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Saturday, July 31, 2010

CPIM has made suicide squad to eliminate me, alleged Mamata

Kolkata, 31 July : Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today alleged that unable to fight her politically, CPI(M) has hatched a conspiracy to eliminate her and discussed forming a suicide squad for that !
"CPI(M) and some other political parties which have vested interests- I am not speaking about all parties have held a meeting and hatched a conspiracy to eliminate me. Such a meeting was held, you can inquire," Banerjee told reporters here. She charged that at the meeting CPI(M) discussed forming a suicide squad to eliminiate her and that whatever money was required would be paid. Banerjee claimed she had information of this and thought that West Bengal government had it too.

Bangladesh garment protests spread
AFP, Dhaka, 31 July : Bangladeshi police fired rubber bullets Saturday in a bid to subdue garment workers who rioted for a second day in protest against low pay as unrest spread to areas outside Dhaka, police said.

Workers fought pitched street battles with riot police in the manufacturing hub of Ashulia, north of Dhaka, as union officials rejected a government-backed pay hike as "insultingly low." "Over 20,000 workers walked off the job and many clashed with police, hurling stones and rocks. We fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them," police inspector Nasir Ahmed told AFP.
The unrest came as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told "workers to accept the pay hike and return to work," threatening tough action against those who disobeyed her orders.
Rioters also burnt tyres, blocked a key road linking Dhaka with northern Bangladesh, attacked factories and forced police to run for cover, an AFP correspondent at the scene said. The factories have announced a shutdown in response and "violence has ebbed but the situation is still tense," Ahmed said.
The protests are in response to the government's announcement Tuesday that the minimum monthly wage for garment workers would rise by 80 percent to 3,000 taka (43 dollars) from 1,662 taka - the lowest industry salary worldwide. Photos : AFP, AP

Hasina blames opposition to provoke chaos in RMG sector
UNB, Dhaka, 31 July : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused the opposition of instigating garment workers to create instability in the country.
The Prime Minister urged the people not to pay any heed to “provocation” by any vested quarter, and continue their work for the country’s development. “They (the opposition) are provoking the garment workers to create chaos with an evil design to gain political benefit out of it,” she said while inaugurating the National Service Programme in Gopalganj district through tele-conference from Ganobhaban on Saturday afternoon.

Security beefed up in Assam before 'Independence Day'
PTI, Rangiya, 31 July : Security has been beefed up in lower Assam ahead of Independence Day following intelligence reports that NDFB and ULFA militants would carry out subversive activities. The militants have brought in huge quantities of RDX and other explosives in the region, official sources said quoting the reports.
The explosives were suspected to have been brought to Guwahati, Goalpara or South Kamrup and search operations have been intensified in these areas. Security measures have been intensified in sensitive areas, particularly railway tracks, stations, bus depots, oil refineries and other vital installations.
India’s biggest Travel & Tourism Fair, TTF opens in Kolkata
Kolkata, 31 July : India’s biggest travel mart- The Travel and Tourism Fair or TTF- opened at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here with over 300 participants from across India and seven countries.
The three-day Fair was inaugurated by West Bengal Tourism Minister Manabendra Mukherjee. Continuing the trend of more and more international destinations now looking at Kolkata and Eastern India as an important market, Cambodia and Korea are participating in TTF Kolkata for the first time, as Featured Countries.
Other countries that are represented in TTF Kolkata are Bhutan, China, Dubai (UAE), Egypt, and Nepal. This is a clear indication about the growth of Kolkata’s importance as an outbound market, in addition to it being one of India’s biggest markets of domestic tourists. West Bengal Tourism is the host state of TTF Kolkata.

Assam gets ninth 'Armed Forces Tribunal' in country
PTI, Guwahati, 31 July : The regional bench of Armed Forces Tribunal was inaugurated here today by Tribunal Chairman Justice A K Mathur to address the grievances of the armed forces personnel.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Mathur said the tribunal, the ninth in the country, would ensure that army personnel receive justice at the earliest. "The tribunal will help in quicker disposal of cases and will give easy accessibility for armed forces personnel," he said.

Bangladesh Law Minister hints banning Jamaat politics
UNB, Dhaka, 31 July : Bangladesh Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed Saturday gave a broad hint at banning the politics of Jamaat but hastened to add that the Election Commission will decide whether or not it would cancel registration of any religion-based political party.
“The EC is a constitutional body and it will uphold the supremacy of the Constitution,” he told reporters at CIRDAP when asked whether Jamaat politics will be banned or not.
Two NLFT insurgents surrender in North Tripura district
PTI, Agartala, 31 July : Two insurgents of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) surrendered to police in North Tripura district after fleeing from the NLFT's base camp in Chittagong Hill Tract, police sources said today.
The insurgents identified as Falgunjoy Tripura and Parjoy Tripura sureendered to the officer-in-charge of Kanchanpur in North Tripura district yesterday, police said. The duo did not deposit any arm or ammunition.

Successful kidney transplantation in Dhaka MC Hospital
Dhaka, 31 July : The doctors successfully transplanted the kidney of a youth free of cost for the fist time in the history of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
The operation was conducted by a team of expert surgeons of the Urology Department of DMCH and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) under the supervision of Nephrology Department of the DMC, a press release said. The Anesthesiology Department of BSMMU and DMCH cooperated to conduct the operation. The kidney receiver Jubair, 23 and his brother kidney donor Sohel were normal under the observation of Nephrology Department of DMCH after operation, which took place on 25 July.
Dr Md Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, head of Nephrology department of DMCH said they conducted a successful operation of kidney transplantation.

