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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

န Top Bengal News Of The September, 2009

Renowned Bengali playback singer Manna Dey
To get Dada Saheb Phalke award
New Delhi, 30 September : Renowned Bengali playback singer Manna Dey has been nominated for the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award for the year 2007.
Officials in the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said on Wednesday that Dey's name was finalised earlier this week by a five-member committee. The 90-year-old Bengali singer will be conferred the award in a ceremony on 21 October by President Pratibha Patil. Dey, one of the greatest playback singers in Indian cinema, ruled the playback music scene from the 1950s to the 1970s. He has sung more than 3,500 songs.
The award, named after the father of Indian cinema Dada Saheb Phalke, is the highest honour in Indian Cinema.

Chhatradhar has a life cover of Rs.1Crore : WB Police
Kolkata, 30 September : Chhatradhar Mahato, convenor of the Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC), has a life insurance cover of Rs. 1 crore. This was revealed during police interrogation following his arrest from the Lalgarh area on 26 September.
West Bengal Director-General of Police Bhupinder Singh told journalists at the State Secretariat that interrogation had also revealed his links with the Maoists and with some people in Kolkata from whom he had received funding. He also has properties in Orissa including a house in Mayurbhanj district of the State. Singh said that the insurance cover was from private sector insurers, for which two instalments of premium were paid. He said the police had also come to know of at least five bank accounts, some of which were in PSBJC’s name. Persons from the city had also kept in touch with him, it was revealed, and until now a funding of Rs. 1.5 lakh had been unearthed.

Akram to join Kolkata Knight Riders camp in Gurgaon
Kolkata, 30 September : Former Pakistan speedster Wasim Akram will join the Kolkata Knight Riders' camp, which begins in Gurgaon on 1 October.
"He will join the KKR camp at Gurgaon to oversee the proceedings," former KKR skipper Sourav Ganguly said at the Eden Gardens here Tuesday. However, as Akram will be busy doing commentary for the ongoing Champions trophy, where the final is slated for 5 October, he will join the KKR camp only in the later stages. The camp is scheduled to continue till 8 October. Till Akram joins, Ganguly will be in charge of the camp.
However, leading Bengal players are unlikely to attend the camp as the cricket Association Bengal has organised a Challengers tournament to give some match practice to the players ahead of the gruelling season. Thus, LR Shukla, Wriddhiman Saha, Ashok Dinda, Sourav Sarkar, Eklakh Ahmed and Avik Chowdhury will miss the camp.

Thieves strike at pandal, steal Durga idol' ornaments
Kolkata, 30 September : Thieves struck at the Puja pandal in Maheshtala Balak Sansad early on Tuesday morning and made off with ornaments adorning the Goddesses, Kolkata Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti said today.
“At the Maheshtala Balak Sansad, ornaments weighing nearly 90 grams were stolen from the deity early Tuesday morning when the volunteers and organisers had gone out for tea,” said Chakrabarti, adding the police suspect it to be an insider’s job though no one has been detained so far.
The city police chief said 1,272 people were rounded up during the five days of festivities in Kolkata. Of them, 90 were professional criminals while 1,119 were arrested from various pandals for disorderly conduct.

Another giraffe dies at 'Dhaka Zoo'
Dhaka, 30 September : Another giraffe died at Dhaka Zoo on Wednesday. Twenty-one inmates died at the zoo in the last one year including tiger Garjan on 12 September and lion Ringo on 10 September.
The three-year old calf died at around 10:30am(BDST), after another giraffe died on 7 September. "The giraffe was in good shape. It did not have any physical ailments. But it died all of a sudden," said Bibekananda Chowdhury, acting curator of the zoo, to reporters in the afternoon. Five giraffes were brought at the zoo from South Africa in June 2008. On average, a giraffe lives from 12 to 15 years, he said.
The curator and the deputy curator of the zoo were temporarily suspended after the death of the giraffe.

Bangladesh and India agree to erect 320 pillars along common border
AP, Dhaka, 30 September : Bangladesh and India have agreed to erect as many as 320 pillars on their border.The parliamentary standing committee on Defence Ministry disclosed this at a meeting in Dhaka, officials attending said Wednesday.It also said there is no more dispute with Myanmar, another neighbouring country, over the demarcation of land boundary as both the countries have.The committee also discussed installation of numerical weather forecasting (NWF), which is very modern and a sophisticated system of weather forecast.

Another 3 CPI(M) men killed by Maoists in Salboni
Salboni, 30 September : Maoists killed three local CPI(M) leaders by thrusting rifle barrels in their mouth and pressing the trigger at a village near Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, officials said today.
District Magistrate Narayan Swarup Nigam told Bengal Newz, the Maoists last night abducted local party leaders Anadi Mahato, Radhanath Mahato and Bhakti Mahato from Ranjia village in Salboni and killed them. Soon after the incident, residents left the village in panic even as police went there to recover the bodies lying on the side of the road. Anadi Mahato was a member of Lalgeria Gram Panchayat while Radhanath and Bhakti were local leaders, police said.
A total of 88 local leaders have been killed by Maoists since 19 June when the joint forces started an anti-Maoist operation at Lalgarh and surrounding areas.

