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Thursday, February 26, 2009


Bangladesh observed National mourning
After mutiny of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)
Dhaka, 28 February : The national mourning is being observed for the second day today as the Bangladesh government announced a three-day national mourning from yesterday to mourn the deaths of those fallen during the border guards' mutiny. The national flag have been kept at half-mast on this occasion.
Special prayers were offered at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque this morning for those BDR officers and soldiers killed in the mutiny at the BDR headquarters.

Digitized rationing system on anvil in West Bengal
Kolkata, 28 February : The West Bengal state government plans to launch a digitized rationing system and allot smart ration cards throughout the state, said food minister Paresh Adhikary.
All data about the card holders would be there in the smart cards. Ration shops will be equipped with computers and radio frequency identification technology to read the smart cards. Ration shops will be computerized and card holders can use the system to know the products and price of the food grains stored.

Take steps to make Bangla official language of UN
Dhaka, 28 February : Speakers at a discussion today called on the government to take proper steps to make vernacular Bangla the sixth official language of the United Nations with a view to introducing the language across the world.
They also underscored the need to use Bangla language extensively in all government and private sectors in order to increase its practice at all levels.
Bishwa Bangalee Sammelan and Bangabandhu Swadhinata Parishad jointly organised the discussion on 'Establishing Bangla as an official language of UN' at the Bangladesh National Press Club.
Urging not to speak mixed version of Bangla and English languages as the trend destroying alarmingly the standards of our language, they also called on the government to enact a law for using Bangla in all sectors to protect the language properly.
UN chief Moon condemns BDR mutiny
United Nations, 28 February : United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned what he called the “brutal acts of violence,” in the two-day mutiny by members of the Bangladesh Rifles border guards, which have resulted in a mounting death toll.
“The Secretary-General calls for calm and the resolution of this situation without further violence,” according to a press statement released by Ban’s spokesperson, which also expressed sympathy for victims and their families. According to media reports, the revolt against military officers left at least 70 people dead, with dozens of bodies found in mass graves, the statement added.

Staggering technique benefits pineapple growers in Tripura
Productivity of pineapple per hectare in Tripura is 18.73 tonnes, which is higher than the national average of 15.80 tons

Nandan Nagar (Tripura), 28 February : Pineapple growers in Tripura are a happy lot as the staggering technique has given a boost to the pineapple yield. Earlier, the farmers were gradually moving towards rubber plantation, a more profitable commodity.
Pineapple is a highly perishable food crop and even in the cold storage it lasts only for 28 days. Now with the introduction of a new process called ’staggering’ the farmers can harvest the fruit according to their requirement throughout the year. The staggering method has been tested and proven in Tripura’s Horticulture Research Complex in Nagricherra area. It was first introduced in 25 hectares of farm land in 2005. Now, altogether 200 hectares of land was brought under staggering cultivation for getting raw pineapples in 8-10 months per year. Besides doubling the growers income, the fruit can be harvested almost round the year. There is no glut and the prices are stable over a longer period.
To provide growers more market linkage, the North Eastern Regional Agriculture Marketing Corporation (NERAMC) had set up a fruit juice concentration plant, way back in 1988, in Nalkata with an initial capital investment of 30 million rupees.

53 BDR men of 14th battalion missing in Srimangal
Moulavibazar, 28 February : Fifty three members of BDR's 14th battalion in Srimangal who joined the BDR Week programmes at the headquarters, are missing, the commanding officer said Saturday.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman told reporters that the police took charge of the armoury of the 14th battalion Friday evening. "After the submission of weapons, the armoury was sealed by the police and the deputy commissioner," he added.

Coastal construction in Mandarmoni stopped by GB
Kolkata, 27 February : All new construction has been stopped along the coastal area of Mandarmoni in East Midnapore district. On Friday, the green Bench of Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Biswanath Somadder passed the order on a complaint that the cluster of hotels that has come up there has violated the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) notification of 1991. The notification prohibits any construction within 500 metre from the high tide line of the sea. The CRZ authorities were directed to file an affidavit, explaining whether the hotels (about 20 in number) are located within the coastal zone. The case will be heard again after two weeks.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed in 2007 by Disha, an NGO.

