|| Bengal Newz (Bengali: বেঙ্গল নিউজ) is the first 24X7 online English language news daily portal - exclusively dedicated to entire Bengali speaking region and the world. ||

Friday, December 31, 2010

President, PM greeted all on the occasion of "New Year, 2011"

UNB, Dhaka, 31 December : Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted all, including the countrymen, on the occasion of New Year 2011.
In a message, President Zillur Rahman said the importance of English New Year is essential as the use of English calendar in our daily and national life is inseparable. In another messages, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the last year will remain ever shining in our national life regarding socio-economic development, establishment of rule of law, achievement of development in ICT sector and inspiration of nation to the spirit of great Liberation War.
Both the President and Prime Minister hoped that the New Year would bring welfare, happiness, progress and peace for all of us.

100WB tourists stranded in Himachal Pradesh due to snow
IANS, Shimla, 31 December : Over 100 tourists, mostly from West Bengal, have been stranded in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district after roads were closed due to heavy snowfall, an official said here Friday.
All of the tourists are fine but there is an acute shortage of food and necessary items. "Around 100 tourists have been stranded at Kalpa town since yesterday as most of the road links have been closed due to heavy snowfall," a government official posted at Rekong Peo, the district headquarters town, told IANS over phone. He said the area recorded more than five feet of snow in the past two days. "There is an acute shortage of food. There is no electricity and the communication system has been badly hit," he added. The picturesque Kalpa, some 25 km from state capital Shimla, is frequently visited by tourists.
Reports said around 20 tourists are also stranded in the Sangla Valley in the district due to massive snow. The Met department said the entire belt in Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu and Chamba districts witnessed heavy snowfall since Thursday morning. Photos : AP

Rwanda govt to deport 64 trafficked Bangladeshis victims
France24, 31 December : Rwandan authorities are working with counterparts in Dhaka to deport 64 Bangladeshi victims of human trafficking, after the arrest in Kigali of their suspected trafficker, police said Friday.
Abdul Sattar Miah was arrested on Monday night in a hotel in the capital, in possession of the passports of his presumed victims, police spokesman Eric Kayiranga told AFP.... READ FULL STORY

Bangladesh now 3rd largest exporter of apparel, clothing accessories to USA
UNB, Dhaka, 31 December : Bangladesh’s export of apparel and clothing accessories to the US market has overtaken that of its competitors Indonesia and Mexico in the recent months.
Until August 2010, Bangladesh was the 5th largest apparel exporter to the USA after China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico. But in the month of September 2010, Bangladesh with its monthly exports of $358 million overtook Mexico, which exported $325 million to US market.
On October, 2010 Bangladesh overtook another competitor Indonesia - $374 million from Bangladesh compared to $365 million form Indonesia.
Now only China and Vietnam lie ahead of Bangladesh as far as RMG export to USA is concerned, said a message received here.
According to the analysis of the Commerce Wing of Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC, Bangladesh exported about $1.44 billion worth of RMG products to USA during July-October, 2010 period, registering growth of 20.37 percent compared to the same period of previous year.
Comparable growth rate of China was 21.15 percent, Vietnam was 17.26 percent, Indonesia was 16.17 percent and Mexico was 3.495 percent and India was 13.25 percent.

11 taken ill after cylinder bursts in Ice-making factory
Kolkata, 31 December : Eleven workers fell ill after inhaling toxic ammonia gas that leaked following a cylinder burst in an ice-making factory at Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district Friday, police said.
"The incident happened this evening when the victims were working in the factory. The cylinder burst suddenly and 11 workers were taken ill due to the poisonous gas," district police superintendent Rahul Srivastav said. All the victims were admitted to the Barrackpore sub-divisional hospital.
A police source said though emergency rescue teams had reached the spot, they were waiting for gas masks.
Forest rangers capture wild elephant calf in Jalpaiguri dist
ANI, Jalpaiguri, 31 December : Forest Rangers of Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary captured a two-year-old male elephant calf from the vicinity of Madarihat village in Jalpaiguri District.
The elephant calf was residing in and around the village located near the sanctuary for the last 13 days. The elephant calf had got detached from its herd few days back and later the herd probably refused its re-entry. Consequently, it returned to the village where the people began treating the elephant calf like a family member.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to captain Bangladesh in 2011
Dhaka, 31 December : All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will captain Bangladesh in 2011, the country's cricket board, has confirmed, also installing opening batsman Tamim Iqbal as his vice-captain.
Shakib has captained the Tigers whenever fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza has been unavailable due to injury, which has been most of 2010 and all of the end of the 2009, when Shakib was able to lead Bangladesh to an historic overseas Test and One-Day International series win against the West Indies. "The BCB wishes the two leading lights of Bangladesh cricket a very successful New Year and hopes their partnership would inspire the team to greater heights," a statement from the Bangladesh Cricket Board confirmed.
Shakib will therefore lead the side during their World Cup campaign, which kicks off against India on 19th February in Dhaka. Bangladesh are co-hosting the tournament along with India and Sri Lanka. Shakib, who has played 21 Tests, 102 One-Day Internationals and 14 Twenty20 Internationals, has captained his country on 45 occasions, winning 18 of those matches in all.
Left-handed opener Tamim enjoyed a fine year in 2010, memorably scoring two centuries in Test matches in England and leading the way at the top of the order as Bangladesh beat New Zealand and Zimbabwe in ODI series at home. File Photos : AP

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.


