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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Maoists WB 'state secretary' Kanchan, 5 other leaders arrested

Kolkata, 4 December : In a severe blow to the Maoists, a top leader of the ultras and four others were arrested from the metropolis and neighbouring Howrah district, while another Maoists leader who had taken part in the attack on an EFR camp at Silda was nabbed from West Midnapore district.
Kanchan alias Sudip Chongdar, a central committee member who had planned the Lalgarh movement in 2008 and second only to Kishenji was arrested from Maidan area of the metropolis by the Special Task Force of the police yesterday, STF chief Rajiv Kumar told reporters today.
Kanchan a think tank and 'state secretary' of the Maoists, was wanted for sedition.
He had been elevated as 'state secretary' after the arrest of Somen alias Himadri Sen Roy from a railway station in North 24 Parganas in February 2008. File Photos
BNP will not join 'parliament session' tomorrow : Moudud
Dhaka, 4 December : Bangladesh's main opposition BNP will not join the parliament session that begins tomorrow, the party’s front ranking leader Barrister Moudud Ahmed MP said today.
Replying to a question at a press briefing at his Law Chamber in Motijheel, BNP standing committee member Moudud said it is beyond question to join the parliament as it is now not a respectful place, and that the court is doing the job of parliament. The ninth parliament will go into its seventh session on Sunday. The last session was prorogued on 6 October.

Dr. Yunus' Bangladesh Grameen Bank denies wrongdoing
AFP, Dhaka, 4 December : Bangladesh micro-lender Grameen Bank has denied any wrongdoing after Norway ordered a review of a transfer by bank founder Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus of millions of dollars of aid money.
A documentary called "Caught in Micro Debt" and aired earlier this week on Norwegian television alleged cash was diverted from Grameen Bank, which provides small loans to the poor, to other parts of the Grameen group. The Norwegian government has since asked aid agency Norad to "review" the transfer of nearly 100 million dollars of aid to Grameen Kalyan, a separate company which is not involved in micro-credit operations.
"There was no wrongdoing in the agreement between Grameen Bank and Grameen Kalyan," Grameen Bank said in a statement released late Friday. The 96 million dollars of aid was transferred for tax purposes to enlarge funds available to micro-borrowers and was loaned back to Grameen Bank the same day, the statement said, dismissing reports of wrongdoing as "sensationalism". Photo : AFP READ BBC STORY

Pachyderms wreak havoc in North Bengal's Tea Gardens
UNI, Kolkata, 4 December : A herd of forty elephants wreaked havoc in two tea gardens near Bagdogra range under Siliguri sub-division last night.
The pachyderms destroyed a house inside the Kamala tea garden and also some tea bushes before entering into the Gayaganga tea garden. DFO, Kurseong, Y P Adden said forest officials and tourists have been deputed on the spot.
Wild elephant squad officials are also present. In the evening, the forest officials will try to drive away the herd.
Meanwhile, localites have gathered near the tea gardens to have a look at the jumbos. No untoward incident has been reported so far, official sources said. Photos : AFP

No buffer stock of foodgrains for Tripura: CM Manik Sarkar
PTI, Kailashahar (Tripura), 4 December : Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar today alleged that the Centre had not not created any buffer stock of foodgrains for land-locked Tripura.
"There is communication bottleneck in the state and despite repeated requests to the central government, they did not take any initiative to create a buffer stock of foodgrains when the state's stock is decreasing day by day," he told a public meeting here. Sarkar said the central government had increased the prices of gas as a result of which power tariff had gone high in the state.

I slept on floor for months for Moner Manush role: Prosenjit
IANS, Kolkata, 4 December : Bengali actor Prosenjit Chatterjee says he had shunned a life of luxury for five months during which he slept and ate on the floor to get into the skin of Lalon Fakir's character in the award-winning film film "Moner Manush".

"For five months I kept myself confined to home to prepare for this role. I used to sleep on the floor all these months. I used to have my food on the floor. I am not used to such things, but still I did it to go deeper into the character," Prosenjit said about his much appreciated portrayal of the ascetic Lalon Fakir or Lalon Shah. Prosenjit, son of yesteryear's Bollywood actor Biswajeet, said the role in Goutam Ghose's movie was not only challenging but altogether different from the characters he has portrayed so far.
"...I had to dedicate a lot of time for this role. I can guarantee that even after 40 minutes of the film, you won't be able to recognise me... I thank Goutam-da for offering me this role," Prosenjit said on the sidelines of the movie's premiere. The film, which bagged for India the Golden Peacock at the just-concluded International Film Festival of India, is an Indo-Bangladesh co-production simultaneously released in both the countries 3 Dec.
"As I started going deeper into this character, I received immense support from my family and friends. I had asked them to think as if I am not present around. I had asked them not to bother me regarding any issues," Prosenjit said.
The film is based on Sunil Gangopadhya's 2008 novel "Moner Manush". It revolves around the life and philosophy of Lalon Fakir, a 19th century Bengali philosopher poet. The film deals with his teachings, his separation from his family and creation of a settlement in a forest including people who have been pushed out of their society and family.
"The teachings, philosophy, love and compassion of Lalon is more relevant in today's world where there is so much of hatred and violence around us," Prosenjit said.