Andaman Islands to get modern sports infrastructure : LG
UNI, Port Blair, 31 July : Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Bhopinder Singh has asserted that the remote islands would be getting as many as three major sports installations very soon.
Referring to the steps being taken for creation of sports infrastructure facilities in the islands, he said concerted efforts are being made for the promotion of sports in a big way. ''In tune with this, construction of a full-fledged International standard football stadium with the help of AIFF and FIFA is under progress at JNRM complex of Andaman and Nicobar islands,'' the Lt Governor said addressing the felicitation ceremony organised by the Department of SAC to honour the sportspersons of the islands who have won medals at national level during the year 2008-09, at Port Blair on Friday evening.
He said a modern sports complex is also coming up at remote Car Nicobar. Plans are also affot to develop similar sports complex at Mayabunder Island of North Andaman, he said. Underscoring the need for developing sports culture in the islands, he said efforts will be made to form sports academy in different places in the islands.
Revenue min Bhumidhar Barman to be in charge of Assam
Guwahati, 31 July : Assam revenue minister Bhumidar Barman will be in charge of the state till Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi returned to the state after heart surgery in Mumbai.
Gogoi was scheduled to undergo a bypass heart surgery and aortic valve replacement at Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai on 4 August, the sources said.
Santu Larma seeks special governing system in CHT area
BSS, Rangamati, 31 July : Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Regional Council Chairman Jyotirindra Bodhiprio Larma alias Santu Larma called upon the government to introduce a special governing system in the CHT region by amending the constitution.
He said a 'different reality' would surely emerge in the region, if the High Court (HC) verdict scrapping the CHT Council Act is upheld by the Supreme Court. Therefore, the government would have to take initiatives to amend the constitution to make the CHT Council Act and CHT District Council Act effective.

Poor facilities washing away Cherrapunjee's tourism luck
IANS, Cherrapunjee (Meghalaya), 31 July : Dotted with waterfalls cascading over deep gorges, this town - renamed Sohra - is famous the world over as the wettest place on earth due to its magical rains. But lack of facilities have prompted some to dub it as a "third class tourist destination".
"Cherrapunjee is a third class tourist destination. I feel tourists visiting Cherrapunjee are being cheated," H.T. Sangliana, vice chairman of the National Minority Commission, told IANS. Cherrapunjee is based on the edge of a plateau on the southern slopes in the East Khasi Hills district. Located 1,290 metres above sea level and 56 km from state capital Shillong, it is known to receive the highest rainfall in the world.
This town records an average rainfall of 12,000 mm a year, with the maximum occurring over the southern slopes of the Khasi Hills. The highest recorded total annual rainfall was 24,555 mm in 1974.
Heavy rains have created rare bio-diverse vegetation here and made the town a high point of tourism in the state. But infrastructure for tourists are woefully lacking. The town has just 25 rooms for visitors and poor toilet facilities. Sangliana, MP, a former Indian Police Service officer, said the road leading to Cherrapunjee is in an awful condition.
"It's awful. There are no proper public toilets and very few hotels. There is no afforestation and no flower beds. Tourists are being cheated, they come for something and are getting nothing," Sangliania added. Tourism Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh disagreed with the criticism.

Friday, July 30, 2010

CEC Quraishi rules out advancing assembly polls in West Bengal

PTI, New Delhi, 30 July : India's Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi on Friday said there was no question of advancing Assembly elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu as time for the polls was still away. "Nothing in the radar. We come into the picture only six months before the due date. Before that we have no locus standi at all." the CEC said when asked whether the poll panel would advance elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
Quraishi also said, Assembly elections in West Bengal are due on 11 June, 2011. "Before 11 December, we are not in the picture at all," he said.
Though Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has been insisting on early polls in West Bengal citing "breakdown" of law and order. A File Cartoon By CPI(M)

After food & fuel prices, Power bills to soar after tariff hike
Kolkata, 30 July : The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) announced a hike in power tariff on Friday. An average urban household consuming 200 to 300 units in the CESC area will have to shell out between Rs 30 and Rs 61.50 more. The hike in state electricity board areas is higher, with the extra charges varying between Rs 162 and Rs 267. This includes arrears WBERC allows the utilities to realise from consumers within eight months. The hike is effective from April 2010.
In the process, the CESC will mop up Rs 150 crore and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd a whopping Rs 600 crore in the 2011-12 financial year. The hike in the state electricity board area comes to an average of 44 paise per unit. The 25 lakh-odd CESC consumers in Kolkata and parts of Howrah and Hooghly will have to bear an average tariff hike of 17 paise per unit.

Bangladesh defence team visit Ind's Western Air Command
New Delhi, 30 July : A 28-member Bangladeshi defence college team today visited the Western Air Command (WAC) headquarters at Subroto Park to study the command structure, roles and responsibility of the IAF's sword arm.
Led by Bangladesh National Defence College Chief Instructor of Armed Forces War Course Wing, Brigadier General Sohel Ahmed, the delegation met WAC chief Air Marshal N A K Browne and held discussions on areas of mutual interest, training and cooperation. "The delegation was also briefed on the roles and responsibilities of Western Air Command," an IAF press release said here.

RM garment workers riot over wages
AFP, Dhaka, 30 July : Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers who stitch clothes for top Western brands blocked highways, attacked factories and looted shops in Dhaka on Friday, after rejecting a government wage hike.

Violent protests - including widespread looting and arson - broke out in multiple locations across the capital, police said, forcing factories to close as riot police struggled to disperse crowds with baton charges and tear gas. In the central district of Mohokhali around 3,000 workers attacked police, stoned factories and blocked a flyover, said local police chief Abdur Rob. "We have the situation under control, but there are still protests erupting in other parts of the city," Rob said, adding that several factories in his area had been seriously damaged.
On Tuesday, the government said it would raise the minimum monthly wage for garment workers from 1,662 taka - the lowest industry salary worldwide - to 3,000 taka (43 dollars). Some unions had demanded 5,000 taka.
Thousands of workers also blocked the city's main Tejgaon link road. They pulled down steel gates protecting nearby factories, smashed windows and machinery and vandalised cars, police said. At least 5,000 protestors rampaged through Dhaka's up-market Gulshan area, where many embassies and foreign aid groups have their offices. Photos : Reuters, AP READ BBC STORY

Fundamental principles of policy to return after SC verdict
UNB, Dhaka, 30 July : Bangladesh Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed has said fundamental principles of the State as envisaged in the Constitution would return with the Supreme Court verdict that scrapped of the 5th amendment as illegal.
“People were inspired to join the liberation war to establish non-communal society and secularism was the main pillar of the four State principles,” he said at the biennial conference of Mahanagar Sarbojonin Puja Committee in Dhakeswari Jatiya Mandir premises.
Landmine blast in Assam, Five troopers killed, 41 injured
Guwahati, Kolkata, 30 July : At least five paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and 41 injured, four of them critically, in a powerful landmine explosion on Friday in Holmari in Assam's Goalpara district. Militants, suspected to be from the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), triggered a landmine blast around 8 am when around 20 CRPF troopers were returning in a bus from an anti-insurgency training camp. Though BBC have reported that Assam's main rebel group, United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), has claimed responsibility. From Guwahati, our correspondent Chinmoy Roy said, ULFA’s Publicity wing’s member Anu Buragohain claims the responsibility of the blast.
The landmine was planted in the middle of a road surrounded on either side by thick forests in Goalpara district, about 130 km from Guwahati. Photo : Chinmoy Roy READ BBC STORY

