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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina grieves at ferry deaths

Dhaka, 28 November : Bangladesh Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in Port of Spain attending the Commonwealth summit, expressed her grief at Friday's launch disaster and ordered speedy rescue operation and investigation into the accident.
The president also expressed his sorrow at the tragedy and condolences for the grieving families. Hasina has sent condolences to the families of the victims, her deputy press secretary Mahbubul Huq Shakil said in Dhaka.

At least 32 killed after Bangladesh ferry accident
Launch sinks tragedy strikes Bhola on "Eid day"
Reuters, Dhaka, 28 November : Rescuers have retrieved 32 bodies, including at least 12 children, and are searching for scores of people missing after an overcrowded ferry sank in a river along the Bangladesh coast, police and witnesses said on Saturday.
They said the ferry M.V. Coco-4 was sailing to the coastal town of Bhola, some 300 km from Dhaka, on Friday night with around 1,500 people on board - about three times the number it was registered to carry. The death toll late on Friday had been put at five. Many of those on board were going home to celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival on Saturday. Media at the scene reported the ferry started taking in water after it hit a raised section of the river bed in heavy fog. Most of those on board swam to safety but up to 80 may still be missing, one survivor said. The ferry was listed with a capacity to carry about 450 people.
Officials and transport operators said they were still waiting for a rescue vessel to arrive. An investigation into the sinking has been ordered, the communications ministry said. Hundreds of people die every year in ferry accidents in Bangladesh, but no major ferry disasters have happened in the past two years after stricter enforcing of safety rules. Photos : AFP, Reuters
Mamata lays foundation for country’s first auto logistics hub in Howrah
Howrah, 28 November : Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the country’s first automobile logistics hub near here and announced that nine more such centres will be set up at different places.
“After this, we will set up automobile hubs at Siliguri, Guwahati, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kerala, Bangalore and Delhi as a pilot project in collaboration with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM),” Mamata Banerjee said while laying the foundation stone near Shalimar railway station.

Tripura bans mobile in schools, Meghalaya in vehicles
Agartala, Shillong, 28 November : Tripura government has banned the use of mobile phones by students and teachers in schools across the northeastern state, an official said here Saturday. The Meghalaya government has banned the use of mobile phones by drivers.
The Tripura cabinet took the decision in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. A Tripura education department official said: "If a student up to Class 12 is caught using a mobile in the school premises, he or she would be punished." He added that a notification to the effect is being issued. The official told reporters: "The Central Education Department issued the ban (to be applicable in all central government control and aided schools) a couple of months back and sent an advisory to all the state governments across the country to consider the issue."
Tripura School Education Minister Tapan Chakraborty said: "To maintain discipline in schools the ban on mobile phones was necessary." The minister urged parents and guardians of students not to give mobile phones to their schoolgoing children.
Interlocutor for Gorkhaland talks to visit Kolkata this weekend
Kolkata, 28 November : Vijay Madan, who has been appointed as the interlocutor in the talks between the WB state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is coming to Kolkata on 29 November. The next day he will have talks with senior officials of the state government including chief secretary Ashok Mohan Chakrabarti and home secretary Ardhendu Sen. On 1 December, he will have talks with Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi. The tripartite talks between the Centre, GJM and the state government will be held on 21 December in Darjeeling.

Maoist leader Bikash call for 'dialogue' over phone
Kolkata, 28 November : Renewing the call for dialogue, Maoist leader Bikash today told Bengal Newz the central and West Bengal governments should stop the anti-Moists operations in West Midnapore and begin talks to resolve the problem.
"At this moment, the people want a solution through dialogue," Maoist leader Bikash said. He claimed that resistance was continuing since the central and state governments did not show willingness for peace by accepting demands for release of those arrested in West Midnapore.
The Maoist leader also said 'people's problems' would not be discussed in the forthcoming session of the state assembly beginning 30 November, but the tussle between the CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress and Congress would occupy the centrestage. File Photo : Arpan Mukherjee
Eid celebrated across the Bengal
Children enjoy rides at Shishu Park in Dhaka on Eid Day >
Dhaka, Kolkata, 28 November : Muslims across the Bengal were celebrating Eid-ul-Azha on Saturday with prayers and sacrifice. Dressed in festive clothes, Muslims thronged mosques across the Bengal Saturday to pray on Eid.
The main Eid congregation in Bangladesh was held at the National Eidgah in Dhaka at 9:00am(BDST), attended by President Zillur Rahman among others. And in Kolkata thousands of devotees gathered to offer prayers at Road road. The celebrations began with millions of Muslims offering prayers at mosques and eidgahs throughout Bangladesh, West Bengal, Assam and Tripura for peace and prosperity.
The prayers were followed by the sacrificing of animals. Consequently, it has become a tradition to slaughter livestock and feed the poor to mark the occasion. Photos : Firoz Ahmed, Avijit Mondal

