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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Difficult to trace Maoist leader Kishenji's location : Buddhadeb

PTI, New Delhi, 27 December : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today admitted that it was difficult to track down Maoist leader Kishenji despite his regular phone calls to prominent people, including state bureaucrats.
"We can identify the (mobile) tower but it is difficult to pin-point his location in that area," he told reporters here when asked about Kishenji's reported phone call to state's Principal Secretary (Environment) Madan Lal Meena to protest about polluting mines. Bhattacharjee said the Maoist leader was talking to "hundreds of journalists every day" but despite this, it was difficult to catch him.
Regarding the report about Meena's telephonic conversation with Kishenji, he said, "I have read it in the papers. I will have to talk to the officer as soon as I return" to Kolkata.

Govt to start talks on Teesta water sharing : PM Sk Hasina
Dhaka, 27 December : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said the government will start talks with India to resolve the problems of water sharing of Teesta and other common rivers.
The prime minister was addressing the national council of Institutions of Diploma Engineers, ATN Bangla reports. Sheikh Hasina mentioned that her government has completed nearly one year after taking the office and said Bangladesh was safe from the risk of global economic meltdown as the government has been running the state skillfully.
The government has started work to prevent environmental disaster through freeing the rivers and water bodies from encroachers, she said. The premier said a policy will be formulated for lifting sands from rivers.
Rangamati BDR hearing resumes onSunday afternoon
Rangamati, 27 December : Hearing of the trial of nine suspected Bangladesh Rifles mutineers resumes on Sunday afternoon at a special court at the BDR Sector headquarters in Rangamati.
The trial began on 24 November and was adjourned on 25 November giving the accused about 27 days to pick up counsels for self-defence either from BDR officials or lawyers. The hearing will resume at 3:00pm(BDST) at the makeshift special court-4, which is likely to frame charges against the nine accused, said sources.
BDR Director General Maj Gen Md Moinul Islam heads the three-member court. The other members are Lt Col Md Abdur Rouf and Maj Golam Mostafa Al-Mamun. The trial of the suspected BDR mutineers is being held under the Bangladesh Rifles Order 1972.
First swine flu death in Assam, A college student died
IANS, Guwahati, 27 December : A 21-year-old college student on Sunday died of swine flu, the first fatality to the deadly H1N1 virus in Assam, an official said.
A health department spokesperson said the girl student, Shikha Biswas, was declared dead early Sunday by doctors at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital. "She was at the hospital for the past 13 days after she tested H1N1 positive. Her condition deteriorated suddenly and she died early Sunday," a doctor at the medical college said. Shikha was a college student in Jagiroad, 56 km east of here. More than 70 people tested H1N1 positive in Assam during the past four months, although the number of people currently battling with the virus is just five.
War trial process starts in February-March next year
Dhaka, 27 December : The Bangladesh government will start the process of trying the war criminals of the 1971 Liberation War in February-March next year at the Old High Court building.
"We have decided to set up the tribunal at the Old High Court building and the construction of the courtrooms and other offices will be completed by January," Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said on Sunday. After setting up the courtrooms and relevant offices, the government will appoint prosecutors and investigators for the trial of the war criminals, he said.
The minister said the investigation agency and the prosecution team will start work in February-March 2010.

Fresh bids for Rs 130cr Ganga cruise project in 2010
PTI, Kolkata, 27 December : The Rs 130-crore Ganga Heritage River Cruise project in West Bengal may become a reality soon as the government has agreed to the demands of private investors and will issue new bids for it by mid-January.
"We and the Centre have agreed to the changes sought by them (investors). There will be re-tendering for the river cruise project in mid-January and this time we expect a better response from private investors," West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director T V N Rao told PTI here.
Private investors were demanding that the Centre's investment in the public-private-partnership (PPP) project of Rs 32 crore should be treated as a grant or subsidy rather than equity. They also wanted allotment of some land.

Traditional Raj Punyah festival begins in Rangamati
Rangamati, 27 December : The three-day traditional 'Raj Punyah' festival began at the compound of Chakma Rajbari (palace) in Rangamati Sunday afternoon.
Chakma Raja Devasish Roy and prince Tribhuban Aryadev Roy ascended the makeshift throne as the 'Raj Darbar' started according to the traditional customs. Raja Devasish will receive annual jhum taxes from the 175 headmen (mouza chiefs) at the function. As per tradition, they will bring different gifts including chicken, pig and wine for the king during the three-day festival. Headmen and karbaries have been providing jhum taxes to the government through the chiefs of Chakma, Bomang and Moung circles in three districts of Chittagong Hill Tracts for a long time.
Gautam Muni Mela, indigenous cultural function and sports, drama and jatra will mark the three-day Raj Punyah festival. Besides, there will be exhibition of different indigenous attires and bamboo-made furniture.

Bangladesh govt move on to bring back 100 in Indian jails
Dhaka, 27 December : The Bangladesh government has taken initiative to bring back around 100 Bangladeshi nationals detained in different prisons in India on various charges.
The move came after India had informed the government of having 136 Bangladeshi nationals imprisoned there for years. India also gave Bangladesh a list of the detained people. The government investigated identities of the detained people on the list and confirmed 97 of them as Bangladesh-born.
After the confirmation the Ministry of Home Affairs has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with the matter and bring the people home immediately.
Maoists call five-state bandh on 2 January
PTI, Midnapore, 27 December : Maoists have given a 24-hour bandh call in five states on 2 January alleging that CPI(M) cadre yesterday fired at a Christmas tribal fair near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district.
"Maoists has called the bandh on 2 January in West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar to protest the unprovoked firing on villagers at Binpur," Maoist leader Kishenji told PTI. He claimed that two persons were killed and four others were injured in the firing at the fair.
District Magistrate, Narayan Swarup Nigam confirmed the firing, but it was yet to be ascertained, if there was any casualty. He said that four hardcore Maoists were arrested in this connection.
Rangamati to introduce Cable Car for tourism boost
Rangamati, 27 December : The Bangladesh government is going to introduce cable car to Rangamati to develop in the hill district, a parliamentary panel chairman says.
Cable railway will be set up between tourism spots Nilachal and Shwapna Chura and Chimbuk hill and Jibon Nagar in Thanchi Upazila, Oli Ahmed, head of the the standing committee on planning ministry, told reporters on Friday। A cable car is a mass transit system using rail cars that are hauled by a continuously moving cable running at a constant speed. Individual cars stop and start by releasing and gripping this cable as required. MPs Khurshid Jahan and Azizul Haque, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation chairman Hemayet Uddin Talukder, among others, were present during his visit to the spots.

The standing committee members went to Rangamati a day before to fix the spots to set up cable car and make plans.

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