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Friday, June 10, 2011

BNP announces countrywide 36 hrs 'Hartal' from Sunday on CG

Dhaka, 10 June : Bangladesh's opposition BNP on Friday announced a 36 hours countrywide hartal from 6am (BDST) on Sunday protesting the government’s move to scrap the caretaker government system from Constitution.
The hartal was also called protesting the government’s move to delete the phrase "absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah" from constitution and abolish the provision of maintaining good relation with the Muslim world from the Constitution.
The other issues include 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.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the 36 hour hartal programme at a press conference at the party’s central office at Nayapaltan at 11:30am (BDST).
The 36 hours hartal would be the first of its kind by BNP against the AL government during its two and half years tenure. All the last five hartals enforced by BNP were daylong hartals. File Photo

Singur Ordinance replaced with Bill, govt advances session
PTI, Kolkata, 10 June : In the wake of the opposition CPI(M)'s objection, West Bengal government today decided that it would place a bill in the Assembly next week, instead of the ordinance it had promulgated earlier, to reclaim 400 acres land at the abandoned site of Tata Motors in Singur.
Speaker of the assembly Biman Bandyopadhyay told PTI that a instead of the ordinance promulgated yesterday, a bill would be placed in the Assembly to reclaim 400 acres land and return it to unwilling farmers of Singur. The move came on a day when a Left delegation led by leader of the opposition Dr Surya Kanta Mishra met governor M K Narayanan and said it would not be proper to promulgate an ordinance when the assembly was in session.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said only one bill would be passed in the ''new session'' and that was in the interest of the helpless farmers of Singur. The first session of the newly-elected West Bengal assembly has been advanced by 12 days to enable the government to adopt the bill on Singur land.
The session would now start on 13 June instead of 24 June, assembly secretariat sources said. "It will be a totally new session of the House.... we attach utmost significance to the people of Singur who are in distress having lost their land. We can''t waste valuable time and therefore the date of House session has been advanced," she told reporters at the Writers Buildings.
Mamata Banerjee yesterday announced promulgation of the ordinance, signed by Governor M K Narayanan, for reclaiming 400 acres of land at Singur. File Photo
PM urges to keep essential prices stable ahead of Ramadan
Dhaka, 10 June : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the businessmen to keep prices of essentials within the reach of the commoners and market stable during the coming holy month of Ramadan.
Prime Minister made the call at a meeting with the businessmen at her official residence Ganobhaban on Friday night. Following the Prime Minister’s call, the businessmen promised to keep the market prices within the reach of the people during the Ramadan.

Work on 2nd rail link to Bangladesh to start soon in Tripura
Agartala, 10 June : India will construct an 18-km-long railway line at a cost of Rs 267 crore to connect Agartala with Akhaura via Gangasagar in Bangladesh, a top railway official said today.
B N Rajsekhar, additional member of the Indian Railway Board, said here that the project, second after the Kolkata-Dhaka line, would be completed in two and a half years.
A six-member delegation, led by Rajsekhar, yesterday saw the alignment of the railway line and gave a final nod to it.
Rajsekhar said the project was held up for a long time and got a fresh lease of life only after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited New Delhi last year.
"Two months ago the Planning Commission had asked the Railway Board to finalise the alignment of the railway," he said. Photos : Parthajit Dutta
IIP growth plunges to 6.3%, FM Pranab finds it "disturbing"
PTI, New Delhi, 10 June : Industrial output growth in India plunged to 6.3% in April due to a dismal show by manufacturing and mining sectors, which prompted the government to term the situation as disturbing.
According to the government data with base year of 2004-05, the factory output in 2010-11, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is higher at 8.2%. This prompted Chief Economic Adviser Dr Kaushik Basu to suggest that growth numbers for 2010-11 may be revised upwards from the provisional 8.5%.
Prop. tax rate at source on export to hinder growth : FBCCI
Dhaka, 10 June : Expressing a mixed reaction on proposed budget for next fiscal, FBCCI president AK Azad on Friday said it reflected government’s sincere efforts for a growth, industry and business-friendly budget, but industrialization will be impeded if their proposals are not accepted.
“We welcome the budget… though it lacks specific guidelines in some areas. We’ll soon sit with the government for discussion. If our proposals are not accepted, industrialization will be impeded,” he said adding that there is no specific guideline to encourage private sector.
The president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry came up with the observation at a press conference at the FBCCI conference room to give the apex trade body’s official reaction over the proposed budget for fiscal 20111-12. Photo : Nashirul Islam

Climate change to have large-scale effect on NE biodiversity
PTI, Guwahati, 10 June : The impact of climate change is likely to result in large-scale changes in the biodiversity of the Northeast, a study has revealed.
The study, sponsored by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), has warned that change in temperature and quantum and intensity of rainfall coupled with extreme weather conditions would have a long-term impact, particularly on the structure and composition of forests in the region.
The impact is likely to be more severe in areas where other pressures are deemed to be high, including stability of the natural systems affected due to socio-economic pressures such as encroachment on forest areas, over-grazing, felling of trees for jhum cultivation, etc.
With the impact not being uniform across the region, it is expected to be higher in certain areas and on certain communities because of various factors.
They include physio-geographic and topographic features, degree of association with climate-sensitive environments and ecosystems, socio-economic, political and cultural characteristics of the region and communities, the study pointed out.
The study seeks to understand the factors that determine the vulnerability of the Northeast in terms of the effect of the climatic change and identify measures to reduce the impact.
The study asserted that despite its rich natural resources, the region lagged behind others in terms of social and economic development.

