairperson Khaleda Zia in connection with the violence over the planned airport at Arial Beel and to press for canceling the airport plan.
The hartal was also called to protest “soaring prices of essentials and plundering the share market” as well as to press for the resignation of the incumbent Election Commission.

West Bengal government to set up 31 cold storage facilities
Kolkata, 2 February : West Bengal will establish 31 cold storage facilities and several food parks across the state to give farmers better rewards for their produce, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Wednesday announced.
The cold storages will be built in association with the state agricultural marketing department, Bhattacharjee said while inaugurating the "Horti Food Fest 2011" organised by the state's department of food processing industry and horticulture here. Along with production, it is essential that there are storage facilities. Marketing of the goods is also very important. These cold storage facilities and food parks will play an important role in enabling the farmers to get better rewards for their produce, he said.

CM Manik Sarkar seeks redeployment of CRPF in Tripura
PTI, Agartala, 2 February : Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkarhas asked the Centre to redeploy the CRPF withdrawn in 2009for effective containment of insurgency which had ravaged thestate for last three decades.
Despite remarkable improvement in the situation, we believe that there is no scope for complacency in dealing with insurgency", Sarkar said. "It is essential that three battalions of CRPF withdrawn from the state in 2009 be re deployed for continuing effective operations against the insurgency, Sarkar said while addressing the conference of Chief Ministers oninternal security in Delhi yesterday.
Stressing the need for effective border management, he said of the 856 km long border with Bangladesh only 675 kmhas been fenced and the remaining parts need to be fenced speedily to check infiltration of insurgents who were stillusing the soil of the neighbouring country.
The Chief Minister, who is also the Home Minister,stated that the existing gap between two Border Outposts (BOPs) needed to be reduced from eight km to four km anddeployment of more Border Security Force (BSF) to check infiltration of illegal migrants, insurgents and illegaltrade.

Keventer Agro to set up food testing laboratory in Barasat
Kolkata, 2 February : Keventer Agro Ltd, the food processing arm of food major Keventer Group, will set up a Rs.25 crore food testing laboratory in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district in collaboration with CARSO of France.
"The laboratory will cater to testing requirements of sectors like food, water, beverages, meat, fish, tea, spices and several other agricultural products," M.K. Jalan, chairman of the group, told reporters. The Rs.25 crore Barasat plant is part of a Rs.400 crore expansion plan of the group spread across Gujarat, Bihar and Karnataka.

High Court constitutes a committee over "Mahasthangarh"
UNB, Dhaka, 2 February : Bangladesh High Court on Wednesday constituted a ten-member committee to make recommendations on ways to protect the historical shrine and mosque at Mahasthangarh, the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh.
Constituting the committee with DG of the department of archeology as its head, a division bench asked it to submit a report within two months. Other committee members are Bogra Deputy Commissioner (DC) and Superintendent of Police (SP), Superintending Engineer, Curator, president of Mazar committee, Dhaka University teacher Dr Muntasir Mamun, journalist-writer Shahriar Kabir, a representative of the National Museum and Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor.

The court orders came during the rule hearing on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) writ petition that challenged the legality of constructing the structures close to the periphery of the Mahasthangarh, the capital of Kingdom of the Mourjo, the Gupta and the Sen Dynasty established in 2500 BC.
The division bench headed by Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury also asked the DC and SP of Bogra to submit a report within a fortnight on what steps taken against the persons responsible for damaging the historical site.
On 7 December last year, the HC following a PIL writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB issued rule asking the government to explain why its inaction in taking legal steps to stop construction within the vicinity of Mahasthangarh should not be declared illegal.
Advocate Manzill Murshid appeared for the PIL petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Altaf Hossain stood for the government.