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Monday, May 31, 2010

No CBI probe into Gyaneshwari Express derailment : WB govt

Kolkata, 31 May : In a snub to Railway minister Mamata Banerjee's demand, the West Bengal government on Monday ruled out a CBI inquiry into the 28 May Gyaneshwari Express disaster in West Midnapore district which claimed 148 lives.
"The CID probe has progressed a great deal and the state government does not feel that a parallel inquiry is necessary," Home Secretary Samar Ghosh told reporters at the state secretariat when asked about a CBI inquiry. He said the Union Home ministry had sent a letter yesterday to Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen seeking concurrence of the state government for a CBI investigation.
Asked why a CID inquiry was ordered, he said that generally the Commissioner of Railway Safety inquired into railway accidents. But since there was criminal involvement and sabotage in the disaster, the CID was investigating it. Asked how long the CID inquiry would take, he said, "it can't be said immediately."
Alleging that there was a 'political conspiracy' behind the disaster, Banerjee on 29 May had demanded a CBI investigation. She had said that the Railways had requested the Union Home Ministry for a CBI investigation since it was in 'jangalmahal' where joint operations were on.

Total 95 bodies of 148 killed in Gyaneshwari Exp identified
Kolkata, 31 May : Altogether 95 bodies of those killed in Gyaneshwari Express disaster have been identified, while samples of the remaining 53 sent for DNA test, West Bengal Finance minister Asim Dasgupta said here today.
"All the bodies identified so far have been handed over to their relatives after post mortem in Midnapore Medical College Hospital and Kharagpur State General Hospital, while samples of the rest sent for DNA testing to identify them," he said.
Bangladesh Cabinet okays National Education Policy-2010
BSS, Dhaka, 31 May : Bangladesh cabinet today okayed the National Education Policy-2010 aimed to introduce a science and technology-based modern education system with the spirit of education for all without any discrimination, non-communalism and War of Liberation.
The approval was given at the regular cabinet meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Prime Minister's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said the new education policy was endorsed restructuring the education levels with provision for free and compulsory primary schooling up to class eight.
He said the new policy will elevate the primary education from class five to class eight while secondary education from class nine to class twelve and free education from class nine to class twelve.
Assam shutdown to end as government agrees for talks
Guwahati, 31 May : Normal life was paralysed in six districts of Assam today due to a shut down call given by All Tai Ahom Students' Union (ATASU), but the group has announced withdrawal of 72-hour hartal from tomorrow following government's assurance for talks.
ATASU decided to withdraw the call in response to a letter from Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi inviting it to come for talks with the government tomorrow. The shut-down had affected normal life in districts Jorhat, Sibsagar, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Lakhimpur of upper Assam.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha losing support: West Bengal govt
Kolkata, 31 May : The West Bengal government today claimed the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is losing its support base in the Darjeeling hills and people are disenchanted with the party spearheading a movement for a separate Gorkhaland state.
West Bengal's Municipal Minister Ashok Bhattacharya said people's participation in yesterday's show of strength by GJM in Darjeeling was "not spontaneous" as during the march taken out after the killing of All India Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang.

ASEAN envoys to visit Indian northeast to boost trade, tour
IANS, Agartala, 31 May : Diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will soon visit the northeastern states to explore possibilities of promoting tourism and trade, officials said here Monday.
"Union minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Bijoy Krishna Handique held separate meetings during the past few days in New Delhi with the ambassadors and diplomats of ASEAN countries including Thailand and Myanmar," a senior Tripura government official told IANS.
Referring to a DoNER ministry communique, the official said that both the northeastern states and the ASEAN countries would benefit from trade and economic activities between the two regions.

Bangladesh signs 'transshipment agreement' with India
Dhaka, 31 May : Bangladesh today signed an agreement with India finalizing a crucial transshipment deal to allow Indian goods to be transported to its northeastern Tripura state through Bangladesh territory, officials said.
"I have just signed the agreement declaring our Ashuganj as a new`port of call'' for transport of Indian goods including heavyconsignments for their Palatana Power Project in Tripura, Shipping Secretary Abdul Mannan Hawladar told reporters. He said with the signing of the agreement in line with an earlier decision taken during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's India tour in January this year, the northern Ashuganj would be the second transshipment point and fifth port of call in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh ready for wild World Cup FB, despite no team
AFP, Dhaka, 31 May : Bangladesh sit a lowly 157th in football's national rankings, but the World Cup excites wild rivalry as the country splits down the middle - are you batty about Brazil, or ardent about Argentina?
For the South Asian nation's tailors, such passion is good for business with fans proving their die-hard allegiance with counterfeit team shirts and large, colourful flags draped from houses, offices and street lamps. "For the last seven days I've been selling 2,000 flags a day," said Foyez Ahmed Titu, a tailor who sews flags and shirts at a small shop in Dhaka, the capital of a country normally focused on cricket.
"I've hired more than a dozen extra workers to keep up with demand and none of us have slept properly for weeks," he said. Photo : UNB

India government yet to take a decision on Tagore paintings
PTI, New Delhi, 31 May : With just 15 days left for the auction at the Sotheby's in which 12 of Rabindranath Tagore's paintings are slated to go under the hammer, India government is yet to take a decision on what course to adopt on the issue.
The issue of auction of the Nobel laureate's paintings in London was highlighted by art lovers and Tagore's followers recently who asked the government to intervene in the matter. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had over 10 days back assured that the government will look into the issue of bringing back Gurudev's paintings.
B'desh 'DAE' takes extensive aus farming in Mymensingh
BSS, Mymensingh, 31 May : Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has taken extensive aus cultivation programme in the district.
DAE sources told BSS that under the programme a total of 56,496 hectares of land will be brought under aus cultivation in all 12 upazilas of the district. Of the total target Upshee will be cultivated on 55,509 hectares and local on variety on 9,87 hectares. The target of rice production is 1,39,957 metric tones. DAE sources said, 12,260 kg aus seeds have been distributed among the farmers for aus cultivation.
NE's cultural icon Dr. Bhupen Hazarika to continue singing
Guwahati, 31 May : “I will continue singing till the doctors allow me to,” said the cultural icon of North-East India Dr Bhupen Hazarika, who according to doctors, is responding quite well to the treatment provided by specialists at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute, Mumbai.
“Dr Hazarika underwent a coronary artery bypass surgery in August last year and has surprised all of us with the pace of recovery,” said Dr Pradeep Kaul, heart specialist of the hospital, speaking at the inaugural programme of a consultation centre of the same hospital in Guwahati. Dr Kaul further said that all the doctors in the hospital are happy with the progress, and the music maestro is responding just as an 84-year old person should.
While interacting with the media, Dr Hazarika, seen in a cheerful mood, said that he was happy to come to the State and savour Assamese delicacies like sewali phulor anja and other traditional cuisines.