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Thursday, December 30, 2010

BNP leader S Quader Chowdhury faces trial for ‘71's War Crime

IANS, Dhaka, 30 December : Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunal Thursday began the trial of an opposition lawmaker accused of killing over a hundred people during the country’s liberation war in 1971.
The three-judge panel of the International Crimes Tribunal has fixed 17January, 2011, for hearing the charges against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury for committing ‘crimes against humanity’. Chowdhury, 58, a Standing Committee member of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), who has been under remand, was brought before the tribunal amidst tight security.
The tribunal is also expected to try other top brass of the Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist party, who are already in detention. They include party chief and former minister Maulana Motiur Rahman Nizami. Chowdhury, who leads the Islamist group within the BNP, is considered close to BNP chief and former prime minister Khaleda Zia. Photo : Ashraful Alom tito

Home Minister P Chidambaram invites Buddhadeb for talks
PTI, New Delhi, 30 December : A day after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee slammed Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram’s assessment of the law and order situation in the state as “far from an impartial overview”, the latter today invited him for a meet in Delhi.
Chidambaram dispatched two letters today addressing Bhattacharjee, as a reply to the Chief Minister’s 28 December communication. “Both letters have been faxed as well as sent by speed post,” a Home Ministry statement said. “The Home Minister has invited the Chief Minister of West Bengal to Delhi at his earliest convenience to discuss the subject and agree upon the way forward,” the statement said.
Bhattacharjee, in a strongly-worded reply to Chidambaram’s letter last week, had taken strong exception to use of the word ‘harmad’ (hired killers) in the communication while asking the Left Front government to disarm CPI(M) cadres. “Your assessment of the situation in the State is surprising and is far from an impartial overview of the situation,” he had said.
The Chief Minister had sarcastically described the Home Minister’s letter sent on 21 December as ‘secret’ after he and the CPI(M) took umbrage at the apparent leak of its contents before it could reach him. He said the letter was received on Monday.
Chidambaram’s earlier letter had asked the State government to disarm CPI(M) cadres. He had questioned the West Bengal government on its use of central forces in the State, saying the killing of activists of political parties point to a “virtual collapse” of law and order there.
Admitting that it was not a happy situation, Bhattacharjee had said, “I am trying to disarm and demobilise all armed groups engaged in violence in some pockets in the State.” File Photo

People who kill and attack people are harmards : Mamata
Kolkata, 30 December : Questioning Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee objecting to the word 'harmard' to denote CPI(M) workers in Home Minister P Chidamabaram's letter, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said today that those who killed and attacked people could be described as such.
"What else will the people call you (CPIM)? They will definitely not call you Pitamaha Bhisma of Mahabharata," Banerjee retorted at a party rally in Dum Dum on the northern outskirts. Dripping sarcasm, she questioned whether the CPI(M) was following 'Leftism' or 'harmardism'.

ULFA chairman Rajkhowa granted bail, likely release Friday
Guwahati, 30 December : The banned ULFA 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa was on Thursday granted bail and is likely to be released from jail on Friday, a year since his arrest after being nabbed by Bangladesh security agencies and handed over to Indian authorities.
A designated TADA court in Guwahati granted relief to 54-year-old Rajkhowa in six TADA cases for his release from the Guwahati Central Jail with the Assam government filing no objection to his bail plea. The Congress government in Assam did not object to the bail plea against the backdrop of its offer for peace talks with ULFA. The hearing of the bail petition was earlier deferred thrice this month with the court on Monday asking the home and political department to submit an affidavit on his latest status.
Rajkhowa is likely to come out of jail on Friday after fulfilling the release formalities. He was arrested by Indian security agencies after being handed over by the Bangladesh authorities in November last year at the Meghalaya border where he was picked up. File Photo

No NBFI licensed for Tripura, said Reserve Bank Governor
Agartala, 30 December : Reserve Bank of India Governor Dr D Subba Rao has expressed concern over the growth of non-banking financial institutions (NBFI) in Tripura while making it clear that they did not allow any NBFIs to do business in the state.
He requested the state government to take legal action as per IPC and CrPC provisions against unauthorised agencies and the RBI would do as per the existing law. In a meeting with Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chaudhury yesterday at the RBI headquarters in Mumbai, Dr Rao made it clear that as many as 114 NBFIs, which had been operating in Tripura, were not issued any licence or permission to do business in the state.