Kolkata Metro became the 17th independent zone of I Railways

Kolkata, 29 December : The Metro Railway of Kolkata, the country's oldest, today became the 17th independent zone of the Indian Railways with Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee announcing that a Rs 10,000 crore project has been taken up for its expansion and infrastructure development.
"The making of Kolkata Metro as an independent zone was notified by the Railway Board yesterday. This will make the railway an open line like the other zones. This will raise the status of the Metro workers on part with those of the zonal railways. It has also put workers unions in a position to negotiate on matters pertaining to the Metro," Banerjee said while laying a foundation stone conferring the independent status of the Metro.
Stating that making Kolkata Metro an independent zone had nothing to do with politics, she said it had been done aiming at capacity building and developing infrastructure.

No one is asking how letter was leaked-Somnath Chatterjee
Burdwan, 29 December : Former Indian Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee said today nobody was questioning how Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram's letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, asking the state government to disarm CPI(M) cadres, was leaked.
"No one is asking how the Home Minister's letter was leaked, yet a reply is being sought from the chief minister," Chatterjee said. "Some words have been used in the letter which I have never heard in the course of my long political career," he said apparently referring to use of 'harmad vahini' in the letter. "State government does not function under the Centre. So such language should not be used. The country will be ruined if Centre-State relations are based on politics," he said at a programme here.
In a federal structure, the state and Centre should have a harmonious relation, he said. Photo : Dipankar Chatterjee

"ISRO" scientist K S Dasgupta new director of "IIST"
PTI, Thiruvananthapuram, 29 December : ISRO scientist K S Dasgupta today assumed charge as Director of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) here.
He succeeds B N Suresh, founder director of IIST. Dasgupta, an expert in image processing and satellite communications, had been the Deputy Director, Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, a press release here said.
Tripura rights commission urge release of Dr Binayak sen
Agartala, 29 December : Tripura Human Rights Organisation today urged the Central and Chhattisgarh governments to immediately withdraw sedition cases against rights activist Dr Binayak Sen and release him from jail.
"Sen has been implicated in a false case to suppress the human rights movement and protest against state and non-state sponsored terrorism," the organisation's general secretary Purushuttam Roy Barman told reporters here.
"Sen was arrested by the Chhattisgarh government without any definite evidence. We are hopeful that all charges will be quashed by the higher judiciary," he said. Photo : PTI

Brinda Karat lashes out at Central gov'ment over JPC issue
Siliguri, 29 December : CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat has slammed the central government for not presenting a reasonable argument against constituting a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) over graft charges in the multi-million dollar 2G spectrum allocation scam.
"It's very unfortunate that the Government should have made this a prestige issue because they have not been able to give any logic or any reasonable argument why they are against the JPC," said Karat on the sidelines of a rally here on Wednesday.
Be more careful in transaction with Iran : Bangladesh Bank
Dhaka, 29 December : Bangladesh Bank has asked the commercial banks to be more cautious about transactions with Iran.
Bangladesh and Iran both are members of the eight-member Asian Clearing Union (ACU) and they settle export and import transactions through ACU payment system. After the US sanctions on Iran, the central bank cautioned the banks to warn their clients who have trade with Iran to be more careful as there are settlement problems, said a Bangladesh Bank official.

Tripura documentary 'Raibik Path' gets National recognition
IANS, Agartala, 29 December : Tripura's first documentary film -"150 Raibik Path" made on the life and ideals of Nobel laureate Rabindranth Tagore has been conferred national recognition by a screening committee, an official release said Wednesday.
The screening committee was headed by renowned film-maker Shyam Benegal. "A screening committee under the chairmanship of Shyam Benegal recently picked '150 Raibik Path' and recommended it for national screening by Doordarshan," a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release here said. The release said: "To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore in a befitting manner, a national committee headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a National Implementation Committee (NIC) led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee were constituted. In pursuance of NIC, the screening committee selected 9 Films and documentaries on Rabindranath Tagore including '150 Raibik Path'."
The film was made by young Tripura journalist Sitangshu Ranjan De. "Through this film I have tried to show that Tagore is relevant even today through creation of a collage of various facets of Tagore," De told IANS. He said: "In the course of this 90-minute film, I have tried to answer many questions on ideals of Tagore through a collection of paintings, pictures, interviews, snippets from other documentaries and movies." "The film is also a tribute to the great poet who had visited Tripura seven times between 1899 and 1926," De said.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Buddhadeb sends reply to P Chidambaram’s controversial letter

Kolkata, 28 December : West Bengal Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today sent a reply to the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram’s controversial letter which had asked the state government to ’disarm CPI(M) cadres’ in West Bengal's districts.
“The Chief Minister has sent a reply,” sources in CM’s secretariat said without divulging details of the letter. Chief Minister did not speak to reporters at the state secretariat.