BSF closes Petropol and other Indo-Bangla border
BDR chaos halts land port trade all accross Bengal border
Kolkata, Agartala, Lalmonirhat, Satkhira, 27 February : India's Border Security Force closed their side of the Petropol-Benapol land port, and import-export activities were halted at other ports as the Dhaka Peelkhana mutiny spread rebellion in the ranks of BDR battalions and outposts around the Bangladesh.
However, normal trade resumed for two hours as BSF reopened the gate from 5pm till closing at 7pm. Banglabandha's C&F agent Shafiqur Rahman said imports and exports came to a complete stop on Thursday and Friday as traders and transporters stayed away for fear of unfolding events.
In Akhaura border of Tripura, officials said BDR personnel prevented port activities.
In Burimari, importer-exporter Humayun Sawdagar said BDR closed the check post at Lalmonirhat port.
Trucks were piled up on both sides of the landport, Ghojadanga in India and Bhomra in Satkhira.

New BDR DG named, No mercy for killers : Govt press secretary
Dhaka, 27 February : The Bangladesh government has named a new director general for the troubled border guards Bangladesh Rifles and said the general amnesty will not be for those who "directly" took part in killings.
Abul Kalam Azad, the spokesman for the prime minister, told reporters that an army officer, Brig Gen Moinul Hossain, AWC, PSC would lead the rebuilding efforts of the paramilitary forces. "Those who were directly involved in the killings inside the BDR headquarters will not come under the general amnesty announced by the prime minister," press secretary Azad told.
Azad said the prime minister also announced compensation for the victims of the mutiny. He said the government would pay for their children's education.

Nearly 200 mutineers arrested in Bangladesh: Official
Dhaka, 27 February : Bangladeshi security forces have arrested nearly 200 members of the country's border security force following a two-day mutiny in the capital Dhaka, a security official said on Friday.
"We have arrested nearly 200 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) troops who fled their barracks in civilian dress," a spokesman for the Rapid Action Batallion, the country's elite internal security force, told AFP.

BSF kills two Bangladeshi nationals in border
Balurghat, 27 February : BSF jawans on Friday shot dead two Bangladeshis, who were allegedly smuggling cattle taking advantage of the poor patrolling in Bangladesh border in the wake of the mutiny by the forces there, when they tried to run away. BSF sources said the rustlers were taking a herd of 15 cattle at Satimari in South Dinajpur district to Bangladesh early this morning.
BSF jawans, who were put on high alert following the Bangladesh Rifles mutiny, asked the duo to stop. However, they did not stop and tried to run away, forcing the jawans to fire at them, officials said. The two died on the spot and their identity was still unknown, officials added.

Sonia to address public rally in Andaman today
Port Blair, 27 February : Congress President Sonia Gandhi will address a public rally at Netaji Stadium here today. Besides addressing a rally, Sonia is also scheduled to unveil the statue Rajiv Gandhi at Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex.
On Saturday, UPA chairperson will visit Car Nicobar and Cambell Bay where she will unveil the statue of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Indira point.
Before leaving for Delhi, Sonia will handover the keys of permanent shelter to tsunami-affected persons near airport in Car Nicobar.

Calm returns to BDR Headquarters
Over 130+ Army officers still missing
Dhaka, 27 February : Over 130 army officers taken hostage by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) soldiers at its Headquarters here remained missing today as the bloody mutiny by border guards ended leaving more than 100 dead, including its chief, officials said.
The death toll could not be officially confirmed but security sources said they feared the figure to be over 100 as some 130 army officers remained missing with overnight frantic search for bodies at the mutiny-ravaged BDR headquarters in Pilkhana area here. The survivors confirmed the death of BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed at the very onset of the rebellion at a 'Darbar' or meeting of soldiers with senior officers.
"Four soldiers jumped forward and killed instantly the DG sir (Ahmed) as he stepped out of the darbar hall as the mutiny started on Wednesday," Lieutenant Colonel Syed Quamruzzaman told reporters this morning. Elite Armed Police Battalion and Dhaka Metropolitan Police units took control of the main Pilkhana headquarters of the paramilitary border guards after the mutineers surrendered their arms and returned to barracks.
The police carried out a frantic search along with fire service rescuers overnight recovering seven more bodies.

Bangladesh Army take control on BDR Headquarters
Dhaka, 26 February, 07.00 BDST : Bangladesh Army and Police officers have entered the BDR compound and taken control of the main entrance, apparently ending a 33-hour mutiny.
BBC correspondents at the BDR main gate say they saw police vehicles enter the compound, known as Peelkhana, at 6:31pm. Earlier, a top aide to the prime minister said late Thursday afternoon all the rebellious BDR personnel surrendered and that the situation was under control.

The prime minister's deputy press secretary Nakib Uddin Ahmed told reporters at 7pm Armed Police Battalion had taken control of the armory at the BDR headquarters.

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