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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Life disrupted in rural areas of Maoist-hit dists in West Bengal

Kolkata, Jhargram, 7 July : Life in the Maoist-hit areas of West Bengal's Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura districts was disrupted today on the first day of the two-day Bharat Bandh called by the Maoists.
All police stations and CRPF camps in the three districts were on a high alert. Though life was crippled in rural areas, it was normal in urban areas, district police sources said. Life was unaffected in Midnapore town as also in Bankura and Purulia towns, with government offices, courts, shops and markets open with the joint security forces on patrol, the sources said. The picture was just the opposite in rural areas, with roads deserted and shops and markets closed and people staying indoors, the sources said. South Eastern Railway has deployed Quick Response teams of the GRP, RPF and CRPF on trains and tracks on the Kharagpur-Rourkela and Kharagpur-Adra sections.
Maoist leader Kishenji had called the bandh to protest the killing of top Naxal leader Azad alias Cherukuri Raj Kumar on July one in Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh, a day after Maoists killed dozens of CRPF men in Chhattisgarh. Photo : Courtesy

Dhaka and Islamabad enjoying good relations : BD envoy
Associated Press of Pakistan, Dhaka, 7 July : Newly-appointed Bangladesh high commissioner to Pakistan Suhrab Hossain called on President Zillur Rahman here on Wednesday and emphasized the need for exchanging Foreign Secretary and Foreign Ministerial level visits between the two countries.
He informed the President that Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has already expressed willingness to visit Bangladesh at his convenient time. READ FULL STORY

Agartala to be green by 2012
Agartala, 7 July : Following sustained pressure from civil societies, the Tripura government has decided to plant 3500 saplings in Agartala city this year and targeted planting 10,000 various carbon dioxide absorbing trees by 2012.
Talking to mediapersons here today state Forest Minister Jitendra Choudhury said there was a hue and cry from different sections due to tree-felling in the city because of road expansion and other developmental activities in Agartala, so the government had decided to bring the entire city under complete green cover by next three years. ''It is indeed difficult to protect all aged trees in this urbanised world and Agartala cannot be an exception, but our policy is very clear that compensatory forests will increase the level of carbon dioxide consumption and ultimately reduce global warming,'' Choudhury said.
Choudhury said last year the Tripura forest department had brought 11,170.32 hectares of land under plantations, including 22.53 lakh bamboo saplings, besides creating 297 water bodies spread over 445.5 hectares of land.

Azad’s death a setback for Maoists peace talks : Agnivesh
Kolkata, 7 July : Social activist Swami Agnivesh will seek a judicial probe into the killing of Maoist leader Cheruluri Rajkumar alias Azad, when he meets Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday. Azad died in a gunfight with the Andhra police on 2 July. He had written to Agnivesh asking for his intervention in starting peace talks between the Maoists and the government. The letter had been handed over to Chidamabaram.
“Azad’s death is a shock for the nation. He was working towards initiating a ceasefire. But his death has now almost jeopardised the possibilities of talks,” Agnivesh told the media in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Chidambaram had requested Agnivesh to take the initiative and get in touch with the Maoists to start talks. Agnivesh, a former member of the Haryana assembly, was communicating with Azad for finalising the terms and conditions of the ceasefire and discussions. Photo : AFP

Gyaneshwari Express disaster: Another conspirator arrested
Jhargram, 7 July : Manik Mahto, one of the alleged conspirators of the 28 May Gyaneshwari Express disaster, was arrested by police today from Baripada in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district.
He was arrested by a joint team of West Bengal and Orissa police. Mahto, who was a history-sheeter, had fled after the CBI announced a reward of Rs1 lakh each for key accused, Bapi Mahto, who was later arrested in Jharkhand, PCPA convenor Asit Mahto and PCPA leader Umakanta Mahto, police sources said.
Tripura lawyers threaten to launch a massive stir
Agartala, 7 July : Lawyers in Tripura Tuesday threatened to launch a massive stir if the state government did not take action against the police officials responsible for the "illegal detention" of a senior advocate.
A six-member team of lawyers met Chief Minister Manik Sarkar to seek action against the erring police officials. They said they would launch a protest from Friday if action was not taken. "The chief minister has assured us to take appropriate action at the earliest," senior Gauhati High Court lawyer Pijush Kanti Biswas told reporters after the meeting. Following a molestation complaint by a woman, senior lawyer Pradyot Kumar Dhar was arrested last Thursday and taken to West Kotowali police station here.
West Bengal Assembly polls to be held as scheduled : EC
Kolkata, 7 July : Turning down the possibility of advancing Assembly elections in West Bengal ahead of June, 2011, Indsian Election Commission today categorically said it would be held only as scheduled.
'' The speculations on this (early polls) are ill-informed....it could be because of wishful thinking or fear or anything else...elections will be held in due course of time, '' Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi told a press conference. Quraishi, who was more forthright than his statement yesterday, when he said the EC had received no suggestions from any quarter for advancing Assembly polls in the state, was asked on the possibility of the election being held in November this year, as claimed by Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for more than once.