Bangladesh's DAE promotes jute's Ribbon Retting Method
Fibre2fashion, Dhaka, 30 July : Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has planned a program to promote the Ribbon Retting Method amongst farmers so as to separate ribbon from jute sticks and rot the same in holes, to get the desired golden fibre.
As per DAE around 75,000 jute farmers will be roped under this program and they would be given 7,500 ribbon retting machines, required basic training, financial assistance, equipments and technological support.
Further explaining the process, a DAE official said that, firstly raw ribbon will be separated from the jute sticks with the help of ribbon retting machines. Then the separated ribbon will be soaked in water in polythene to rot it properly. READ FULL STORY

Centre should hold talks with other parties in Darjeeling
PTI, Siliguri, 30 July : The Centre and the West Bengal government's move to hold tripartite talks with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha would not solve the Darjeeling problem, as it was not the sole authority, a political party opposed to the GJM said today.
Central committee member of the All India Gorkha League Pratap Khati told reporters here that the Centre should hold talks with his party and others active in the hills if it was interested to establish peace.Instead, the Centre and state government were holding talks with those named in the FIR in the killing of the party's leader Madan Tamang, he alleged.

Urgent need to improve tea quality in Tripura: Atonu Baruah
Agartala, 30 July : There is an urgent need to improve the quality of tea produced in Tripura if local planters want to tap its full potential, Atonu Baruah, Managing Director of Associated Brokers Private Ltd, said.
Baruah, who is here to conduct first ever Tea Tasting Session here today, said that finished tea in Tripura is good but it still lags behind when it comes to quality. In Assam and Cachar region, tea planters stress on quality to catch the national and international markets. But here, I found planters focus on appearance instead of quality, he pointed out. Baruah said the need of the hour is to produce quality tea so that planters could get good price of their products. If the planters get good price, the beleaguered industry will get a new lease of life, he said.
On organizing first ever Tea Tasting Session here, Baruah said that the main objective is to exhort the planters about their shortcomings in products and how they can improve the quality.

World Cup Football star Diego Forlan arrives in Kolkata
Kolkata, 30 July : Wildly cheered by hundreds of football fans, Uruguayan star footballer Diego Forlan, the golden ball winner in the recently held World Cup - arrived in the city Friday on a three-day tour to take part in a soccer reality show organised by a private channel.
Forlan, who played a stellar role in carrying two-time World Cup champions Uruguay to their first World Cup semi-final in four decades, touched down at the NSC Bose International Airport in the morning to the cheers of soccer aficionados, who patiently waited for hours for a glimpse of the Athletico Madrid player.
The 31-year-old Forlan, who struck five goals in the South Africa World Cup, would take part in a football talent hunt show to be aired by the Mahuaa Bangla channel. While Kolkata has hosted legendary footballers like Pele, Diego Maradona, Lothar Matthaus, Oliver Kahn, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Gerd Muller, Romario and Branco in the past.
Bangladesh, India join global move to save 'Bengal Tigers'
Dhaka, 30 July : Bangladesh and India, home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, will attend the 13-nation Tiger Conservation Summit in St. Petersburg in September to plan out urgent measures to save the species.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may attend the meeting of the Tiger Range Countries (TRC) - Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, The Daily Star reported Friday. Currently, half of the entire Royal Bengal tiger population of over 2,000 is in 56 forest areas in India.

The tiger is treated as one of the most critically endangered animals fast disappearing from the world. If all the six sub-species are taken togther, there are estimated to be just about 3,200 tigers left, down from around 100,000 in 1900. Experts, however, predict tigers will be extinct in the next century if strong measures are not taken to save them. The Balinese tiger, Javanese tiger and Caspian tiger have already become extinct. Now there are six sub-species: Amur, Indochinese, Malayan, Royal Bengal, South China and Sumatran.
Despite frequent natural calamities, worsening environment and growing salinity in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh is the only country now that claims the number of tigers has recently risen in the forests. The Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans, a stretch of 6,017 sq km of forest, is officially home to 450 tigers.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Central forces would remain in Junglemahal: WB CM Buddhadeb

Kolkata, 29 July : Rejecting Trinamool Congress demand for withdrawal of central forces from the Maoist-dominated districts in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said they would remain there till their work was complete.
Replying to questions in the state Assembly, he said 3,500 personnel of central forces, currently in 'jungle mahal' (West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts), would leave only after their work was over. Bhattacharjee said he had discussed the matter with the Centre which, he said, held a similar view. Without specifying the area where peace had returned following operations by the joint forces, the chief minister said a qualitative difference has been noticed at Goaltore and Salboni (in West Midnapore district).
Some success has also been noticed in other areas, he said. A large number of Maoists operating in jungle mahal now want to surrender, Bhattacharjee said adding government will provide Rs 1.50 lakh in fixed deposits, besides a monthly fund of Rs 2000 and other benefits to each surrendered Maoists.