CPI-M leaders slams Government ordinance on Singur land
Kolkata, 10 June : Opposition CPI(M) today criticised promulgation of ordinance by the West Bengal government for reclaiming 400 acres land at the abandoned site of the Tata Motors in Singur, saying an ordinance could not be passed when the Assembly was in session.
"Assembly session was on. Assembly was not prorogued. When assembly session was on, ordinance cannot be promulgated," leader of opposition Dr Surya Kanta Mishra said commenting on the ordinance. Similar voice was also raised by the former speaker of state Assembly Hasim Abdul Halim.
An estimated over 70,000 children infected with HIV in India
PTI, Kolkata, 10 June : An estimated 70,000 children are infected with HIV in India and the ailment is caused to most of them by parent-to-child-transmission (PTCT), according to a recent finding by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
Participants of a UNICEF-state AIDS Prevention and Control Society seminar here said, quoting NACO estimates, that a small proportion of these children are infected by unsafe injections and blood transfusions.
"UNICEF supports the government in its effort to halt and reverse the HIV/AIDS outbreak in India to reduce the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children," the country chief of UNICEF, HIV and AIDS, Ivonne Camaroni told PTI on the sidelines of the seminar yesterday.
With 21,000 children infected every year through PTCT, the UNICEF wanted to provide strategic supplies of drugs and commodities, improve the capacity of staff by developing innovative communication approaches for prevention and care and helping to improve monitoring and reporting systems.
The possible factors behind infection of children were mother-to-child transmission, blood transfusion and HIV positive mothers not having availed prevention facility during pregnancy, Camaroni said.
Total 49 illegal firearms seized in West Midnapore district
Medinipur, 10 June : A total of 49 illegal firearms were recovered from the house of a CPI(M) leader and a place near the riverbank at West Midnapore district, police said.
According to police, 15 illegal rifles were seized from an well of the local CPI(M) leader Nandulal Pal at Manidaha village in the district headquarters town here. Police also recovered illegal guns from the char of the Kansabati river.
ULFA, govt resolve to stay away from violence: Tarun Gogoi
PTI, Guwahati, 10 June : Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said that though there was no official declaration of ceasefire with the banned ULFA, the government and the militant outfit have decided to use restraint and refrain from violence when the peace talks have been continuing.
"There is no official declaration of ceasefire, but the government and ULFA led by pro-talk chief Arabindo Rajkhowa have decided to refrain from violence," Gogoi said in his first press conference after assuming office for the third consecutive term. He said efforts have been on to bring ULFA commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, known for his anti-talks stance, into the discussion table.

Women’ home resembles inferno: Minister to suspend chief
Special Report , Malda, 10 June : The missing of an inmate from the women’s home in Malda under the social welfare department has bared its inferno like state and the inhuman environment amidst which 26 inmates mostly minor are spending the days under inexplicable agony. The state women and child and social welfare minister Sabitri Mitra was speechless seeing the abominable condition of the home during her visit after learning from sources that the missing girl might have been fallen a prey of trafficking.
It was seen that all the inmates were accommodated in a single room. There was no adequate cot nor did the cots have at least a bed sheet. The helpless inmates are compelled to lie on the bare cots. The inmates of different ages have been put together without paying least heed to the psychological effect. Even the mentally challenged inmates are put with the other inmates and those poor girls receive no special care from the home authorities as was visible during the minister’s visit.

They were made sit like cows on the bare cots before the minister decided to visit the home. Their mute faces were expressive of mixed feelings fear and helplessness, agony and emptiness. It was hard to believe that the socially abused or immorally trafficked women could be accommodated in such a mean environment. “Instead of providing solace, such an environment would rather perish their mental state further,” said Dr C Roy, a psychiatrist.
“We are subjected to all sorts of torture here. We are beaten so brutally that we have lost the words to protest,” said Sunita (name changed) a Hindi speaking inmate aged around 15 years. While Sunita was narrating before Bengal Newz the tortures incurred upon them allegedly by the super of the home, another minor inmate was reminding her by pinching about the probable dire consequence.
Rama Ghoshal (name changed) said: “I cannot tell you who torture us here but once you leave, our agony would be doubled and we would be beaten from pillar to post for yawning our mouths.” Rama was visibly fumbling while her friends sat bowing their faces.
Another inmate whispered: “We are served scanty amount of food and if we protest, they would tease us initially and later the torture would begin. In the same breath she said: “The super of the home punishes us physically if we protest against her dictatorship.”
A former employee, who was removed by the super of the home said on the condition of anonymity: “I apprehend the some of the inmates were forced to indulge in flesh trade.” “The super receives salary for her job and collects rent as the home is lodged at her building,” she said.
The entire scenario prevailed in the home was enough for any person with minimum intelligence the abhorrent state of the inmates. In response of the minister’s pertinent question, the accused super was trying to hide her faults feebly and thereby exposing herself all the more. Minister Sabitri Mitra said: “I have understood everything and I would take stern action against the home authorities including suspension after I go Kolkata.” Photos : Uday Mondal