Gangetic dolphins return to Turag & Buriganga rivers
Dhaka, 30 September : A school of gangetic dolphins have returned to the rivers Turag and Buriganga with the flow of fresh floodwater from the upstream.
Several dolphins were sighted recently near Shoalmachi in the river Turag and at Jhaochar, a kilometre downstream in the river Buriganga, much to the delight of environmentalists and local boatmen. But the delight is short-lived as the fresh water flow in all the rivers around the Dhaka will soon start to recede and dumping of millions of tonnes of toxic waste into the river water will make it impossible for any aquatic life to survive. If the escape route towards the freshwater of the rivers Dhaleshwari and Meghna is cut off, these aquatic mammals, representing a healthy atmosphere, will face certain death.
Boatmen in the Turag and Buriganga said every year with the flow of floodwater some dolphins return to the area. But as soon as the floodwater recedes and the river loses its current and flow, these dolphins become trapped in extremely polluted water and die. Photo : Courtesy Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project

AI's pilots back to work, flights to normalise by night
BBC News, 30 September : Senior pilots of Air India, India's national carrier, have called off their four-day-old protest after a government assurance to look into their demands.
Leader of the pilots' union Captain VK Bhalla thanked the prime minister and aviation minister and apologised to passengers for inconvenience caused. Earlier, the airline announced that it had cancelled at least 30 flights. The pilots were protesting against the cancellation of performance-related bonuses by the cash-strapped airline. READ FULL STORY

Tripura rubber wood industry provides
Business opportunities and Jobs
Agartala, 30 September : Tripura, the second largest rubber-growing state after Kerala, is fast becoming an industrial hub in the northeast. Locals visualize both business and employment opportunities.
A rubber wood factory plant was recently set up in Tripura’s Anandanagar area, which is the first in the northeast and the second largest factory in the country. Tripura Forest Development and Plantation Corporation (TFDPC), a State Government owned PSU, has commissioned the factory at a cost of more than Rs.6 crores and has created direct employment for over 300 employees besides another 1500 more who are indirectly involved with it. "The main objective of setting up of this plant is to utilize rubber logs which are otherwise not good to use as fire wood. After 32 years of giving latex the producing capacity decreases and becomes non economical, so rubber trees being a plantation crop it has to be fell after 32 years and replanted. So theses logs are treated and utilized here," said Alak Paul, Manager of TFDPC.
Around 41,000 hectares of land in the state are used entirely for rubber cultivation and produce 23,000 tones of rubber latex annually.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Air passengers stuck in Andamans

For Three days due to rain
Port Blair, 29 September : About 430 air passengers and tourists have been stuck at the Andaman airport for the past three days as all the flights from Kolkata have been cancelled because of heavy rains in Port Blair.
Airport authorities here said, "The rain required us to divert or cancel all incoming flights from Kolkata to the Veer Savarkar airport, which has been flooded." Passengers were stranded since 25 September and some of them were accommodated on flights in the next two days.

Bangabandhu Mujib University sacks 11 professors
Dhaka, 29 September : The authorities of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University sacked 10 professors and one associate professor on Monday in an apparent purge of political appointees during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government.
University registrar Abdul Gafur told reporters that the 11 had been "relieved" of their jobs because their appointments "flouted rules and were unlawful. They had already retired from their regular government service and joined the university. The problem was they were re-appointed on terms applicable for regular appointments. They could only be appointed on contract," Gafur explained.
A decision to cancel these appointments was taken at a meeting of the policymaking Syndicate just before the Eid holidays, Gafur said.

Special trains for stranded Air passengers by Rlys
Kolkata, 29 September : With strike by Air India executive pilots leading to cancellation of several flights, the Railways are arranging special trains for stranded passengers.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today said special trains would be arranged from tomorrow to carry stranded air passengers from Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore to their destinations. "I have ordered opening of special railway counters at these places. The special train service will be for one or two days," she said, adding it could be extended depending on the situation. She said an additional coach could be attached to each superfast train to carry the passengers.
Banerjee said she has asked Union Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy to arrange a special service of the Shipping Corporation of India tomorrow to bring back stranded air passengers at Port Blair.

B'desh court to question officials in '04 arms seizure
Dhaka, 29 September : Bangladesh investigators are preparing to question a former home secretary and four others who formed a team to probe the seizure in 2004 of 10 truckloads of firearms and explosives meant for militants in India’s northeast.
Offloaded at Chittagong port, ten truck loads of military material were shifted to the warehouse of a state sector fertiliser company for transporting them to Assam in India, media reports quoting the investigators have said. Retired home secretary Omar Faruk is the latest in the line of officials who served the then government of prime minister Khaleda Zia (2001-06), being arraigned before a court in the Chittagong port town, the Daily Star newspaper said Tuesday.
The authorities have already questioned and detained three top intelligence officials, who headed the National Security Intelligence (NSI) and are accused of playing key roles in receiving the shipment of arms, ammunition and explosives from China. File Photo : STAR

