Global financial crisis touched Tripura
Suicide after stock market loss
Agartala, 21 October : A 26-year-old man hanged himself here last night after he found that he had bungled while trying to recoup his losses in the market downswing.
Jayanta Saha, a resident of Shanitola and son of an LIC development officer, had invested over Rs 18 lakh in equity shares, which had halved in the meltdown.Jayanta did not hold a regular job but made a living by investing in the stock market.
A harried Jayanta planned to recoup the losses by making fresh investments in 700 more shares. But while operating his demat account through the Internet yesterday, he keyed in an extra zero, thereby placing an order for 7,000 shares.Jayanta, who had passed MCom from Tripura University, was alone at home as his parents had gone to Bangalore to visit his married sister.
Having realised the mistake, Jayanta spoke to his father in Bangalore over phone and was advised not to worry.
"Apparently it is a case of suicide though we have found no suicide note. Only papers containing accounts of share values were recovered from his bedroom," said Sanjay Biswas, officer-in-charge of East Agartala police station.
"Jayanta was upset at having lost so heavily in the stock market, especially because part of the money was his father's," an LIC agent and Jayanta's cousin, Chhaya Saha, said.
Saha said even his parents had tried to pacify him from Bangalore, saying the loss would be made up in time but "Jayanta was inconsolable".
Bangladesh State Emergency may be relaxed early November
Dhaka, 21October : The Bangladesh caretaker government may relax the state of emergency early next month, to coincide with the arrival of a European Commission delegation, said an adviser today.
"The chief adviser in his address has assured that the state of emergency will be relaxed to hold a free, fair and credible election," foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury told reporters following a meeting with the EC mission head in Bangladesh at the foreign ministry.
A 10-member core assessment team of the EC will arrive on Nov 6 to study the pre-election political situation. "It is assumed the government may well make the announcement on relaxing the emergency during that period," Iftekhar said.Said EC mission head Stefan Frowein after the meeting: "I have talked to the adviser on the polls observation mission. The information continues to be that there will be relaxation or lifting (of the state of emergency) as soon as possible and we will see some announcements from the government very soon."
Frowein said the EC's 10-member core group would arrive on Nov 6 for two days, and a 12-member longer-term assessment team would arrive a week later.Their assessment report will recommend whether a EU polls observation mission should be sent to Bangladesh to monitor the next general elections under a state of emergency.
The European Union does not 'in principle' send observers to monitor polls under a state of emergency. The decision to send a full-fledged EU polls observation mission depends upon the EC's external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.The foreign adviser met the commissioner on 22 September in New York to convince her to send a polls observation mission.
She told the adviser the government must define the relaxation of the state of emergency and restore certain civil and political rights.
107 parties had applied to B'desh EC for registration so far
Renamed Jamaat recognises Liberation War ! !
Dhaka, 20 October : Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh has said the party now formally recognises the 1971 liberation war, and has now renamed itself.
The party's new name is Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, according to its new constitution submitted to election officials Monday. Jamaat says the change in name is intended to "avoid confusion".
The party has also endorsed Bangladesh's constitution, independence and sovereignty, acknowledged the 1971 liberation war in its draft amended constitution, filed with the Election Commission for party registration.
"We have added necessary clauses in the draft constitution to this end," assistant secretary general M Quamaruzzaman told reporters after filing registration papers at the EC Secretariat.
The Jamat's draft amended constitution says: "The independent Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim country in the world.
"Through a heroic struggle of the people of Bangladesh and the freedom fighters, Bangladesh emerged as an independent, sovereign nation state in the world."Therefore, based on this fundamental faith and spirit, this constitution is introduced with an aim to build an Islamic society !!"
The Jamaat leader read out these lines from the draft that he had submitted to the EC officials. Quamaruzzaman claimed said his party had no "affiliate" organisations.
A total 107 parties had applied for registration up to the deadline on Monday at 5pm, said the EC officials, with LDP being the first party to receive its registration certificate on the day. The EC stretched the registration deadline to Oct 20 from the earlier date of Oct 15, responding to the appeals of BNP and its allies including Jamaat.
