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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

13-km proposed Akhaurah-Agartala link, to be financed by India

India, B'desh align rail link in Tripura
(L) Passengers sit on top of a crowded train in Dhaka, Wednesday. Hundreds of Bangladeshi are heading home to celebrate Eid. Photo : AP
IANS, Agartala, 8 September : Indian and Bangladesh railway officials Wednesday completed technical formalities and finalised alignments to link their networks to improve connectivity between the two countries.

Senior officials of Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR), Bangladesh Railways and the Tripura government held a series of meetings here this week and visited several places proposed to be utilised for laying the railway tracks. "The final technical and alignment reports would now be submitted to both the governments for taking final decision before starting the actual works," Y. Ali Mirdha, Bangladesh Railway's chief engineer, told reporters.
The Bangladesh officials signed a document with their Indian counterparts here in the presence of officials of the Indian high Commission in Dhaka. "A team of officials of IRCON (Indian Railway Construction Company) have recently visited Dhaka and held talks with Bangladesh government and railway ministry officials to finalise alignment of the 13-km Agartala-Akhaurahconnecting rail line," said Mirdha.
India has been keen to establish the Agartala-Akhaura rail link as it would facilitate easier connectivity between West Bengal and northeastern states through Bangladesh. It has offered to construct the railway link. India also wants to extend its railway network to two more places along the India-Bangladesh border to improve connectivity between the two countries, a NFR official said.

Five Bangladeshi boys detained by CISF in Agartala airport
Agartala, 8 September : Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) jawans detained five minor Bangladeshi nationals from the runway of Agartala airport and subsequently sent them to a juvenile home.
According to police, the boys entered the airport yesterday after crossing the boundary wall from the western side, close to the Indo-Bangladesh border. Since there was no crew in the airport due to the industrial strike; the security in the airport was a little low and taking advantage of the situation the boys came up to the fire service station. ''Suddenly CISF jawans noticed the movement of trespassers on the runway and immediately detained them. Later they were handed over to police and subsequently they were produced in court,'' police said.

Hold Ershad's trial, alliance partners tell PM Sheikh Hasina
Dhaka, 8 September : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who heads a 14-party alliance, is under pressure from some of her allies to allow the trial of former president H.M. Ershad for 'usurping' power in 1982.
Hasina had reportedly told Ershad, who is also a member of the ruling alliance, "not to worry" when he met her last month after a court annulled the constitution's seventh amendment that had validated his declaration of martial law and takeover of power. Ershad, then the army chief, removed then president A.M. Sattar and declared himself chief martial law administrator in 1982. He went on to rule the country till December 1990.
Most of the partners in the ruling alliance are in favour of punishment to the "usurpers of state power, including former military ruler H.M. Ershad", New Age reported Wednesday. The Ershad issue has turned into a contentious issue in the alliance.

BSF seizes smuggled goods from Tripura border
Agartala, 8 September : The Border Security Force (BSF) seized textiles worth Rs ten lakh from Amlighat and Bhangamura border of South Tripura last night while the consignment was being smuggled to Bangladesh.
During routine patrolling, BSF jawans noticed some villagers, carrying some goods, trying to enter Bangladesh. The jawans challenged the smugglers following which they threw away the consignment, comprising sarees and salwar suits, and escaped under cover of the thick forest and darkness.

Army stages flag march in Deganga
Kolkata, 8 September : The army staged a flag march at Deganga in North 24 Parganas district Wednesday after clashes between two groups left one person dead Monday night.
At least 200 personnel, deployed since Tuesday, staged the flag march to defuse tensions and build confidence among people following the clash. The clash broke out in a village over a local dispute Monday night, and spread to neighbouring villages Tuesday in which 30 people including two police officers were injured. Several houses and five vehicles were also torched and damaged by miscreants.
"The situation is now under control. Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have also been pressed into service," said a senior police officer. Prohibitory orders have been clamped in the area.
PM Hasina pledges to work for development of Chittagong
BSS, Chittagong, 8 September : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today pledged to work for development of the port city of Chittagong, the country's business hub.
"We'll not hesitate to implement development programmes in the port city though we could not win the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) polls," she said while inaugurating the new court building here. Among others, Awami League leader and former CCC Mayor A B M Mohiuddin Chowdhury and incumbent mayor Md. Manjur Alam, who won this year's 17 June mayoral polls on BNP ticket, were present at the function.
Congratulating the new mayor, Sheikh Hasina said in a lighter vein that "the son left his own house only to become a mayor. You should have waited.... you should not have left your own home hurriedly for the post of mayor," she said. The Prime Minister in her remarks did not clearly mention Manjur as an Awami League supporter, but she indicated that Manjur was loyal to Awami League when he was a commissioner of the CCC.