India won't be affected much by Dubai crisis : Pranab
Reuters, Chandigarh, 28 November : Dubai's debt crisis will not affect India much but the government is keeping a close watch and will act to prevent any fallout, the Indian finance minister said on Saturday.
"The impact cannot be much as our stake is so small and the amount involved compared to the world economy is miniscule," Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in Chandigarh, where he was delivering a lecture. "Watchful and effective intervention at the appropriate time can avert some immediate crisis," he said. Indian stocks and the rupee were rattled on Friday after Dubai's woes stoked fears over corporate exposure to a key trading partner and that foreign funds would lose their appetite for risk.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which Dubai is part, is the second-biggest export destination for India and accounts for 10-12 % of India's inward remittances. Mukherjee said the emirate's problems could force a return of Indian citizens, who make up more than 40% of the UAE's population.

India-Bangladesh talks from Monday
New Delhi, 28 November : India and Bangladesh will explore the possibility of signing an extradition treaty soon when the home secretaries of the two countries begin their three-day talks here on Monday.
Cross-border terrorism, infiltration, smuggling of fake currency and activities of north-east militants will also be high on the agenda. The Indian delegation, led by Indian home secretary G K Pillai, will seek cooperation from Bangladesh (led by home secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder) to deal with security issues, especially anti-India jehadi organisations and north-east militants operating from its soil, sources said.
Though the proposal to sign an extradition treaty has been pending for long, New Delhi hopes to break some ice with Dhaka to finalize it quickly considering the positive signal given by the Sheikh Hasina government over the issue.

Life returns to normal in Assam's North Cachar Hills
ANI, North Cachar Hills (Assam), 28 November : The surrender of ‘black widow’ militants has created a positive influence in North Cachar Hills district of Assam, and there has been a gradual improvement in the security scenario.
The markets are now flooded with people, railway services have resumed and rock concerts are drawing a huge number of people. No untoward incident has been reported in NC Hills since 2 October this year, when Jewel Garlosa faction of Dima Halim Daogah or ‘Black Widow’ laid down their arms. Businessman and traders are happy as markets are filled with customers, which earlier remained empty because of frequent militant attacks. People along with their families do not hesitate anymore to move of their homes for night stroll. Besides, the night trains have resumed service and work on Lumding-Silchar railway gauge project has commenced.
A rock concert organized by a local musician Morningkey Phangso in the Valley attracted large audiences. With the situation improving in the region, people are beginning to enjoy life.

Maoists kill gram panchayat leader in W Midnapore
Jhargram, 28 November : Suspected Maoist guerrillas gunned down a local CPI(M) leader in trouble-torn West Midnapore district, police said Saturday.
According to sources, the incident took place Friday night in Jhargram sub-division's Jitushol area in the district when a group of unidentified miscreants killed Karuna Mahato. 'Mahato was a CPI(M) gram panchayat member in Shalboni region. The Maoist ultras called Mahato from his residence late Friday night and took him to a nearby forest. He was found dead this morning on National Highway-9 near Kalaboni forest region,' a district police officer said.

Forward Block demand renaming of Andaman Island
Port Blair, 28 November : The State Conference of All India Forward Block was held recently at Delanipur community hall. It was inaugurated by Naren Dey, Secretary, AIFB and Minister of Agriculture and Consumer’s Affair, Govt. of West Bengal. In his address, the Minister urged the party workers to work relentlessly to attain their democratic and fundamental rights.
The conference also passed a resolution to press their demand for renaming Andaman & Nicobar Islands as ‘Shaheed and Swaraj Dweep’ as named by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. It also declared 23rd January, the birthday of Netaji as Netaji Jayanti/ Desh Prem Diwas. Besides, other issues for the development and welfare of the islanders were also discussed in the conference. Earlier, a district conference was held at Billiground.
A State Committee was constituted in the conference with Lingamayya as Chairman and A Pandyan, General Secretary besides five office bearers and eight committee members.

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