Tripura police an initiative to strengthen its intelligence gathering capability
Agartala, 20 October : Reeling under the impact of serial blasts in Agartala on 1st October, Tripura police have taken an initiative to strengthen its intelligence gathering capability by recruiting and deploying quality staff, besides seeking help from people and private organisations.
To begin with, the police will hold meetings with the motor vehicle syndicates of the state and persuade them to involve their members to provide information about suspicious things and persons whenever available.
A source in the police said yesterday, superintendent of police (West), K.V. Sreejesh, superintendent of police (traffic) Gaurav Chakraborty and superintendent of police (special branch) L.Darlong, held a meeting with officers-in-charge of three police stations at Agartala and four outposts and finalised an action plan to obtain information from “civilian sources”.
A meeting of representatives of motor vehicle syndicates and NGOs will be convened soon and the three superintendents of police will brief them on how to co-operate with the police to prevent terror attacks.
“We will also seek help from different market committees and they will also be properly briefed because it is now a common experience in many parts of India that bomb blasts are triggered in busy and congested markets or motor vehicle stations and railway carriages to cause maximum impact and casualties,” a senior police official said. After the meeting with bazar committee members and representatives of motor vehicle syndicates, “sub-committees” will be formed with their members to help in intelligence gathering.
“Many people come to the capital from rural and hilly areas and rent houses. Even the key persons behind the Agartala blasts had rented a house in Bhati Abhaynagar area,” the official said, adding that work on preparing a comprehensive register with photographs and original addresses would commence soon to identify persons with dubious antecedents. Apart from this, the police are taking a major initiative to internally reorganise the special branch (intelligence wing) of state police by deploying better and more efficient staff.
The official said director-general of police Pranay Sahay has directed the inspector-general (intelligence) to prepare a report for reorganising the special branch.The official said director-general of police Pranay Sahay has directed the inspector-general (intelligence) to prepare a report for reorganising the special branch.
Dengue, malaria trigger epidemic scare in Kolkata & Salt Lake
Kolkata, 20 October : Kolkata and its surrounding areas continued to reel under a dual malaria-dengue attack even as a scare of Japanese encephalitis loomed large."We have an epidemic-like situation and it is getting worse. There's no doubt that Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has been slow in reacting," said a civic official.
Close on the heels of a two-year-old girl being admitted to Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan with Japanese encephalitis on Sunday, yet another dengue case was reported from Salt Lake. Eight-year-old Nilabha Banerjee, a resident of BB-30, was found suffering from the disease on 17 October after a blood test. "My son has been suffering from high fever since 11 October. He also had vomiting tendencies. After testing negative for malaria, our doctor recommended a dengue test and the result was positive. He is recovering well," said his father Jayanta Banerjee, a businessman.
Bidhannagar Municipality (Salt Lake) chairman-in-council Nandogopal Bhattacharya said the number of dengue cases has reached 11 in the township. "We are taking all measures. We have put up more than a hundred hoardings and distributed 3,000 leaflets in the township. We are also spraying mosquito-destroying oil in all the gullypits. It is baffling that though there are not too many mosquitoes in the township, yet dengue is spreading," he said.
The situation was far worse in Kolkata. Hundreds of cases are being reported every day and civic authorities admitted that the situation was grim. So far, there have been three dengue deaths in the city with 65-70 confirmed cases.
Dengue and malaria are not the only threats. Experts believe Japanese encephalitis could turn out to be more dangerous if there is an outbreak. Two-year-old Sumina Khatun from Joynagar, who was admitted to Ramakrishna Mission Seva Sadan with the disease on Sunday, was stated to be stable.
Famous artist Camellia Shishir dies
Dhaka, 20 October : Artist Camellia Shishir, died of cardiac failure Sunday night at the age of 43. She was the wife of famous cartoonist and Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Arts teacher Shishir Bhattacharjee.
