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Sunday, June 27, 2010

West Midnapore villagers complain of torture by security forces

ANI, Jhargram, 27 June : Residents of various villages in West Midnapore district accused the security forces of torturing innocent people.
The Government deployed forces in the West Midnapore District as part of ongoing anti Maoists operations. The villagers also mentioned that the police personnel have not spared even young school going students. Speaking to the media persons in one of the village hospitals, a young injured student recalled the atrocities by the personnel in course of their routine patrolling of the area.
"Today joint force saw red pen colour in my hand and they claimed that I wrote poster for the Maoists for payment. After that they continued to torture me from six in the morning till 10 in the night. Two of them stood over my chest and ultimately I had to push them away from me. Then five CRPF Jawans came and tortured me lashing with stick and belt," said Manoranjan Manna, an injured student.
According to the villagers, there are over 600 personnel patrolling and during that they randomly pick up students and other naove villagers and torture them. Several students have been injured in their chest and on the face and back.

Bangladesh hit by first strike since general elections in '08
AFP, Dhaka, 27 June : Security forces in Bangladesh arrested more than 200 people Sunday as the first nationwide general strike since elections in 2008 was marred by violence, police said.
In the capital Dhaka, security forces fired tear gas and used batons to disperse hundreds of opposition activists as they tried to hold marches along major roads, police said.

An opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lawmaker was hurt when supporters and opponents of the strike clashed at Dhaka University, police spokesman Walid Hossain said, adding the man was rushed to hospital and later arrested. At least 12,000 policemen and the elite Rapid Action Battalion were deployed in Dhaka to try to avert violence as the shutdown brought much of the capital of 13 million people and the country to a standstill. Police said the strike had halted transport throughout the country and disrupted business operations. In Dhaka, most private offices, shops, schools and colleges were closed.
The BNP had called the strike to protest against what it says is the Awami League government's failure to provide basic services such as power, water and gas and against "arbitrary" arrests and harassment of opposition supporters.
The Awami League swept to power in January 2009 after a landslide election victory on 29 December, 2008. The BNP, which ruled the country twice after democracy was restored in 1990, was reduced to a small opposition.
Photos : AFP
Policeman arrested for Maoist link from a lodge in Burdwan
Burdwan, 27 June : A constable of Howrah district police was today detained from Burdwan for allegedly supplying arms to the Maoists.
Bimal Mishra, the constable, was arrested from a lodge near Tinkonia bus stand in the heart of Burdwan town this evening, Additional Superintendent of Police Sabyasachi Raman Mishra said. The lodge was raided by a police team led by Burdwan district Superintendent of Police R Rajsekharan. The constable was being interrogated, the additional SP said.

Pranab replaced by Bhunia as West Bengal Congress chief
PTI, New Delhi, 27 June : With just a year to go for the Assembly polls, senior leader and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has quit as West Bengal Congress president and CLP leader Manas Ranjan Bhunia has been appointed to the post.
Bhunia, a close associate of the Finance Minister, is presently leader of Congress Legislature Party in the state. Mukherjee, who was appointed as WBPCC chief in 2001, has been for quite sometime impressing upon the leadership to have a "full-time" president in view of the assembly polls.

Arms-laden ship brought to Kolkata port
Kolkata, 27 June : The suspect ship M V Aegean Glory laden with explosives, that was bound for Pakistan, has been brought to the Kolkata port from Diamond harbor today.
Kolkata Police had halted the Pakistan-bound ship off the coast of Kolkata yesterday. The ship was carrying a consignment of arms and ammunition and had not declared the goods on board; 19 sailors have been detained. The Karachi-bound cargo vessel from Bangladesh carrying military hardware and explosives was kept cordoned off on Saturday at Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district. The captain of the ship was disembarked and questioned by the police.
West Bengal Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh had described the incident as "alarming" and said it was surprising why the Pakistani-bound vessel was passing through Indian waters.

B'desh parliament passed 'Law on tourist spots protection'
Dhaka, 27 June : Bangladesh parliament Sunday passed a law for the protection of potential tourists spot in Bangladesh.
The tourism bill, proposed by tourism minister G M Quader, was passed by voice vote in absence of the main opposition BNP. The parliament rejected amendment proposals from the opposition MPs due to their absence. The government on 22 June tabled the Special and Reserved Tourism Zone Bill 2010, which was later okayed by the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation and tourism ministry. The law will authorise the government to identify potential tourist attractions and protect them, if necessary.