He had yesterday stated that he would send a reply today.
Chief Minister also took a swipe at Chidambaram, saying that the union minister had written the letter only to ’please the Trinamool Congress.’ File PTI Photo

Naxalism biggest threat to peace, security in India: Pranab
PTI, New Delhi, 28 December : Calling naxalism the "biggest threat" to peace and security in the country, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said he is concerned about it's spread to economically backward areas and asked the CRPF to handle the situation with sensitivity.
"I am particularly concerned over the spread of Left-Wing Extremism in some of the more backward areas of the economy. In part, it is a reflection of our failure in meeting the expectations of the local people," Mukherjee said while officiating as the chief guest at the 71st Raising day celebrations of CRPF in the national capital.

Binapani Devi, Matuas bring rival political parties together
Kolkata, 28 December : Bitter arch-rivals CPI(M) and Trinamool, besides Congress and BJP, today were brought together on the same platform by a socio-religious group which commands a substantial vote-bank in West Bengal.
"I consider your demand (for citizenship) as a national demand. There are 42 MPs from West Bengal belonging to different parties. Why won't they go together to the Prime Minister with your demand?" senior CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb, indirectly referring to the Trinamool Congress, told the rally organised by the Matua Mahasangha here.

48hr PCPA bandh paralyses life in West Midnapore districts
UNI, Jhargram, Bankura, Purulia, 28 December : A 48-hour PCPA-sponsored bandh began today in the Jangalmahal area paralysing life in West Midnapore district and partially affecting it in Purulia and Bankura districts. The People's Committee against Police Atrocities has launched the stir to protest the arrest of its convenor Ajit Mahato and four of his associates on 'false' ground.
''The PCPA is not a banned organisation. Therefore, these arrests are meaningless,'' a spokesperson told UNI.
Buses and cars stayed off the roads while offices and educational institutions remained closed. Streets wore a deserted look. SDO Jhargram C Murugan said, ''No untoward incident has been reported so far.'' The different districts have been alerted to keep a strict vigil, the SDO added. Train services were kept outside the purview of the bandh. The bandh registered a lukewarm response in Bankura and Purulia districts. Superintendent of Police, Purulia, Sunil Choudhury said the bandh had a lukewarm response in Purulia except Bundwan, Bagmundi, Balarampur, Burrabazaar, Ashra, Jhalda and Jaipur. Superintendent of Police, Bankura, Pranab Kumar Das said the bandh did not have much effect.
Bhutanese elephants develop 'new fondness' for oranges
BBC News, 28 December : Elephants in Bhutan have begun eating oranges for what is believed to be the first time, officials have told the country's main English newspaper.
A report in the Kuensel newspaper says that elephants have developed a taste for mandarins in orchards in the south-east of the country. Villagers told the newspaper that they were shocked to see the animals tucking into the fruit... READ FULL STORY
Bangladesh govt looks to Russia for oil and gas exploration
IANS, Dhaka, 28 December : Bangladesh has offered Russian energy corporation Gazprom joint venture projects in oil and gas sector after lukewarm response to its bids from the western multi-national corporations.
State sector Petrobangla’s chairman Hossain Mansur said that they were hopeful of signing agreements at the end of next February when Gazprom’s chairman Viktor Zubkov visits here. Petrobangla offered Gazprom the chance to make joint venture investments in oil and gas exploration in five remote areas, including Patiya, Kachalong, Jaldi and Sita Hills in Chittagong. It also offered setting up of the Jalalabad-Bibiyana-Dhanua 190-km gas pipeline, along with two compressor stations in Chittagong and the western side of Jamuna river, and two processing plants in the state-run gas fields and a well.
Hossain Mansur told the New Age newspaper that Gazprom was the largest energy corporation in the world, and its chief Zubkov, who was also the first deputy prime minister of Russia, was visiting Bangladesh as a follow-up of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Russia last month.
Petrobangla needed to set up more gas pipe lines from Sylhet in the northeastern region where it has been planning to set up compressor and pumping stations to improve gas supply in the country.

Mizoram gets festive days power from neighbouring Tripura
PTI, Aizawl, 28 December : Mizoram was drawing additional 15 MW of power from neighbouring Tripura during the Christmas and New Year festivals, state power and electricity department officials said here on Monday.
The additional was being drawn during the peak hours every day (from 4 PM to 10 PM) from the Tripura State Electricity Board to ensure undisrupted power supply during the festive days. “Usually we receive around 40 to 45 MW during normal days. Now we are getting around 60 MW,” the officials said.