Camellia was taken to a Dhanmondi hospital after she had complained of cardiac discomfort Sunday night. She died at the hospital before midnight. Camellia left a child and husband to mourn her death.
Her body will be brought to the Faculty of Fine Arts at around 11 am for people to pay their last tributes.
Bangladesh Railway resurrects plans for Barisal rail link
Dhaka, 20 October : Bangladesh Railway has said they are keen to resurrect long dormant plans to link Barisal to the national rail network.
BR initially sought to connect the divisional headquarter to the railway in the 1970s, although the partially implemented project was finally dropped in the 1990s due to a lack of political will.
According to a recent BR assessment, the 110 kilometre project connecting Panchuria in Rajbari with Barisal would cost around Tk 550 crore.
The proposed line would link-up to the existing network at Panchuria, passing through Faridpur and Pukuria, before terminating in Barisal city.
"A few months ago we finished an assessment on a project to connect Barisal with the railway network," BR director general Md Belayet Hossain said on Sunday.Hossain said he will now send the proposal to the planning commission via the ministry of communications to decide the fate of the project.
According to the draft of the study, Tk 87.5 crore will be required to restore 25-kilometres of the abandoned Panchuria-Faridpur line.
The government will also have to spend around Tk 100 crore to revive 25-kilometres of unused rail track between Faridpur and Pukuria.
BR will require a further Tk 360 crore to construct 60-kilometres of new line from Pukuria to Barisal, the assessment said.
"We will have to carry out another feasibility study on the project as land use patterns in the area have changed," told additional director general of BR, TA Chowdhury."The project will take at least five years to complete," he added.In 1978 the government of the day handed over land for the Faridpur-Talma section of the line to BR, as a preliminary move to bring Barisal under the railway network.Then, in 1980, the Talma-Pukuria rail link was completed. Work was also started on the Pukuria-Bhanga line, although the government pulled the plug on the Faridpur-Pukuria service in 1990.
Finally, in 1993-94, the government ordered BR to remove all rail track and bridge girders on the Fairdpur-Pukuria line.
Haldia to get India's first Sports City
Haldia & Kolkata, 19 October : Soon, a portion of Haldia could look like a slice of Dubai. The country's first sports city is coming up in Haldia, which will be almost a replica of Dubai's international sports city.
Apart from outdoor and indoor stadia which will be located in the centre, this project will have every amenity required for today's modern living. Construction has already started and the city will come to life in three years.
The outdoor cricket stadium will hold 40,000 people, while the indoor stadium will seat 5,000. This apart the stadium complex will also have a sports training academy with a 100-room hostel, gymnasium, swimming pool, football training ground etc.
The housing complex, an essential part of the sports city, will have at least 1,000 apartments, that are being designed following international living concepts and will have clubs, restaurants, swimming pools and health centres within the campus for residents.
West Bengal state sports minister, Subhas Chakraborty, who had laid the foundation stone of the project in October last year said, "The idea is to get more and more children into the arena of sports by providing them world class facilities. We agreed to let Shrishti develop the unique project because it has already tried to bring quality living to our smaller towns like Durgapur, Asansol and Raniganj."
Indian saris, Phensidyl recovered in Sylhet
Sylhet, 11 October : The Rapid Action Battalion(RAB) in separate drives seized 3,000 Indian saris worth about Tk one crore from Jaintapur upazila in Sylhet and arrested a drug peddler in possession of 36 bottles of phensidyl at the same upazila early Friday.
Acting on a tip-off, the RAB seized a truck loaded with Indian saries at Patnipara, a frontier village under the upazila, at about 3:00 am.
Sensing the presence of the battalion members, the driver and helper of the truck managed to get away, sources in the RAB said.
In another drive, the battalion members arrested Rajendra Dash, 50, of village Noakhai under Jai-ntapur, in possession of Phensidyl at his village at about 1:00 am.
The battalion members handed over the arrested along with the drug and clothes to the police.
