|| 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. ||

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Artistes 'appeal' to Indian PM for activist Binayak Sen's release

PTI, New Delhi, 26 January : India's prominent artistes like Girish Karnad, Naseeruddin Shah, Aparna Sen and Sharmila Tagore have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking the release of activist Dr Binayak Sen.
"Sentencing Dr Sen to imprisonment is unfair, too extreme and undermines the credibility of our police and judiciary. To arrest a citizen of India on false charges and subject him to years of custody and legal wrangles is to make a mockery of justice and democracy," they wrote in the letter.
Mahesh Bhatt, Rahul Bose and filmmaker Goutam Ghosh are the other names who support the appeal. Sen, 61, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on sedition charges by the Additional District and Sessions Court at Raipur last month. Sen was arrested in May 2007 on suspected links with Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal. He was jailed for two years before the Supreme Court granted him bail in 2009.

WB joins nation in celebrating R-day
Kolkata, 26 January : West Bengal today joined the nation in celebrate the 62nd Republic Day with much fanfare amid tight securiting arrangements.

The Republic Day parade was held at Red Road in the heart of the city amid beefed up security arrangements. The Tricolour was unfurled by Governor M K Narayanan in presence of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and a host of dignitaries. Spectators witnessed a grand display of weaponry. Army band musicians also took part in the parade. All the 21 entry and exist points of the city were kept under strict vigilance to prevent entry of outsiders from yesterday, police said.
Additional police personnel had been deployed at all important public places like railway stations, car parking lots, bus terminuses and shopping malls, the sources added. Passengers were being frisked at the Howrah station, with the Railway Protection Force deploying sniffer dogs, police added.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport Director B P Sharma today hoisted the Tricolour in front of the international terminal building. The director took the salute at a march past by the CISF and personnel of the Airport Authority of India's fire brigade. The day was also celebrated at the Kidderpore Dock Premises of the Kolkata Port Trust.
Reports of celebrations poured in from the districts as well. Photos : AP

Special tribute to Rabindranath Tagore on R-day parade
PTI, New Delhi, 26 January : The 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore was on focus during the Indian Republic Day parade here today, with two separate tableaux paying tribute to the Nobel laureate poet.
The tunes and lyrics of 'Rabindra sangeet' reverberated in the air over the majestic Rajpath twice -- the chosen songs being 'Ekla chalo re' (if they answer not to your call, walk alone) and 'Oi mahamanaba ashe' (Cometh the great man). The tableau on 'Gurudev' by the Culture Ministry and Sangeet Natak Akademi was the first to be rolled out among the cultural displays from states and ministries.
Locals block 2highway protesting govt plan to build Airport
UNB, Keraniganj, 26 January : Traffic movement on Dhaka-Mawa and Nawabganj-Dohar highways came to a halt for several hours on Wednesday as local people blocked the highways protesting the government move to build an airport at Arail Beel.
The government earlier decided to build Bangabandhu International Airport at Arial Beel, which encompasses part of areas of Nawabganj and Dohar upazilas of Dhaka district and Srinagar upazila of Munshiganj district.
Local people said that construction of the airport at Arail Beel would affect their crop land and dwelling places.

North-East India snubs separatists to celebrate R- Day
IANS, Guwahati, 26 January : People in North-east India defied calls by separatist rebels to boycott Republic Day and joined the celebrations across the region amid a strike called by the militants Wednesday, officials said.
"It is heartening to find people coming to attend the Republic Day functions across the region despite calls by some militants to boycott the celebrations," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said here. At least six outlawed rebel groups, including the powerful United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), called a 17-hour general strike from 1 am to protest the celebrations marking India's transition to a Republic in 1950.

Suspected Maoists kill 2 CPM workers in West Midnapore
Jhargram, 26 January : Decomposed bodies of two CPI(M) workers, suspected to have been killed by Maoists, were today recovered from this Maoist-hit area in West Midnapore district, police said.
The middle-aged CPI(M) party workers were missing since 15 January after which their bodies were located by the villagers in Manickpara. The bodies bore bullet marks and physical injury.

Neurosurgeon from West Bengal to treat Agartala MC chief
UNI, Agartala, 26 January : Tripura government has brought a neurosurgeon from Kolkata this morning for treatment of Agartala Municipal Council (AMC) Chairman and eminent lawyer of the state Shankar Das.
Officials here said that Das had suffered a massive heart attack last evening. He had been shifted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Agartala Government Medical College (AGMC) where doctors stated his condition to be critical. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar along with other top party leaders visited him in the hospital. The state government has constituted a six-member committee for Shankar Babu's treatment.
Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty told reporters that the department has been asked to take all necessary steps for his treatment and the Chief Minister personally spoke to West Bengal Health Minister Dr Surya Kanta Mishra over sending the neurosurgeon here.

Agri sector counts Tk 300 billion post-harvest loss annually, Dutch cooperation can promote agro-processing industry : Speakers
UNB, Dhaka, 26 January : Bangladesh’s agriculture sector faces Tk 30,000 crore loss per year in the post-harvest period for lack of proper transportation management, premature harvesting and improper product handling.
This is the area where Dutch cooperation can play a role to a give a boost to the potential agro and food processing sector, which is an important manufacturing industry in Bangladesh in terms of employment and value addition, said the speakers at a business seminar on Wednesday.
The seminar titled ‘Agro-Processing Industries in Bangladesh: Possible Dutch Cooperation’ was held at Sonargaon Hotel on Wednesday.
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan was the chief guest while Netherlands Ambassador in Dhaka Alphons Hennekens the special guest at the seminar arranged by Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DBCCI) with its president M Imam Hossain in the chair.
Post Harvest and Quality Assurance expert Dr M Saleh Ahmed presented the keynote paper in the seminar. DBCCI secretary general Seemab Rasheed and members of its board of directors were present.
In his keynote paper, Dr Saleh Ahmed said Bangladesh has tremendous potential to increase production of selected high value agro-commodities and create a sufficient export surplus though country’s agriculture sector face Tk 30,000 crore annual loss due to lack of proper transportation management, and improper handling of products and immature harvesting.
He said the industry is growing rapidly and the agro-processing industry is opening up new opportunities in terms of investment, technology and export. “Dutch cooperation can promote agro-processing industries in Bangladesh.”
Addressing the seminar, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said he would immediately sit with the officials of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Commerce Secretary and other stakeholders to take pragmatic decisions for promoting the sector and overcoming all challenges faced by it.
“We’ll soon form a committee in this regard. We want to work together to move forward,” he said inviting Dr M Saleh Ahmed in the committee.
On the price-hike of essentials, Faruk Khan said: “We’ll have to increase production to face the challenge. You keep on blaming us when prices of essentials go up. Most of the people here may not be happy with me.”
He said approximately 2,000 megawatt of electricity was added to the national grid over the last two years and hopefully another 1,000 megawatt will be added within this year.