President for researches to minimize coastal disaster losses
UNB, Khulna, 28 December : President Zillur Rahman has urged the university teachers and students to conduct researches so that losses of valuable lives from coastal natural disaster due to negative impact of global warming can be kept at minimum level.
“Negative impact of global warming is a great cause of concern for us,” he said while presiding over the 4th convocation of Khulna University (KU) at the university campus today. Addressing the function, President Zillur Rahman said the devastating cyclones like ‘Sidr’ and ‘Aila’ and tidal surge in the coastal areas have pushed the country’s lives, resources and environment into grave danger.
“The existence of world famous mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, is at stake. Aila-stricken people are still homeless. Scarcity of drinking water and salinity haunts the local people in coastal areas.” He said the countrymen may not be able to control the nature but all of them will have to work together to prevent the environmental degradation. Photo : UNB
Banglavision TV station told not to show hangman series
Salim Mia, BBC News, Dhaka, 28 December : A television channel in Bangladesh has been ordered to stop broadcasting interviews with the country's most famous hangman, officials say.
They say that the government has ordered the three-part show off air because it could frighten children. The hangman, who has hanged nine people in his 21 years in prison, has requested anonymity. But he told the BBC that the programmes on the private channel, Banglavision, were mainly about his lifestyle.... READ FULL STORY
Digvijay seeks review of court verdict against Binayak Sen
PTI, Mumbai, 28 December : Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday sought a review of the trial court judgement sentencing rights activist Dr Binayak Sen to life imprisonment on sedition charges.
"I feel that Sen is a very fine human being and because of this, the judgement against him needs to be reviewed," he said.
Seaplane operations in Andaman & Nicobar finally lauched
Port Blair, 28 December : India’s first amphibious aircraft, which will start services in the Andamans by the end of this week, will later be introduced in the other two tourist hotspots as well.
The seaplane has been procured by helicopter company Pawan Hans. The plane can take off from and touch down on both land and sea. Civil aviation minister Praful Patel inaugurated the service on Monday to promote tourism and passenger service. By the end of the week, the plane will have started services to three spots on the islands. The plan to operate seaplanes in India is about three years old.
The seaplane service will connect Port Blair with Havelock and subsequently other islands in North Andaman to promote tourism. In Port Blair the seaplane is proposed to operate from the airport and in Havelock and Diglipur in the identified waterdrome. To facilitate safe operations, facilities for ferrying passengers from the shore to the pontoons, sanitization of the waterdrome before take off and landing, speed boat of ten passenger capacity and one stand-by boat (inflatable Gemini boat) and one floating jetty (pontoon) each in the above locations have been placed.
The seaplane operations are being introduced as a major tourist attraction. Seaplanes will also be introduced in other areas of India such as Lakshadweep, Goa, Odisha, etc. Government of India has allowed 100 per cent FDI in this sector.


Monday, December 27, 2010

I will give befitting reply to Chidambaram letter: CM Buddhadeb

Dum Dum, Kolkata, 27 December : West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has said he will give a ‘befitting reply’ Tuesday to union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s letter alleging that the state’s ruling CPI(M) had set up armed camps in the Maoist-prone areas.
‘For the last few days there has been much talk about a ‘letter’. This morning I have received the letter sent by Chidambaram. But that letter has already been published in the media three-four days back. ‘Tomorrow I will give the reply. I will give a befitting reply tomorrow,’ said Bhattacharjee Monday, addressing a public rally at Dum Dum in the neighbouring North 24 Parganas district. There had been a political furore in the state after Chidambaram’s missive to Bhattacharjee was leaked in the media.
Chidambaram had said in the letter that complaints received by the central government ‘indicate that armed cadres of the CPI(M) were deployed in a covert manner under the guise of ‘village protection groups’ to guard against Maoist attacks. ‘There is evidence to show that the camps are mostly located in CPI(M) offices and those of local cadres. It is a matter of grave concern that these cadres have been provided with firearms,’ he had said.
The chief minister alleged that the letter was sent to appease Trinamool Congress, which is a partner of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. ‘Trinamool has made them write this letter. As Trinamool Congress and Congress are having an alliance, Chidambaram has sent the letter to please Trinamool Congress,’ the chief minister said.

Tripuri Somdev Devvarman honoured at Agartala ceremony
Agartala, 27 December : India's No 1 Somdev Devvarman on Monday said his dream is to lead India to a Davis Cup title win. "India have entered in the World Group of tennis. My dream is to bring the Davis Cup title for my country," Somdev said during a felicitation organised by the Tripura government, where he was given a standing ovation.
The tennis sensation, who belongs to the Tripura's erstwhile royal family, came to Agartala on Saturday after a month's practice in Texas in the US. Thrilled by the huge reception in the presence of hundreds of sports-loving people, Somdev said : "I loved to play tennis and fly the tricolour abroad. I enjoy playing on behalf of my country."
Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, sports minister Tapan Chakraborty, their cabinet colleagues, assembly speaker Ramendra Chandra Debnath, Somdev's father Pravanjan Kishore Devvarman and mother Ranjana were also present at the felicitation.
At the felicitation, a gold medal bearing the likeness of Rabindranath Tagore, a tennis racket made of silver, Rs 500,000 in cash, a plaque and other mementoes were given to Somdev. Photo : Parthajit Dutta