Two cases were filed with the police in connection with the incidents.
Dhaka to propose Kolkata train times change
Dhaka, 10 October : Bangladesh will propose changing the schedule of the Dhaka-Kolkata "Maitree Express" to make it more attractive and convenient for passengers, say senior railway officials.
Bangladesh wants the train to reach Dhaka on Tuesday and go back to Kolkata on Wednesday, Bangladesh Railway's director general Md Belayet Hossain said. He said they have no problem with the schedule of the train operated from Dhaka.
Currently, one Bangladesh train starts from Dhaka to Kolkata on Saturday and returns from Kolkata on Sunday.
Similarly, one Indian train starts from Kolkata for Dhaka on Saturday and returns next day.
"According to the current schedule, if passengers go to Kolkata by train, they have to spend seven days in Kolkata for the next return train.
"Because of the inconvenience, passengers travel by bus, instead," Hossain reasoned.
"If the Indian authorities agree, the new schedule would come into effect from January next year," said the director general.
He said they would table the proposal at the next inter-governmental railway meeting scheduled next month.
"If the new schedule is implemented, the Maitree Express trains would become more attractive and convenient for passengers," railway's additional director general (operations) Quazi Asadullah said.
He said both Bangladesh and India agreed cutting the travel time by two hours.
Maitree Express takes at least 12 hours – six hours for customs and immigration formalities at the border stations – to reach Kolkata from Dhaka and vice versa. This has been a drag on the travelers.
The direct passenger trains were launched on April 14 after the service was snapped in 1965.
According to the railway figures, 100 passengers travel on average by the 418-seat train.
Metro Cash & Carry gets licence
FB climbdown by withdrawing the purchase limit
Kolkata, 10 October : The deal is final. German wholesale major Metro Cash & Carry got the licence on Friday to operate on a business-to-business model and not the unspecified business model it had been insisting on. The Forward Bloc-run West-Bengal State Agricultural Marketing Board also did a climbdown by withdrawing the minimum purchase limit of Rs 5,000 that it had been demanding.This licence will be valid only till next March, board chairman Naren Chatterjee said.The company will open its wholesale outlet off the EM Bypass within eight weeks. This will be its fifth outlet in the country. There are two in Bangalore and another two in Hyderabad and Mumbai.The business-to-business model entails trading between Metro Cash & Carry and those having a trade licence or the Regulated Market Committee (RMC) licence. Also, the company has to furnish the list of traders it is dealing with to the marketing board for scrutiny.
The agreement was signed and the licence issued after four hours of closed-door meeting between Metro and state government officials. Agriculture minister Naren Dey and WB chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb were present during the signing of the agreement. Frits van Peski, member of the executive board of directors, Metro Cash & Carry India, after signing the agreement, said 350 trained employees are now ready to serve.
Bengali devotees bid farewell to Durga
Dhaka, 9 October : Durga Puja, the major religious festival of Hindus in Bangladesh, ended Thursday with the immersion of idols of the goddess.
Devotees bid the goddess Durga a tearful goodbye, inviting her to return next year. Advocate Sattendra Chandra Bhakta, general secretary of Bangladesh Puja Celebration Council, said the Bijoya Dashami began around 10am.
Idols of the goddess were immersed in the evening, he said. Puja pandals in the capital drew huge crowds dancing to drumbeats in front of images of Durga on the last day of the five-day celebrations. People leaving the pandals assembled at Dhakeshwari at noon to join the immersion ceremony amid tight security. A large number of police and RAB members were deployed to ensure a safe celebration.
Devotees of all ages, paraded through the city streets the images of the goddess Durga and her offspring—Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh—before the immersion ceremony
The colourful procession began at 5pm from Dhakeshwari Temple.
It reached Waize Ghat through Plassey, Doyel Chattar, Muktangaon, Gulistan and Phulbaria.
Durga Puja was celebrated at 165 pandals in the city this year, according to the organisers.
