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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cong. calls WB shutdown to protest attack on MLAs
1 Cong supporter died, 5 injured in clash with police
Kolkata, 16 July : The West Bengal Pradesh Congress called a 12-hour statewide shutdown Friday as one party supporter died and angry activists torched buses and obstructed rail and road traffic Thursday in protest against the attack on their legislators in Katwa's Mongalkote in Burdwan district Wednesday.
Around afternoon, the pradesh Congress committee held an emergency meeting, and decided to call a 12-hour statewide shutdown against the “murderous assault” on its legislators. “What happened Wednesday was nothing short of medieval barbarism. We demand the suspension of the police superintendent and district magistrate of Burdwan and restoration of democracy. We have decided to call a shutdown from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday,” state party working president Subrata Mukherje told reporters here. The Congress has also urged the Trinamool Congress to support the shutdown.
One Congress supporter died and five were injured in a clash with police during a party-sponsored bandh in the troubled Mangalkot area of Burdwan district on Thursday, the party claimed. However, the police and family members of the "deceased" said he had died of heart-attack and not in police lathicharge. "Police burst tear gas shells and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters, who were preventing police from entering into Burmud village," SP Raja Ram Sekharan told Bengal Newz this morning, adding that six police vehicles were also set ablaze by the agitators.

Today 12-hour Katwa and North Bengal bandh was called in protest against Wednesday's attack on CLP leader Manas Bhunia, Katwa MLA Rabindranath Chattopadhyay and other party leaders by CPI(M) supporters at Dhanyarukhi village in Mangalkot. Photos : Ashit Banerjee and PTI
Hasina elected next NAM vice-chairman
UNB, Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt), 16 July : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been elected vice-chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) for the next three years.
She was made NAM vice-chairman when she was presiding over the general debate on ‘Current Global Financial and Economic Crisis’ on the opening day of the two-day summit of the forum that got off to a ceremonial start in this Egyptian resort city. Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina attended the second-day sessions of the 15th NAM Summit and presided over part of the opening programmes of the day. Besides, she had a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak on the sidelines of the summit in the meeting room of the summit venue, Maritim Congress Centre, this morning.
During the meeting, Sheikh Hasina requested the Malaysian Prime Minister to recruit more manpower from Bangladesh and ensure all facilities for professional betterment of the Bangladeshi expatriates working in the Asian country.

12 buses burnt in Kolkata today
Kolkata, 16 July : From what seems to be an apparent political clash that has stretched its limits to severe atrocity, 12 govt. buses have been burnt so far in many places like sealdah, moulali, laketown, baguiati etc. Agitators, have mobbed different places and the situation is scarily not under control as the administrators haven’t still shown any significant step.
Previously, the Congress and Trinamool alliance had staged protests and road blocks in various parts of the State. The allies are protesting the attack on eight MLAs including Manas Bhuiya and Ratindranath Chatterjee that happened yesterday at Katwa's Dhannakhuri in Burdwan. A 12 hour bandh is on in Katwa while Ghatal, NH60 near Birbhum, NH 34 near Baharampur, places in Howrah, Hooghly, South 24 parganas and West Midnapore are facing road blockades.
Suburban and long distance train services of eastern and southeastern railways were affected as trains got delayed with Congress activists blocking railway tracks. Photo : PTI

Sourav Ganguly awarded Honorary Fellowship by LU
IANS, London, 16 July : Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Lancashire.
The 37-year-old Ganguly said that he was honoured and wants to build better ties with Lancashire. "It is a huge honour. When I came to know about this a few months ago, I felt proud and I'm happy to be here. I have a long-term association with Lancashire - I had my first one-day international at Old Trafford 13 years ago and had a stint with Lancashire County Cricket Club," Ganguly was quoted as saying by the Lancashire Evening Post. "The best thing I remember about Lancashire was in April 2000 when I turned up with the temperature being 10 degrees. I was standing in the slips and couldn't take my hands out of my pockets as it was so cold".
Dharma Kovvuri, university's acting dean of its management faculty, says the institution wants to build on relations with India after setting up an office in Delhi in 2002. Photo : AP