Will overcome Maoist problem in 3 years : P Chidambaram
PTI, New Delhi, 29 July : The government on Thursday said it was confident of overcoming the Maoist problem in the next three years and had prepared a two-pronged strategy of initiating development and police action in the affected areas.
Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the ministry of home affairs, home minister P Chidambaram expressed confidence that the challenge of left wing extremism would be met jointly by the central and state governments. "The government was confident that the problem of left wing extremism would be overcome in the next three years," he said.
West Bengal public transport operators call three-day strike
Kolkata, 29 July : West Bengal's bus, minibus and taxi operators Thursday announced a three-day strike from 10 August to protest against the state government's decision not to increase fares after the recent fuel price hike.
"It is impossible for us to run buses as the expenditure has increased substantially. We are going on a strike from 10 to 12 August as the government is unwilling to increase the bus fares even after the fuel price hike," said Sadhan Das, president, Joint Council of Bus Syndicates. However, the operators said they would withdraw the strike call if the government accepted their demand by 10 August.
B'desh apex court wants safeguards against 'military rule'
IANS, Dhaka, 29 July : Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has denounced the declaration of martial law in the past and has sought safeguards to end “extra-constitutional adventures”.
Bangladesh underwent radical political and constitutional changes during a 15-year period between August 1975 and December 1990 when martial law was promulgated and the country had a series of military-led governments. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in a landmark 186 page ruling upheld a 2005 High Court verdict that had declared the fifth amendment to the constitution illegal. The apex court’s order was placed on the website Wednesday.
“We are putting on record our total disapproval of martial law and suspension of the constitution or any part thereof in any form,” said the apex court. “The perpetrators of such illegalities should also be suitably punished and condemned so that in future no adventurist, no usurper, would dare to defy the people, their constitution, their government, established by them with their consent,” the apex court concluded.
It also said military rule was wrongly justified in the past, and it should not be justified in future on any ground. “Let us bid farewell to all kinds of extra constitutional adventure forever,” it observed. File Photo : AFP
US funds for setting up new galleries in Rabindra museum
Kolkata, 29 July : The US government will provide funds to the tune of Rs 15 lakh to the Rabindra Bharati museum for setting up two new galleries, including an 'America gallery' dedicated to the bard's visits to the US. The funds would be utilised for finishing the entire project by May seven next year, coinciding with the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore, sources in the Rabindra Bharati university said.
US consul-general in Kolkata Beth A Payne will formally hand over the cheque to the University Vice-Chancellor Karuna Sindhu Das tomorrow.
Assembly passes Bill to ensure patients' right to treatment
Kolkata, 29 July : A Bill was passed in the West Bengal Assembly on Thursday to prevent unethical practices in clinical establishments and ensure a patient's right to treatment.
Replying to a debate on the West Bengal Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill 2010, the State's Health Minister Dr Surya Kanta Mishra said that private hospitals and nursing homes will, according to the new legislation, have to admit a patient without waiting for the patient's party to pay.
Reang refugee numbers may spoil Tripura - Mizoram talks
IANS, Agartala, 29 July : A dispute over the number of Mizoram tribal refugees sheltered in Tripura for 13 years might create a fresh imbroglio between the two northeastern states, officials said here Thursday.
A survey sponsored by the Mizoram government says the total number of refugees is 27,261 while the Tripura government says the figure is 40,504. “Disagreement over the number of refugees might create a serious impasse and an uneasy situation over refugee repatriation,” a top Tripura official said on condition of anonymity. Since October 1997, Reang tribal refugees, locally called Bru, have taken shelter in six camps in north Tripura’s Kanchanpur sub-division, adjacent to Mizoram. They fled western Mizoram after ethnic clashes with the majority Mizos over the killing of a Mizo forest official.
“After the repatriation of 1,133 refugees to Mizoram in May, the total number of refugee families are 6,224 comprising 40,504 men, women and children,” Shiva Prasad Biswas, the Tripura government’s relief, rehabilitation and disaster management department director, told IANS.

Gas production at Raniganj CBM block by Sept : Essar Oil
PTI, New Delhi, 29 July : Essar Oil today said it will begin gas production from its Raniganj CBM block in West Bengal by September and will achieve peak output in late 2012.
"Production will begin this quarter... Either by end- August or early September," EOL Head of E&P Shishir Agrawal told reporters here. The Raniganj coal bed methane (CBM) block will produce 90,000-100,000 cubic metres per day of gas initially and will touch a peak output of 3.5 million standard cubic metres per day by the fourth quarter of the 2012 calendar year, he said. EOL is investing $300 million for CBM gas production.
Family refuses to accept body of PCPA leader Sidhu Soren
ANI, Midnapore, 29 July : The Family of Sidhu Soren Maoist leader and General Secretary of the People Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) in west Midnapore district has refused to accept his body.
Soren along with five other rebels were killed in a gun battle with the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the state police in the dense Goaltor forests on Monday. Sidhu Soren was also the head of Sidhu-Kanhu Gana Militia. Family members of Soren are accusing the security forces of wrongfully killing Soren.
"If the police come, I want to ask them why they killed him. They (Police) should have broken his arms and legs rather than killing him. They should have fired below his knee. They are well aware of the law and court of justice. What did he do? How many people did he kill? Give me proof," said Jamadar Baskey, father of Sidhu.
Soren was wanted in several cases of murder, kidnapping and for setting several police stations in the area on fire. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also recovered from the forest area after the encounter. File Photo : AFP

At least 42 dead in southern Bangladesh floods, landslide
AFP, Dhaka, 29 July : At least 42 people have been killed by landslides and flash floods in southern Bangladesh and dozens more are missing, police and local officials said.
In the worst affected area of Teknaf - which is on the border with Myanmar and home to tens of thousands of ethnic Rohingya refugees - at least 25 people were killed and six missing, local official A.N.M Nazim Uddin told AFP. The countrys flood warning centre said that most of the countrys southeast had experienced heavy rainfall during the past 24 hours, with 24.2 centimetres (9.5 inches) falling in many areas.
“Tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in makeshift camps on the hills around Teknaf have been affected by the floods,” he added. “All the roads are under water. We cant reach areas where thousands of people are trapped by the floods,” he said by phone.
'Kolkata Fashion Week' organizer faces cheating case
Kolkata, 29 July : Sports and event management company Mindscape Maestro, which organized the 2009 Kolkata Fashion Week (KFW), has been sued by the modeling agency Elite Model Management on charges of cheating. It has filed a FIR against Yudhajit Dutta, Pratik Sen, and Randeb Paul, the directors of Mindscape.
According to a statement by Elite, the case is registered under the section 420 with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
Northeast to have its own fashion event
PTI, Kolkata, 29 July : In an effort to place the north-east on the country's fashion map, a three-day extravaganza will be held next month in Guwahati where top national designers and models are expected to participate.
The first of its kind, 'North East Fashion Weekend', which begins on 11 August, will feature the works of designers originating from the north-east along with ace designers like Ritu Kumar and Wendell Rodericks. "It is an opportunity to present the talent that has largely been restricted to the region so far. The event aims to bring out the best of the Northeast and give it a national platform," Paramita Saha, CEO of Arts Forward, the organisers of the event, told PTI.
The event will enable the business of fashion to prosper in an area that is rich in local textile traditions, heritage weaves and tribal inspirations.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