Chidambaram' letter aimed at disarming CPM cadre: Cong
IANS, New Delhi, 27 December : The Congress Monday said Home Minister P. Chidambaram's letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee about armed CPI(M) activists in the state was only meant to disarm the cadre, and was not politically motivated.
"CPI(M) cadres are armed and they are working like millitia in the state," party spokeman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters here.
Paid news dangerous for democracy: Indian Press Council
PTI, Agartala, 27 December : Expressing serious concern at the steady erosion of ethics and values in the Indian media, the Press Council of India (PCI) today said paid news is dangerous for the survival of democracy.
"An investigation conducted by the PCI found that many of the big newspaper houses had indulged in paid news which is dangerous for democracy," PCI Chairman Justice G N Ray said at a seminar here organised by the Tripura Journalists Union . He deplored the media's involvement in the paid news scandal and said that a sub-committee of the Press Council had carried out intensive investigations into the allegations and come out with truth in a detailed report. Ray asserted that the media enjoys more legal rights and privileges because it contributes to the society.
"Media cannot be viewed from the perspective of mere capital or ownership," he said while hinting at journalists to take an initiative in launching newspapers and electronic channels on a co-operative model to save the profession. "In order to insulate the profession of journalism from pollution of big and ill-begotten money, working journalists must come out into the open, otherwise the profession itself will be destroyed. Apart from this, the system of monopoly rights over media should be abolished," said Justice Ray.

Chidambaram' letter aimed at disarming CPM cadre : Cong
IANS, New Delhi, 27 December : The Congress Monday said Home Minister P. Chidambaram's letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee about armed CPI(M) activists in the state was only meant to disarm the cadre, and was not politically motivated.
"CPI(M) cadres are armed and they are working like millitia in the state," party spokeman Shakeel Ahmed told reporters here.
Chomsky and 81 others, bat for right' activist Binayak Sen
IANS, New Delhi, 27 December : Support continued to mount for jailed rights activist Binayak Sen, with noted American scholar Noam Chomsky and 81 other intellectuals and academicians Monday expressing shock at the life sentence awarded to him and a protest staged here to demand justice for him.
‘Doctor Binayak Sen has never resorted to violence against any other person, never incited anyone else to resort to violence, never entered into any conspiracy against the constitutional order of the country and never entered into regular service of any organisation that was involved in any such conspiracy, for furthering its cause,’ a statement issued by Chomsky and the others said.
Vice Ad DK Joshi hands over Andaman-Nicobar Command
Kolkata, 27 December : Vice Admiral DK Joshi handed over the Command of the Andaman & Nicobar Command today. The Admiral was presented with an impressive Tri-services Guard of Honour at the Naval Air Station Utkrosh today as part of the Command Ceremonial Parade. The Admiral also reviewed the Ceremonial Parade as part of the outgoing ceremonies and protocols.
Vice Admiral DK Joshi’s tenure at Headquarters Andaman and Nicobar Command saw a slew of wide-ranging evolutions, some of which will remain milestones in the annals of this Joint Command. Vice Admiral DK Joshi is now proceeding to Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff, New Delhi as the new Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC).
Death toll rose to Eight in Dhaka's Khilkhet fire incident
Dhaka, 27 December : Another victim of the capital’s Khilkhet fire succumbed to his burn injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital early Monday.
Five people died in the devastating fire that broke out at Good Night Mosquito Factory in Khilkhet Friday night. Six seriously burn-wounded people were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Three seriously burn injured now undergoing treatment at the burn unit of DMCH.
CHTRC's Chairman Shantu Larma's motorcade attacked
UNB, Rangamati, 27 December : Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council (CHTRC) Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, alias Shantu Larma`s motorcade came under attack, allegedly by UPDF men at Bogachhari in Naniarchar upazila on Monday.
None, however, was injured in the attack but two cars of his motorcade, including a police van, were damaged. Miscreants waylaid his motorcade and pelted stones targeting Shantu`s car on his way back to Rangamati after attending a meeting of CHT Peace Accord in Khagrachhari town at 10am(BDST).
WB based Bengali film industry got back its shine in 2010
Kolkata, 27 December : With awards, critical acclaim and box-office success, an ailing Bengali film industry got back on it's feet this year.
Besides bagging five National Film awards, and the coveted Golden Peacock trophy at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), a number of Bengali movies produced this year made film buffs and critics all over the country stand up and take notice.
The difference between parallel cinema and mainstream commercial cinema blurred as works like 'Autograph', 'Moner Manush', 'The Japanese Wife' and 'Shukno Lanka' kept cash registers ringing at the box-office while garnering critical applause.
Most Bengali films in the past few years had became the butt of all jokes as filmmakers went on churning out no-brainer flicks and "copycats" of popular South Indian films.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New "Silk Route" via Bangladesh to connect NorthEastern India

