|| Bengal Newz (Bengali: বেঙ্গল নিউজ) is the first 24X7 online English language news daily portal - exclusively dedicated to entire Bengali speaking region and the world. ||

Friday, July 31, 2009

Dacoits loot Barbil-Howrah 'Janshatabdi Express' passengers

Howrah, Kolkata, 1 August : The passengers of three air-conditioned coaches of Barbil-Howrah 'Janshatabdi Express' were tonight looted of cash and valuables by armed dacoits between at a Maoist-infested place on the border of West Bengal and Jharkhand.
South Eastern Railway sources said a five-member gang, most of them carrying firearms, of dacoits boarded the train as passengers and after commiting the robbery fled by pulling the emergency chain at Maoist-hit Kanimouli jungle between Chakulia station in Jharkhand and Gidhni station in West Bengal at around 6.30 pm. Ornaments, cash and laptop sets from passengers travelling in coach numbers C-1, C-2 and C-3 were looted by the dacoits during a ten-minute attack, the sources said.
They said several passengers were manhandled when they refused to part with their valuables but no one was seriously injured.

BIJEM's 'TV news presentation' training course ends
Dhaka, 1 August : The concluding and certificate awarding ceremony of a month-long training course on "TV news presentation" organised by Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM) was held at the conference room of the institute on Saturday, says a press release.
Abdul Awal Mintoo, former president of Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and Chief Executive Officer of Multimode Group, distributed certificates among the participants as the chief guest. Mintoo in his speech said proper training, continuous practice and correct pronunciation can make a good news presenter. They should also have personality and confidence, he added. Farida Yasmin, senior sub-editor of the Daily Ittefaq and Shameem Mahboob, chief news presenter of Channel one, were present as special guest with BIJEM Executive Director Mirza Tarequl Qader in the chair.
A total of 38 participants, including 28 female students of different universities and colleges, took part in the course.
Marijuana worth Rs 42 lakh seized in Darjeeling, No arrests made so far
ANI, Darjeeling, 1 August : Acting on a tip-off, officials detained an oil tanker in Darjeeling district on Saturday and seized marijuana worth Rs 42 lakh.
The marijuana was found packed in 61 cartons and weighed about 1201 kilograms. The detained tanker was reportedly plying with a Haryana registration plate and was travelling from Manipur, Bihar via Siliguri. “Put together, including the vehicle, the total seizure comes to 50 lakh,” said R. Mangababu, Additional Commissioner of Customs, North Bengal and Sikkim. No arrests have been made so far and investigations are on to find the drug peddlers.
The north-eastern part of the India has emerged as a favourite transit point for drug peddlers.

Guwahati, 1 August :
A wild elephant crosses a railway track along Deepor Beel, a wild life sanctuary on the outskirts of Guwahati. A herd of twelve wild elephants came down from the nearby hills last week in search of food and water as a drought-like situation continues to prevail in Assam state. The herd returned to the hills on Wednesday while this elephant was left behind.

Photo : AP
Pakistan-based militants supported attack on Hasina
Dhaka, 1 August : An Indian militant nabbed here has disclosed that two Pakistan-based Islamist militant groups supplied grenades that were used to attack a 2004 rally addressed by Bangladesh’s current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a media report said Saturday.
Maulana Mansur Ali, hiding in Bangladesh for the last 15 years, told interrogators here that militant outfit Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF), which is based in Pakistani Kashmir and works with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), supplied grenades to LeT’s Bangladesh chapter leader Moulana Tajuddin. Twenty-three people, including senior leaders of Hasina’s Awami League, died and over 300 were injured in the attack that took place on 21 August, 2004. Hasina was also fired upon while being whisked away in a bullet-proof vehicle. She developed an eye and hearing impairment thereafter.
Mansur Ali is one of the three Indian militants caught hiding in Bangladesh and the security personnel are looking for more of their accomplices since last month’s breakthrough. In pictures : Bangladesh blasts
Transport strike: 2 govt buses damaged
Kolkata, 1 August : Two government buses were damaged by unidentified persons in south Kolkata as police and officials of public vehicles department started seizure of 15-year-old commercial vehicles today to comply with the Kolkata High Court order.
Some people damaged the two state transport corporation-run buses in the Regent Park area, Superintendent of Police, South 24 Parganas district, Ajay Ranade said. Kolkata police sources said the seizure process in the city was totally peaceful elsewhere with police and PVD officials impounding one auto, three taxis and one private bus. Commuters had a harrowing time due to lesser number of vehicles plying on the streets. The auto owners had called a strike during the day adding to the woes of the commuters.
The Supreme Court yesterday refused to grant interim stay on the Kolkata High Court judgement directing the West Bengal government to phase out from the metropolis commercial vehicles which were 15-years-old. The SC said it would hear the bus-owners' petition seeking stay of the High Court order on next Tuesday.