West Bengal announces surrender cum rehab plan for Maoists

Kolkata, 28 July : The West Bengal government Wednesday announced a surrender-cum-rehabilitation policy for the Maoists with immediate effect.
As per the package, based on guidelines formulated by the union home ministry, surrendering Maoists would get a monthly stipend of Rs.2,000 for a period of three years, while the state government would make a fixed deposit of Rs.1.5 lakh for three years for each. Once the fixed deposit matures, the entire money would be handed over to the rebel if he shows good conduct for three years. "We are also prepared to give them loans for doing business before the fixed deposit matures. The fixed deposit amount would be the security," said Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh.
Officers of the level of additional director general of police (ADGP) and inspector general would monitor the package, while the Left-wing extremists could surrender before a district magistrate, police superintendent or other senior officials. The state government would also provide compensation amount to Maoists for surrendering weapons.
"If they surrender a machine gun they get Rs.25,000. For an AK-47, they get Rs.15,000. Rs.3,000 will be given for surrendering a revolver or a landmine. For every kilogram of explosive we will will pay Rs.1,000," the police chief said. And if they deposit a satellite phone, Rs.10,000 will be provided, he added.

Bangladesh's garment labour unions welcome 'wage hike'
AFP, Dhaka, 28 July : Leading Bangladeshi trade unions said Wednesday millions of garment workers would accept a proposed 80-percent increase in their minimum wage, raising hopes of an end to months of violent protests.
The government said Tuesday it would raise the minimum wage from 1,662 taka, the lowest industry salary worldwide, to 3,000 taka (43 dollars) - below the 5,000 taka demanded by some unions. "A majority of unions have welcomed the wage board decision," said Shamsun Nahar Bhuiyan, a union representative who sat on an emergency wage board looking into the issue. "We feel that we have scored a victory. Obviously we would have liked more, but we are aware of the realities and we don't want to destroy Bangladesh's competitiveness," she told AFP.
Bangladesh's Labour Minister is expected to make a formal announcement of the wage hike on Thursday. Photo : UNB, AFP
Another died, 9 more new swine flu cases in West Bengal
Kolkata, 28 July : A 61-year-old woman died of swine flu here on Wednesday, taking the total deaths due to the A(H1NI) virus infection in West Bengal to two.
Earlier, another person had died of the flu on 20 July. Nine new positive cases of swine flu were detected in the State on the day. The total number of swine flu-afflicted patients in the State stand at 81 since 1 July. According to the State health department's swine flu wing, condition of four of the patients is critical and is being constantly monitored. Dr. Asit Biswas, nodal officer of the swine flu wing, said that 26 out of the 82 affected patients are undergoing treatment at the Beliaghata ID Hospital.
Tripura boy Somdev enters ATP Farmer Classic 2nd round
PTI, Los Angeles (USA), 28 July : Tripura boy Somdev Devvarman advanced to the second round of the USD 619,500 Farmers Classic singles event with a straight set victory over local qualifier Steve Johnson here.
Somdev, who made it to the main draw through a qualifier, beat his American opponent 6-4 6-4 in the first round match which lasted one and half hours. The Indian, currently ranked 103rd in the world, was clearly the dominating player but had to dig deep into his reserves to win long rallies against his opponent, ranked outside the 1000 bracket.
He faces sixth seed and world number 45 Serbian Janko Tipsaveric in the second round.

WestBengal govt to provide OBC reservation in panchayats
PTI, Kolkata, 28 July : West Bengal Government will soon provide reservation to the people under OBC category in panchayat administration and asked the Centre to initiate steps for similar reservation in other states.
In a written statement in the state Assembly today, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister, Anisur Rahaman informed that the state government would soon amend the West Bengal Panchayat Act to grant reservation to OBC people. He said identification of a section of OBC people in the state had already been done. The process of further identification was on by the OBC Commission and more people would be included in the list before its final announcement. Inclusion of the OBCs in the three-tier panchayati administration was essential for the development of these people and their areas, he said.
Apart from the members of three-tier panchayati raj system, the state government would also seek reservation of OBCs for the post of chairperson in panchayat bodies. The number of posts to be reserved for OBCs would be finalised on the basis of OBC population in the area, he said.

Move on to activate 'SAARC Food Bank' for food security
Dhaka, 28 July : Steps are being taken to activate the 'SAARC Food Bank' in a bid to ensure food security in member countries.
The next meeting of the organisation, to be held at Dhaka on 27-28 October, will decide on the next course of action. Bangladesh food minister Abdur Razzaque revealed this on Tuesday at a meeting regarding preparation for the 'SAARC Food Bank' meeting at the food and disaster management ministry's conference room. The upcoming meeting is to be attended by representatives from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He also said that all problems regarding the food bank's activation would be solved in the meeting.
Elaborating on the food bank's purpose, Razzaque said, "It will provide regional support to national food security efforts, foster inter-country partnerships and regional integration, and solve regional food shortages through collective action." Photo : PTI

Fresh water dolphin found dead in Gomati river in Tripura
Agartala, 28 July : A fresh water dolphin was found dead from the banks of the river Gomati in South Tripura district, officials said here today.
Villager Abul Kasem spotted the dolphin weighing about 200kg yesterday after which a team from the forest department took away the carcass.The dolphin might have swum down the backwater from river Padma in Bangladesh and died here due to lower water level, Chief Wildlife Warden Dr A K Gupta said.This is for the first that the mammal species was found in a Tripura river.
Kala Azar affects 252+ people in Malda district this year
Malda, Kolkata, July : At least 252 people have been afflicted by Kala Azar in Malda district this year, a medical officer said Wednesday.
“Six to seven blocks in Malda district are prone to Kala Azar. This year 252 people have been affected,” Chief Medical Officer of Health (Malda) Srikanta Roy told IANS over phone. However, locals claimed that more than 300 people have been laid low by the disease caused by a parasite, Leishmania donovani, in the last one month.
The potentially fatal disease affects the internal organs, particularly the liver, spleen, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Roy said that between January and June, 150 people tested positive for Kala Azar. “We conducted door-to-door survey between 21 June and 5 July and detected 102 more patients,” he added. Roy said special medical teams have been set up for treating the patients.

