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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BSF fires in Indo-Bangladesh border, child, Two others killed

PTI, Coochbehar, 4 May : Three villagers, including a child, were today killed after some BSF personnel allegedly fired at them during a clash here, police said.
The incident took place when a group of villagers from Ghonapara of Tufanganj sub-division clashed with the BSF personnel after their cattle was seized by them. The BSF had accused a local woman of smuggling cattle from across the Indo-Bangladesh border and seized some cows, police said.
An argument took place between the agitating villagers and the BSF personnel, which soon snowballed into a violent clash killing three of them, police said, adding a child and a woman was among those killed allegedly in the firing by BSF personnel.
A magistrate has rushed to the spot as tension prevailed in the area, they added. Photo : PTI

Rangamati BDR proceedings adjourned till 10 January, '11
Rangamati, 4 May : A special court of Bangladesh Rifles on Tuesday adjourned the proceedings till 10 January, 2011 against 75 accused mutineers of 9 Rifle Battalion at Marishya in Baghaichhari upazila of Rangamati.
All the defendants were produced before the three-member court, headed by BDR Director General Maj Gen Md Mainul Islam. The other members are Lt Col Md Abdur Rouf and Major Golam Mostafa Al-Mamun. The Special Court-4 set up at Mechanical Transport Shed at BDR sector headquarters in Rangamati took the depositions of two witnesses during the day’s proceedings.
The court so far has received depositions from 25 witnesses out of 100. Three cases were filed against 12 Rifle Battalion of Longudu, 9 Rifle Battalion of Baghaichhari and 18 Rifle Battalion of Barkal upazila of Rangamati following the February 25-26 mutiny.

Assam lawyers refuse to defend separatist Ranjan Daimary
Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, Kolkata, 4 May : Lawyers in India's Assam state have refused to defend a rebel leader accused of a wave of bombings in 2008, which killed 87 people.
Ranjan Daimary, head of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), was recently arrested in Bangladesh and handed over to Indian authorities. The Assam Bar Association says it has adopted this position because court staff died in the bombings....READ FULL STORY

BIFR benches may be increased : Pranab Mukherjee in RS
PTI, New Delhi, 4 May : The Government is considering increasing the number of benches in BIFR, the quasi-judicial body that looks at revival of financially sick companies, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.
Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) currently has only three benches, which is one of the reasons why revival or winding up cases get dragged for years. "Review of performance and expanding the number of benches (in BIFR) is under consideration of the Government," Mukherjee said during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
He, however, said the Government cannot fix a timeframe for disposal of cases referred to it as BIFR was a quasi-judicial body.

WB's CM Buddhadeb meets PM, discusses Maoist problem
New Delhi, 4 May : The issue of adopting a holistic approach involving several states to tackle the Maoist menace is understood to have come up for discussion between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee here today.
Bhattacharjee, who had an almost 30 minute meeting with the Prime Minister at Parliament House this morning, is understood to have raised the issue of political support being allegedly given to the Maoists in his state. The Chief Minister, however, refused to divulge anything about his discussions with Singh.

Ceasefire with Nagaland militant outfit 'NSCN-K' extended
IANS, New Delhi, 4 May : The ceasefire agreement between India government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) has been extended by another year, it was announced on Tuesday.
The decision to extend the agreement with effect from 28 April, 2010 was taken Monday evening at a meeting with home ministry officials and NSCN-K representatives, an official statement in New Delhi said. Active in the eastern parts of Nagaland, besides the Tirap and Changlang districts of neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, the Khaplang outfit aims at establishing a 'Greater Nagaland' comprising the Naga dominated areas of neighbouring states within India and contiguous areas in Myanmar. The outfit has largely observed a truce with security personnel since 1998.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Seoul, KL 16-21 May
UNB, Dhaka, 4 May : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to visit South Korea and Malaysia from 16-21 May, officials said here.
During the weeklong visit, the premier will primarily discuss with the South East Asian leaders on bilateral matters of mutual interests. After a brief stopover in Hong Kong, Hasina will fly to Seoul on 16 May to begin a three-day official visit. This will be the first visit by a Bangladeshi premier to South Korea after 15 years.
The PM and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will hold crucial talks on expanding Dhaka-Seoul cooperation in varied fields including infrastructure development to shipbuilding and transfer of green technology to environment. During the visit, several agreements and MoUs are likely to be signed relating to infrastructure development, environment and cultural exchange.
Hasina will be a keynote speaker at a seminar to be organised by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The PM is expected to return home on 21 May.

IGNOU to waive fees for sex workers, prisoners in WBengal
Kolkata, 4 May : Taking education to sex workers and prisoners in jail in West Bengal, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to waive fees for them.
"To start with, IGNOU has decided to select the red light district of Sonagachi here from where 26 sex workers are likely to join courses on healthcare and food and nutrition programmes," IGNOU Vice-Chancellor V N Rajsekharan Pillai said here.
Hoolock gibbon rescued from Meghalaya, to Assam Zoo
Guwahati, 4 May : An endangered Hoolock gibbon was found in a critically injured state in Meghalaya and shifted to Assam.
Assam State Zoo DFO Narayan Mahanta told reporters that the gibbon with a broken left leg and arm was brought to the zoo here for treatment yesterday. The gibbon's condition worsened and it was shifted today to the Assam Veterinary Hospital at Khanapara where it was operated upon. Doctors attending on the ape said that its condition was "very critical" and its chance of complete recovery was bleak. The Hoolock gibbon, is in Schedule I of the endangered species list, and is concentrated in the northeast region, Mahanta said.

