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Thursday, July 15, 2010

India Maoists claims 'close links' with Trinamul Congress party

Subir Bhaumik, BBC News, Kolkata, 15 July : A Maoist leader in India has told the police that he had "close links" with an ally of the Congress-led government.
Madhushudan Mondal, a rebel leader in West Bengal state, was recently held by the police. He told them he had worked "in close co-ordination" with West Bengal's main opposition Trinamul Congress party, according to a police report obtained by the BBC.
The Trinamul Congress has always denied any links with the Maoists. It is an ally of the ruling Congress-led government in Delhi, and its leader, Mamata Banerjee, is the federal railway minister. READ FULL STORY

Pension for Maoist-affected villagers
ANI, Largarh, 15 July : Giving a much-needed respite to locals reeling under the increased offensive by Maoist cadres in the region, the officials in West Midnapore District on Thursday decided to grant pensions and other aid to them to alleviate their poverty.
Eager to avail the facility, scores of villagers of Largarh village have been queuing up in front of the Block Development Office to interact with the officials and get more information about the pension scheme. The District Administration Officials said besides the grant of old-age pensions, the villagers would also be provided medical aid.
"We have started this work under the universalisation of pension exercise. In our earlier attempt, we had been able to reach out to only 100,000 people, but this time we would be able to grant pension to nearly double that number," said West Midnapore District Magistrate Narayan Swaroop Nigam.
"This is because we have used effective mass communication strategies to create greater awareness and curiosity," he added.

FM Dr Dipu Moni to visit Tripura to boost Indo-Bangla trade
IANS, Agartala, 15 July : Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni will visit Tripura in September to boost cross-border trade and business with India’s eight northeastern states.
“During Dr Dipu Moni’s visit, strategies to further improve trade between Bangladesh and northeast India and development of trade-related infrastructure along the border would be discussed,” Tripura commerce and industry minister Jitendra Chaudhury told IANS.
A business delegation is expected to accompany Dr Moni. It will be her first visit to northeast India. Industrialists and traders in the region would also meet her and discuss further development of trade and investment in both sides.

Toxic methane leak at Durgapur steel plant, 27 hospitalised
Durgapur, 15 July : At least 27 people were taken ill after toxic methane and carbon monoxide gases leaked from a blast furnace at the Durgapur Steel Plant (DSP) in Burdwan district on Thursday.
The incident occurred when the employees of the DSP were working at blast furnace number 2, police said. Twenty-four of the affected workers were immediately rushed to the Durgapur Steel Plant-run hospital. Three others, standing a few metres away from the furnace, recovered within minutes and did not need hospitalisation.
Four of the critically ill workers have been admitted in the Intensive care Unit (ICU). Ten people have already been discharged after treatment, a DSP official said. The chief of communication DSP, BR Kanungo confirmed the gas leak.
"We are yet to ascertain the reason for the emission of gases from blast furnace number 2. Subsequently, all measures have been taken to stop the leak," Kanungo told over phone. "An expert committee has been formed to investigate the incident," he added. Photos : Niraj Modi

Bangladesh and India move for closer joint economic ties
IANS, Sylhet, 15 July : Businessmen from Bangladesh and India have agreed on joint measures to promote closer economic ties that are mutually beneficial and curb illegal trade by focusing on India's northeastern region.
A joint declaration by visiting Indian businessmen and local businessmen Wednesday expressed commitment to boost economic ties within the sub-region and resolved to 'make for the lost opportunities'. Indian parliamentarian and former minister Mani Shankar Aiyar led a delegation of businessmen from Kolkata and the Northeastern Chamber of Commerce to Dhaka.
The joint declaration said the immediate Indian neighbourhood constituted the natural economic hinterland of Bangladesh and vice versa. Both the sides agreed to recover the lost opportunities with a view to re-establishing the economic integrity of this region, keeping up with the vision expressed by the two prime ministers in their joint statement issued in New Delhi in January 2010.

Suspected Maoists kill woman 'informer' in West Midnapore
IANS, Kolkata, 15 July : Suspected Maoists shot dead a woman in West Midnapore district, police said Thursday.
Locals noticed the bullet-ridden body of the victim lying on the road near Dhanshole village in Gopiballavpur, and informed the police. “The victim was killed by suspected Maoists. The body has been recovered but it is yet to be identified,” Gopiballavpur deputy superintendent of police Pinaki Ranjan Das said. “Maoists posters claiming the responsibility of the crime were also found from the spot. The posters state that she was a police informer and has been given the capital punishment in the peoples’ court,” he added.