No threat from Trinamool Congress in Andaman: Congress
Port Blair, 28 July : Andaman and Nicobar Territorial Congress Committee president Kuldeep Rai Sharma ruled out any threat from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to the Congress in the Islands, saying no leader from the Congress would join the TMC.
''The Congress is united from North Andaman to Campbell Bay Island. Those who are truly the Congress workers or leaders will not join the Trinamool Congress. It will be for one's personal benefit, one will be joining that party,'' Sharma told newspersons here.
Assam CM Gogoi to undergo openheart surgery in Mumbai
PTI, Guwahati, 28 July : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, recuperating in a hospital in Delhi, will undergo an open-heart surgery in Mumbai.
"His condition is stable and he is having a normal diet. But he is not discharging official duties," the chief minister's press advisor Deba Bora told PTI. 77-year-old Gogoi was taken ill on Saturday at the meeting of the National Development Council in New Delhi and was subsequently admitted to a private hospital where he was diagnosed to have two heart blockages that needed open-heart surgery.
India's biggest "Travel and Tourism Fair" from 31st July
Kolkata, 28 July : Cambodia and Korea are the two new countries that would participate for the first time in the annual Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF), India's biggest travel mart, beginning here from Saturday at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
The 3-day event, which is a much awaited fixture on the travel industry calendar, will bring together more than 300 participants from all over India, including representations from 26 states and seven countries, under one roof. The countries represented in TTF Kolkata include Cambodia and Korea (participating in TTF Kolkata for the first time), China, Dubai, Egypt, Bhutan, and Nepal, said a release by the organizers. Among the major state tourism participants are Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Kerala.
TTF Kolkata provides a platform to the travel and tourism industry from all India and abroad to reach out to the travel trade, potential tourists and business travellers in the Eastern Region. At TTF, tourists and business travelers can look forward to information on thousands of destinations, attractive hotel rates and best deals in package tours. File Photo

President condoles BNP secretary general Bhuiyan's death
Dhaka, 28 July : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman has mourned death of the former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, who died of lung cancer on Wednesday.
He also prayed for the departed soul and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family. In a separate message, post and telecommunications minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju said: "The void created in the political arena following his death cannot be filled."

Kolkata hosts national civil engineering skills competition
Kolkata, 28 July : About 50 students of civil engineering from across the country are participating in a national competition here yesterday to showcase their design skills.
The competition is being organised by Institute for Steel Development and Growth (INSDAG), a non-profit body established by the Steel Ministry. Speaking on the occasion, INSDAG director general Sushim Banerjee said rapidly changing developments in the field of civil engineering have generated the need for young and trained engineers, particularly in the research and development area.
Hindi flim KHJJS: Masterda Surjya Sen storm period thriller
Chittagong, Kolkata, 28 July : Zoom into flashback mode and discover a duo of dons, molls and the underbelly of the underworld set in the 1970s, with 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai'. Delve further and...you'll be rewarded with 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey', a period thriller based on the Chittagong Uprising Of the 1930s, helmed by Ashutosh Gowariker and patterned on the book 'Do And Die' by Manini Chatterjee.
Abhishek Bachchan (as Master Da Surjya Sen) and Deepika Padukone (as Kalpana Dutta) pair up under the hawk eyed guidance of Gowariker to unveil a saga of grit and defiant bravery, slated to illumine cinemas on 3 December, 2010. Once Abhishek Bachchan enacting Surjya Sen and Deepika Padukone essaying Kalpana Dutta had been pencilled into the project, the search was on through extensive auditions to rope in artistes who could imbibe and reflect the very essence of each of Sen’s team of revolutionaries, bringing these forgotten patriots to life on screen. Their role in the uprising was defined by their personalities, which were varying in attributes.
Master Da Surjya Sen with his team of revolutionaries led the attack on five centres of British power in the town of Chittagong (then a part of undivided India) on the night of 18th April, 1930. The revolutionaries complemented Surjya Sen's leadership and each became an integral part of the attack. Photos courtesy : Bolly Spice

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bangladesh to buy 250mw power from India,opposition angered

IANS, Dhaka, 27 July : In a “landmark deal” between once bickering neighbours, Bangladesh has signed a 35-year power transmission agreement with India to import 250 megawatt of electricity from late 2012, a move that drew flak from opposition parties.
Representatives of the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed the deal Monday evening, Daily Star newspaper reported. Describing it as “a landmark deal”, it said top ministers and officials of the Bangladesh government witnessed the ceremony. This deal has taken place following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s New Delhi visit in January when India pledged to help Bangladesh with infrastructure, trade, connectivity and a soft loan of $1 billion.
The agreement keeps the provision for Bangladesh to export power to India in the future, and the transmission system will have the capacity to exchange 500 MW of power soon after the system is launched. “This is a small step for Bangladesh and India, but a giant leap for regional cooperation,” said Hasina’s energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury.

Pro-Maoist group to observe ‘martyr’s week’ for slain Sidhu
Kolkata, 27 July : Vowing to avenge the death of Maoist Sidhu Soren, the pro-Maoist Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) and its militant wing has called a two-day shutdown across West Bengal starting 3 August and a week-long agitation programme to mourn the killing of their supreme commander.
Soren was among six Maoists gunned down by security forces during a fierce clash at the Metla forest under Goaltore police station Monday.
PCAPA spokesperson Manoj Mahato said a martyr’s week will be observed in West Midnapore’s Lalgarh and its adjacent areas between 29 July and 4 August in memory of Soren, the founder-member of PCAPA and its armed wing Sidhu Kanu Gana Militia.

UPA govt trying to corporatise agriculture: CM Manik Sarkar
Agartala, 27 July : Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar Tuesday accused the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi of trying to “corporatise” the agricultural sector in order to hand it over to a few people.
“Without land reforms India’s agricultural development is not possible. In the National Development Council (NDC) meeting, this vital issue was not raised by any chief minister, central minister or the prime minister except by Tripura,” CM said.
Sarkar was speaking after inaugurating northeast India’s first private sector bio-fertilizer plant in west Tripura’s Radha Kishore Nagar, 15 km north of Agartala. The plant, with over 600 metric tonnes initial production capacity, was set up at a cost of Rs.20 million without government support.
Sarkar said: “As land is a most productive resource, it should be utilised properly. Land reforms, as a tool for equitable distribution and productive use of an economic asset, should be given the highest priority with an aim of providing land to the actual tillers instead of confining it in fewer hands in the name of corporatisation of agriculture.” Referring to the bio-fertiliser plant, he also said: “In many parts of the world, bio fertilizer-based food products are most valued and in real terms it has ten times higher value than products grown through chemical fertilizers.” File Photo

BD H court rejects Jamaat challenge to war tribunal judges
IANS, Dhaka, 27 July : The High Court here Tuesday summarily rejected a writ petition challenging the appointment of two judges to Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal set up for trying the 1971 'war crimes'.
The challenge came from a lawyer, who is a senior member of the Jamaat-e-Islami whose top brass has been arraigned before the tribunal that began its work Sunday. Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami, secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and senior assistant secretary generals Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla are the first batch of those being brought to trial for targeting unarmed civilians during the freedom movement.
They are accused of belonging to Islamist militia Al Badr that engaged in rape, loot and murder of the sympathisers of the freedom movement and religious minorities.