Tribals block roads in Lalgarh area
PTI, Midnapore, 29 September : Tribals protesting the detaining of 25 youths by security forces today blocked roads leading to Lalgarh from the district headquarters town of West Midnapore.
Felled trees were used to block the Bhadutala-Pirakata road to block vehicles from the Kadasole camp of securitymen, the police said. More than a thousand tribal women gheraoed the Kadasole camp to protest against the detaining of the youths from Mahultala, Ratanpur and Shalka villages near Lalgarh, they said. The youths, who were detained for suspected Maoist links, were later released and the roads were being cleared, sources said.
Meanwhile, the police seized three objects which were believed to be landmines, but turned out to be empty cans.
Media protests West Bengal police misrepresentation
The incident has diminished the role and profession of journalists : Nihal Singh
PTI, New Delhi, 29 September : The arrest of Chhatradhar Mahato by policemen posing as journalists may have been the stuff of spy thrillers but the adventure has come in for criticism from representatives of the media, among them former editors and the globally networked International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The elusive convener of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities) was dramatically picked up on Saturday from a village near Lalgarh in West Medinipur district. Though officially in hiding, Mahato had been in regular contact with local journalists which fact was used by the police to trap him.
As reported by Bengal Newz on Sunday, policemen, pretending to be journalists from a foreign news agency, approached two local reporters, who, unaware that they were part of an undercover police mission, led them to Mahato’s hideout. The decoy reporters conducted a mock interview after which one of them whipped out his revolver and secured Mahato’s arrest. File Bengal Newz Photos
Punjab to get 100 mw power from West Bengal !!
PTI, New Delhi, 29 September : Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has tied up with the West Bengal government for procuring 100 mw of power on the basis of banking arrangement, a step which could ease the problem of power shortage to some extent in the state.
In addition to it, the board would also get further 100 mw of energy after getting a corridor from West Bengal. Disclosing this here today, a spokesman said that with these arrangements, PSEB would relax the duration of power cuts from 8-9 hours to 4 hours in the domestic sector in the state. He further informed that all the thermal stations of PSEB were generating power to its capacity and the repair of Lehra Mohabat Plant had also been completed.
However, PSEB has received 225 mw and 75 mw lesser power from the Bhakhra Dem and Dehar Hydral Project respectively, due to the scanty rainfall, he said.

Jama'atul Mujahideen finds chars, hills for training
Dhaka, 29 September : Not only in hill areas, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh has training facilities in far-flung chars as well to stay beyond the reach of the law enforcers. The banned outfit shifted their camps to distant places after Rapid Action Battalion had busted militant dens in the capital in recent months.
Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan, director of Rab's intelligence wing, told The Daily Star, “We are working to dismantle the JMB camps in chars (land mass on river) and deep forest areas. "We have already broken their backbone. No matter how hard they try to regroup, it all flashes on our radar screen." Rab busted a JMB training camp at remote Matiranga hill forest in Khagrachhari on Friday following up intelligence from the field. The following day, the crime busters captured four other JMB operatives.
RAB sources said they first learned about JMB moving its training camps following the arrest of a militant leader in Comilla around eight months back. The outfit is no stranger to relocation, they added. It used char areas in Tangail, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Pabna and other northern districts for training in the past too.

Ten Air India flights from Kolkata's Airport cancelled
Air India apologises to IC-287 Port Blair passengers
Kolkata, 29 September : Air India today cancelled ten flights operating from NSC Bose international airport here due to the strike by executive pilots.
Of these, seven were flights to Delhi, Agartala, Guwahati, Port Blair, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kathmandu and the remaining were in-bound flights from Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. Meanwhile, another flight to Port Blair was cancelled because of bad weather there, airport sources said. Times Now reported, Hours after news was reported of 30 passengers to Port Blair being left stranded in Kolkata Airport for the second consecutive day today. Air India authorities have reportedly issued an apology to the passengers and admitted that the reason for leaving them behind was that there were not enough pilots available to fly the rescheduled flights due to the ongoing pilots' strike.
The cancellations led to a large crowd of stranded passengers at the airport as private airlines could not accommodate them. Photo : Reuters
1 killed, 12 injured as Puja revellers clash in Dhaka
Dhaka, 29 September : Clashes between two rival groups of Puja revellers at Sutrapur in old Dhaka Monday night left one killed and at least 12 persons injured, police said.
The dead, Goutam Sarkar (24), was the president of Swechchhasevak League of ward 79. The wounded were treated at local hospitals. Sutrapur police chief Tofazzal Hossain told that there had been prior rivalries over influence and authority between the organizers of two local Puja pavalions. At one stage, the two sides engaged in hitting each other which took a serious turn as the two camps used bombs and guns. Police had to fire blank shots to stop the fighting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

န Durga Puja Festival Ends, With...

Hyderabad and Kolkata, 28 September :
(L) Women apply red colored powder 'sindhur', or vermillion powder, on each other on the last day of Durga Puja festival in Hyderabad. (R) Devotees carry an idol of Durga before immersing it in the river Ganges on the last day of the Durga Puja festival. Picture teken at Kolkata's Babughat this evening. Photos : Reuters
Bus set on fire by suspected Maoists in W Midnapore
Midnapore, 28 September : Suspected Maoists and members of People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) set fire to a bus today in West Midnapore district in protest against the arrest of tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, police said.
The passengers of the bus, going to Jhargram from Bankura district, were ordered to alight before the vehicle was set ablaze near Rathberia village, about 40 kms from Lalgarh, which was the epicentre of the PCPA movement, they said. Police and fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot and doused the flames. The Maoists and the PCPA had exploded a landmine on Saturday immediately after Mahato's arrest at Birka, near Lalgarh.

