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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tripura secured top position in NREGA implementation in India

PTI, Agartala, 22 July : Tripura has secured the top position in implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) during the 2009-10 financial year. The state has achieved 82 mandays of job creation which is more than the national average of 54 days. Sikkim also did well by creating 80 mandays in NREGA in the last financial year.
Rural Development minister Jitendra Chowdhury on Thursday said this has been possible due to people's participation in the national flagship programme. He also stressed on the need to create immovable assets to boost the rural economy. Chowdhury also criticised Centre for delay in releasing funds meant for NREGA. "Rural Development ministry had sanctioned an outlay of Rs 957 crore for 2009-10 but the state has received only Rs 725 crore. A total of Rs 232 crore is yet to be cleared," he said.
Chowdhury also said Tripura has received only Rs 400 crore of total outlay of Rs 1049 crore during the current financial year (2010-11).

Govt wants to amend constitution to ensure change of state power through ballot : PM
UNB, Sangsad Bhaban, 22 July : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Parliament Thursday said that her government wants to amend the constitution to ensure the change of state power through ballot instead of bullet.
“We want to establish the sovereignty of the people, sprit of liberation war and continuity of the democratic dispensation in the country,” she said in a valedictory statement before the prorogation of the budget session of the House. Hasina said a special committee was formed to prepare a report on the amendments of the constitution and submit the report to Parliament.
“We wanted the name from the opposition for the committee but they did not respond. They could give their name and discuss what they want in the committee,” she told the House.
Foreign direct investment dives about 35% in Bangladesh
Dhaka, 22 July : The amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh has reduced about 35 percent between 2008 and 2009.
According to the World Investment Report 2010, which was launched on Thursday, the country only received $700.16 million in FDI in 2009 compared to $1086.33 million in 2008. The report says Bangladesh stands fourth on the list of eight South Asian countries receiving FDI. Dr. M Ismail Hossain, a Jahangirnagar University economics teacher, unveiled the United Nations' report at the office of the Board of Investment (BoI).
CM slams TMC for demanding halt to anti-Maoists operation
Kolkata, 22 July : Accusing opposition Trinamool Congress of having links with Maoists, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday slammed it for demanding a halt to joint operations against Maoists. Replying to questions in the state Assembly, the Chief Minister said by repeatedly raising such demands, they (TMC) want Maoists to spread throughout West Bengal.
Describing the demand as unjust, he mentioned that 35 companies of Central forces were deployed in the state for joint operations against Maoists. "What will be the result if they are withdrawn," Bhattacharjee asked. However, Leader of the Opposition Partha Chatterjee insisted that Trinamool was right in raising the demand.
The Chief Minister challenged him to deny links with the Maoists-backed People's Committee Against Police Atrocities headed by Chhatradhar Mahato, who has been under arrest since September 2009. Protesting against Bhattacharjee's remark, TMC members staged a walkout in the House. Bhattacharjee hoped that the Centre does not give importance to their demand.
TMC Chief Mamata Banerjee had on Wednesday appealed to the Centre to halt anti-Maoist operations by the joint forces in the state and said that she would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

Bangladesh govt doesn't endorse extrajudicial killing : HM
Dhaka, 22 July : Bangladesh government does not endorse any extra-judicial killing, home minister Shahara Khatun has said.
"As a result, steps are being taken as per rule against any extra-judicial killing," she said at the question-answer session in the parliament on Thursday Answering A M Mahbub Uddin Khokon from Noakhali, she also said that the people witnessed extra-judicial killings during previous BNP-led government.

Poor telecom network in NorthEast a concern: ASSOCHAM
PTI, Shillong, 22 July : Indian Northeastern states are plagued by low tele-density and inadequate telecom services, hindering economic growth and development, a study said. "In addition to the low tele-density, the quality of services in the region is also a matter of concern. The telecom network is inadequate to handle the traffic resulting in repeated congestion, a statement by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (ASSOCHAM) quoting the study said on Thursday.
"Closely linked with the expansion and growth of IT is stable and quality infrastructure like telecommunication. The hilly region having a difficult terrain has limitation in terms of physical connectivity and has sparse habitations," it said.