SAIL will spend Crore to rebuild Burnpur IISCO plant
ANI, New Delhi, 1 August : Steel Authority of India Ltd will spend Rs 3,340 crore of its Rs 10,300- crore planned expenditure this year to rebuild the IISCO plant in Burnpur. “We will spend about Rs 4,000 crore this year in West Bengal and more in the coming years,” said SAIL chairman S.K. Roongta.
The total cost of completely refurbishing the Burnpur facility, which will eventually make nearly 3 million tonnes of hot metal, will be Rs 14,443 crore. IISCO has an antiquated plant in Burnpur, which churns out about 4 lakh tonnes of steel a year. A new blast furnace with a capacity of 4060 cubic metres, SAIL’s largest so far, will be set up at the Burnpur site. SAIL has not built a furnace in the last three decades. The IISCO modernisation project includes a coke oven battery, two sinter machines, a new blast furnace and a new wire rod and bar mill. The state-run steel maker plans to spend more than Rs 18,000 crore on its plants in the state. Apart from the IISCO plant, another Rs 3,500 crore will be spent to modernise Durgapur and Alloy Steels plants and build specialised metal works facilities at Kulti.
West Bengal has been a favoured destination for steel makers because of abundant coal supply, good rail and road linkages with the rest of the country, besides port facilities at Haldia. Orissa and Jharkhand’s iron ore mines provide easy access to raw materials.

Obama to give M Yunus US Medal of Freedom award
Kolkata, 1 August : US President Barack Obama will next month award the highest US civilian honour to 16 "agents of change" including Desmond Tutu, Stephen Hawking and Muhammad Yunus, the White House said on Thursday.
Obama will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom on 12 August to Tutu, a South African anti-apartheid veteran, British physicist Hawking and Yunus, Bangladesh's micro-financier who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, AFP said. Other figures tapped to receive the nation's highest civilian honour included six women from sport, entertainment, science and government; a Native American war chief, a civil rights leader, an African-American actor, two US politicians and a doctor.
"These outstanding men and women represent an incredible diversity of backgrounds," Obama said in a statement.



Torrential rain stalls Bangladesh team's Tipai site visit
Guwahati, Dhaka, 31 July : The 10-member Bangladeshi parliamentary delegation could not visit the proposed Tipaimukh dam site in on Friday as the helicopter carrying them failed to land due to torrential rains, BBC Bengali Service reports.
The team, led by chairman of the Bangladesh parliamentary standing committee on water resources Abdur Razzak, left for the site early in the morning from Guwahati. But the team returned to Guwahati without taking any risks amid the heavy rainfall.
"We saw the site from above but did not see any installations or construction work being in progress there," Razzak, who later returned to Guwahati, told BBC's east India correspondent Subir Bhowmik. He said they had come to India to verify the allegation that India had already started the dam construction and New Delhi's claims that it is a hydropower project and the dam will not divert any irrigation water.
Some people of Tipaimukh area told BBC that they had been waiting to talk with them amid the heavy rainfall. Photo : BBC Bengali

4 killed as Jangipur-Asansol bus overturns in Birbhum
Suri, 31 July : Four persons were killed and 40 others injured when a speeding Jangipur-bound private bus overturned and fell into a ditch on Friday evening.The incident occurred at NH-60 in Sotsal under Birbhum's Mohammad Bazar police station. The bus was coming from Asansol.
The injured were sent to hospitals in Suri, Rampurhat and Mallarpur. Surgery had to be performed on six of them. One of the injured has been shifted to Burdwan Medical College Hospital.

The bus was going to Jangipur from Asansol. Two of the deceased have been identified as Hemanta Mondal (50) and Feroz Sheikh (22). Mondal was a resident of Rampurhat while Sheikh hailed from Raghunathganj in Murshidabad. They died at Suri hospital. The driver and the helper were missing.
Cong surrendered to Mamata in bypoll seat bargain
Kolkata, 31 July : The Congress surrendered to Mamata Banerjee tonight by deciding to pull its candidates from two central Kolkata Assembly seats with less than 24 hours to go for withdrawal of nomination.
Pradesh Congress president Pranab Mukherjee asked Congress candidates Pradip Ghosh and Santosh Pathak to withdraw their nominations from the seats. Trinamool Congress candidates Shikha Mitra, former Congress MLA and sitting Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra's wife, and former councillor Swarnakamal Saha will be contesting from Sealdah and Bowbazar.
The decision, that may not go down well among the Congress ranks, is enough indication that Congress president Sonia Gandhi values Mamata as a crucial UPA partner and is not going to disturb the alliance, even if her party has to take a back seat in West Bengal.

Supreme Court's 'NO' to stay on phasing out old cars
PTI, New Delhi, 31 July : The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant interim stay on the Kolkata High Court judgement directing the West Bengal government to phase out from the metropolis commercial vehicles which are 15-year-old.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan said, it would hear the petition seeking stay of the Kolkata High Court on Tuesday. The transporters association has approached the apex Court against the July 2008 judgement of the High Court which had directed the state government to phase out 15-year-old commercial vehicles from the municipal limits of Kolkata city by tomorrow.