BijoyaDashami celebrated with fervour in Bangladesh
Dhaka, 28 September : Thousands of Hindus across Bangladesh took out processions and gathered at the sea shore or riverbanks to immerse idols of goddess Durga as the five-day Durga Puja festival ended with Bijoya Dashami celebrations Monday.
In Dhaka, devotees joined the traditional immersion procession in droves. One of the main centres of activity was the ancient Dhakeshwari Temple in old Dhaka. Over 100 idols of the goddess were expected to be immersed in the Buriganga river that surrounds Dhaka. Idols from different puja temples of the city were to be brought together at Palashi intersection and then carried to the Buriganga, said a member of the Mahanagar Puja Udjapan Committee.
Crowds thronged several places where Durga Puja was held, including Dhakeshwari Temple, Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University, Ramna Kali Mandir, Siddheswari Kali Mandir, and the temples of Tanti Bazar, Shankhari Bazar and Bangla Bazar. Photos : Firoz Ahmed

Gas explosion kills 1, injures 7 in Bangladesh capital
Xinhua, Dhaka, 28 September : A man died and at least seven others suffered burn injuries as a gas line exploded at the head office of Bangladesh's state-owned Chemical Industries Corporation in the capital city Dhaka on Monday morning, a senior police officer said.
Officer-In-Charge of local Motijheel police station in Dhaka Arzu Miah told Xinhua on Monday," A man died and at least seven others suffered burn injuries as the gas line exploded at about 9:30 a.m. local time." The impact of the explosion tore parts of a window and threw it down across the road, he said, adding a fire also broke out on the same floor following the blast. Arzu said primarily it seemed that the fire originated in the 3rd floor of the building after the gas line blasted and soon spread up to the 5th floor.
But he could not cite the reason of the explosion at the head office of the corporation, which is located in the capital's central business district Motijheel. The corporation manages 13 large and medium size industrial enterprises engaged in producing a wide range of products like Urea, TSP, Paper, Cement. Photos : Firoz Ahmed

Howrah-Mumbai Duranto Express begins from today
Howrah, 28 September : The bi-weekly Howrah-Mumbai Duranto Express (2262) began its inaugural run from here today.
The non-stop train would take just a little more than 26 hours to reach CSTM station covering a distance of more than 1,860 kilometers. Keeping her Railway budget promise of introducing non-stop air-conditioned trains connecting four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had flagged off the first Duranto Express between Sealdah and New Delhi on 18 September.
WB banks disburse Rs 3,945 crore in '09 first quarter
BS, Kolkata, 28 September : Banks in West Bengal disbursed Rs 3,945 crores under the State Annual Credit Plan 2009-10 during the first quarter of the current financial year.
According to a press release by United Bank of India (UBI), the convener bank at the State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) for the State of West Bengal, banks in the state disbursed Rs 1,307 crore to the agriculture sector, and Rs 723 crore to micro and small enterprises during April - June 2009 under credit plan. The disbursement figures for the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year were not available for comparison. The credit - deposit ratio (CD Ratio) of the banks in the state tocuhed 65 per cent at the end of the first quarter of the present financial year, against 64 per cent in the last quarter of the last financial year.
At the 108th SLBC meeting held in Kolkata, T M Bhasin, executive director, UBI, said that the bankers' committee in the state had identified 938 un-banked gram panchayats in West Bengal where branches would be opened by March 2015.The necessary infrastructural support will be provided by the state government.
Air India Port Blair flight returns after unable to land
Kolkata, 28 September : An early morning Port Blair-bound Air India flight with 245 passengers on board returned here after being unable to land there due to bad weather, airport officials said. IC 187, which had taken off from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose international airport here for Port Blair at 5.35 am, returned here at 10.10 am, the sources said.
Tourists' pressure threatens biodiversity of St. Martin
Dhaka, 28 September : Bangladesh governments have been promoting tourism as one of the ways of poverty alleviation for the Bangladesh, but the country is yet to exploit the sector's full potentials.
But a government report on the Saint Martin's Island, one of the most attractive tourism spots in Bangladesh, says excessive pressure of tourists has been destroying biodiversity on this picturesque island in the Bay of Bengal. An environmental audit, jointly carried out by experts and audit department personnel, recommended that the government should relocate the islanders and regulate and control movement of tourists on the coral Island. Unplanned and free-style construction of hotels and other infrastructures coupled with unregulated activities of the tourists have made sewerage and waste disposal problems acute and created huge pressure on food and water supplies on the Island.
The report says the hue and cry of the tourists and the sound of the loudspeakers and generators hamper egg laying and hatching by the turtles which eat jelly fish that destroy small fish and other aquatic organisms. Photos : Bangladesh Tourism


Sunday, September 27, 2009

န Just Horrible, In The Name Of Worship...

Guwahati, 27 September :
(L) A Hindu priest is watched as he sacrifices a buffalo at Ugratora Temple in Guwahati Seven buffalos and many goats, ducks and pgeons were sacrificed to mark The Durga Puja festival. (R) The priest carries the head of a buffalo after it was sacrificed at Ugratora Temple in Guwahati Today.
The sacrifice of live animals is performed to appease the Durga idol and to shower blessings on the community, despite protests from animal rights groups. Durga, who represents the infinite power of the universe and is a symbol of female dynamism, along with other Hindu gods are worshipped by people !
Photos : AFP
Cruise on Ganga from Kolkata to Varanasi from 28/9
Kolkata, 27 September : Tourists will now be able to revisit the country's colonial past from Kolkata to Varanasi through the 1,280 km cruise on the River Ganga with the West Bengal Tourism launching the service from tomorrow.
"This is the first cruise on the Ganges after almost 200 years. Very few journeys can be as interesting as a journey into the colonial past," Managing Director of West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDCL) T V N Rao told Bengal Newz here. The demand for the cruise is very high and tickets are already booked till 2011, he said. "This will promote many of the less visited areas of West Bengal among both domestic and foreign tourists. We will also be venturing into the Sundarbans at a later stage," he said.
The WBTDCL has signed an MoU with Pandaw Cruises India Ltd.

