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Saturday, July 24, 2010

1 killed, 25 injured as MiG-27 crashes near Hashimara air base

Jalpaiguri, New Delhi, 24 July : A MiG-27 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force on Saturday crashed in a field, killing one person on the ground and injuring 25 others, five of them critically, at Bhotputti village in Jalpaiguri district.
The pilot, Saket Verma, ejected from the aircraft but was injured and has been hospitalised, Superintendent of Police Anand Kumar said. Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Ranveer Kumar said that a farmer, B. Rai, who was cultivating his field was killed when the MIG crashed between Moynaguri and Chengrabandha. The SP said that 25 people were injured when the aircraft crashed, of whom 5 were in a serious condition.
An IAF spokesperson said in New Delhi that the MiG-27 took off from the Hashimara Air Base on a routine sortie and crashed within minutes of take off. The mishap took place around 10.30am at a place around 25 km away from the Hashimara base. Photos : Reuters, PTI

States to be fully compensated for GST: Pranab Mukherjee
PTI, New Delhi, 24 July : Indian Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today assured the states that the Centre will fully compensate them on possible losses arising from implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
"No state would be allowed to suffer any loss and would be fully compensated by the Central government," he said at a meeting of the National Development Council here today, attended by most of the state chief ministers.

Bangladesh's water experts urge stronger 'water diplomacy'
UNB, Dhaka, 24 July : Bangladesh's water experts at a conference on Saturday stressed the need for combined efforts to unite the nation for realizing the potential of its water resources by mitigating the effects of India’s moves to construct dams on major international rivers.
They said that although the source of all principal rivers of Bangladesh are outside the country, depending on the upstream water for their flow, India is planning to build dams in upstream areas of the major rivers including Barak.
The International Farakka Committee (IFC), New York Inc, organized the day-long conference titled ‘Water Problems of Bangladesh: National and Regional Perspectives’ at National Press Club in the city today.
IFC chairman Atiqur PK Eusufzai presided over the session while Former UN Environment Specialist and water expert Dr SI Khan presented a keynote paper at the conference.

3 die in vegetable oil tanker blast near Memari in Burdwan
Burdwan, 24 July : Three persons were killed in a vegetable oil tanker blast today when it was being repaired using gas cutters at Kuchut near Memari in Burdwan district.
Two youths - Indranjit Konar and Tapas Tudu died on the spot and another mechanic Buddhadeb Murmu died after he was brought to the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, the police said. The tanker blew up when the accumulated gas inside it came in contact with the spark at Kuchut village beside an oil mill, the police said. The workers of the oil mill later ransacked the office and agitated demanding compensation for the victims and more safety measures for the workers, the police said.
Complete breakdown of law, order in Tripura : Congress
Agartala, 24 July : There is a complete breakdown of law and order in Tripura, leader of opposition and Congressman Ratan Lal Nath said Saturday, adding that party chief Sonia Gandhi has also voiced concern on the issue.
Nath said he along with Tripura Congress president Surajit Datta met Gandhi in New Delhi earlier this week and submitted a detailed report on “crime, unabated corruption and misrule of CPI(M)-led Left Front government in Tripura”. “Law and order situation has completely broken down in Tripura, which tops in India in crimes against women,” Nath told reporters.
Bandh against Gorkhaland state hits normal life in Siliguri
Siliguri, 24 July : Normal life was hit today as a 24-hour bandh called by Bangla-o-Bangla Bhasa Bachaon Samiti began in Siliguri sub-division of Darjeeling district.
Shops, markets, business establishments and educational institutions mostly remained closed and private vehicles were off the roads since 6am, the police said. Attendance in government offices has been thin, officials said.
The bandh call was given to protest against the sixth round of tripartite talks between Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM), Centre and the State government in New Delhi on Saturday, President of the samity Mukunda Majumder said. Photo : Sanjit Mitra

Elephant kills two elderly persons at Ausgram in Burdwan
Burdwan, 24 July : An elderly woman and a man were trampled to death by an elephant at Ausgram forest area in Burdwan district, police said today.
65-year-old woman Beni Mardi and 50-year-old man Sukul Kisku were killed last night at Radhamohanpur village by the pachyderm which had strayed away from the herd, they said. The elephant strayed away from a herd of 40 elephants that came from Sonamukhi jungle in Bankura in search of food. The pachyderm later went to nearby Bibhum district and was seen roaming in the jungles of Bolpur.
25 activists of banned "Allahr Dal" arrested in Gaibandha
UNB, Gaibandha, 24 July : Bangladesh Police arrested 25 activists of banned ‘Allahr Dal’ from a house at Kholahati union in Sadar upazila this morning.
The identity of the arrested militants could not be known immediately. Police said local people gheraoed the militants while they were holding a clandestine meeting at the house of Moyen Haji of the village early in the morning and informed them.
Fisheries Aquarium to remain closed from 1st August
Port Blair, 24 July : It is brought to the notice of the general public that the Andaman's Fisheries Museum-cum-Aquarium near Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex Aberdeen will remain closed from 01.08.2010 onwards until further notice for repair and maintenance.
Bangladesh zoo mourns old elephant
AFP, Dhaka, 24 July : Bangladesh's biggest zoo has declared three days of mourning following the death of a 100-year-old elephant which was its top attraction and "loyal servant", an official said on Saturday.
Pabantara collapsed on Thursday after a heart attack and died hours later, plunging her fans into grief, AHM Shahidullah, head of the state-owned Dhaka Zoo, told AFP. The female Asian elephant had lived at the zoo since it was founded in 1957 and carried hundreds of thousands of children and adults on fun rides - a key activity at the zoological garden.
"All the mahouts (caretakers) and those who knew Pabantara cried like babies over her death," Shahidullah said. "Some mahouts who retired from the zoo came all the way from their villages to be at her side. They prayed and lit candles and incense at her grave," he said. During the mourning period, which began on Friday and will finish on Sunday, "there will be no fun-rides on the other elephants", he said. "We will hold special prayers at a mosque to seek eternal blessings for Pabantara and other animals who are ill," Shahidullah added.
Pabantara had been a huge money spinner for the zoo on the northern outskirts of Dhaka. "She also was one of the oldest Asian elephants in this region. She was always peaceful and friendly. She was one of the most favourite animals and a loyal servant of the zoo. She deserves respect," Shahidullah added.
Shahidullah said veterinarians had examined her teeth and concluded that Pabantara was aged "around 100 years". The elephant had been buried on the zoo grounds, Shahidullah said.
Asian elephants normally live between 60 and 90 years, said Mohsinuzzman Chowdhury, the country's top elephant expert, but can live beyond 100 years.