Dhaka University's Jagannath Hall, Ramkrishna Mission, Ramna Kali Mandir, Siddheshwari Kali Mandir, Tanti Bazar, Shankhari Bazar and Bangla Bazar were key festival venues this year. The last day of Durga Puja, Thursday, was a public holiday.
Chittagong Mayor Mohiuddin freed on bail
Chittagong, 8 October : Chittagong mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury was released from detention at BSMMU Hospital on Wednesday.
Deputy inspector general of prisons Shamsul Haider Siddiqui told Bengal News over phone "The mayor was released from guard at the hospital just after 3.30pm."
He was arrested on March 7, 2007. He fell seriously ill during his detention in Bandarban Jail.
He was taken to Chittagong Medical College Hospital and later shifted to the intensive care unit at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital.
The mayor has been accused in some 14 separate graft cases.
Narendra Modi's Gujrat is Nano's new home PTI, Ahmedabad, 7October : Nano — "an orphan without a home", as Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata called it — has finally found its home 25 km from Ahmedabad, at Sanand. The capacity of the new plant is expected to be higher than that of the abandoned Singur plant and the Tatas have set an extremely tight time-frame of around 12 months to commission it. Sanand also is in Lal Krishna Advani's constituency of Gandhinagar !
While the Tatas' decision to move from Singur to Sanand was formally announced at a joint news conference by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Tata in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, Tata told PTI in an interview that he was extremely impressed with Modi's seriousness of intent and the speed with which his government moved to seal the deal.
The deal given by Gujarat is just as good as the one offered by West Bengal and, in some respects, better. As against 1,000 acres on initial offer in West Bengal, Gujarat has given 1,100 acres. This land is unencumbered and would be sold to Tata Motors on prevailing market rates.
Bengal's all time best crickter Sourav Ganguly announced retirement
PTI, Bangalore, 7 October : Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said on Tuesday that he would retire from international cricket at the end of the upcoming four-Test series against Australia beginning October 9.
“I have decided to quit and told my teammates about it. Australia series will be my last series,” said Ganguly.
Chairman of Indian selectors K Srikkanth said Ganguly had made the right decision. “Ganguly wanted to play with a free mind and now he can,” said Srikkanth. India’s most successful captain dismissed suggestions that his inclusion in India's 15-member squad for the first two Tests against Australia was part of a compromise formula to give him the opportunity to retire gracefully.
Asked specifically if the selectors had made a compromise with his selection in the team, Ganguly quipped 'absolutely not'.
Ganguly's floundering Test career received a big boost when the newly-appointed selection panel headed by Krishnamachari Srikkanth named him in the squad for the first two Tests against Australia .
The former captain reckoned the series against the Australians will be tough and said he was prepared for the challenge.
GJM celebrates first anniversary at hill
Signboards to be replaced with ‘Gorkhaland’ from Oct. 17
Darjeeling, 7October : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today announced that all government signboards which had “West Bengal” written on them would be replaced by “Gorkhaland” from 17October as part of the party’s non-cooperation movement for a separate state.
Morcha president Bimal Gurung while addressing a public meeting to celebrate the first anniversary of the party’s foundation day at Chowrastha said: “We will change all signboards of government offices where ‘West Bengal’ is written to ‘Gorkhaland’ from 17October onwards. This is part of the non-cooperation movement which will get stronger once the festivities are over.”
The Morcha also wants all vehicles to start sporting “GL” number plates from today onwards. Private vehicles in the hills had started using the “new” number plates from the first week of August.
The Morcha president said Gorkhaland would be a reality by 2010. “Irrespective of what other political parties say, I will never compromise on the statehood demand.”
6 shot as gang open fires at Dhaka Karwan Bazar
Dhaka, 5 October : Unidentified gunmen shot six people in a hotel at Karwan Bazar Sunday morning, Dhaka police said.
Tajgaon police chief Lutfor Rahman told Bengal News a gang of armed men entered the Western Hotel at about 11am near TCB Bhaban and opened fire on the people.