Maoist bandh gives 'Lalgarh' area a deserted look
Chhatradhar Mahato 'remanded' to police custody
Lalgarh, Kolkata, 27 September : A day after Chhattradhar Mahato, leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) was arrested, Lalgarh wore a deserted look on Sunday with shops and business establishments closed after Maoists called a bandh in the area.
The Maoists who abducted two constables of the state armed police last night, demanding the release of Mahato, however remain untraced even as the security forces launched combing operations in various parts of the area today. “There is no doubt that Mahato is an important leader for the Maoists. They abducted two constables last night and demanded the release of Mahato. Moreover, the Maoists have called a bandh in protest against Mahato’s arrest,” said Manoj Verma, Superintendent of Police, West Midnapore, who is leading the joint forces. The two constables, Siteshwar Prasad Singh and Sushil Nag were picked up when they were returning to their camp in Lalgarh aboard a public bus. A group of armed Maoists stopped the bus near Tamajhuri in Belpahari and asked the two constables to alight. The PCAPA members later claimed that the duo had been abducted in protest against the arrest of Mahato. They also demanded his immediate release.
The bandh, meanwhile, ensured a thin attendance at various Puja pandals in and around Lalgarh with most people choosing to stay indoors. Besides, the members of the Kolkata Press Club wrote to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee protesting against the police action in arresting Mahato, while disguised as a press reporter. They condemned the action and claimed that it is “derogatory” to the profession.
Jhargram, 27 September : Arrested tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, was remanded to five day’s police custody on Sunday.
Mahato has been remanded to five day’s police custody after being produced at the Jhargram Magistrate’s Court. “Arms and ammunition were recovered from the home of Chhatradhar Mahato. He has been booked for anti-national activities. He has been remanded to five days police custody,” said Suman Mahapatra, public prosecutor.

Durga Puja sustains communal harmony in Tripura
Sonamura, Agartala, 27 September : Despite several differences and communal tensions across the India, bordering villages of Tripura have been able to maintain it's tradition this year too, as the Hindus and the Muslims joined hands to celebrate Durga Puja in a spirit of brotherhood and communal harmony.
''The Muslims have participated in pujas in three of their dominating villages in Sonamura of West Tripura, two in Kailashahar of North Tripura and one in Rajnagar of Agartala where Hindus are a minority,'' a report said. ''Here, we have a tradition of celebrating festivals together and have been celebrating Durga Puja together for the past several years but never had any problem,'' said Mohamed Yeajid Ali, one of the organisers in Rajnagar. ''We celebrate Durga Puja, they come to our Iftar party, we are united and our children are also following the same traditions,'' Ali said.
Most of the time, the particular villages needed police intervention for maintaining peace but there was no report of any incident during the Durga Puja or Eid in the past few years, said DIG (Operation) Nepal Das.

RAB unearths JMB training camp in Chittagong hills
Chittagong, Dhaka, 27 September : A terrorist training camp of the outlawed JMB group was dismantled and five militants arrested by the special Bangladesh security forces in the rugged southeastern hills of the country.
"Three Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh members were arrested during the raid at their hideout at Matiranga area of Khagrachhari (hill district) last night while the two others were captured from elsewhere in subsequent raids", Major Shakhawat Hossain spokesman of elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said. Hossain said further details would be revealed in a press conference later, adding, those arrested are second ranking leaders of the outfit.

Srerampore Siddheswari Tala Sarbojonin Durga Puja Pandal
Illumination is another vital aspect of these decorations, ... Sometimes a village scene, a seaside or a desert are well portrayed ... you took yourself back to the golden period in Bengal life. As in large enclaves of Bengalis everywhere, life comes to a complete standstill....districts like Hooghly organize large number of Pujas compared to the big city or village....The design and decoration is usually done by art and architecture... Photos : Sanjay Bhaduri
Air India Port Blair flight returns after unable to land
Kolkata, 27 September : An early morning Port Blair-bound Air India flight with 245 passengers on board returned here after being unable to land there due to bad weather, airport officials said.
IC 187, which had taken off from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose international airport here for Port Blair at 5.35 am, returned here at 10.10 am, the sources said. The passengers after their arrival here demanded that they be accommodated in another flight. Alternative travel arrangements could not be made till noon, the sources said.
Four 'Air India' flights cancelled from Kolkata airport
Kolkata, 27 September : Four Air India flights from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport here were cancelled today as the pilots did not report for duty.
Airline officials said the pilots reported sick, leading to cancellation of flights scheduled to leave at 7am, 9.45 am and 11am for New Delhi, Agra and Aizawl respectively. Air India also cancelled its Kolkata-Jaipur-Ahmedabad flight which was scheduled to take off at 3.45 pm from here today. Other 11 AI flights, however, took off from the airport till noon, sources said.
An agitation has been called by executive pilots of the national airlines to protest reduction in their productivity-linked incentives (PLIs).

