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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ten buses set on fire in Dhaka ahead of Monday`s BNP "hartal"

Dhaka, 6 February : Bangladesh's main opposition activists allegedly set fire to at least 10 vehicles, mostly buses, in the capital on the eve of Monday’s countrywide hartal called by the BNP.
The arson took place at different parts of the city including Mirpur-10 roundabout, Mirpur Zoo Road, in front of Shah Ali Plaza in Mirpur-10, Farmgate, Kakrail, Sankar bus stand, fire brigade and police sources said. The activists of BNP and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) in the afternoon set alight a bus at the city’s Mirpur. Later, police arrested two JCD leaders while trying to flee after setting fire to a Pallabi-bound bus at Mirpur Section 10 around 4:30pm(BDST).
The detainees were identified as Awalad Hossain, Mirpur thana JCD unit joint secretary and Arif Hossain, a member of the unit. Wazed Ali, officer-in-charge (OC) of Mirpur Police Station told The Daily Star that the JCD men were arrested on charge of setting fire to the bus of Safety Paribahan. Fire Service and Civil Defence officials said the bus was burned down before they reached the spot. Photo Courtesy : STAR

BNP called nationwide hartal tomorrow, 8,500 cops on alert
UNB, Dhaka, 6 February : Some 8,500 members of police will be deployed in the capital to avert any unpleasant incident during opposition BNP-called countrywide dawn to dusk hartal tomorrow.
BNP called the hartal demanding canceling what it said anti-people unnecessary project of a new international airport, protesting misdeeds and failures of the government, skyrocketing of prices of essentials and deteriorating law and order.

Congress will not seek advice from CPM: Pranab Mukherjee
Kandi, 6 February : Congress will not learn or seek advice from CPI(M) in deciding with whom the party would join hands, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.
"We will not take advice from CPI(M) as to with whom we will join hands and with whom not," Mukherjee said here when asked to comment on CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechuri's recent statement on Congress' alliance with the Trinamool. Yechuri had said that Congress might have to "regret" for joining hands with Trinamool Congress "having links with the Maoists."

SAARC Chamber rejects cutting down business visa period
UNB, Dhaka, 6 February : The leadership of SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry has unanimously adopted a resolution rejecting the proposal of cutting down SAARC business visa period from one year to three months.
It also demanded of the member countries to adopt a liberal visa regime framework at foreign ministers’ meeting scheduled for February 7-8 in Bhutan for promotion of business and trade in the region.
The resolution said SAARC interior ministers’ proposal to further curtail period of business visa under category 16 itself was against the fundamental principle of a liberal visa regime for businessmen and other categories to promote harmony and bring closer the people of the region.
SAARC Chamber demanded of the foreign ministers when they meet in Bhutan on 8 February for two-day consultations to deal with certain issues including agenda for liberal visa regime for SAARC member countries.

CRPF deploys women battalion in SG to stop GJM protest
Siliguri, 6 February : Authorities deployed a battalion of women Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Siliguri town to stop a protest rally held by activists of the regional Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists.
The battalion was posted in the Darjeeling Hills and adjacent areas, besides the highways to prevent any untoward incident. GJM President Sankar Adhikari said that we condemn the action of the Centre and the West Bengal Government for not allowing us to take out a rally.
Tripura's Somdev Devvarman in final of South African Open
PTI, Johannesburg, 6 February : Commonwealth and Asian Games gold medallist, Tripura boy Somdev Devvarman reached his first ATP final in two years after beating local wild card entrant Izak Van der Merwe in straight sets in the South African Open here.
The 25-year-old rising Indian star scored a 6-2 6-4 win over the South African to progress to his second career final at the Montecasino Entertainment Centre, his first one being in Chennai in 2009, where he lost to Croatia’s Marin Cilic. The victory has moved the Indian within sniffing distance of accumulating 250 ATP World Tour points and pocketing USD 76,500 first prize money.
In the summit clash, Somdev will face fourth seed South African Kevin Anderson who defeated Frenchman Adrian Mannrino 6-7(3) 6-0 6-4 in the other semifinal match. Last year, Somdev was eliminated in straight sets by Spain’s David Ferrer at the quarter-final stage.
Somdev wasted little time in winning the first set in just 39 minutes, breaking serve in the first and third games. Merwe, much taller to his Indian opponent, rallied in the second set but Somdev broke again in the seventh game when his rival ended a rally with a tame shot into the net. Somdev has so far dropped just one set at the tournament.