Industrial Police start functioning in Chittagong dock colony
UNB, Chittagong, 4 December : The industrial police, a specialised unit of law enforcers, formally started its journey here Saturday aiming to maintain order in the industrial zones.
Home Minister Advocate Sahara Khatun inaugurated the Chittagong unit of industrial police at dock labor colony adjacent to Chittagong EPZ. In the programme the Home minister said, coming out of traditional path, the government has initiated the activities of industrial police for creating industry-friendly environment for ensuring economic progress.
Bangladesh' fastest runner Mahbub Alam killed in accident
Narayanganj, Dhaka, 4 December : Bangladesh's fastest runner and gold winner of SAF Games Mahbub Alam has been killed in a road accident on Dhaka-Chittagong highway near Narayanganj.
Kanchpur highway police station chief Shahriar Hossain told UNB, Mahbub died on the spot when the microbus carrying him hit a roadside stationary truck near Kanchpur at Sonargaon early Saturday. He was on his way to Dhaka from Comilla.
Former general secretary of Bangladesh Athletics Federation Ibrahim Chengish said Alam won gold in a 200-metre sprint in the 1995 Chennai SAF Games. He had also bagged gold medals several times at the national level. Lately, he was member of the Athletics Federation's executive committee.

Container vessel runs aground in Hooghly river in S 24PGs
PTI, Diamond Harbour, 4 December : A container vessel, carrying wooden logs, ran aground in the Hooghly river during low tide near Nurpur in South 24-parganas district today, police said.
The vessel 'Nazis' was coming from lighthouse, near Sagar, to unload the cargo at Kolkata port, police said. The place of occurrence was near the area where two container ships 'M V Green Valley' and 'Tiger Spring' had collided on 23 November causing damage to the latter.
Bangladesh PM Hasina for judges neutrality in trial process
BSS, Dhaka, 4 December : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the judges to show utmost neutrality by rising above all sorts of fear, intimidation, love, affection and emotion while conducting trial of various cases.
"Getting justice by general masses depends on your wisdom and knowledge. A slight mistake of you could cause colossal damage to justice seekers in getting justice," she said.

The Prime Minister was inaugurating the 58th conference of Bangladesh Judicial Service Association at Osmani Memorial Auditorium here this morning.
Calling upon the judges for quick disposal of cases, Sheikh Hasina said most of the people in the country do not want to go to the court for justice due to delay dally practices in disposal of cases. Photo : UNB
Spectrum scam : Finance Minister Pranab rules out JPC
Kolkata, 4 December : Ruling out a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum scam, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday appealed to the opposition parties to let Parliament function so that a debate on the issue could take place.
“I have requested them (opposition) to come back to the House and let the whole issue be debated in Parliament. Let them say whatever they want to say on the floor of the house and the government will respond,” he told reporters here.

Bangladesh's first foreign sect. Abul Fateh passes away
Dhaka, 4 December : AFM Abul Fateh, the first foreign secretary of Bangladesh and the senior most diplomat of the Mujibnagar administration, has passed away following old-age complications.
His son Anatul Fateh confirmed BSS that the diplomat passed away at around 1:45am (BDST) on Saturday in London.
Annual general meeting of Andaman Chamber of Com-Ind
Port Blair, 4 December : The 44th Annual General Meeting of the Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry will be held at 11.00am on Sunday at T.S.G Emerald View, Phoenix Bay.
Shakti Sinha, Chief Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Administration will attend the A.G.M as Chief Guest. All the members of the Chamber are requested to participate in the said meeting, informed G.Bhasker, General Secretary of Andaman Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Artificial kidney made by Dr. Shuvo Roy awaits human trials
IANS, Washington, 4 December : A coffee cup sized implantable artificial kidney being developed by a US researcher of Bengali origin, is awaiting animal and human trials to bring affordable treatment to millions of kidney failure patients worldwide.
Shuvo Roy, working with a team of engineers, biologists and physicians at the University of California, San Francisco, to shrink the device to the size of a coffee cup, is "excited about advancing it towards large animal and human trials". "Obviously, a key requirement is financial support and the team. We have most of the latter in place, and the former is a work-in-progress," Roy, an associate professor in the UCSF School of Pharmacy who specialises in developing micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology for biomedical applications, told IANS.

"There are almost 1.5 million people worldwide on dialysis. The primary cause of end stage renal disease (ESRD) is diabetes and hypertension, which are both growing problems in South Asia," noted Roy who has a connection with both India and Bangladesh. Born in what is now Bangladesh, Roy spent part of his childhood in India and Bangladesh and received most of his education in Uganda, where his father worked as a public health physician. He later obtained his undergraduate degree from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. "As it turns out, most of my fathers family is in India, while most of my mothers side is in Bangladesh," he said.
The ideal treatment for kidney failure patients is transplant, but there is a shortage and the patients require expensive drugs and dialysis costs $9,000-14,000 per patient in India assuming dialysis twice a week instead of three times as in the US, said Roy. Given "the shortage of transplant kidneys and associated complications like transmission of infectious agents from donor to patient and ethics, our device might provide some benefits", he said.
"With the right financial support, I think we could reach clinical trials in as little as five years," Roy said. But "its hard to say how long after that it becomes commercially available due to the uncertainties of the FDA and commercialisation prospects".
He said it was hard to predict how much it would cost "as we just dont know the development costs associated with regulatory and reimbursement issues. We think the device cost should be less than $25,000 in the United States." The artificial kidney that would do away with the need for dialysis would include thousands of microscopic filters to remove toxins from the blood and a bioreactor to mimic the metabolic and water-balancing roles of a real kidney. Photo : Courtesy