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Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 Buses burnt in Dhaka,RAB guarding street in combat fashion

UNB, Dhaka, 11 June : Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and riot police were guarding the streets in the capital as pre-hartal violence marked by burning buses seemingly marred the normal life late Saturday afternoon.
Police and fire brigade sources confirmed that at least 10 vehicles, including passenger buses, auto rickshaws and yellow cabs, were burnt in different parts of the capital since Saturday afternoon to 10:00pm allegedly by hartal activists to create panic among the city dwellers and force them to stay inside. Fire Brigade sources said 10 vehicles were set to afire at Motijheel, Chawkbazar, Agargaon, Pallabi, Bangla College, Badda and Kakrail areas in between 1:30 pm to 10 pm.
Opposition BNP and its allies including Jamaat-e-Islami called for 36-hour marathon hartal across the country from Sunday morning to protest the government move to cancel the system of non-party caretaker government to oversee the general elections. The shutdown was also called to protest the price-hike of essentials, deteriorating law and order situation and the government’s failure to resolve gas-electricity-water crises and its failure to make the share market stable.
Witnesses said most private buses and cars went off the streets after the burning of buses in the afternoon. RAB and riot police in combat fashion either took positions at different strategic points or patrolling the streets in a bid to maintain order. Police said so far 54 pro-hartal activists were arrested from different parts in the capital including Ramna, Tajgaon, Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Adabar, Shahbagh and Sabujbagh areas and punished them with one month to three months in jail on charge of ‘obstructing police duty.’
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has alleged that police have started searching and raiding the houses of BNP leaders and workers across the country. He claimed more than 100 opposition leaders and workers were arrested till Saturday afternoon.
The 36-hour shutdown would be the first of its kind by the opposition party against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s two and a half years old government. Sunday-Monday hartal comes within a week as BNP enforced the last hartal on 5 June on the same issue. File Photos : AP

Mamta's cabinet to meet on Monday to discuss Singur 'bill'
Kolkata, 11 June : The West Bengal state cabinet will meet on 13 June to discuss the Singur 'Bill' before it is tabled in the Assembly, with the draft submitted to the Chief Minister's Office today, state Law Minister Maloy Ghatak told Bengal Newz over phone.
The Bill, being prepared by the Industry Department, would seek to revoke the lease agreement between the Tatas and WBIDC by virtue of which nearly 1,000 acre would be reclaimed by the state at Singur, the site of the abandoned Tata Motors Nano project.

UNFPA approved Bangladesh's $70 M Country Programme
Dhaka, 11 June : A country programme for Bangladesh has been considered and approved today during the Executive Board meeting of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The purpose of the programme is to continue UNFPA's work in the areas of population development, reproductive health and gender equality, according to a release of Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York.
The programme will focus on reducing inequalities, improving health human resources, improving the quality of emergency obstetric care and providing youth friendly services. It is based on the situation analysis, the programme evaluation and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), 2012-2016.
The approved country programme is $70 million, of which $40 million from regular budget. This is in line with the Bangladesh government's commitment to double the percentage of skilled birth attendance, reduce the rate of adolescent pregnancies and to halve the unmet need for family planning by 2015.
The USA, Sweden and Tanzania appreciated the work being done in Bangladeshand reiterated their support for the country programme. The US delegate stressed the need to work with vulnerable groups such as commercial sex workers and drug users in order to tackle the problem of HIV/AIDS. Sweden emphasized the need to involve all stakeholders to be more effective.

Grenade explodes in front of Assam Rifle unit in Meghalaya
Shillong, 11 June : A grenade blast occurred in front of the main gate of an Assam Rifles unit here today but there was no casualty.
An Assam Rifles spokesman said a 42-year-old civilian, apparently in inebriated condition, allegedly lobbed the grenade at a drain in front of the unit gate located at Madanriting in the city this evening.

Let black money flow : Dhaka Stock Exchange's chief Rizvi
Dhaka, 11 June : Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) wants the provision to legalise black money to stay for the companies listed in the share market.
“The opportunity to invest unaccounted income in government treasury bonds should be given to the companies listed in the share market,” DSE president Shakil Rizvi told a post-budget press conference on Saturday.