IANS, Agartala, 26 December : State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will build a new ‘Silk Route’ via Bangladesh - a 50 km road connecting India’s landlocked northeastern states with neighbouring countries - a top company official said.
ONGC will invest Rs.250 million ($5.5 million) in Bangladesh for the project that will will also see a port coming up in the country. ‘With the establishment of the new ‘Silk Route’ via Bangladesh, a new trade road would be established between northeast India, Bangladesh and neighbouring countries,’ ONGC chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma told reporters.
The old ‘Silk Route’ between India and China is accessible only after crossing West Bengal’s Siliguri. ‘ONGC’s new subsidiary - ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) - signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh government last month to open up a new transport corridor to carry heavy equipment for its 726 MW power plant in Triupra,’ the company chief said.
To develop the port and the road, ONGC has engaged six Bangladesh contractors to complete the work on a war-footing. ‘The work on all the required infrastructure has commenced and is expected to be ready by mid-February 2011,’ Sharma said. File Photos

Group of 80 Elephants on rampage in West Midnapore dist
Jhargram, 26 December : A group of around 80 wild elephants destroyed several acres of cultivation and posed threat to human settlements at various places in West Midnapore district, officials said today.
A group of 30 elephants, including 10 tuskers, returned from the Orissa border to Jhargram's Lalgram forest on Friday, threatening human settlements and agriculture, Jhargram's forest range officer Samir Majumdar said. The wild elephants have already destroyed some vegetable cultivation even as the forest department officials are trying to push out the animals from near the town.

Onion prices down, will be in control soon, says Pranab
Kolkata, 26 December : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said prices of onions have come down from the sky-high levels seen earlier this week and the situation will be in control soon, as the government is taking all steps.
"Export of onion has been banned and the import duty has been made zero, besides some imported onions are reaching the market. The prices have come down," he told reporters at his residence here. "Some fruits, vegetables and milk have an element of seasonality in them and sometimes in the market, there is gap in the demand and supply of products, which leads to the increase in their prices... Ultimately, it depends on the series of the core chain," Mukherjee said.
Onion prices had jumped to as high as Rs 85 per kg in retail markets earlier this week, due to a severe supply crisis. Photo : PTI

Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) begins on 1 January
Dhaka, 26 December : The month-long 16th Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF) will begin in the city 1 January with the participation of 14 countries, including host Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the fair at about 11am(BDST), said an official at the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). The 13 foreign participating countries are Pakistan, India, China, Iran, South Korea, Thailand, USA, Turkey, Singapore, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and UAE. Ten countries apart from Bangladesh participated in the last DITF, said Sayed Bealal Hossain, deputy director and also member secretary of the trade fair secretariat.
Can bombs with 50 kg explosives recovered by joint forces
Jhargram, 26 December : Security forces today unearthened a total of 50 kg of explosives in five can bombs in Maoist-hit West Midnapore district and detained two locals who were later taken away forcibly by a group of women, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, personnel of joint forces went to Panchami and Pukhuria villages and recovered the can bombs, ASP Mukesh Kumar said. The five cans contained 50 kg explosives in total.
Indian ship detained at Chittagong port after a court order
Dhaka, 26 December : An Indian ship was today detained at Chittagong port after a Bangladeshi court issued an "arrest order" against it over a suit claiming Rs 12 crore as compensation for the alleged loss of cargo.
'MV Ocean Pearl' was detained after the arrest order was issued by the High Court on Thursday, a senior customs official was quoted as saying by 'New Age'. "The ship cannot depart from Chittagong port until the case is settled," he said.
The supplier firm Desh Trading Corporation filed the admiralty suit, an official of Sigma shipping, the local agent of the owner of the vessel, said. He said that the supplier claimed compensation of over Taka 19 crore (Rs 12 crore) for shortage and loss of cargo carried by the ship. "The ship was scheduled to call at Mongla port to unload the cargo.

Heavy snowfall in Arunachal State, normal life out of gear
PTI, Itanagar, 26 December : Heavy snowfall has been recorded in several districts of Arunachal Pradesh during the past couple of days, throwing normal life out of gear.
According to official sources, Tawang district bordering China, has been experiencing heavy snowfall since 23 December. Sela Pass situated at an altitude of 14,000 feet on Bomdila-Tawang road has been covered by five feet snow since the last couple of days, they said. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has stationed its men to clear blockades due to heavy snowfall which could disrupt road transport, the sources said. Several feet of snowfall was also recorded at Mechuka during the last couple of days.

PM urges physicians to reach medical service to the poor
Dhaka, 26 December : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the physicians to help make the medical service available for the common people, especially the poor, who cannot take the service by spending huge amount of money.
"You have to keep in mind that each of the people in the country has to spend hard-earned money to produce a physician. So it is your sacred duty to pay the debt of the common people by rendering improved and proper services to them," she said.

NSC body discusses plans to beef up cyber security
PTI, New Delhi, 26 December : Disturbed over repeated cyber attacks where security gets compromised, the National Security Council(NSC) under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a meeting and deliberated on various plans to beef up cyber security.
During the meeting, the present level of preparedness to deal with cyber security issues and a future plan of action was discussed by the National Security Council(NSC), official sources said here today.

