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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Karachi-bound ship carrying arms of UN peacekeepers : Police

Kolkata, Diamond Harbour, 26 June : The Karachi-bound ship intercepted in Diamond Harbour Friday was carrying arms and ammunition used by troops of different nations that had participated in the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia, a top police officer said Saturday.
The union home ministry has asked the security agencies to bring the Liberia-registered ‘Aegean Glory’ to the Kolkata dock for a thorough investigation. The ship is likely to reach there Sunday noon, West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Bhupinder Singh said. ‘It was found that the ship was carrying explosives of a few nations that participated in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL),’ he said.
The ship was slated to unload the military cargo at different ports to return the weapons of the nations that participated in UNMIL that began in 2003 to contain the conflict arising out of the second Liberian civil war. The vessel loaded the military cargo at Monrovia port in Liberia, started its journey 17 May and sailed to Port Louis in Mauritius on 4 June.
‘The ship unloaded a part of its military cargo first at St. Louis and then at Cox Bazar port near Chittagong in Bangladesh. It set sail for the Kolkata dock to unload some military cargo that belongs to the Nepal Army,’ Bhupinder Singh said. Photos : AP

West Bengal hit by transport strike against fuel price hike
Kolkata, 26 June : Normal life was badly hit in West Bengal as buses, taxis and autorickshaws went off the roads Saturday in response to a public transport strike called by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) against the fuel price hike.
Despite being a holiday for government employees, commuters were inconvenienced as a handful of taxis and autorickshaws that plied made a killing by charging exorbitant fares. Ferry services on various rivers across the state also did not operate.
The strike was called by CITU, the labour arm of the ruling CPI(M), hours after the central government Friday ended government curbs on petroleum pricing and hiked the prices of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas. The price of diesel went up by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder. The prices of petrol will now be costlier by about Rs 3.50 per litre.
Desperate commuters got onto trucks to reach their destinations while cycle rickshaws and the city’s runner-pulled rickshaws provided relief to many while charging them more money.
Though flights and train services were kept outside the purview of the protest, people had trouble getting transport to reach their destinations from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport or railway stations. Car owners were lucky as vehicles meant for private use were exempted from the strike. Metro Railway services, also in the exempted category, also functioned normally.
“There are no reports of any untoward incident. The situation is completely peaceful,” state Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh told reporters. Photos : PTI

12 hour strike called in Tripura over fuel prices on Monday
Agartala, 26 June : CPI(M)-led ruling Left Front in Tripura Saturday called for a 12-hour shutdown in the state Monday to protest against the hike in fuel prices.
Left Front spokesperson Gautam Das told reporters here that by increasing prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas, the central government ‘has made the greatest assault on people’. ‘The dawn-to-dusk strike would be observed Monday to condemn the hike in prices of fuel and to demand withdrawal of the decision,’ he said. Das said: ‘At a time when people are burdened with increasing price of all essential commodities and inflation has remained unrestrained, the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has increased the fuel price.’

Indian Railways to run Technology Express to popularise IT
Kolkata, 26 June : A special express train will be launched just after the October Commonwealth Games to promote information technology (IT) across the India.
The train, named Technology Express will be launched from Kharagpur after the Commonwealth Games to raise awareness about information technology in remote areas and small towns, source says. The help of Kharagpur's Indian Institutes of Technology will also be taken for the purpose.

B'desh prepares for main opposition showdown Sunday
IANS, Dhaka, 26 June : Deals signed with India by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are high on the agenda of the day-long nationwide protests that main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has called for Sunday.
Hasina, during her visit to India in January early this year, signed agreements that envisage exchange of criminals, fight against terrorism, and better trade ties besides a host of economic and security issues. BNP Chairperson and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia announced the general strike at a grand rally in Dhaka 19 May, protesting against a number of issues against the government of her political rival, Sheikh Hasina. These also include the recently-signed treaties with India.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner A.K.M. Shahidul Haque Friday said the police would not prevent the BNP from observing its dawn-to-dusk stir. But it will take stern action against the protesters if they try to create anarchy by vandalising vehicles or setting them on fire. The official said additional 10,000 police forces will be deployed at 4.00 am(BDST) on the day of the stir to maintain law and order.