Mamata to declare launch of Trinamool in Andaman: TMC
UNI, Port Blair, 27 July : Trinamool Congress today declared that party chief Mamata Banerjee will launch TMCs Andaman Branch within this week at Kolkata.
''Manoranjan Bhakta former Member of Parliament of Andaman and Nicobar Islands will join TMC and will be Andaman Unit President,'' TMC General Secretary, West Bengal, Dr Biswapati Biswas told media persons during a press conference here. Talking to mediapersons before leaving for Kolkata after his three-day visit to the Islands, Mr Biswas said, Ms Banerjee will declare the launch of TMC in Andaman at Kolkata within this week. However, talking to UNI over phone from Kolkata, Manoranjan Bhakta said that he hasnt given his nod yet to TMC.

PCAPA leader involved in Gyaneshwari tragedy surrenders
Jhargram, 27 July : A pro-Maoist leader allegedly involved in the Gyaneshwari Express sabotage has surrendered in a Jhargram court, police said Tuesday.
Jiten Giri, a leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), was sent to 14 days judicial custody after he surrendered. He was allegedly involved in 10 cases including the 28 May Gyaneshwari Express sabotage, which led to the deaths of 148 people.

Central govt to assure 'NIT seats' for Andaman students
Port Blair, 27 July : The central government has agreed to look into the matter of discontinuation of reserved seats for students from Andaman and Nicobar Islands in NIT-Pondicherry, ANTCC president Kuldeep Rai Sharma said.
Andaman and Nicobar Territory Congress Committee (ANTCC) president Sharma said he met union HRD minister Kapil Sibal in New Delhi recently and had apprised him on the discontinuation of 44 reserved seats for the island students in the institute this year. "I told Sibal about the plight of the island students and he has assured me to look into the matter," he said. "When the decision to shift the NIT from Port Blair to Pondicherry was taken, it was decided that 44 seats in NIT-Pondicherry will be reserved for island students. But that has not been done this year," Sharma said.
Bishnupada Ray, MP of Andaman and Nicobar, demanded that an NIT should be established in Port Blair. (With PTI inputs)
Micro-credit pioneer Yunus to star on The Simpsons show
BBC News, Dhaka, 27 July : The Bangladeshi anti-poverty banker Muhammad Yunus is to feature in an episode of hit US TV show The Simpsons.
Mr Yunus's appearance will focus on his Grameen Bank and work on micro-credit, which has helped millions of people lift themselves out of poverty. The Nobel laureate's voice has already been recorded for the episode, which will air in October. READ FULL STORY

JSW Steel to start Salboni project by 2010-11 fiscal-end
Kolkata, 27 July : JSW Steel would start construction of its 10-million-tonne Salboni plant in West Bengal before the end of the current fiscal (2010-11), a top company official said Tuesday.
The company would be pumping in Rs.35,000-crore for the project in West Midnapur district. "The work of boundary wall has already started. We are doing the designing of the steel plant now. Construction of the plant would start before end of this fiscal," Sajjan Jindal, managing director, told reporters here through a video-conference from Mumbai.
He said three years would be required to complete the construction work of the plant from the day of ground breaking. Asked about the financial closure of the project, Jindal said: "We have not yet concluded financial closure for the Salboni project."

After over two decades, Cooch Behar airport set to take off
Kolkata, 27 July : After lying idle for over two decades, flight operations are expected to resume at Cooch Behar Airport in late August or early September. Though efforts to kickstart operations at the airport had failed three years ago when Air Deccan conducted a test flight but never went ahead with commercial operations, AAI regional executive director Gautam Mukherjee said he was hopeful that flights would begin within the next month or so.
"Non-scheduled flight operator Deccan Charter has applied to Director General of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India for a daily service between Kolkata and Cooch Behar with an 18-seater Beechcraft 1900 Delta aircraft. If the service becomes popular, they may introduce more flights and encourage other airlines who operate small aircraft to touch down at Cooch Behar," Mukherjee said. Deccan Charter's Kolkata pointsman said the Beechcraft would do one trip to Cooch Behar in the morning and three trips to Jamshedpur thereafter. "We hope to start next month. The fare structure is being worked out," he said.
Though the airline is yet to get a state government commitment for at least eight bookings per flight to make the operations viable, aviation industry experts said 48-seater ATR operations would be more viable as fares would be a lot lower than an 18-seater Beechcraft. "Trains to Cooch Behar are always packed. A lot of businessmen and traders will travel by plane if the fare isn't exorbitant," he said.
At present, the runway length is 1,069 m. AAI is adding 60 m and there is a proposal to increase it by a further 259 m to allow ATRs to operate comfortably. The last airline to operate a scheduled service to Cooch Behar was Vayudoot in the late 1980s. After that, the airport lay idle for a while before AAI expressed its intent to upgrade the airport in the mid-1990s.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Six Maoists, 1 CRPF trooper killed in West Midnapore gunfight