Khaleda Zia moves to send cantonment house plea to CJ
Dhaka, 4 May : BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Tuesday submitted a petition before a High Court bench to drop her pending writ petition on cantonment residence from this bench and send it to the chief justice.
In the petition, she expressed ‘no confidence’ in the bench of Justice Md Imman Ali and Justice Obaidul Hasan. Meanwhile, the bench fixed Wednesday for hearing the petition.
Trinamool Congress in opposition's line of fire in Lok Sabha
PTI, New Delhi, 4 May : Trinamool Congress today came under attack from the Opposition which demanded an apology from its leader Sudip Bandopadhyay for shouting at a CPI(M) MP while the Left party sought an explanation on reports about an alleged arms deal involving minister Shishir Adhikari.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for over three hours when the entire opposition demanded an apology from the Trinamool Chief Whip for "hurling expletives" at Basudeb Acharia during a discussion on the Mumbai suburban railway motormen's strike.
The CPI(M) also moved a substantive motion in Rajya Sabha to demand explanation from Trinamool Minister Adhikari about his reported statement to the media that he had sent money for supply of weapons through a Bangladeshi arms dealer. File Photo : PTI

'Deutsche Welle' radio expands test broadcasts to 6 cities
Dhaka, 4 May : Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle has expanded its FM radio broadcasting to Khulna, Rajshahi and Rangpur.
In a tie up with Bangladesh Beta. DW-RADIO is now undertaking test broadcasts daily on 102.0 MHz in Khulna, 105.0 MHz in Rajshahi and 105.4 MHz in Rangpur from 8.00am to 8.30am and from 8.00pm to 8.30pm (BDST).
Since 14 April, they have been broadcasting on 97.6 MHz in Dhaka, 105.4 MHz in Chittagong and 105.0 MHz in Sylhet. This is the second part of the planned test roll-out, which comprises six major cities in Bangladesh The agreement between Deutsche Welle and Bangladesh Betar was signed on 9 March in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh government starts today Swine flu vaccinations
Dhaka, 4 May : Bangladesh government launches today its H1N1 pandemic vaccination campaign to combat swine flu.
Health Minister Ruhal Haque is scheduled to inaugurate the programme at a city hotel. The country received some 30 lakh doses of vaccine from the World Health Organization (WHO) last week, official sources said, adding that the rest would come in two months. One crore and 60 lakh people under priority groups that include healthcare providers, pregnant women and those aged above 6 months with chronic medical conditions, will receive the vaccine first.
The Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) will conduct the H1N1 vaccination programme.

Sarkar's mother-in-law Ela Bhattacharjee dies in Tripura
Agartala, 4 May : Ela Bhattacharjee, a leader of CPI(M) and mother-in-law of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, died here Monday night. She was 89.
Bhattacharjee, a teacher-turned-Communist, was not keeping well for the past five years. She died at her residence at Krishnanagar here. She is survived by a son and five daughters, a family source said Tuesday. Bhattacharjee's daughter Panchali Bhattacharjee, wife of Manik Sarkar and a social activist, told news agency : 'My mother was the first woman member of the Rajya Sabha from Tripura for six years (1980-1986).' Ela Bhattacharjee had spearheaded the women's movement in Tripura for many years. The cremation was held Tuesday afternoon.
About 3000 families affected due to hailstorm in Sikkim
PTI, Gangtok, 4 May : The hailstorm that lashed Sikkim on 27 April has caused extensive damage to crops, especially kharif, affecting about 3,000 families, Horticulture and Cash Crops Development department said today.
The department held two consecutive meetings on 29 and 30 April to review the progress of various schemes and modify strategies for development programmes. It has been decided to immediately provide vegetable seeds and other logistic support to salvage the situation, besides providing UV film to repair the damaged greenhouse (a structure in which temperature and humidity can be controlled for the cultivation or protection of plants), the department stated in a release. The total damage includes standing bulbs which could have yielded up to Rs 50,000.

Madhupur pineapple to be smaller this season but 'healthy'
Tangail, Madhupur, 4 May : The size of famous Madhupur pineapple is likely to be smaller this season as the plantations did not get sufficient water due to lack of rain while the local growers have decided to minimise use of chemicals that makes the fruit larger.
As a gesture of good will, farmers at a technology handover programme at Holdia village in Madhupur upazila recently also vowed to stop using harmful chemicals to ripen the fruit. Well-known for tasty 'honey queen' variety of pineapple, Madhupur Garh region produces over one lakh tonnes of the delicious fruit a year and it is sent to different parts of the country including the capital.
Pineapple was cultivated on 7,000 hectares of land in Madhupur and 1,000 hectares in Ghatail upazila of Tangail district this year, said sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). The pineapple growers in the hilly areas of the two upazilas got bumper yield last season as weather was favourable, local DAE office sources said.
"Pineapple growers will harvest the fruit in July and they are expecting good yield this season also. Local agriculture officials are visiting the fields to give necessary support and advice to the farmers," Madhupur Upazila Agriculture Officer Mohammad Abu Hanif said. But size of the fruit will be smaller this season as there was not required rain during the months of Falgun and Chaitra, said Abdul Aziz, a pineapple grower of Shaliabaha village in Ghatail upazila, who has got this year's Channel i Agriculture Award.
With saplings brought from Meghalaya in India, local Garo leader Jevier Chishim (still alive) first cultivated pineapple at Idilpur village in Madhupur upazila in 1942 and since then pineapple cultivation has become gradually popular in the area.