Joint forces trooper, Maoist killed in W Midnapore gunfight
Kolkata, 27 June : A joint forces trooper and a Maoist fighter were killed in a shootout near Jhargram in West Midnapore district early Sunday, police said.
The body of the unidentified Maoist was recovered after the fierce clash that took place around 3.30am in Ghrita village under Jhargram sub-division, a police officer said. Police claimed two more Maoists could have been killed, but their bodies were yet to be recovered. The slain trooper was identified as Ektadul Islam (26), attached to the fourth battalion of the Specially Trained Armed Company (Straco) raised to combat insurgency and terrorism. He was a resident of Manikchak in Malda district.
Sunday’s encounter comes 11 days after the 16 June clash between Maoists and the joint forces comprising central paramilitary troopers and state police in West Midnapore district. File Photo : AP
India should support Bangladesh’ war crimes trial: Sangma
IANS, Shillong, 27 June : Former Indian Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma Sunday said India should support Bangladesh in its effort to try all those accused of committing atrocities during the 1971 liberation war.
“Bangladesh has started their trial of war criminals and we (India) should extend all support to them in their effort to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan,” Sangma told IANS. Sangma said that he would also meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and urge him to extend support to Bangladesh. “Such a trial will discourage the culture of impunity and prevent recurrence of genocides and war crimes,” the veteran political leader added.
Sangma, who led an Indian-delegation to Dhaka, attended an international seminar on war crimes trials. The seminar was attended by 45 delegates from the US, Britain, Russia, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Nepal and Iran, among others.

$129m IDB loan to set up BD deep-sea oil unloading facility
Financial Express, Dhaka, 27 June : Bangladesh government has sealed a US$129 million soft credit from Islamic Development Bank to build the country's first offshore floating platform aimed at saving billions of taka it spends in unloading oil in deep sea.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith signed the deal with the Jeddah-based development lender, paving the way for building a 'Single Point Mooring' in the Bay of Bengal, he said. "The pipeline from the floating platform will save both time and money," Muhith told the FE after returning to the capital from central Asian country of Azerbaijan where the IDB held its annual meeting.
"It will help unload crude oil and refined petroleum from mother vessels in the deep sea without landing in the port," the minister said, adding the unloaded oil would be brought to the shore through pipeline. Construction of the offshore platform will start within the next two to three months and is expected to be completed by 2011, he said. READ FULL STORY
Fisherman killed by Bengal tiger, another tigress captured
Canning, 27 June : A fisherman was killed by a tiger while another tigress was captured after it strayed into the Sajnekhali office campus of Sunderban Tiger Reserve.
About 10 fishermen had ventured from Basanti area into the Sunderban jungles ten days ago. They entered the Tiger Reserve's Core Area when one of the fisherman Dilip Baidya was attacked by a tiger yesterday. The tiger was chased away by other fishermen but Baidya succumbed to his injuries.
In a separate incident, a tigress entered the Sajnekhali Tiger Campus last evening and forest department personnel burst crackers and opened a fence gate to enable the tiger to go back to the forest, officials said. The animal was again spotted today in the campus causing a flutter. The tigress was tranquilised and then put in a cage, the sources said.

Export and import through 'Benapole Land Port' resumed
UNB, Benapole, 27 June : Export and import activities through Benapole land port, which remained suspended on Saturday due to strike in West Bengal, resumed this morning.
A CPM backed labour organization CITU called the daylong strike protesting rise in fuel prices. Bebasish Kunda, Customs Cargo Inspector of Benapole port, said that export and import activities between two countries resumed through the port today after a daylong suspension.
Many goods-laden trucks, however, got stranded at the land ports of two countries due to suspension of export and import activities on Saturday.

Zillur urged expatriate to work for prosperous Bangladesh
UNB, London, 27 June : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman has urged the expatriate Bangladeshis to work with the spirit of patriotism for building a prosperous and happy Bangladesh.
The President gave the call at a reception given in his honour by the expatriate Bangladeshis at Kensington Town Hall on Saturday evening. Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, President’s son Najmul Hasan MP and Sheikh Rehana also spoke at the programme, chaired by veteran journalist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury.
Increase in auction prices has helped Tripura Tea industry
Agartala, 27 June : The Tripura government said that their tea industry has received a boost with an increase in tea prices in the auction markets of Guwahati and Kolkata.
"Tripura tea is earning Rs 137 per kg in tea auction market in Guwahati and Kolkata since 2005 which is an all time record and as a result of which the tea industry is changing its face. The industry is getting modernised and gardens are being nurtured properly," state Industries and Commerce Minister Jiten Chowdhury told Bengal Newz. There are 55 tea gardens in the state of which 41 are run by private owners, 11 are run by cooperatives and three gardens were undertaken by the state government, he said.

There are 4346 small tea growers in the state who grow in small holdings but sell their products through cooperatives. They cover an area of 3406 acres of land and produce 37 lakhs kg on an average and earn about Rs 4 crores per annum.
To encourage small tea growers, the government has provided them with carriage vans, irrigation facilities, tractors and weight measuring machines, the minister said. For upgradation of the standard of life of tea garden workers across the state, the government has arranged the supply of pure drinking water facilities, primary school, community centers, Chowdhury said.
A tea processing centre has been established at Dhalai district by the state government for small tea growers and for co-operative societies and sanctioned financial assistance for building up another tea processing centre run by cooperative at Ludhua in West Tripura district to be functional by October, he said. Photos : Parthajit Dutta, Reuters