Sk Hasina calls for Bengali to be official UN language
AFP, United Nations, 27 September : Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikha Hasina Wajed called Saturday for the United Nations to adopt Bengali as one of its official languages.
"The language Bangla (Bengali) is spoken by over 250 million people worldwide, primarily in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal," she said in an address before the UN General Assembly. Noting that Bangladesh's parliament recently adopted a resolution calling on the UN to make Bengali one of its official languages, Hasina asked for the General Assembly to support a push for the language to be recognized. "Given the rich heritage of Bangla language, and its singular place as a symbol of people's faith in the power of languages to sustain cultures, and indeed the identity of nations, I seek support of the membership of the UN General Assembly for its acceptance as an official language of the United Nations," she said.
The world body has six official languages - English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. English and French are the daily working languages of the organization, though English is more frequently used than French. Photo : AFP
Number of auto workshops keep growing in Jessore
Jessore, 27 September : People travelling on Jessore-Khulna highway may have noticed an area near Jessore town, which has got a different look with fairly large number of growing automobile workshops.
The area, Bakchar, has already become well-known among the locals and the industry people across the country as the automobile workshop village of the country’s frontier town of Jessore. Few hundreds workers all the time of the day remain busy in making bodies, seats and other auto accessories at a large number of automobile workshops at the village, which is now the direct and indirect earning source of about 35,000 people.
Now the once unskilled workers are making bodies for buses and trucks and for other motorised vehicles. The quality, may not up to the benchmark of the original ones, but their products serve the local industry. Photo : New Age
3 pandal hoppers including CRPF men die in Tripura
Agartala, 27 September : Three pandal hoppers, including a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper, died after the vehicles they were riding collided here, police said Sunday.
'CRPF personnel Nirmal Das (29), and his friend Debajyoti Bangshi (26), were riding their bike when it collided with another two-wheeler on which a government doctor Biswajit Dey (35), and his wife were riding. All were visiting puja pandals (marquees) late Saturday,' Deputy Inspector General of Police Nepal Das said. Das said all the four were seriously injured and were rushed to the Gobinda Ballav Pant Medical College and Hospital, where three of them died. The CRPF trooper, who was on leave, had purchased his motorcycle only a few days ago. He came here with his friend to witness the Durga Puja festival.
Barisal hilsa export earnings rise
UNB, Barisal, 27 September : Earnings from export of delicious hilsa fish have increased here three times, as the Bangladesh government has fixed its export price.
Abdul Hye, manager of Barisal fish landing centre of Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation said the earnings from hilsa export in August and September 2009 increased three times than that in the corresponding period of the previous year. He said export earnings have increased, as the government on April 12, 2008 fixed the minimum price of hilsa weighing between 600 grams.
Ajit Das Monu, president of Bangladesh Non-frozen Fish Exporters Association, said plenty of hilsa are being netted but the fishermen and traders are facing storage and packaging problems due to acute shortage of ice and irregular electricity supply.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mahato arrested, Maoists call Indiawide shutdown 3 October

Lalgarh, Kolkata, 26 September : Posing as journalists, police sneaked in on Chhattradhar Mahato the media-savvy tribal leader, Saturday, prompting the Maoists to call a nationwide shutdown 0n 3 October.
Mahato, leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was nabbed from Birka near the headquarters of Lalgarh block in West Midnapore district, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha told Bengal Newz.
Following the arrests, irate Maoists tried to trigger a landmine blast in the Kantapahari area. Later, Maoist leader Kishanjee said their organisation has called a nationwide shutdown 3 October. Photo : ANI

(L) A young girl Shreya Banerjee gestures as she is being worshipped as 'Kumari', (a young girl portraying the goddess Durga), in front of a clay idol of Durga during the 'Mahashtomi' ritual of the Durga Puja festival at Belur in Howrah district.
(R) Mothers perform rituals in front of their daughters dressed as 'Kumari', during the Durga Puja festival in Siliguri.
Durga Puja, the annual festival that involves worship of the Goddess Durga, who symbolizes power and the triumph of good over evil in Hindu mythology, culminates in the immersion of the idols in bodies of water. Photos : Reuters and Sanjit Mitra
Lalgarh's tribal leader Chatrodhar Mahato arrested
Kolkata, 26 September : The media-savvy tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, spearheading an agitation since November last year against alleged police atrocities at Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, was arrested on Saturday.
Mahato, the leader of People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was arrested from Birka near Lalgarh when he was preparing to give an interview to a journalist, who was trailed by the police, a top police official said. The tribal leader, who had been giving regular interviews to local television news channels when the anti-Maoist operations by central para-military forces and the state police at Lalgarh began on 19 June, had gone underground shortly afterwards.
The tribals under Mahato had demanded that the then Superintendent of Police Rajesh Singh should appear before them and apologise for the "atrocities" committed by the police. Photo : ANI

Bomb-like object found at Sylhet and Dhaka Banani Puja venues
Sylhet, 26 September : Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Saturday recovered a bomb-like object during a search at a Durga Puja pavilion at Naiorpul in Sylhet city. The officials found the object covered with red plastic under the dais. The incident created panic among the devotees, but RAB bomb experts confirmed it was not a bomb. "It was planted just to create panic," said RAB-9 wing commander Syed Anagh. He said security would be beefed up in the area.
Dhaka, 26 September : The bomb-like object recovered on Friday night from a playground near a Durga Puja pavilion in Banani in Dhaka was not a bomb, police say, hours after RAB said they did retrieve a bomb.
Shabana A. to inaugurate Dhaka painting exhibitions
Dhaka , 26 September : Bollywood actress and social activist Shabana Azmi will inaugurate a painting exhibition of a noted Bangladeshi artist here.
The actress will arrive here tomorrow on a two-day visit. "She (Azmi) will open a fortnight-long painting exhibition of Shahabuddin Ahmed on Sunday at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts,"said a spokesman of the gallery. The exhibition titled "Joy Bangla" (long live Bangladesh) will showcase the collection of some rare paintings by Shahabuddin Ahmed based on the 1971's Bangladesh Liberation War.
Ahmed, who also fought the war of country's independence, has been living in Paris for the past three decades. Photo : Nashirul Islam