Finance Min Pranab hints at more steps to check price rise
PTI, New Delhi, 30 December : Expressing concern over food inflation rising to a 10 week high of 14.44 per cent, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday indicated the government will take more steps to check rising prices.
“We are looking into it. So far as onion is concerned we have taken care of it... but the fluctuation in milk, fruit, vegetables and certain commodities have contributed to the inflation,” he told reporters here.

Kamatapur demand : Partial response to AKRSU's bandh
Guwahati, 30 December : A 24-hour Assam bandh called by the AKRSU in support of their demand for a separate Kamatapur state evoked partial response today.
The bandh affected normal life in the areas in western Assam where the AKRSU has considerable influence. Life was affected in Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Udalguri and adjoining districts. Impact of the bandh was also seen in belts with AKRSU presence in eastern Assam districts. The All Koch-Rajbonshi Students Union (AKRSU) has been demanding a Kamatapur state carved out of few Assam and West Bengal districts.

DMP takes four-tire security measures for 31st Dec. night
Dhaka, 30 December : Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has taken four-tire security measures to avoid any untoward incident in 31st night in the capital.
"The DMP has taken foolproof security measures dividing the capital into nine zones keeping in mind of any possible sabotage act," DMP Commissioner Benazir Ahmed told at a press briefing at his office today.

Somdev felicitated for winning gold at CWG, Asian Games
PTI, Chennai, 30 December : India's top singles player Somdev Devvarman was felicitated here today ahead of the Aircel Chennai Open 2011, for winning gold medals at both the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Asian Games at Guangzhou.
M A Alagappan, President of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) draped a traditional shawl (angavastram) around Somdev. Karthi P Chidambaram, Chairman of the Chennai Open Organising Committee, presented a special watch by Aircel in the presence of K V P Baskaran, Operations Director-South, Aircel.

Aman rice production exceeds target by 9.57% in Rangpur
BSS, Panchagarh, 30 December : The farmers have produced a record quantity of 29,60,357 tonnes Aman rice, 9.57 percent higher than the fixed target of 27,01,694 tonnes rice, in all eight districts under Rangpur Agriculture Zone (RAZ) this season, officials said today.
The farmers had cultivated T-Aman crop in 10,84,863 hectares land this season against the fixed target of bringing 10,74,03 hectares and they got a super bumper rice production due to average favourable climatic conditions and massive pro-farmer steps taken by the government.

Of them, 36,816 tonnes hybrid Aman rice was produced from 12,694 hectares, 27,94,711 tonnes high yielding Aman rice from 9,93,221 hectares and 1,28,830 tones local variety T-Aman trice from 78,948 hectares land, said Additional Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Mohsin Ali.
The achieved yield rates of hybrid variety Aman stood at 2.9 tonnes clean rice per hectare this time against 2.89 tonnes last year, 2.81 tonnes for high yielding variety against 2.65 tonnes last year and 1.63 tonnes for local variety Aman rice against 1.50 tonnes last year.
The crop grew well and the government extended allout supports to the farmers in achieving the super bumper Aman production this time in the zone.
Rice scientist Dr MA Mazid told BSS that the farmers could successfully cultivate the Aman paddies and many of them also used the latest technologies this season that assisted in achieving the bumper Aman production.
Farmers Abdul Karim, Zulfikar Ali and Abdul Aziz told that they are very happy getting excellent Aman yields and have now engaged their allout efforts to make the Boro and Rabi crops farming programme successful.
They expressed huge satisfactions over the present market prices of the newly harvested Aman paddy in between Taka 8850 and 950 per maund (every 40 kgs) depending on the varieties and qualities in the local markets of region.