Joint Forces, Maoists exchange fire in Lalgarh area
Lalgarh, 31 July : There was an exchange of fire on Friday between joint forces and Maoists at Dharampur near here in West Midnapore district in which some people were injured, police said.
"The Maoist opened fire at our camp at Dhulaberia in Dharmapur and forces retaliated," Superintendent of Police (West Midnapore) Manoj Verma told Bengal Newz. "The firing continued for nearly an hour before the Maoists fled," Verma said. He said some persons were injured in the firing. The police also arrested a Maoist 'action squad' member, Aditya Rao, from Sitalkuchi near Jhargram for a mine blast on 28 March near Lalgarh.
Meanwhile, People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) Convenor Chatradhar Mahato alleged that the security personnel fired on villagers leaving four injured.

The two assistant sub-inspectors of the State Armed Police, Sabbir Molla and Kanchan Bauri, who were abducted by Maoists when they were returning to their camp at Dharampur from Lalgarh on Thursday, are still untraceable, police said. Photos : PTI
Jamat-e-Islami arms dealer arrested by BSF in Malda
Malda, 31 July : Within a week of the recovery of explosives from Kaliachak, a Bangladeshi arms dealer was arrested at the Indo-Bangla border by the BSF at Shashani village while on his way back to Bangladesh.
Ekramul Hoque (45) of Shonganga village in Gopalpur under Papahar police station of Naogaon district was nabbed by BSF jawans with an automatic revolver of German make. BSF also seized two cellphones from him with Vodafone and Gramin Phone SIM cards. As Hoque could not produce his papers, it led BSF to interrogate him. It is learnt that Haque, a member of the 'Jamat-e-Islami' Bangladesh had close links with some Indians regarding an arms deal. Also, his connection with subversive forces in India has not been ruled out either. "Interrogation revealed that Hoque used to frequent this part of the border. We have also come to know the names of the persons with whom he had dealt in arms," DIG BSF Bikash Chand Meheta told Bengal Newz.
If the smuggling of fake currency and arms through this border is a regular phenomenon, Friday's arrest got a special dimension with the recent seizure of IEDs in Kaliachak.

10 people die in Bandarban hill slides
Bandarban, 31 July : At least 10 people, six of a family, were killed and dozens injured in multiple hill collapses early on Friday in Aziznagar in Lama upazila of Bandarban. Torrential rains triggered the landslide in three places at around 3am(BDST), police and locals said.
Local journalists said neighbours had recovered some of the bodies from Harinmara Parah while fire service men of Satkania in Chittagong and Chakaria in Cox's Bazar recovered the rest of the bodies.
Bandarban police chief Quamrul Ahsan said that the victims had been sleeping in bamboo-made houses at the bottom of the hills. At least 130 people died in a landslide in Chittagong in June, 2007.
Photo : STAR
Sting operation at Sourav restaurant, police to inqure
Kolkata, 31 July : A sting operation by Channel 10 TV at cricketer Sourav Ganguly's bar and restaurant here showed visuals of a skimpily-clad woman dancing on the floor and the police said they will inquire into the matter.
The sting operation by 'Channel 10' reporters Shanku Deb Panda and Avik Chatterjee, showed the dancer performing at the restaurant The Food Pavilion on Park Street on 5 July, allegedly in violation of rules. Under the rules, it is illegal to engage professional performers at hotels. The Kolkata police issues licenses only to singers.
Jawed Shamim, deputy commissioner detective department (in-charge of headquarters) told Bengal Newz that they have asked for the video clip. "On the basis of it we will conduct an inquiry. If we find anything illegal, we will then take action." "There has been no complaint," he added. Ganguly's elder brother Snehashis, however, said the restaurant has the required licenses. "I am unaware of the claims made by the channel. There seems to be some vested interests who are trying to malign my brother's image at a time when he is attending the annual general meeting of the cricket association of Bengal (CAB)," Snehashis told PTI.
The Gangulys have not ruled out legal action against the channel accusing it for tarnishing their image.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jharia and Raniganj to be shifted
New Delhi, 30 July : The Indian cabinet committee on infrastructure today approved a master plan to relocate coal towns Jharia and Raniganj at a cost of Rs 9,657 crore to save the areas from underground.
A fire has been burning under the Jharia coalfields for nearly a century. Buildings and roads have caved in because of the slow-burning fire whose fumes cause breathing disorders among the local people. Burdwan’s Raniganj, the oldest coal mining area in the country, is less affected by the fires but the long-term danger to the area is as much.
The fires can start at rather low temperatures but if not checked early can burn for many years. File Photos : Niraj Modi

War with Pakistan no option, talks only way : Pranab
IANS, New Delhi, 30 July : Ruling out war as an option, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday reinforced Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's position that there was no alternative but to keep talking to Pakistan but made it clear that there was no surrender by the government on the issue of combating cross-border terrorism.
"Neither have we succumbed to terrorism nor will we stop talking," Mukherjee told the Lok Sabha during a debate on issues arising from the Prime Minister's foreign visits, including his trip to Egypt where he met Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Action on terror was independent of any composite dialogue, he asserted. "The NDA did it. The UPA did it. This is the way the world of diplomacy moves," Mukherjee said while reminding Parliament that over the last 10 years, governments across the political spectrum in India kept talking to Pakistan despite brief disruptions after terrorist attacks.
"We can't erase Pakistan. It's going to exist. War is no solution," Mukherjee said while underlining the importance of keeping talks going with Pakistan.