Jhargram, Kolkata, 26 July : In a setback to the Maoists, eight extremists, including a top leader and a woman, were gunned down on Monday by security forces in two operations in West Midnapore district.
Sidhu Soren, chief of the Sidhu-Kanhu Gana Militia - the armed wing of the Maoists-backed People Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), was among six Maoists killed during the raid by CRPF and Special Action Force on a Maoist hideout in dense forests in Golatore area in West Midnapore, which also left a commando of the specialised anti-Maoists force SAF dead.
"We have found six bodies, including of a woman cadre and Sidhu Soren, chief of the Sidhu-Kanhu Gana Militia, adding that the encounter stretched for four hours." West Midnapore Superintendent of Police Manoj Verma told Bengal Newz.
Special commando Ashish Tiwari, who was critically injured in the gunbattle, died while being taken to hospital. Photo : AFP
Four SSB personnel killed, three injured in lower Assam
PTI, Guwahati, 26 July : At least four Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) personnel were today killed and three others seriously injured in an encounter with National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) militants in lower Assam's Chirang district.
The personnel, who were on patrol, were attacked by the militants at around noon and an encounter followed at Amlaiguri under Bijni police station in which the casualties occurred, Additional Superintendent of Police P Langhang said. The injured were rushed to the Kokrajhar civil hospital.
Bangladesh indicts Jamaat Islami's 4leaders on war crimes
BBC News, Dhaka, 26 July : Bangladesh's war crimes tribunal, which is investigating the country's 1971 liberation struggle against Pakistan, has issued its first arrest warrants.
Court officials told the BBC the war crimes indictments targeted four leaders of Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami, already in custody. The tribunal was set up in March to try people accused of atrocities. Bangladesh was part of Pakistan until the nine-month war of secession, which left up to three million people dead. The four accused - Jamaat leader Motiur Rahman Nizami; his deputy Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid; and two other senior leaders, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Mollah - were detained last month on unrelated charges.
A senior court official, Mohammed Shahinur Islam, told the BBC on Monday the four would not be able to apply for bail under Monday's warrants. Jamaat-e-Islami accuses the government of using war crimes charges to try to curb the opposition party's activities. The next hearing in the case will be on 2 August. File cartoon courtesy : Daily Star READ FULL STORY

West Bengal govt to provide subsidy on diesel & kerosene
Kolkata, 26 July : West Bengal Finance Minister Dr Asim Dasgupta Monday announced that the state government would provide subsidy of Rs.110 crore on diesel and Rs.50 crore on kerosene.
Dr Dasgupta said in the Assembly that the government would provide subsidy of Re.1 a litre on diesel used for public transport in the state. He said the government would deposit the subsidy amount in the bank accounts of the taxi, bus and minibus operators every month. Subsidy to the public transport operators would be provided from 1 August. However, there would be no reduction in the retail price of diesel. At present, a litre of diesel in the state costs Rs.39.94.

Sangsad Bangladesh TVchannel goes on air by December
Dhaka, July : Much expected Sangsad Bangladesh, a new TV channel on parliamentary activities, is expected to go on air by December next.
This was informed by Information Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury while making a power point presentation on the project “Launching Developmental Channel in Bangladesh Television” to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office Monday afternoon.
New RMG wage structure on 29 July
Dhaka, 26 July : The new wage structure for Bangladesh's readymade garments workers will be announced on 29 July, the labour minister has said.
"The interests of the workers will be ensured in the new wage structure," Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told the media on Monday, after an inter-ministerial coordination meeting at the Secretariat. "We have time to finalise the structure by 28 July, but the Minimum Wage Board will finalise it on Monday," he said.

The meeting, held at the finance ministry, was headed by finance minister AMA Muhith with commerce minister Faruk Khan also present.
Six, including three schoolgirls, drown in Assam's rivers
Guwahati, 26 July : Six people, including three schoolgirls and three of a family, drowned Monday in Assam's rain-swollen rivers, police said.
Three school girls drowned and two went missing while they were taking a dip at Mangaldoi river near Mangaldoi town (about 80 km from here), a police spokesperson said. "As part of the Hindu festival of Bol Bom, crowds converged at the river bank to perform certain rituals when three girls drowned," the police official said.
Court ordered Fugitive BDRs' belongings to be "seized"
Dhaka, 26 July : A Dhaka court, on Monday, ordered the police to seize by 25 August the belongings of 21 fugitive BDR personnel, accused in the Peelkhana killing case.
SK Tofael Hasan, magistrate of the Dhaka's Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, gave the order after formally receiving the charge-sheet submitted on 12 July. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitted the charge-sheet accusing 824 people, including 21 fugitive BDR personnel, in the Peelkhana killings case.
Food poisoning affects 300 persons in East Midnapore Dist
Kanthi, 26 July : Over 300 persons fell victims to food poisoning at a religious function in East Midnapore District.
The victims consumed the religious offerings during a mass meal served at a gathering in Badalpur village on the Kanthi Block of the district on Saturday evening. “400 people were invited to a religious function and all of them were badly affected by food poisoning. We arranged some doctors and nurses for their treatment. 15 patients are already admitted at Kanthi Sub Divisional hospital, other patients will also be sent to hospital,” said Kanthi's Block Development Officer (BDO), Prasun Ghosh.
PCPA will protest against Mamata''s proposed Lalgarh rally
PTI, Kolkata, 26 July : Maoist-backed PCPA will protest against Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's proposed rally at Lalgarh next month to express sympathy for harassed villagers.
The organisation would mobilise people to protest against the proposed August nine rally and Mamata Banerjee's "double standard", People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) spokesman Monoj Mahato told PTI from an undisclosed location. "We vehemently protest against the proposed rally. She is trying to fish in troubled waters. We will never allow that to happen," Mahato said.
Rabindra Bharati Versity set to open campus in Fanshidewa
Kolkata, 26 July : Rabindra Bharati University is all set to throw it gates open to the students of North Bengal. The new campus of RBU is going to come up at Fanshidewa just 20 km from Siliguri. Classes for the first batch will start from the end of July.
"Initially, masters courses on visual arts and performing arts will be offered. Later, we plan to introduce Rabindrasangeet and other vocals. Gradually, we will start bachelor of fine arts courses in the undergraduate section on our north Bengal campus," said Rabindra Bharati vice-chancellor Karuna Sindhu Das. The reason why the authorities have planned a campus in the region is to cater to the demands of students spread across the northeast, North Bengal and the neighbouring countries. "There are a few good institutions in the region offering performing arts and visual arts courses. Very recently, Tripura University started some such courses. There is also another institute in Dibrugarh. Rabindra Bharati University has a tradition of teaching such courses for the past 50 years. As a result, we wanted our presence in the region," said the V-C.
He further pointed out that as quite a few students of the university come from the northeast, North Bengal and countries such as Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh, RBU wanted to set up a campus close to their respective homes. "This is also being done to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore," said Das.