73,000 villages to have banking facility by 2012: FM Pranab
Raghunathganj, 11 June : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said 73,000 villages in the country would have banking facility by next year.
"By 31 March, 2012, banking facility will be available in 73,000 villages across the country going by the current pace of work," Mukherjee said after inaugurating a Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch at Talai under Raghunathganj police station area in Murshidabad district.
Mukherjee said the government wants to enable every citizen of the country to avail banking facility in future. He said Talai was among the 117 villages of the country to have been chosen by the PNB to mark its 117th year, where branches were being set up and local development projects undertaken.
Pranab Mukherjee also inaugurated an agri-training centre in the village and hoped it would help farmers acquire modern farming skills for better yield.

PM Hasina inaugurates two power plants at Meghanaghat
UNB, Narayanganj, 11 June : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally inaugurated a 100 MW furnace oil-fired Quick Rental Power Plant at Meghnaghat today.
She also laid the foundation of a 335-MW duel-fuel combined cycle power plant at the same place. Hasina inaugurated the 25.17 MW captive power plant, set up by Everest Power Generation Company, a sister concern of Meghna Group.

It's a good decision : Min Pranab on the bill on Singur land
Kolkata, 11 June : Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today made light of the criticism being faced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for first announcing an ordinance and then saying a bill would be moved in the assembly to reclaim the 400 acre at Singur.
"So what? It's a good decision," Mukherjee told reporters in reply to a question before leaving for his Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district.

Khaplang issues counter expulsions, splits in NSCN group
PTI, Kohima, 11 June : Two days after his expulsion from Khole-Kitovi group of NSCN, its former chairman has come up with counter-expulsion orders against senior functionaries of GPRN/NSCN terming it as an "unification group", indicating further splits in the Naga insurgent outfit.
Using the nomenclature of National Socialist Council of Nagaland and addressing himself as its chairman, S S Khaplang yesterday issued two expulsion orders -- one for general secretary N Kitovi Zhimomi and the other for 'kilo kilonser' (home minister) Azheto Chophy and six other functionaries of GPRN/NSCN.
The expulsion orders, issued to the media through P Tikhak who termed himself as "spokesperson of NSCN(K)," described the expelled functionaries as "members of the unification camp" and said they were expelled for their "anti-party activities".

Monsoon likely to advance to Indian North-east in two days
Kolkata, 11 June : Conditions are favourable for the Southwest Monsoon to advance to the northeast and some parts of north Bengal in the next two days, the weathermen said today.
Director of the regional meteorological centre G C Debnath told Bengal Newz that radar watch of the monsoon current confirmed the existence of favourable conditions for its advance to the northeast and north Bengal.
Thereafter, Debnath said, the flow would somewhat weaken causing delay in its arrival in eastern India. However, good rainfall activity will continue along the west coast and northeastern states.

Manipur fixes urea price at Rs 400 per Bag to help farmers
PTI, Imphal, 11 June : In a move to help farmers, Manipur government has decided to provide them urea at Rs 400 per bag of 50 kg, official sources said today.
The decision to reduce the price from about Rs 600 per bag was taken during a cabinet meeting presided over by the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh yesterday, sources said. The amount of Rs 2 crores, sanctioned by the state cabinet, would be used in giving subsidy to 10,000 metric tonnes of urea to ensure urea to farmers at Rs 400 per bag, the sourced added.

Amitav Ghosh comes out with second of his Ibis Trilogy...
PTI, New Delhi, 11 June : The Ibis after its tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean to the Mauritius Islands has now moved to Canton in China in a fascinating build-up to the Opium Wars.
Three years after the internationally-acclaimed beginning to his masterful epic, the Ibis Trilogy with the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted "Sea of Poppies", author Amitav Ghosh returns with another engrossing novel depicting the further adventures of those aboard the Ibis.
"River of Smoke" is second of the trilogy of Ibis, is published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin.
In September 1838, a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, having a motley array of sailors and stowaways, convicts and indentured labourers and moving from Kolkata to Mauritius, is caught up in the whirlwind. When the seas settle, five men have disappeared - two lascars, two convicts and one of the passengers.