4 killed, 20 injured in bus-truck collision in Bogra-Rangpur
UNB, Bogra, 26 December : Four people were killed and 20 others injured in a head-on collision between a bus and a truck at Baghupara in sadar upazila on Bogra-Rangpur road Sunday morning.
Witnesses said a Sonatola bound bus collided with a Bogra bound truck at 7:45am(BDST), leaving two people dead on the spot and injured 22 others. Among the injured, two died at a private hospital. The injured were admitted to the private hospital and Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital.

Separate state demand in insurgency-hit Nagaland state
PTI, New Delhi, 26 December : Six major tribal groups in insurgency-hit Nagaland have now come together to demand carving out of a separate state.
The demand for "Frontier Nagaland" was raised by Chang, Konyak, Sangtam, Khiamniungan, Yimchungru and Phom communities under the aegis Eastern Nagaland People's Organisation (ENPO). The demand is considered to be a setback for the outfits like NSCN (IM), which is now engaged in peace negotiations with the government after leading a six-decade- long bloody insurgency movement. The NSCN(IM)'s key demand is unification of all Naga inhabited areas comprising entire Nagaland and some areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

Farmers busier in Boro farming after bumper Aman harvest
BSS, Rangpur, 26 December : The enthusiastic farmers have now put maximum efforts in making the current Boro farming programme successful after harvesting bumper T-Aman crop everywhere in Rangpur Agriculture Zone (RAZ) in Bangladesh's northern region.
They have already prepared Boro seedbeds in 41,209 hectares land, which is two percent higher than the fixed target of 40,295 hectares, to bring 16,75,179 hectares land under Boro farming to produce 67,41,979 tonnes Boro rice this season in the RAZ. At the same time, transplantation of the early variety Boro seedlings has been continuing in full swing in the low- lying beds of the dried- up water bodies, beels and haors to harvest those before commencement of the next rainy season, officials said. The special government initiatives like further reductions in fertiliser prices, increased subsidies and ensured smooth supply of fertilisers, power and other inputs, have made the farmers more enthusiastic in Boro farming this time.
Officials in the DAE today told BSS that all agri-related departments, BMDA, PDB, REB, RAKUB and other Banks have taken comprehensive steps to ensure maximum facilities to the farmers in making the Boro farming successful. Rice scientist Dr M A Mazid today told BSS that the farmers are being suggested for plantation of Boro seedlings in the maximum land area within February 15 to get the maximum yields and the overall seedling plantations will completed by 15 March next.
Officials said that the government has fixed an all-time record target of producing 1,91,69,400 tonnes Boro rice from 48,50,000 hectares land this season in the country including 67,41,979 tonnes Boro rice from 16,75,179 hectares land in the RAZ.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Alert in West Bengal's vital installations, cost till "Republic Day"

Kolkata, 25 December : An alert has been sounded in West Bengal , particularly in its coastal areas and in areas where vital installations exist, till the Republic Day to guard against possible attack by terrorist organisations.
The state's Chief Secretary, Samar Ghosh, said today that the security measure had been taken, acting on warning by central intelligence agencies that there could be terror strikes emanating from the water front, Ghosh said.
Apart from this, there is also a need for strengthening security measures during X-mas and New Year festivities, he said. Police sources said security personnel in the districts bordering with neighbouring countries have been asked to intensify vigil.

Amnesty condemns Sen's conviction, asks govt to intervene
PTI, London, 25 December : Amnesty International today described human rights activist Binayak Sen as a prisoner of conscience and flayed his conviction by a Chhatisgarh court, saying it violated international standards of fair trial.
The prison term awarded to Sen has evoked outrage among social activists in India and warned that the politically-motivated charges could enflame tensions in the country's conflict-hit areas. The international rights body appealed to the Indian government to revoke the charges against him and set him free immediately.
All factors to be considered before diesel price hike: Pranab
Haldia, 25 December : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Saturday said the government will consider all factors before taking a decision on hiking the price of diesel.
‘It is very hypothetical,’ Mukherjee told mediapersons when asked to spell out the thinking within the government on raising diesel prices. ‘A decision will be taken by the group of ministers and the cabinet. It will be discussed. Even the agenda of the discussion are confidential,’ he said on the sidelines of the dedication ceremony of a new hydrocracker unit and capacity expansion of Indian Oil’s refinery in this East Midnapore district industrial town.
‘When a decision will be taken, it will be taken considering all factors and the situations prevailing at that point of time. Decisions are taken considering all factors,’ he added. Urging the media not to press the panic button, he said the situation was difficult and the government would take whatever steps were needed. Photo : Raghunandan Mallick