BCG rescued 6 abducted fishermen from Sundarbans
BSS, Bagerhat, 30 July : Bangladesh Coast Guard members rescued six fishermen from the Sundarbans late Wednesday night who had been abducted by alleged pirates of Kabir gang on 26 July.
The coastguards searching through Supati, Katka and Kochikhali areas in the eastern Sundarbans found six of the eight fishermen held hostage by the pirates for Tk 8 lakh ransom. Search operation will continue until the rest two fishermen are found, lieutenant Lokman Hakim, the operation chief of the BCG, Mongla western zone, said. No member of Kabir gang, however, could be arrested so far.
On 26 July, while fishermen were returning from the Bay of Bengal after a hilsa trawl, the alleged pirates stopped them in Kochikhali area of Sharankhola Range in the east Sundarbans, seized their trawler and abducted them. The rescued fishers returned to their families on Thursday.

Shutdown in Assam against court
verdict in Journalist murder case
ANI, Guwahati, 30 July : Angered by the court verdict in the case of a journalist’s killing, various journalist and human rights organisations called for a 12-hour shutdown in Guwahati.
The activists accused the CBI of being hands in glove with the accused. “This judgement is unfortunate. We feel that CBI is purchased by the accused. The CBI has also betrayed the people of Assam by compromising with the culprit,” said Bubumoni Saikia, President, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, a human rights organisation. A local court on Tuesday acquitted Mridul Phukan due to lack of evidence. He was the prime accused in Parag Das murder case that took place in 1996.
Parag Das was the executive editor of Asomiya Pratidin, an Assamese vernacular daily.he judgement came 13 years after the murder took place. Das was killed on May 17, 1996 in broad daylight when he was returning home after picking up his son from school. The gunmen had pumped several bullets from point blank range, killing Das on the spot. Photo : PTI
Bangladesh shipbuilders win $355 mln German deals
Reuters, Dhaka, 30 July : Bangladesh's leading shipbuilders have won deals worth $355 million to supply over 30 smaller ocean-going ships to shipping firms in Germany by next year end, officials said. "German ship-owners have already ordered Bangladeshi shipbuilders to supply more than 30 ships worth 250 million euro," Frank Meyke, German ambassador to Bangladesh told reporters.
The ships, with a deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 4,100-4,800, are contracted to be supplied by the end of next year, an official of Western Marine Shipyard Limited (WMSL) told Reuters. WMSL, based in the southeastern port city of Chittagong, and Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Limited, located at Meghnaghat on the river Meghna, near the capital Dhaka, are prominent ship builders in Bangladesh.
Again CPM local leader killed, five members abducted
PTI, Midnapore, 30 July : A CPI(M) local leader was shot dead and five other party members were abducted by suspected Maoists in trouble-torn West Midnapore district where a joint operation by police and para-military forces against Naxalites is on, police said today.
The police said that CPI(M) local committee member Sagar Masanta, a resident of Patharpara village at Goaltore in the Lalgarh police station area, was found dead and his body was recovered from the field near the village. Five other CPI(M) members - Arun Mahato, Amal Mahato and Brahmanya Singha Roy from Salboni village in the Lalgarh police station area and Sailen Deb Sinha and Anadi Deb Sinha from Kalaimuri village were abducted from their homes by suspected Naxalites last night.

NBSTC launches 4 new bus services to north Bengal
Siliguri, Kolkata, 30 July : Kolkata In spite of the losses incurred by the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) because of the turmoil in Darjeeling, it has gone ahead with promoting tourism in the region. The corporation launched its website and the schedule of its bus service on Tuesday to help people get more tourism-related information.
“Besides NSBTC, there are other government undertakings which are also coming up with tourism packages. Such initiatives are part of the infrastructure development vision which the state government has undertaken,” said state Tourism Minister Manabendra Mukherjee. “If these buses start earning profit then private investors will also be encouraged to invest in tourism infrastructure in West Bengal,” the minister added. The NBSTC in the past one year has extended its tourism services to other divisions in Siliguri, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Malda, Beharampur and Raigunj. According to some officials, it was important to extend the tourism in the region beyond Darjeeling.
For residents of Kolkata, the NBSTC has launched 10 new tourism packages during the Pujas. Besides its 12 tourist buses, which ply from Kolkata, two new ones were added on Tuesday linking the city with the Dooars. Four new bus routes of NBSTC from Kolkata have been launched that include Kolkata to Dooars, Kolkata to Siliguri, Kolkata to Sikkim, Kolkata to Bhutan.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bangladesh orders Army pullout from restive Chittagong region