Indian cricket team invited for 2010 South Asian Games in Dhaka
PTI, Mumbai , 26 September : The Indian under-21 cricket team has been invited to take part in the 11th South Asian Games at Dhaka, in which the Twenty20 format has been introduced, early next year.
The invitation to the Cricket Board to send the under-21 squad for the multi-discipline event, scheduled from 29 January to 9 February, 2010, has been forwarded by the Indian Olympic Association, according to informed sources. The South Asia Olympic Council has introduced cricket as one of the 22 disciplines in the SAG, IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh has informed the Board.

Bangladesh's role in establishing global peace lauded
New York, Dhaka, 26 September : World leaders have hailed role of Bangladesh in identifying the risks and the way out of global warming as well as in establishing peace across the globe.
The appreciation came when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended bilateral meetings with prime ministers of Sri Lanka and Kenya, and secretaries general of Commonwealth and OIC on Friday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session 2009. During the bilateral talks at the UN booths, Sheikh Hasina discussed various issues and matters of development. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayke described Sheikh Hasina’s plans and programmes as wise and visionary in the process of attaining the Bangladesh people’s long-cherished wellbeing and prosperity. He mentioned the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord signed during the last Awami League government that had been successful in reinstating peace in the hill districts.
Sheikh Hasina was also hailed for her role in making the world community beware about the dire impacts of the global climate change and providing guidance for finding out the solutions to protect people from natural disasters.

Gloomy Durga puja in cyclone-hit WB's Sundarbans
Gosaba (Sundarbans), 26 September : With most of the people doing petty jobs in cities to run families back home, a pall of gloom has descended in cyclone-ravaged Sundarbans deltas before Durga puja.
Durga puja has been a low-key affair in the deltas this year after cyclone Aila destroyed the livelihood of the 4 million residents of Sundarbans deltas driving bread winners to cities. Thousands of people, mostly working men, toiling as construction workers, gardeners or daily-wage labourers in the cities, are likely to miss puja festivities this year. "The sadness that surrounds the day of Durga idol immersion is evident everywhere in Sundarbans before the pujas," MP of Jaynagar Lok Sabha constituency in Sundarbans, Tarun Mondal told Bengal Newz.
"More than 40 per cent of residents have left their homes to work in Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
One more Left wing extremist killed in Kushtia town
UNB, Kushtia, 26 September : A top-ranking extremist was killed in a shootout during a joint operation of RAB and police early on Saturday in Doulatpur in the suburb of Kushtia town.
Mohon (42), member of the banned Purbo Bangla Communist Party (ML) 'red flag', was the 19th victim of the ongoing crackdown against outlawed extremists in the country's south and south-western districts. Squad commander of RAB-12 Kushtia unit Flight Lt Nazrul Islam said, "Acting on a tip-off that a gang of terrorists had assembled for a secret meeting near Trimohoni Bazar in Lalnagar village under Doulatpur Upazila, a RAB contingent raided the spot at around 3:15am.(BDST).

Friday, September 25, 2009

န The Maha Saptami Snaps...

Kolkata, 25 September :
Purohits perform the 'Nabapatrika Snan' ritual in which a holy banana tree is submerged in the river Ganges in Kolkata. The five-day period of worship of the Durga idol, the destroyer of evil, commences on 24 September and will end on 28 September with the immersion of idols representing the goddess in water bodies. Photos : AFP
Indian FM Pranab Mukherjee became a priest in Puja
Suri, 25 September : Far from the hurly-burly of politics, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee plays another role at this time of the year a priest.
Mukherjee worships the Goddess at Miriti, his ancestral village near Kirnahar in Birbhum district, 200 km from Kolkata. "The puja is around 100 years old. Pranab's grandfather late Jangaleswar Mukherjee started the puja," said Goutam Roy, who has been looking after puja arrangements for the last couple of years. "After him, Kamadakinkar Mukherjee, father of Pranab Mukherjee continued it. Pranab babu does the same," he said.
Mukherjee himself performs the puja on Mahastami puja, the second day of the four day festival, with thousands of people including villagers, party workers, and family members visiting Miriti. Photo : PTI

Maldives President Nasheed meets Sk Hasina
New York, 25 September : As part of his visit to New York, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has yesterday met with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
During the meeting, discussions were focused on enhancing cooperation between the two countries in economic and trade areas. Maldives President Nasheed congratulated the Prime Minister on her election victory. He also invited Prime Minister Hasina to the climate conference to be held in the Maldives later this year. Noting that Bangladesh and the Maldives had shared close bilateral relations, Prime Minister said the government of Bangladesh would continue to extend their full cooperation to the Maldives in the above areas. Photo : Miadhu (Maldives)

Tripura’s royal Durga Puja continues, courtesy govt
A young buffalo, several goats and pigeons are sacrificed at Durgabari in the presence of thousands people – all on government expense. Why ?
Agartala, 25 September : For over 200 years, Tripura’s best known Durga Puja festivities have been held at a temple here, with the government holding good its promise to the state’s erstwhile royal family by continuing to organise it year after year.
Tripura is possibly the only Indian state where the government takes care of a Durga Puja celebration, that too in association with the erstwhile royal family. The famous Durgabari temple where the festivities are held is located in front of the 108-year-old Ujjayanta Palace, part of which continues to be the abode of the former princely rulers and the remaining serves as the meeting place of the Tripura assembly.

