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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mamata sounded the bugle for the '11 Assembly Poll
Mamata showcases rare responsible face on 21 July
Ask TMC men to be polite & not resort to blockades
Kolkata, 21 July : The human sea at the Trinamool Congress gathering in Esplanade on Tuesday saw the birth of a mature politician, Mamata Banerjee. Springing from the grassroots to challenge the CPI(M) hegemony at a time when most Opposition leaders had given up, Mamata broke barriers by bringing on stage the martyr families of the 'Tebhaga Movement' and 'Food Movement of 1966', which had helped the Left Front come to power in 1977.

But success has made her more sensible. Mamata asked her supporters, who listened to her speech undeterred by a downpour to “behave politely” and not to resort to impromptu blockades without the permission of the leadership. “People are in distress. Food prices are soaring. Let us not add to their inconvenience. No one should block roads without my permission, or that of the state leaders when I am away in Delhi,” Mamata said, eyeing a change in the next Assembly election.
Her call for change became more credible as writer Mahasweta Devi openly announced from the dais that she wanted to see Mamata as the next chief minister. Flanked by Congress general secretary Keshav Rao and SUCI state secretary Provas Ghosh, Mamata also sent out signals that the alliance was stable and would continue till the 2011 Assembly poll. Photo : Reuters & Avijit Mondal

Darjeeling hills crippled again by 'Indefinite Bandh'
Siliguri, 21 July : Normal life in Darjeeling hills was paralysed again today with the resumption of the indefinite bandh by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, after a brief recess to enable the people to stock up essential commodities.
Shops, markets and business establishments downed shutters and vehicles remained off roads after the recess of ten hours. All schools above class IV were, however, open, while the GJM exempted tea and cinchona gardens from the purview of the shutdown, which had not been granted initially. The GJM also allowed vehicles from Sikkim on the National Highway 31A that connects this north Bengal town with Gangtok.
Asked whether the GJM had received the Supreme Court's notice questioning why it had not kept National Highway 31A outside the purview of the bandh earlier, its general secretary Roshan Giri said he would comment only after the party legal cell went through it. Photos : Reuters

Bandh affects tribal areas in W Midnapore for 3rd day
Midnapore, 21 July : The three-day bandh called by the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities affected normal life in the tribal areas of West Midnapore district on its last day on Tuesday.
The bandh was total at Lalgarh, Belpahari, Binpur, Jamboni, Jhargram and parts of Goaltore and Salboni, all of which were reclaimed from Maoists by security forces in the recent anti-naxal operations. Expressing surprise over the severity of bandh for three consecutive days despite the presence of security forces in those areas, District Magistrate N S Nigam said "It is lack of coordination."
Meanwhile, PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato held a meeting at Kantapahari to decide on the next course of action after the police lathi-charge students near Dharampur yesterday.
West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen had apologised for the lathi-charge. Photo : PTI

NB's farmers fight bad monsoon with Frog marriage
Reuters, Siliguri, 21 July : North Bengal's farmers are falling back on a trusted local method to bring badly needed monsoon rains marrying off two frogs. Villagers at Madhyaboragari village, about 85 km east of Siliguri, pooled their money together this week to marry Ram and Sita, two frogs named after India’s most revered mythological couple from the epic Ramayana.
Following an ancient Hindu belief, the frogs’ heads were smeared with vermilion paint and the pair were held up in the air in a ritual in front of a traditional clay candle. "We feted about 3,000 villagers and solemnised the marriage with every single ritual," Shobin Ray, head of a local council in Madhya Baragari village, told Reuters by phone. The women at the wedding fasted beforehand and then invited the river to join the ceremony and give its blessing, as is customary in Bengali tradition, he said.
India this year suffered its worst start to the vital monsoon rains in eight decades, causing drought in some states. Photos : Rupak De Chowdhuri (Reuters)

Five injured in CPI(M)-Congress clash in West Tripura
Agartala, 21 July : At least five persons, including two women and two police personnel, were seriously injurd in a clash between CPI(M) and opposition Congress supporters at Hrishipara in West Tripura district on Tuesday.
CPI(M) activists first attacked houses of some Congress supporters and vandalised properties, but the matter was settled when village elders intervened, DIG, police control, Nepal Das said.
Bangladesh beat WIndies by 4 wickets,win series 2-0
BBC Sports, Grenada (West Indies), 20 July : Captain Shakib Al Hasan hit an unbeaten 96 to steer Bangladesh to a four-wicket victory over the West Indies and secure the nation's second-ever series win.
Left-arm spinner Shakib ended with figures of five for 70 as Bangladesh bowled out the weakened West Indies side for 209 in the morning session.
Set 215 to win, Bangladesh wobbled at 67-4 but Shakib and Raqibul Hasan (65) put on 106 for the fifth wicket. Bangladesh sealed the win in style when Shakib smashed Kemar Roach for a six.
"In our nine years, this is the biggest thing that has happened to Bangladesh cricket," said Shakib, who also hit 13 fours in his innings. Photos : AP

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