Dhaka, 29 July : The Bangladesh government has ordered its biggest troops pullout from Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), its restive southeastern region that is home to minority Buddhist tribals. The decision to withdraw a brigade of troops including three infantry battalions and 35 security camps was announced Wednesday, honouring a treaty signed 12 years ago.
"This withdrawal process will start immediately and will conclude in September 2009," an Inter Service Public Relations department release said. With this, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pushed forward a reconciliation process she initiated by a signing a treaty in 1997 during her earlier tenure. Withdrawal of troops was among the pledges made by Hasina's 1996-2001 government which concluded the peace deal aiming to end two decades of bloody insurgency that began in mid-1970s when the army was deployed to help settle the Muslim population. Many of the ethnic minority rebels immediately surrendered their arms.
While the government withdrew 200 temporary army camps, most of the pledges remained shelved, causing dissatisfaction among the communities living in the hilly terrain.
Photos : AP
CBI conducted raids at Tripura University, But officials unaware
Agartala, 29 July : A team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has conducted raids at the Tripura University, a central institute, here following complaints of financial irregularities, an official said on Wednesday.
"A CBI team led by deputy superintendent of police Biswajit Das conducted raids and interrogated university officials on Tuesday and Wednesday following complaints of financial irregularities," a university official told reporters on condition of anonymity. The official was unable to disclose the nature and degree of irregularities besides other details of the probe.
Tripura University Vice-Chancellor (VC) Arunoday Saha told sources, "I am in complete dark about the CBI inquiry and raids. Nobody from CBI till late afternoon told me anything or questioned me." The Tripura government and state police are also unaware about the purpose of CBI raids. "We have heard about the CBI raids, but officially not informed about the investigation," deputy inspector general of police (headquarters) Nepal Das told Bengal Newz.
Bangladesh team visits dam site
Mark Dummett, BBC News, Dhaka, 29 July : A delegation of Bangladeshi parliamentarians has arrived in north-east India to examine plans to build a hydroelectric dam.
Many Bangladeshis worry that, if built, the Tipaimukh dam in the state of Manipur will reduce water flowing into its own north-eastern region. Work on building the dam has not yet started. But this is already a sensitive issue in Bangladesh, a country normally associated with having too much water. The leader of the main opposition party in Bangladesh has called on India to cancel the project for the sake of the millions of people in both countries, who she said would be harmed by it. READ MORE
There is no such thing as "perfect" justice : Amartya
"I am on Left" says Amartya Sen
Hasan Suroor, The Hindu, London, 29 July : Amartya Sen has called for the Indian Left to regard him as a friend saying that his criticism of the Left parties over their stand on the India-US nuclear deal did not detract from the fact that he was very much a man of the Left.
I am on Left and if Left want me I’m delighted,” he said noting good-humouredly that he was criticised in India for questioning the Left’s fury over the nuclear deal when, in his view, there were more pressing issues such as poverty and malnutrition to be furious about.
2 Trinamool activists killed at Natungram in Burdwan
Burdwan, 29 July : At least two Trinamool Congress activists were killed and four others critically injured in Burdwan district Wednesday, police said. "No one has been arrested so far in connection with the incident. We're carrying out raids in the district to nab the perpetrators," a senior district police officer said.
According to officials, the incident took place in Natungram area of Burdwan Wednesday. Sheikh Samsur Rahman and Sheikh Zafar Ali were killed in the attack. Four others were severely injured during the violence and taken to Burdwan Medical College Hospital.
"The situation has been brought under control now. A police picket has also been set up to prevent any further violence in the area," the official said.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

India Govt approves Rs 7800 crore for Naxal-affected states

PTI, New Delhi, 28 July : The Indian govt on Tuesday said it has approved Rs 7,800 crore under a road connectivity plan and a special infrastructure scheme in Left-wing extremism affected states in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.
"Rs 7,300 crore has been provided under the road connectivity plan and Rs 500 crore under the Special Infrastructure Scheme for Left-wing Extremism affected states for meeting the gaps in critical infrastructure not otherwise covered under any other existing schemes," minister of state for home affairs Ajay Maken told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The Centre supplements efforts of the states in several ways. These include improvement of police force under the scheme for modernisation of state police forces, sharing of intelligence, facilitating inter-state coordination and assistance in development works through a range of schemes of different Central ministries, Maken added.

Naxalites observe Charu Mazumdar death anniversary
A CPM activist killed at Tantidoba in Jalpaiguri district
People Watching Naxalite posters at Burdwan town Today. >
Kolkata, Siliguri, 28 July : Partial bandh observed in the Naxalite Martyr’s day in the Naxal-affected districts in West Bengal. The Naxalite Martyr’s Day is observed on 28 July every year. The naxalite martyr’s week is also observed from 28 July to 3 August. In Jalpaiguri suspected Naxalites Tuesday killed a CPI(M) activist at Tantidoba in Jalpaiguri district, police said.
State Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Kundan Lal Tamta told Bengal Newz that the Naxalite rebels had called a shutdown in Jalpaiguri to observe the death anniversary of Charu Mazumdar the founding fathers of the movement in India. “This is an annual thing. But in the past, there has never been any violence or any forcible attempt to enforce the shutdown. So we are looking at all the angles including whether there was any personal enmity,” Tamta said.
Naxalites across the country observe the martyr week in the memory of Charu Majumdar. In '60s Naxalite revolution started under leadership of Charu Majumadar, who was arrested by Kolkata Police on 16 July,1972, later on 28 July, he died in Lalbazar after being tortured by police men. With the memory of the past Naxalite leaders this day (28th July) is observed as Martyr day. Photos : Dipankar Chatterjee

