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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Azad killing : Maoists call 48-hour 'Bharat bandh' from 7th July

Kolkata, 4 July : Maoists called for a 48-hour 'Bharat bandh' from 7 July to protest against the killing of their senior politburo member Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad at Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh by the police, top Maoist leader Kishenji said on Sunday.
Railways, milk, ambulance and fire services have been exempted from the shutdown. Kishenji claimed that Azad, the Maoist spokesman, was arrested from Nagpur along with another Maoist Sukdeb and taken 150 km away to Adilabad where both were shot dead.
Kishenji said from an undisclosed location that Azad had been proceeding to Dandakaranya for a meeting of the CPI (Maoist) central committee when he was caught by the police.

No rollback in fuel price hike : Pranab
Kolkata, 4 July : The government on Sunday ruled out rolling back increase in fuel prices, even as the Opposition NDA called for an all-India bandh on Monday to protest the price hike and rising inflation.
“No question of rollback,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised by Assocham here, when asked whether the government could review its 25 June decision of raising prices of petroleum products. Meanwhile, NDA Working Chairperson L.K. Advani after a meeting of its leaders, said, “This may be the first time in the history of India’s politics that almost all political parties will participate in the Bharat Bandh.”
The government last month hiked prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene by Rs 3.50, Rs 2 and Rs 3 a litre, respectively and increased the rate of cooking gas by Rs 35 a cylinder. The decision was taken by the empowered group of ministers headed by Pranab Mukherjee. Photo : Avijit Mondal
Gorkha Janamukti Morcha calls for 40day strike in Darjeling
Darjeeling, Kolkata, 4 July : Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) Sunday called for a 40-day long shutdown, from 2 August, in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district to protest the unwillingness of the state and the central government for the sixth round tripartite talks, It demanded the talks be held immediately.
'We are calling a 40-day long shutdown in the three hilly sub-divisions from 2 August to 11 September as the state government is delaying the sixth round of tripartite talks. We demand that the talks be held immediately,' GJM's assistant general secretary Binay Tamang said. The GJM, which has been spearheading the separate Gorkhaland state movement, also announced that offices of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), central and state government will remain closed for indefinite period from Tuesday. There will be a general shutdown 25 July in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling. A 72-hour general shutdown has been called from 28 July.

B'desh urges countries to accept hand written passports
Dhaka, 4 July : Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni on Sunday requested the foreign governments particularly the Bangladeshi labour receiving countries to recognise both the machine-readable and hand written passports during the transition period.
She invited the envoys of the countries concerned at the foreign ministry and made the request. The ambassadors and high commissioners of Kuwait, Qatar, Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Egypt, Malaysia, the Maldives and South Korea met her at the ministry. Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes was present and also briefed the diplomats.
Bangladeshi workers are facing problems in the United Arab Emirates with hand written passports as the UAE immigrations authorities do not recognise the old passports. The foreign minister told the envoys that it would take time to replace all the hand written passports with Machine Readable Passports (MRP).

Landslide disrupts DHR toy train services in Darjeeling hills
ANI, Kolkata, 4 July : The services of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), also known as Toy Train, has been suspended due to a landslide in the hills, disappointing hundreds of tourists coming here from different parts of the country.
The landslide took place on the National Highway 55 severely damaging the narrow gauge track on which the train runs. But the local rail authority have not taken any initiative to inform the tourists and they continued booking tickets for the toy train journey, leaving tourists angry and disappointed when they learn about disruption of services.
Many visitors were left disappointed; the railway authorities are not taking any responsibility on their part to intimate them of the present situation. “We could have also board a bus to Darjeeling but we didn’t as we wanted to take a trip on toy train,” said Kundan Mahato, a tourist. File Photo

Maoists vow to avenge leader Rajkumar alias Azad's killing
PTI, Hyderabad, 4 July : The CPI (Maoist) on Sunday vowed to avenge the death of its top leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in an encounter with police in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.
"Azad was murdered brutally by Intelligence Bureau of the Central Government and Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of Andhra Pradesh with complete knowledge of Union home minister P Chidambaram," a statement issued by the CPI (Maoist) said.

