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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trawler capsize toll rises 22, Intense search operation continue

Kakdwip, Kolkata, 31 October : With the retrieval of four more bodies today, the toll in the trawler capsize tragedy near Talpatty island in the Hooghly river at the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, has risen to 22.
“In addition to 18 bodies found yesterday, two more were retrieved from two different points in the river during the day. Several passengers are still missing and rescue teams are trying to locate them,” South 24-Parganas Superintendent of Police L N Meena told Bengal Newz in the morning.

Of the passengers on board, 50 persons were rescued and rushed to a hospital, of whom 23 were discharged after first aid. A small aircraft of the Coast Guard was circling over the area where the trawler sank, while divers, eight each from the Kolkata Port Trust and the Navy with echo sounding machines, were trying to ascertain the exact spot where the trawler went down. Eight speedboats of the Civil Defence Department besides hovercraft of the Coast Guard were scouring the waters. A 40-member team of the state disaster management force was also at hand. WB Sundarbans Development Minister Kanti Ganguly was also supervising the rescue operations.
The trawler along with two others, overloaded with pilgrims, was returning to Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas from Hijli Sharif, opposite Sagar Island, in East Midnapore district, when it capsized and sank after hitting a sandbar, yesterday. Photos : AFP, Reuters

Missing pilot's body retrieved after plane crash in Sirajganj
Xinhua, Dhaka, 31 October : Fire service divers Sunday morning retrieved the body of a missing pilot of the training aircraft which Saturday crashed into a mighty river in Bangladesh's Sirajganj district, 134 km northwest of capital Dhaka, local police said.
Aminur Islam, Officer-in-charge of Chouhari police station in Sirajganj, told Xinhua Sunday, "the officials concerned identified the body which was recovered Sunday morning from the Jamuna river as the body of the around 26-year old missing pilot Kamrul Hasan." He said rescuers yet to locate the missing aircraft of Bangladesh Flying Club, a non-profit and academic organization in Bangladesh, that crashed into Jamuna with two pilots on board at around 11:40am local time Saturday.
"There were two pilots on board and one was rescued in an unconscious situation and another is missing," Saifur Islam, Chouhari sub-district administration chief, told Xinhua Saturday.

Major ULFA arms and explosives haul in Shillong's school
PTI, Shillong, 31 October : A huge cache of arms and explosives, believed to have been hidden by ULFA militants, was recovered from the premises of a school here, police said today.
The weapons - two AK 47 rifles, three live grenades, six magazines, 125 rounds of ammunition and some explosives besides incriminating documents were found underneath the permanent stage of the Shillong Vidyalaya Higher Secondary School located at Madan Laban area of the city last night, the police said.
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina launches industrial police
BSS, Dhaka, 31 October : After formation of industrial police, Bangladesh prime minister has said her government is also considering formation of specialised forces like campus police, marine police and tourism police.
Sheikh Hasina formally launched the much hyped Industrial Police on Sunday. Hasina said the special police force was launched to maintain law and order in the industries to attract more foreign investments. She was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the new police force at Bangbandhu International Conference Centre. "The country's law and order depends on the police. They have a lot of responsibilities as the number of police personnel is inadequate compared to the increasing number of people."
The special force, first of its kind in Bangladesh, was created to suppress sudden indiscipline, Hasina added.

Shortage of funds hinder development of Andaman villages
UNI, Port Blair, 31 October : The newly-elected members of north and middle Andaman Zilla Parishad is feeling the heat of fund crunch and have now urged the administration to sanction additional funds for the development of remote villages of North and Middle Andaman.
According to highly-placed sources, the last Zilla Parishad had overshot the sanctioned budget during the last five years term and awarded works worth nearly 33 crore to various contractors leaving negative fund balance for this Zilla Parishad. In the first meeting of the reconstituted Zilla Parishad of North and Middle Andaman, the Zilla Parishad members also urged the administration to sanction additional funds to the tune of Rs 33.00 crore to settle the outstanding bills in respect of works sanctioned by the erstwhile Zilla Parishad and also for carrying out the ongoing works being executed in North and Middle Andaman.
''Without additional funds it would be difficult to clear the bills of many contractors who have completed various works as per the work orders given by last Zilla Parishad,'' Anil Mondal the Upo Adhyaksh told UNI here.
During the said meeting, Mr Mondal has urged the North and Middle Zilla Parishad to channelise funds and resources to develop the newly constituted Gram Panchayats of North and Middle Andaman i.e. Paschimsagar and Gandhinagar. This is not the first time when Zilla Parishad in Andaman and Nicobar Islands has overshot the allocated funds while issuing work orders.
Earlier, this kind of practice was noticed in South Andaman Zilla Parishad, which was followed by various anti-corruption and CBI inquiries.