The injured were identified as Abul Hossain, manager of the hotel, hotel employees Md Sumon, Md Babul, guard Md Saiful and Md Alam, a garment worker.
Their injuries were being treated at Dhaka Medical Collage Hospital.
Lutfor could say nothing about the motive for the attack.
Agartala to be in rail map on Oct 5
Agartala, 4 October : In a major step towards connecting all the capitals of the North Eastern States, the Northeast Frontier Railway will open the newly constructed Manu-Agartala railway line and introduce two daily train services in Agartala from 5 October.
A statement issued from NFR headquarters, Maligaon mentioned that the first pair of trains 5695/5696 will run between Lumding and Agartala while the second pair 863/864 will run between Silchar and Agartala.
The 5695 Lumding–Agartala Express will leave Lumding at 20.10 hrs to reach Agartala at 12.00 hrs next day. The Agartala Lumding Express will leave Agartala at 13.15 hrs to arrive at Lumding at 06.55 hrs the next day.
The train will have eight sleeper class coaches, two general second class coaches and two SLRs. It will have stoppage at Maibong, Lower Halflong, Badarpur, Karimganj, Patharkandi, Churibari, Dharmanagar, Kumarghat, Manu, SK Para, Jawaharnagar, Ambassa, Mungiakami, Telimura, Jirania and Jogendranagar besides Lumding and Agartala.
The 863 Agartala–Silchar Passenger will leave Agartala at 14.00 hrs to reach Silchar at 22.20 hrs the same day. On the other hand, the 864 Silchar Agartala Passenger will leave 4.30 hours to reach Agartala at 13.05 hours the same day. The first service of this pair of trains will start on October 5 from Agartala and on October 6 from Silchar.
Singur not OK, Tata reverses Nano out
Kolkata, 3 October : West Bengal's worst fear has come true. Ratan Tata announced on Friday that he was leaving Singur, taking with him the Nano car project and Ratan Tata announces the Nano pullout at a press conference in Kolkata.
The Nano project will also take with it all vendors despite the huge shifting costs, leaving a 1,000-acre black hole in the lush green Singur farmlands where Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had hope to reap a huge political dividend as well. On Friday, a ''distressed'' chief minister heard Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata's message, loud and clear. He made fervent pleas to Tata to stay back and keep his Rs 1,500 crore investment, even argued with Ratan Tata that his decision wasn't correct but couldn't change the industrialist's mind. The Tata Group chairman said he wasn't the one to blame for things coming to this pass. He squarely blamed Mamata Banerjee for pushing him to take the pullout decision, two years after his tryst with the Nano car factory in West Bengal. ''Our reason for leaving West Bengal is entirely because of the continued aggression and agitation by the Opposition led by Mamata Banerjee with total disregard for the rule of law, and not because what the state government has done or not done,'' he said at a press conference after a two-hour meeting in Bhattacharjee's office.
''If someone puts the gun on my head, I say either you remove the gun or pull the trigger. Ms Banerjee has pulled the trigger,'' Tata said.
Asked if any rival could be sponsoring the agitation in Singur, Tata said it was worth pondering over. ''It has certainly made us wonder from where the funds and logistic support came from,'' he said.
WB industry minister Nirupam Sen voiced the government's collective grief to Bengal News, ''We could not even imagine that the main Opposition party, along with some political parties and individuals, would indulge in such narrow politics that would lead the project to ultimately wind up from our state''.
Unfazed with the pullout, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee stepped up her defiance. ''It is a part of the joint gameplan of the CPM and the Tatas. The government should return the land it has forcibly acquired from the unwilling farmers in Singur,'' she said.
Left Front chairman Biman Bose came down heavily on the Opposition for its negative attitude towards development. ''The main Opposition's violent efforts would affect the interests of the farmers also,'' he said.
Ratan Tata's decision sent shockwaves across the state and among Singur farmers.