Average Electricity tariff set to rise in West Bengal
Kolkata, 28 July : People in the State will have to shell out more on power bills as the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) has approved the average tariff hike of Rs 3.49 per unit for West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) and Rs 4.09 per unit for CESC consumers for the current fiscal.
After the hike, the average power tariff has risen by 14 paise (4.17 %) for WBSEDCL and 18.5 paise (4.7 %) for CESC consumers this fiscal compared to the previous one, WBERC sources said. For the 2.3 million CESC consumers of Kolkata and Howrah, the hike is 15 paise for the first two slabs and 18 paise for the third in the domestic consumer category. For commercial consumers the average hike is 17 paise per unit and for the high-voltage consumers the average hike is 18 paise per unit.
Trial runs on Tollygunge-Garia Metro extended route
Kolkata, 28 July : Kolkata Metro Railway is likely to get the formal go-ahead for regular passenger operations on its extended line between Tollygunge and Garia on Tuesday after the commissioner of rail safety conducts the final safety inspection.
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to flag off the first train on the extended line on 23 August. A series of trial runs and other technical surveys have been conducted by the Metro authorities ahead of the safety inspection. “All the technical parameters required for safe running of trains have checked during the trial runs and we are expecting the clearance soon,” a senior Metro official said on Tuesday. The extension, described by Mamata as “A Puja gift”, take Metro Railways towards Garia but stop 2.5km short of the terminal station at New Garia. Metro officials said out of the 8.5-km stretch, trains run for 6km till Birji station.
Metro Railway had started trial runs with eight-coach rakes between Tollygunge station which will be renamed Uttam Kumar and Birji (Khudiram) on 28 May. The last trial run was conducted on 25 July. Today's trial runs were conducted to check various parameters, including the signalling system, safety of tracks and speed control. All internal inspections have been completed successfully. said a Metro official. Photos : Indrajit Dutta

Cong calls for 6hour Assam-Agartala NH44 blockade
Agartala, 28 July : Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) on Tuesday called a six-hour Assam-Agartala National Highway (NH-44) blockade on 30 July to protest the post-poll violence across the state.
This is the first phase of agitation to protest the state-sponsored post-poll violence in which two party leaders were killed and several others injured by CPI(M) cadres, Leader of the Opposition Ratan Lal Nath said here. Addressing a press conference at Congress Bhavan here, Nath admitted that the NH-44 blockade would cause inconvenience to the people but we are prompted by the situation created by CPI(M) to go for National Highway blockade.
Trinamool delegation visits trouble-torn Lalgarh areas
Lalgarh, July 28 : A Trinamool Congress team, including two union ministers, reached here Tuesday to get a first hand idea of the situation after security forces were deployed to flush out Maoist rebels from this trouble-torn belt in West Midnapore district.
Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy, Minister of State for Rural Development Sisir Adhikari and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Partha Chattopadhyay were part of the delegation. Trinamool team visited a school and spoke to students, teachers and guardians who complained about the disruption of studies after the security forces camped in the schools of the area.
There have been allegations of atrocities by security forces that were deployed to control Maoist violence in the area.
Biggest rain in 53 years floods B'desh capital, 6 dead
Dhaka, 28 July : The heaviest rain in 53 years battered Bangladesh’s capital Tuesday, leaving at least six people dead and stranding thousands in their swamped homes.
The national weather office said 13 inches (33.3 centimeters) of rain fell in 12 hours in Dhaka, an overcrowded city of about 10 million people the most in a single day since 1956. Live power lines snapped and killed at least six people, including two children, in central Dhaka, hospital authorities said. They gave no further details. Huge snarls of traffic inched along, with people waist-deep in water. Commuters waded their way home or waited for hours to get transport. The private NTV television station reported that residents in low-lying areas were stranded in their homes. Trading on the Dhaka stock exchange was delayed for half the day, and schools in flooded areas were closed.
Floods caused by monsoon rains are common in Bangladesh, a delta nation of 150 million people. Photos : AP and Reuters
Heavy flash floods damage low-lying areas of Tripura
Agartala, 28 July : A heavy downpour triggered flash floods in low-lying areas of Tripura on Tuesday, leaving thousands of people marooned. Road communications in capital Agartala has been cut off due to the deluge.
Many schools have postponed their scheduled examinations as students could not enter the flooded classes. Office goers are finding it difficult to go to their places of work as the roads are water logged. “We have asked all students to return as the examinations have been postponed. I have not seen such flood occurring in last seven to eight years” said Purnima Roy, Headmistress of a higher secondary school. Tripura faced a drought-like situation just a few days ago, but the sudden flash flood has changed the scenario completely. Makeshift relief camps have been set up for flood victims.
The flood has also damaged standing crops and submerged vast areas of farmland. At least 50,000 people are marooned in four districts, sources said. The situation may take a serious turn if the heavy downpour continues. Photo : Parthajit Dutta

