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Thursday, April 7, 2011

364 to contest at 54 seats in first phase of assembly poll in WB

Siliguri, 7 April : As many as 364 candidates will contest 54 seats in six northern districts of West Bengal that go to polls in the first phase of assembly elections on 18 April, according to sources at the state's chief electoral office.
A total of 401 nominations were filed for the first phase of polls, but 37 were rejected. The last date for withdrawal of candidature was on Monday.
In Darjeeling district, 44 nominees were cleared out of 48 after scrutiny, election officials said. Phansidewa constituency in Siliguri sub-division has the most number of candidates at 9 while Darjeeling has the least at 5.
Significant contestants in the first phase of elections are senior CPI(M) leader and state Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya (Siliguri), slain Madan Tamang's widow and Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) president Bharati Tamang (Darjeeling), former Andhra Pradesh chief secretary and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) study forum member Trilok Dewan (Darjeeling), GJM leaders Rohit Sharma (Kurseong) and Dr Harka Bahadur Chetry (Kalimpong).
India and Bangladesh announce joint Tagore celebrations
IANS, New Delhi, 7 April : India and Bangladesh Thursday announced a bouquet of programmes, including creation of a special tourist circuit, two joint movie productions and exhibition of paintings to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
The official 150th Tagore anniversary celebrations will open in Dhaka 6 May and in the Indian capital 7 May........ READ FULL REPORT
Bangladesh govt probe blames regulator for share debacle
Reuters, Dhaka, 7 April : A state-appointed committee probing a recent series of sharp falls in Bangladesh share prices handed its report to the finance minister on Thursday, holding the regulator primarily responsible for the debacle.
"Many are to blame ... share issuers, issue managers, brokers, dealers and businessmen for the debacle," Committee Chairman Khandaker Ibrahim Khaled, a former deputy governor of the central bank, told Reuters....... READ FULL REPORT
UN to consider peacekeeping training school in Bangladesh
Dhaka, 7 April : UN police chief Ann-Marie Orler on Thursday said her organisation will consider a Bangladesh government’s proposal for setting up a regional UN Peacekeeping Training School in the country.
“The school will provide necessary training to the members of United Nations Police (UNPOL) and Formed Police Unit (FPU) from home and abroad,” Marie said this during a courtesy call on State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku at his ministry office. After the meeting, Tuku told reporters that though Bangladesh is one of the top ranked nations among all UN peacekeepers contributing country, the number of officer level policemen is very few in it.
The minister proposed the UN police chief for recruiting deputy inspector general (DIG) and additional deputy inspector general (ADIG) level police officers for the mission. He informed that the UN police chief appreciated the contribution of Bangladeshi police in the UN peacekeeping mission and assured of taking steps for appointing high ranked police officials for the mission. File Photo : Reuters
Pratip Chaudhuri assumes charge as new SBI chairman
PTI, Mumbai, 7 April : Pratip Chaudhuri, Deputy Managing Director (International Banking Group) SBI, today took over as the new Chairman of State Bank of India, country's biggest lender.
"Pratip Chaudhuri assumed charge as Chairman of State Bank of India on 7 April, 2011," the bank said in a late night statement.
No alternative to left front govt in West Bengal: Buddhadeb
Kolkata, 7 April : Claiming that there was no alternative to the Left Front government in West Bengal, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today questioned the Trinamool Congress' call for change in the assembly elections.
"What change is contemplated by this indisciplined and directionless party which indulges in violence? There is no alternative for the people of West Bengal and I am sure people will apply their mind in the elections," he told a meeting of teachers and non-teaching staff at Bejoygarh in his Jadavpore assembly constituency.
He asked whether the change referred to by the Trinamool Congress would mean taking away land from farmers, closing down educational institutions or laying off workers of industrial units. Bhattacharjee alleged that Trinamool Congress had no plans and programmes except for stalling development initiatives of the state government.
Indian Railways' total earnings surpass target for 2010-11
PTI, New Delhi, 7 April : Operational problems due to agitations notwithstanding, Railways' total earnings for 2010-11 have surpassed the target set for the fiscal by about Rs 100 crore.