B'desh Govt. plans sweeping constitutional changes
Dhaka, 25 September : The Bangladesh government is planning sweeping changes in the country’s 1972 constitution to restore some of the original provisions removed or replaced by successive military and civilian regimes.
The changes through the 15th amendment, meant to “let democracy strike deeper roots”, would be done through “popular consensus”, Law Minister Shafiq Ahmed announced. A draft letter has been sent to the Law Commission that would study the statute book to recommend how it can be “updated” and remove some of the “distortions”. The original document had secularism and socialism among the basic concepts of nationhood. Socialism was dropped; instead of secularism, ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim’ inserted before the preamble of the constitution in 1979. This statute change also ratified the laws enacted during the martial law period of a military-led regime of General Ziaur Rahman, founder of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) that subsequently shared power in 2001-06 with the fundamentalist Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. During the regime of another military strongman, H.M. Ershad, the eighth amendment on 9 June, 1988 declared Islam as the state religion of Bangladesh, New Age newspaper said Friday.
According to Ahmed, the original provisions need to be restored for good governance and democracy to take root.

Manmohan Singh greets nation on occasion of Durga Puja, Dussehra
New Delhi, 25 September : Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has greeted the nation on the occasion of Durga Puja and Dussehra.
In a message, the Prime Minister said the two festivals transcend communal boundaries and provide an opportunity to the people of the country to reinforce their bonds of brotherhood. “The celebrations express our deep conviction in good and ethical conduct. The gaiety associated with the festivals unites the nation and is the symbol of hope for a brighter future,” he added.

People hail new train service between Agartala-Dharmanagar
ANI, Agartala, 25 September : With peace gradually returning to Tripura, the pace of development has picked up and it promises a bright future for the people of the State.
Following the withdrawal of the 16-year-old system of escorting vehicles on the major Assam-Agartala national highway 44, a new morning train service between Agartala and Tripura s northern end Dharmanagar has been commenced. The new train service started by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has come as a blessing for thousands of commuters. Union Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy recently flagged off the first train from Agartala Railway station.
With the commencement of the service, four trains would ply from Agartala to Dharmanagar, Badarpur, Silchar and Lumding daily. This new train service that starts in the morning is a big step and the people of Agartala till Sabroom (southern most corner) will be benefited. Businessmen, students, office-goers, and farmers every one will benefit from this new service, said Dilip Kumar, Passenger, Tripura.

Richard Pybus to coach Kolkata Knight Riders team
Cricketnext.com, New Delhi, 25 September : Richard Pybus is all set to become the new coach of the Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Englishman had coached Pakistan during the 1999 World Cup and had also won the South Africa domestic Twenty20 title with the Titans in 2008, before he quit the post three months ago. KKR management who had shortlisted a host of coaches including former national coach John Wright, is expected to formally announce the appointment on Friday, according to a team source. READ FULL STORY
Nine killed in South 24-Parganas district road accident
Kolkata, 25 September : At least nine people were killed and several others injured Friday when a speeding truck collided with a stationery mini-van in West Bengal's South 24-Parganas district, police said.
"Nine people were killed in the road accident near Diamond Harbour area. The truck was coming from Burdwan district to Patharpratima when it met with the accident early Friday," said a police official of South 24-Parganas district. He said the truck was ferrying labourers returning to their respective villages on Durga Puja vacation. "Two died on the spot while the remaining seven were declared brought dead when taken to the nearest Kakdeep and Diamond Harbour Hospital," the police officer said.
Chennai's Bengal Association launches Durga Pooja
Bengali dishes sell like hot cakes during ‘Anandamela’
Chennai (Tamil Nadu), 25 September : Women showcase their culinary talents at ‘Anandamela’, organised as part of the Durga Pooja celebrations by the Bengali Association in T.Nagar on Wednesday.
More than half-a-dozen small containers are found around Kamona Sarkar’s chena jalebi, which she painstakingly prepared for the ‘Anandamela.’ It’s 7.45 pm and the food stalls are waiting to be inaugurated. But most visitors know that the Bengali preparations sold this particular day are an immediate sell-out. So, most of them have either booked in advance or left behind “boxes” to ensure they get a taste of homemade Bengali cuisines. It’s sandesh, rasogolla, gokul pithe and a variety of other delicacies that welcome guests to the Bengal Association in T. Nagar on Wednesday.
The association launched its 76th Durga Pooja celebration here with an Anandamela, where guests could gorge on a variety of dishes priced minimally. A host of cultural and devotional programmes are lined up for the six-day celebration to recreate the pooja festivities for those who are staying away from their home town.

Festivities at The Bengal Association, T. Nagar is on till 28 September. Photo : R.Shivaji Rao
Bangladesh's President's Bijoya Dashami reception on 29 September
Dhaka, 25 September : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman will exchange greetings with members of the Hindu community on the occasion of Bijoya Dashami at Bangabhaban at 5.00 pm(BDST) on 29 September.
Earlier, the reception was scheduled to be held on 28 September, a press release of the Bangabhaban said today. The president, who is now in Saudi Arabia on a six-day state visit at the invitation of the Saudi King, is expected to return home on 27 September.