WB rural woman accuses CRPF personnel of harassing
ANI, Kolkata, 22 July : A woman from Birhandi village in West Medinipur District accuses paramilitary personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) of harassing her.
The provincial lawmaker assured her on Wednesday, of justice by drafting a complaint. Corroborating her charges, several villagers claimed that paramilitary forces and West Bengal Police tortured them during the anti-Maoist operation and about ten women in the village were allegedly assaulted. “I was coming back with my cow and some CRPF jawans came to me and held my hand and ordered me to sit down in my house. When I didn’t respond they tortured me and pressurised me to sit down. Two of them went away and one of them tortured me. He touched my forehead with a gun and he forced me to do what he said. I was helpless,” said Lalita Mahato, a victim. They also mentioned that these security personnel had also killed some villagers.
Earlier, on Tuesday about 10,000 women accompanied by young girls had staged a mass procession at Jhargram to voice their protest against these incidents. They demonstrated against alleged harassment by the personnel of paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on the pretext of flushing out Maoists.
Separated conjoined Bangladeshi twins reunited with mom
BBC News, 22 July : The mother of formerly-conjoined Bangladeshi twins Trishna and Krishna has visited her daughters in Australia for the first time since their separation.
The twins' mother, 24-year-old Lovely Goldar, has not seen three-year-old Trishna and Krishna since she handed them over to an orphanage soon after they were born, in the hope they would receive medical care. The girls survived a delicate 32-hour operation in Melbourne last November to separate their heads. The twins' guardian, Moira Kelly, said she hopes that one day they can return to Bangladesh.
Trinamool Congress to launch Andaman's unit by July end
UNI, Port Blair, 22 July : The Trinamool Congress will soon launch its unit in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, sources claimed.
A five-member delegation recently returned from Kolkata after getting necessary nod for the launch of TMC in Andaman and Nicobar Islands from party's top leaders. ''A very senior leader of these Islands, who had led a National Party till now, will be appointed as president of TMC in Andaman,'' Biswajit Lahiri a grass root leader of North and Middle Andaman told UNI.
10 Kuki Liberation Army men killed in gunbattle in Manipur
PTI, Imphal, 22 July : Ten militants were killed and four injured in a fierce gunbattle between two Kuki groups at a remote area in Manipur, police said on Thursday.
The gunfight between the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Kuki National Front-Presidium (KNF-P) took place in interior Seijang hill area on the border between Imphal East and Senapati districts on Wednesday and lasted for five hours, they said. The gunbattle could be the result of a fight for territorial control of areas inhabited by the Kuki tribes, police said. The injured were brought to a private hospital here and the condition of some was stated to be critical.

Flood fear looms large over N Bengal
Malda, Jalpaiguri, 22 July : Flood fears loom large over a large section of North Bengal in Malda and Jalpaiguri districts.
In North Malda, the Fulohar river, which had reached dangerous levels, finally breached its embankment on Wednesday. Fresh erosion had started along the banks of the river right from the onset of the monsoon. At least 10,000 people have been affected. With the water level already reaching 27.70 metre, a red alert has been issued.
Possibilities of a flood in Jalpaiguri are also very real, as several places in the district have gone under water after rivers like Kaljani in Alipurduar, Karala in Jalpaiguri and Basra in Hasimara overflowed owing to the incessant downpour.
In Malda, a team comprising the additional district magistrate (ADM), the SDO and irrigation officials visited the site and have taken up measures to repair the embankment. "Already, 90% of the embankment has been breached. We fear greater damage at Baharal and Ratua if the dyke is not restored soon," said SDO Subho Mukherjee.
On Tuesday, local villagers had attacked irrigation workers when they visited the site. Two contractors were allegedly thrown into the water. People accused them of delaying the embankment repair works.
Sabhadhipati of Malda zilla parishad, Sabina Yasmin, said: "Their anger is justified. Irrigation workers never take up the work in the dry season despite our repeated appeals. They always start work during monsoon. But this is not the time to vent their anger. Irrigation workers should be allowed to do their work." Photos : Misbaul Hoque