Dhaka, 28 July :
A Bangladeshi woman looks skyward from inside her temporary home, a tent set up on the roadside, in Dhaka. Heavy monsoon rains have battered Bangladesh's capital, flooding streets and homes, stranding thousands and forcing businesses and schools to close. The national weather office says more than 333 millimeters (13 inches) of rain have been recorded Tuesday in the overcrowded capital city of about 10 million people in the past 12 hours.
Photo : AP
Parents attack school buses after hike in school fees
Agartala, 28 July : Three bus drivers of a private school here were injured when some of the parents of the students angry over the steep hike in school fee attacked the buses at Narsingarh area, police sources said today.
A group of agitated parents stopped six school buses of Bhavan's Tripura Vidya Mandir when they were going to school and pelted stones yesterday in which the three drivers suffered injuries, they said. A few students of the primary-level also suffered minor injures, police said. An FIR has been lodged with Airport police station against six persons, but no arrest was made so far, said a police officer.
Some of the parents of the students of the school were agitated over the abrupt hike in school fees by the school authority, the sources said.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Bangladesh SC to determine law for BDR mutiny trial

Dhaka, 27 July : Bangladesh Law Minister Shafique Ahmed today said the government would seek the Supreme Court resolution to decide the law under which the trials of those involved in the 25-26 February BDR mutiny and carnage will be held.
The minister revealed this emerging from an ministerial meeting held at his ministry. "The reference to fix the law from the apex court will be sought within a week," Shafique said. The government would seek the decision through the president of the republic from the full bench of the Appellate Division under the article 106 of the Constitution, Shafique added.
On 15 July, another meeting sat at Bangladesh Secretariat to decide on the matter but failed to come up with any decision. News and Photo : STAR

GJM suspends indefinite Darjeeling bandh till 17 Aug
PTI, Kolkata, 27 July : The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, spearheading a campaign for a separate state, today suspended its indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills till 17 August to create a 'cordial atmosphere' ahead of the tripartite talks on 11 August in Delhi.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told PTI over phone from Darjeeling that the decision to suspend the bandh, announced by its president Bimal Gurung, was taken in response to the request by the Centre, state government and other quarters. "We will see the outcome of the talks and act accordingly," Giri said.
He said their demand for the transfer of senior police officials, including IG (north Bengal) K L Tamta, for the lathicharge and 'police highhandedness' on GJM supporters at Panighatta on 10 July still stands.
Photo : Arnab Mitra
Patuakhali ferries suspended over Bay's depression
Patuakhali, 27 July : A depression in the Bay has whipped up troubles in the seas, estuarine waterways and rivers in Patuakhali, forcing passenger ferries to suspend operations.
Incessant rains have severely restricted public mobility. Md Shahidullad Miah, Patuakhali river port official, said all motor launches below the length of 65 feet have been barred from cruising in the inclement weather. If the situation worsens, inland navigation with Dhaka and all other routes may have to be shut down in the afternoon, he added. Patuakhali Met Office senior observer Md Raqibul Islam said 60 mm rainfall was recorded from 1am to 12 noon on Monday.

The seas are choppy due to the low, waves up to three to four feet lapped the shores. Hundreds of fishing trawlers returned from the seas in apprehension.
24 journalists killed in b'ladesh since Independence
Jahangir Alam Akash, Germany, (Human Rights Today) : Democracy and press freedom is important for each and other. The peoples and journalists of Bangladesh have struggling for actual democracy and press freedom.
In 1971 was independent of Bangladesh. But, peoples under army rule for 17 years. Army was killed father of the nation Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Still has not executed the punishment to the self declared killers. Since independence about 24 journalists were killed by terrorists. But, yet not right investigation and punish to the killers.