GJM's bandh cripples life in Darjeeling for forth day
Darjeeling, 16 July : Normal life remained paralysed in the Darjeeling Hills today as the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM)-sponsored indefinite bandh entered the fourth day.
All shops and business establishments were closed and attendance in government offices remained very thin with vehicles keeping off roads in most of the areas, official sources said. Functioning of all 78 tea gardens in the hills and cinchona plantation in Kalimpong also came to a halt. The shutdown also crippled road communication to the neighbouring Himalayan state of Sikkim as the arterial NH 31A, passing through Kalimpong sub-division, was blocked by bandh activists.
Demanding that political talks be held early in next month, GJM press secretary Benoy Tamang told Bengal Newz his organisation is yet to get any clarification about the real status of third round tripartite talks proposed by the Centre.

Ex-Indian president Dr Kalam coming Dhaka Sunday
Dhaka, 16 July : Former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will come to Bangladesh on 19 July on a three-day visit, reports The Daily Star's diplomatic correspondent.
During his stay here, he will meet high government officials and visit different educational institutions in the country. According to an announcement of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka today, Dr Kalam along with Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman will attend first annual convocation of University of Information Technology and Sciences (UITS) on 20 July at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre (BCFCC).
Dr Kalam will attend a dinner to be hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He will also meet Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus during his stay in Bangladesh. In addition, Dr Kalam will visit University of Dhaka, and Viquarunnessa Noon School and College, and interact with the students and faculty members at the two institutions.

Economic recession hits idol export biz in Kumartuli
ANI, Kolkata, 16 July : The global economic meltdown has now hit the business of idol makers in Kumartuli of Kolkata, as export orders from expatriate Indian belonging to the Bengali community has declined. Kumartuli is the hub of clay idol makers of West Bengal.
Durga Puja, a festival of Hindu Goddess Durga, which begins from 24 September, is the main religious festival of Bengali community. Every year Bengalis living overseas place orders months before the festival but this year the orders have declined. This year sales have declined. Some of the orders have been cancelled. Previous years we were receiving export orders of 40-42 idols but this year we have received orders only for 31-32 idols, said Babu Pal, secretary, Kumartuli Mritshilpa Sanskriti Samity, an association of idol makers. Idol makers who mainly cater to overseas clients believe that this year could witness heavy losses. Sambhunath Malakar, an idol maker said that he has just received two orders from abroad. He also said that he is finding it difficult to charge the prices he used to earlier.
Our business has also been affected due to economic recession. We used to charge Rs. 5000-50,000 for an idol but this time we are loosing money, Malakar added. These idols are exported to various countries including England, France, Germany and Spain. Photos : AFP
Major reshuffle in West Bengal's IAS administration
Kolkata, 16 July : In a major reshuffle, the West Bengal government today transferred more than 20 IAS officers.
Principal Secretary with the medium and small scale enterprise (MSME) department, G D Gautama was moved to the Urban Development department, state government sources said. Former chairman of Kolkata Port Trust A K Chanda was appointed as new secretary in the MSME department. B Maity, District Magistrate of Birbhum was shifted to Essential Commodity Supplies Corporation (ECSC) as its managing director, replacing B P Boral who is now secretary of KMDA. Saumitra Mohan would be the new DM of Birbhum from his erstwhile posting as DM of Burdwan district. A K Yadav would be the new DM of Nadia, replacing D S Meena who would be the new DM of South 24 Parganas.
Tripura gov taking initiative for tourism development
Agartala, 16 July : The Tripura government is taking initiative for development of tourism both in urban and rural areas, official sources said here today.
Commenting on a remark made by Union Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed recently at Kolkata that no project has been submitted by the Tripura government to the Union Ministry regarding development of tourism, the state government termed it as incorrect. The government had submitted eight schemes to the Union Ministry for development of tourism in the state during 2008-09. Among the eight scemes four were on development of rural tourism.
Besides, the government has sent a special project scheme to the Union Ministry for all round development of religious tourism centre 'Matabari'. The government had not received any positive response from the Indian Tourism Ministry so far, the sources added. The state government has given special attention for the development of tourism with expansion of infrastructure in new tourist spots and improving existing tourist spots in the state.

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