6 killed in Bangladesh floods
AFP, Dhaka, 15 July : Six people have been killed and two more are missing in Bangladesh's south-eastern hills after heavy rains triggered flash floods, an official said on Thursday.
The country's flood warning centre said more than 15 centimetres of rain fell on the deforested region over two days. 'Most of the victims were washed away, as the heavy rainfalls created huge torrents of water,' Farhad Ahmed, an official at Bangladesh's disaster management bureau, told AFP. He said about 10,000 people have been affected by the floods, and local authorities had distributed emergency rations to those most in need.
Flood levels were now receding, he added. Last month, at least 55 people were killed and 12,000 were made homeless after the worst rains in decades triggered landslides and floods in the south-eastern hills.

Arrested ISI agent Manir Khan,cop of Pak army intelligence
Agartala, 15 July : The arrested ISI agent, Manir Khan, is a sub-inspector of the army intelligence wing of Pakistan who tried to settle in the North-East with a fake Indian identity, CID sources said today.
Khan also tried to open a computer kiosk for creating a network for ISI in the region, they said. During interrogation by the central intelligence agency RAW and intelligence officials of the Punjab police, Munir Khan alias Omar Ashraf admitted that he was a sub-inspector of Pakistan army Intelligence and got arms training and special training for gathering intelligence outputs from India, the sources said.
Six Siliguri Football Academy footballers invited by 'Bayern'
Kolkata, 15 July : Six junior footballers of Siliguri Football Academy in West Bengal have been invited by the famous German football club Bayern Munich FC to train with them.
The footballers had been selected when a Bayern Munich team, including sensational Thomas Mueller, visited Siliguri in north Bengal to play an exhibition match last year. The young footballers would visit Germany from 14 to 23 August to take part in a training programme, state urban development minister Ashok Bhattacharyay told a press conference here on Wednesday.
The footballers selected are: Nishant Toppo, Sanjib Kerketta, Dipu Burman, Liton Sil, Amit Thakuri and Avishek Chetri. "Bayern Munich will bear the cost of their stay in Germany and all other expenses other than the passage money. We have arranged for sponsors and they will bear the rest of the cost," the minister said.
When Mueller visited Siliguri last year, he was yet to sign up as a professional footballer. Mueller had a sensational outing in the just-concluded FIFA World Cup in South Africa, scoring four goals and three assists in five matches for Germany and missed the Golden Boot by a whisker.
Film fest on Rabindranath from 16th July
Agartala, 15 July : As part of the year long observation of 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the Cine Delve and Information and Cultural Affairs Department (ICAT) will jointly organize a special film festival in Agartala from 16 July.
The 4-day film fest will screen films made on Tagore’s stories and noevls. Tripura Cine Delve secretary Subhashish Talapatra said, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will inaugurate the ‘Rabindra Chalochitra Utsav’ at Nazrul Kalakshetra in the evening. Satyajit Roy’s ‘Charulata’ will mark the inauguration of the film festival where Madhabi Mukherjee who acted in the film will also be present. More nine films on Rabindranath’s stories would be screened till 19 July. A documentary on Rabindranath by journalist Sitanshu Ranjan De will also be screened in the festival.
Entry is free but passes should be collected from the Cine Delve office. Organization’s president Tapan Kumar Dhar was also present in the press conference yesterday.

Ashuganj port to have roro ferry to handle ODCs for Tripura
Dhaka, 15 July : Over-dimensional cargoes (ODCs) for Palatana power plant in Tripura are likely to be shipped through Ahsuganj port from December first week.
ODCs do not have any particular shape and cannot be containersied for shipment, thus there is a need for extra care during ferrying the cargoes. "We are finalising the costs to ferry the cargoes as a roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) jetty at Ashuganj river port needs to be built as well as renovation of the road from Ashuganj to Akhaura near the Bangladesh-India border," Sheikh Mahfuz Hamid, managing director of Gulf Orient Seaways, which is assigned to carry the products from Kolkata to Akhaura, told the Financial Express.
'Darjeeling teas' had good demands in 'Kolkata auctions'
Kolkata, 15 July : There was good demand following improved liquoring of Darjeeling whole leaf grades which met with competition from the traditional exporters and appreciated in value in Kolkata tea auction held 29 and 30 June and 1 July last.
A Kolkata tea market report today said the remaining whole leaf grades were irregular around last levels and at times easier. Brokens and fannings followed a similar trend and there were improved inquiries from the exporters with fair suport from the local dealers. Some 130,343.10 kgs in 5,983 packages of Darjeeling varieties were sold in the three-day auctions, the report added.
The CTC varieties had also good demand as all improved liquoring Assams were fully firm to dearer following quality. However, the remainder was irregular. Good/medium Dooars had firm grip in the auction and plainer sorts were easier with some withdrawals. Major Blender and Tata Tea were selective. Western India operated actively on better liquoring teas. There were good export inquiry on larger brokens and grainer fannings as the local dealers were active on grainer varieties.
About 1,860,643.45 kgs of CTC varieties were sold and some 901,538.55 kgs Orthodox were sold in the auctions.