Day by day journalism in Bangladesh is going on very danger and risk. Actually here is no press freedom. Journalist’s killings and torture is a common feature in Bangladesh. In this horrible situation journalists are working here. Though government always says that, journalists and media are free. In practice, media is not free. Every day, the suppression of the media and freedom of speech is becoming more apparent in Bangladesh. READ MORE
GAIL approves Rs 8,000 cr Uttar Pradesh to Haldia pipeline projects
New Delhi, Haldia, 27 July : The GAIL (India) Limited board has approved Rs 8,000 crore pipeline projects to be implemented by 2012, company Chairman U D Choubey said on Monday.
GAIL will raise Rs 2,000 crore from the domestic market this fiscal, Rs 5,000 crore next fiscal mostly through external commercial borrowing, and Rs 10,000 crore in 2011-12, GAIL Director (Finance) R K Goel said.
GAIL will lay 2,050-km pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal at an investment of Rs 7,595 crore, company Chairman U D Choubey told reporters.
B'desh cabinet approves special lifelong protection for Hasina, family
IANS, Dhaka, 27 July : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her sister Rehana and their children will get Special Security Force (SSF) protection in view of threats to their lives as per an executive order.
Hasina Monday chaired a cabinet meeting that approved the ‘Father of the Nation’s Family Members’ Security Bill 2009′ with immediate effect “to ensure lifelong and foolproof security”. The bill, to be enacted by parliament subsequently, will cover all family members of the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was slain in a military putsch on 15 August, 1975. Hasina and Rehana were the only survivors. Hasina’s son Sanjib Joy, daughter Putul, Rehana and her family live abroad. The new law will cover their security whenever they are visiting Bangladesh, an official explained.
There have been several attempts on the life of Hasina who escaped a grenade attack at a political rally in August 2004.
JDP Bandh cripples life in tribal belts
PTI, Purulia, 27 July : A 12-hour Bengal bandh called by the Jharkhand Disom Party (JDP) to protest the operation by security forces today crippled life in many areas of the tribal belt in Purulia district and some parts of the adjoining Hooghly and Burdwan districts. Bandh severly disrupted train services. Howrah- bound Rajdhani Express is stuck at Asansol. Many Howrah bound trains are also stuck in Asansol, Durgapur and Burdwan.
Security forces after their operation against Maoists in West Midnapore district had launched a similar drive in neighbouring Purulia district from Saturday. In Burdwan district, JDP supporters forced shop-owners at Raina Bazar, 30 km from Burdwan town, to down shutters in protest against alleged harassment of tribals by security forces during their operation against Maoists. Police claimed a young shop owner collapsed and died of a cardiac arrest when he saw the agitators approaching his shop.
A total bandh was observed in the tribal-inhabited areas of Bandwan and Baghmundi in Purulia district, where markets were closed and vehicles stayed off the roads.
ECBC to promote green building in Tripura
UNI, Agartala, 27 July : The Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) has urged Tripura government to adopt mechanism for reducing power consumption substantially to contribute in combating climate change.
After third state level workshop on 'Energy efficiency: codes and rating in buildings' here yesterday, organised by Society of Energy Engineers and Managers (SEEM), BEE has constituted Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) under Energy Conservation Act 2001 for Tripura.
SEEM officials here today said that ECBC had been assigned to generate awareness and popularizing energy efficient green building designs suiting the climate condition of Northeast while workshop was targeted for architects, town planners, energy sector workers and other enterprises to provide information about green building. Talking to media here today former Director, school of energy studies in Jadavpur University Prof Sujoy Basu said that anticipating future power crisis, BEE had suggested several energy saving options, including promotion of energy-efficient buildings and bio-gas generation from kitchen waste to Indian states.
Bangladesh gov cracks down on Pak's ISI operations
Dhaka, 27 July : Reports are circulating that the recent arrests of foreign terrorists in Bangladesh have revealed the depth of a terror network inside Bangladesh, which is sponsored by the Pakistani secret service, the ISI. These reports suggest that the ISI controls terrorist operations inside Bangladesh via its client operation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that was also responsible for the attack on Mumbai in India and has been implicated in the mutiny of the Bangladesh Rifles.
Other reports suggest that Lashkar-e-Taiba were also involved in several assassination attempts against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, including the 21 August, 2004, grenade attack that killed the current President's wife, Ivy Rahman, a prominent Awami League politician in her own right.
The news that the government has instructed its anti-terrorist joint task force to go after these terrorist groups and their sponsors is startling. Until quite recently, it was assumed that the ISI was receiving tacit support from Bangladeshi authorities who were accused of allowing the groups to use Bangladesh as a staging post for attacks on India. These accounts, which date from 2004, now seem to be both greatly exaggerated and distorted. It appears true that ISI plans for a sovereign Islamic state in India's northeast did receive support from fundamentalist elements within the Bangladesh government, Army, bureaucracy, and intelligence, but this now appears to be more a result of infiltration than policy.

The current effort to root out and destroy the ISI-backed terrorist groups in Bangladesh may also be the result of the recent overwhelming election victory of the largely secular Awami League party. The Awami League had long been a preferred target for ISI-backed terrorists who prefer the more Islamist orientation of the rival BNP.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha relaxes bandh for 24 hours
Darjeeling, 27 July : Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has given a 24-hour relaxation on Monday, so that people can observe Shahid Diwas to pay homage to the 1200 people who died in the 1986 agitation for Gorkhaland started by Subhash Ghisingh-led GNLF.
Pramila Sharma and Akbar Lama who died in the agitation by started by GJM in 2007 will also be included in the martyrs' list.
Tea gardens welcomed the relaxation. "I thank GJM for the relaxation. We will replenish our stocks like coal and diesel required for manufacturing tea. But it will really help if gardens are completely left out of the purview of bandhs," said Sandeep Mukherjee, secretary Darjeeling Tea Association.

Razzak takes B'desh to 52-run victory over Windies
AFP, Roseau (Dominica), 27 July : Abdur Razzak made a triumphant return to the Bangladesh side when he helped the Tigers win the opening one-day international against West Indies by 52 runs.
Razzak, who was prevented from bowling in international cricket in December 2008 due to a suspect action before having his suspension lifted in March, opened the bowling yesterday and took four wickets for 39 runs as Bangladesh defended a target of 247 at international cricket's newest venue of Windsor Park. "I was not surprised when the captain gave me the new ball, especially the way the pitches have been playing in the Caribbean during this series," said Razzak. "When I played in the Caribbean in the 2007 World Cup, I also used the new ball, so it's normal. "But this was important for me. I was out of the team for eight months, and now I am back in the side, I am looking to do well."
The victory gives Bangladesh a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the second ODI scheduled for the same venue on Tuesday, and the final ODI on Friday at Warner Park in St. Kitts. Photo : AP