Security beefed up all over
India-Bangladesh Border sealed
Aguli (Agartala), 2 October: A day after five back-to-back low intensity blasts rocked this city killing at least four people and wounding 100 others, authorities beefed up security throughout Tripura and sealed the 856 km-long Indo-Bangla border.
The Tripura police and paramilitary Tripura State Rifles are patrolling all over the town and security measures have been strengthened in vital areas like civil secretariat, Raj Bhavan, government offices and market places.
The Border Security Force has increased it's strength at the border outposts.
A team of National Security Guard from Delhi and another team of forensic experts from Kolkata will visit the blast site today, Nepal Das, SP police (control) told Bengal News.
A high-level meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, reviewed the law and order situation. The meeting was attended among others by Chief Secretary Shashi Prakash, Director General of Police Pranay Sahaya and top officials of all of the para-military forces like, BSF, CRPF ,TSR and Assam Rifles.
Sources said counter-insurgency operations were also stepped up in hilly and remote areas.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, while condemning the incident as an act of cowardice and a conspiracy to stall development of the state, appealed to the people to remain calm.
Police are suspecting the hand of Harkat-ul Jihadi Islami (HuJI) in the blast. In the last two months at least three HuJI activists were arrested in the state.
Seven persons, including one allegedly seen on a bike near a blast site, were also arrested yesterday in connection with the serial explosions.
4 dead, 76 injured as serial blasts rip Tripura
Agartala, 1 October: On the eve of Eid and Gandhi Jayanti, the global Non-Violence Day, five back-to-back terror strikes in Agartala, the capital of Tripura, which shares a 856-km porous border with Bangladesh, on Wednesday evening left at least four people dead and 76 others injured, several critically, according to hospital sources. The state police confirmed only one death but said the toll was likely to rise.
The first explosion took place around 7.30 pm at the Radhanagar bus stand. Minutes later, there was another blast at Maharajganj Bazar in the heart of the city. The two are about 2 km apart. Two live bombs were found at Motor Stand and Colonel Choumohany near the palace compound. As the injured were being taken to Agartala GB Medical College hospital, another blast rocked Gol Bazar, which is on the route of the ambulances taking the injured to the hospital. The fourth blast at 8.15 pm was near Kathiababa Ashram on the outskirts of the state capital. There was a heavy rush of puja shoppers at Radhanagar bus stand, Maharajganj Bazar and GB market, all in the heart of the city.
While Tripura has long been a conduit for smuggling and terror merchandise, most violence in the state had been related to insurgencies of tribal groups. But the blasts on Wednesday, security officials said, were likely to be the work of the Bangladesh-based Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI), a terror group which has been frequently blamed for terror attacks in UP and Hyderabad. As in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi, the news of the blasts triggered citywide panic and all telecommunication links were jammed with people calling to check if their family and friends were safe.
Quoting witnesses, police sources said two persons riding a motorcycle were seen moving suspiciously at Radhanagar bus stand. The blast took place there two to three minutes after they left the place. Tripura police chief Pranay Sahay rushed to the sites to monitor the evacuation but refused to go on record on suspects.
In recent weeks, there have been reports of Islamic militants using Tripura to enter India from Bangladesh. Reports also said that on September 25, central intelligence agencies had warned north-eastern states of an impending terror attack and Border Security Force officials in Agartala confirmed having received the input.
2 dead, 25 hurt in Kolkata-bound bus crash
Dhaka, 1 October : Two people were killed and 25 others were injured after a Kolkata-bound bus lost control on the Jessore-Magura highway early Wednesday, a police official said. The accident occurred around 5.30am, as the bus operated by Green Line from Dhaka, veered off and fell into a nearby ditch, Kotwali police sub inspector Rezaul Islam told. The dead passengers were identified as 50 year-old Indian national 'Dr.R.K. Dhora', and a 45-year old Bangladeshi named 'Porimol'. They were both killed on the spot. The injured were taken to a local hospital. The condition of nine of them was described as critical.
Monday, September 29, 2008
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