Gorkha League seeks more Central forces in Darjeeling hill
Kolkata, 4 July : All India Gorkha League leaders in Darjeeling have demanded that the West Bengal government should deploy more Central forces in the hills to restore the democratic environment and arrest the killers of Madan Tamang, who was assassinated in the heart of the town on 21 May. The demands were placed before State Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya, who holds charge of Darjeeling on behalf of the CPI(M) and who visited the hill town on Friday.
AIGL leaders Laxman Pradhan and Mohan Sharma said that the party was happy that the state government had, of late, been sending paramilitary forces to the hills. “But the West Bengal government should ensure that these is not mere eyewash. The forces should help restore the democratic environment, which has been totally vitiated by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha over the past couple of years,” said the AIGL leaders. File Photo
Suspension of night running services extended till 9th July
Kolkata, 4 July : The night running of passenger trains on Maoist-affected Kharagpur-Rourkela and Kharagpur-Adra routes in West Midnapore will remain suspended till 9 July, South Eastern Railway officials said today.
SER sources said as a result, Howrah-Mumbai Mail via Nagpur and Azad Hind Express will leave Howrah at 5.00 am and 5.30 am, respectively, from tomorrow till 10 July instead of 8.15 pm and 9.55 pm. Howrah-Ahmedabad Express will leave Howrah at 4.00 am from tomorrow while Jnaneswari Express will leave Howrah at 4.30 am. According to the sources, Howrah-LTT Samarsata Express via Adra will leave Howrah at 8.00 am on 10 July instead of 9.15 am on 9 July. New Delhi-Puri Express arriving Gomoh at 12.05 am on 6 July to 9 July and New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Duronto Express arriving Gomoh at 2.27 am on 6 July will be regulated on the East Central Railway system up to 4.
Water woes in Andaman Islands require creative solutions
ANI, Port Blair, 4 July : The mention of Andaman Islands conjures up images of crystal clear skies, golden beaches and tranquil seas rich with marine life and coral reefs.
Though for the local residents, the picture is not quite so idyllic. Even if for an island in the Indian Ocean to face water shortage, seems a bit of an oxymoron but that is what the locals have been bearing with for many years. The years 2002 to 2004 witnessed a poor rainfall in Andaman Islands. In 2002, the deficiency was disturbing, 341 millimetres of rainfall led to an acute water crisis.
In Port Blair, water is supplied once every third day. In some rural pockets, like Baratang in Middle Andaman it is worse. Regular piped water supply has been reduced to once in four days. The biggest and most dependable source of fresh water today is in Rutland, Island the only hope for the people of south of Andaman after Dhanikhari Dam.
Two suspected ISI associates arrested in Agartala
Agartala, 4 July : Two suspected ISI associates, both Bangladeshi nationals, were arrested in a pre-dawn operation by the Mobile Task Force (MTF) at Siddhi Ashram area of Agartala today.
According to report, acting on a tip-off an MTF contingent stormed the locality on the southern outskirts of the city late last night and detained two people and recovered arms from their possession. The persons were brought for interrogation at the special branch cell and senior police officials had been interrogating them, but police kept mum on the issue, sources said.
Coast Guard rescues 10 foreign sailors from Bay of Bengal
UNI, Port Blair, 4 July : After 48 hours of air-sea coordinated search operations in Bay of Bengal, Indian Coast Guard Ship Varad has rescued 10 foreign nationals from high seas in extremely adverse weather conditions.
ICGS Varad entered Port Blair harbour this afternoon with the rescued foreign national, which includes one Taiwanese and nine Indonesian personnel. ''The Taiwanese vessel Glontas-231, which was on passage from Phuket, Thailand to Paradeep, sunk about 520 km west of Port Blair due to sudden explosion and fire in engine room. Before any distress message could be transmitted from the ship, it sank and ten of its crew members jumped overboard to save their lives,'' Public Relations Officer of Andaman and Nicobar Coast Guard Commandant B K Singh told UNI today.
Kasturba Gandhi Trust seek Tagore film for rural screening
Kolkata, 4 July : The Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, which was set up by Mahatma Gandhi in 1945 to address issues of women in rural India, has written to Indian information minister Ambika Soni, seeking a copy of the Films Division documentary on Rabindranath Tagore for screening in rural West Bengal.
"The commentary and subtitles in the 50-minute documentary are in English. We are keen on buying a Bengali version so that viewers in rural West Bengal are able to understand it. It will indeed be a pity if the film is not available in the very language which Tagore used as his medium," the trust's Bengal branch representative, Yasmeen Sengupta, wrote in the letter. The 50-minute documentary, titled Dreams of Rabindranath', is the most comprehensive one filmed since Satyajit Ray's famous work
in 1961. The shooting of the documentary, completed barely 10 days before Tagore's Nobel medallion was stolen from Santiniketan, has been lying in neglect after the initial burst of screening across theatres in 2006.
Directed by award-winning filmmaker K G Das, the documentary produced by Films Division traces the genesis of Tagore's thoughts on education, his rebellion against established systems of his time, his model for reviving the guru-shishya parampara or teacher-disciple tradition of Vedic India.