'Christmas' celebrated amid enthusiasm, festivity in Bengal
BSS, Dhaka, 25 December : Members of the Christian community in Bangladesh today celebrated the holy Christmas with much enthusiasm, festivity and religious fervour.
Christmas, the biggest religious festival of the Christians. The day was a public holiday in Bangladesh as in many other countries. On the occasion, President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in separate messages greeted the Christians of the country. The celebration started last night with ringing church bells, carols and midnight gatherings at all churches and some city hotels. Churches and adjoining areas decked out with colourful tiny blinking lights. Illuminated Christmas trees placed with a star standing right on top. Santa Claus was seen handing out Christmas gifts to the children.
The main programme of Christmas Day in the city was organized at Kakrail Archbishop Church where prayers were arranged last night and this morning both in Bangla and English. Archbishop Paulinus Costa conducted the prayers. In Dhaka, the celebrations began on Christmas Eve with Christmas carol in hotel lobbies, restaurants, lounges and other public places.
Christmas was also celebrated in Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal, Sylhet, Rangpur, Gazipur, Narayanganj, Comilla, Habiganj, Chuadanga, Gopalganj and Madaripur with various programmes that included prayers, singing of Christmas carols and banquets. Photos : BSS, Reuters

Olama-Mashayekh Parishad calls off Sunday’s 12hrs hartal
UNB, Dhaka, 25 December : Sammilito Olama-Mashayekh Parishad on Saturday called off the countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal planned for tomorrow (Sunday) after fruitful negotiations with the government.
”We’ve postponed the program (hartal) for one month as the government has assured us to address our demands. We had fruitful meeting with Prime Minister’s advisor H T Imam,” Mohammad Fahim Siddiqi, member of publicity department of the Parishad, told UNB over phone.

Textbooks printed in India cost "less" : Bangladeshi official
Dhaka, 25 December : Printing of Bangladeshi school textbooks in India cost nearly half of the expense incurred on printing these at home, an official said.
The cost of a book printed abroad was Tk23 ($0.32) whereas the government had to spend Tk44 for a book printed in Bangladesh last year. But the quality of the books printed in Bangladesh is not as good as those printed abroad, said Mostafa Kamal Uddin, chairman of the National Commission for Text Books (NCTB). Kamal Uddin said some 5.7 million copies of primary textbooks, which got stuck on the Indian border due to traffic jam, will enter the country in a day or two, the Daily Star said Saturday.
Rangpur artistes depart to takepart in drama fest in Kolkata
BSS, Rangpur, 25 December : A 25-member team of drama artistes of Rangpur Nattya Kendra (RNK) yesterday departed for taking part in a three-day drama festival to be held in Kolkata, West Bengal from tomorrow.
The artists of RNK will stage dramas `Mukta Dhara' and `Meraj Fakirer Ma' at different venues in the city of Kolkata, RNK sources said here today.

Youth killed in Indian Railway security force firing exercise
PTI, Katihar, 25 December : A youth was killed during a routine firing exercise by the Railway Protection Security Force at Chandmari range in Bihar’s Katihar district adjoining West Bengal, police said on Saturday.
Mohammed Kukhtar, 30, was killed when a bullet fired by the RPSF missed the target and hit him on Friday, District Superintendent of Police P. Karnan said. Mukhtar died on the spot, he said, adding an FIR has been registered against unidentified RPSF men in this connection and further investigation was on.

Bangladeshi border guards bust ULFA hideout, seize arms
PTI, Dhaka, 26 December : For a second time in a week, Bangladeshi border guards claimed to have busted suspected United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) hideout close to the Indian border seizing mine manufacturing equipment, radio sets and documents.
The hideout suspected to be a cache of the Indian separatist groups was busted in the hilly forest areas today in northern frontier area of Sherpur, close to country's border with Meghalaya. This is a second major arms haul from the same area, from where security forces recovered 13,680 bullets, a week back. "BDR soldiers seized mine manufacturing equipments, a grenade, 97 bullets, some computer CDs, 19 (cell phone) SIM cards, five walkie-talkies, Indian rupees and ULFA documents in an abandoned state from hilly forests near Bankakura cluster village in Sherpur," a top police official told PTI over the phone from Dhaka. He said none could be arrested from the scene.

The development came just a day after elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said they suspected ULFA militants to have left the huge ammunitions, which were seized, from the same area earlier this month. "We now suspect the ULFA operatives had kept the ammunitions as they left themakeshift hideouts in the frontier village," adjacent to India's Meghalaya state, said to be a stronghold of the outfit, a RAB spokesperson told PTI.
Media reports earlier said ULFA were active in the area despite intensive security campaigns by Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies as they preferred the rugged area for their training, installing makeshift hideouts.
RAB's intelligence wing chief Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan, however, said the enhanced security clampdown, in line with the incumbent government's tough policy against the presence of India's separatist elements in Bangladesh territory, nearly destroyed the ULFA network in north and northeastern frontiers, bordering Assam and Meghalaya.
Sherpur police on 18 December seized 13,680 rifle bullets 57 packets, kept in eight jute bags, in an early morning raid at an abandoned village hut while. RAB officials said their investigations revealed that unidentified people had threatened an octogenarian villager against disclosure of the ammo depot as they stored the bullets at that hut at his home during a previous night as he witnessed their activities. File Photos : Reuters