"It was a difficult year for us as rail roko agitation hit us badly. But we have not only achieved the total earnings target, but have surpassed the earning figures by approximately Rs 100 crore," Railway Board Chairman Vivek Sahi told reporters here.
Lepcha community to boycott Darjeeling hills Assembly poll
Siliguri, 7 April : Lepchas, a scheduled tribe community of the Darjeeling hills, would boycott the coming Assembly elections protesting the alleged step-motherly treatment meted out to them by the Centre and the West Bengal state government.
The leader of an apolitical Lepcha organisation 'Lepchas of Darjeeling', L S Tamsong Lepcha, today alleged that nearly one lakh Lepchas residing in the three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling were living in an "inhuman" condition and announced the community would boycott the assembly polls.
Kolkata Police renews directive to city' cyber cafe owners
Kolkata, 7 April : The Kolkata Police has renewed its order to cyber cafe owners seeking strict compliance of the directives on internet access and e-mail in the metropolis and suburbs.
The order would come into effect from 6 April and remain effective till 4 June, 2011, a release issued by the Information and Cultural Affairs Department said here on Thursday. The use of cyber cafe by unknown persons and whose identity was not established was banned and registers should be maintained for recording the name, address, telephone number and identity proof of users.
Identity proof comprised voter cards, ration cards, driving licence, passports and photo credit cards. The order said that the activity server log should be preserved in the main server for at least six months.
Cyber cafe owners should immediately inform the police in case of suspicious activity. Infringement of the directives would be punishable under section 188 of the IPC.
North Korean rice ship sinks near Bangladesh, crew safe
Reuters, Dhaka, 7 April : A North Korean-flagged ship carrying some 13,500 tonnes of rice sank in the Bay of Bengal near Bangladesh's main Chittagong port after it collided with another merchant vessel, port officials said on Thursday.
All 41 crew aboard the ship were rescued. The accident occurred near midnight on Wednesday near the estuary of the port channel. The ship was carrying the cargo from Pakistan under a government-to-government deal. "Two-thirds of the ship M.V. Hang Robong has sunk after it collided with another ship," Syed Farhaduddin, a senior port official, told Reuters.
Notification for the 4th phase of WBengal elections issued
Kolkata, 7 April : The Election Commission today notified the fourth phase of West Bengal elections in 63 assembly seats of south Bengal. The notification was issued for 63 seats in Howrah, Hooghly and East Midnapore districts and Katwa and Burdwan subdivision in Burdwan district, Additional Chief Electoral Officer N K Sahana told reporters here.
For the fourth phase of the polls on 3 May, the last date for the filing nomination is 14 April and last date of withdrawal 18 April. Scrutiny would be held on 16 April, Sahana said.
Asked about deployment of forces for the fourth phase of elections, Sahana said "The specific number of deployment of forces will be kept secret, but there will be more than adequate deployment so that people can exercise their franchise freely and safely.
Two NDFB militants killed in encounter in Sonitpur district
PTI, Tezpur (Assam), 7 April : Two hardcore NDFB (anti-talk faction) militants were today killed in an encounter with security forces in Assam's Sonitpur district, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of police and army personnel launched a search operation in Dipanjali forest area near Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and a fierce encounter followed in which the two militants were killed, Sonitpur Superintendent of Police Anand Prakash Tiwari said.
I don't need Bollywood endorsement : designer Sabyasachi
Bohni Bandyopadhyay, New Delhi, 7 April : He is the favourite designer of leading actresses like Rani, Aishwarya and Vidya but Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who has designed for many films as well, says he doesn't need Bollywood stars to endorse his work.
Of late Rani and Vidya have become regulars at his shows and are seen donning his creations at every other event, something which even Sabyasachi is amazed at. "I have to tell Vidya to stop wearing my clothes, she wears too much of it! Every time I pick up the phone and say 'Again you have worn my clothes?' I think I am tired of seeing Vidya wearing my creations," a laughing Sabyasachi told PTI.
On a serious note, the 36-year-old designer says he doesn't want star power to eclipse his creations, even if that means lesser publicity. "I have never asked for endorsement from them. File Photos : Getty Images