Bappa's Feed
Jun 2, 2010

Govt may allow Chinese telecom imports – source

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India may allow imports of Chinese telecom equipment after security checks, a top government official said, indicating a softening of India’s position on an issue that has clouded ties between the two Asian powers.

Earlier this year, India had barred Indian mobile phone operators from placing orders with China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp because of security concerns, Indian telecom industry officials have said.

Jun 1, 2010

India policy body hirings signal socialist agenda

NEW DELHI, May 31 (Reuters) – India has appointed several
socialist intellectuals and activists to a powerful government
policy advisory body, officials said on Monday, signalling the
possibility of higher spending on costly social programmes.

The National Advisory Council (NAC) is headed by Sonia
Gandhi, powerful chief of the ruling Congress party who is seen
as more inclined toward favouring the predominantly rural poor
to help boost the party ahead of some key state elections.

May 31, 2010

National Advisory Council hirings signal socialist agenda

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The government has appointed several socialist intellectuals and activists to a powerful policy advisory body, officials said on Monday, signalling the possibility of higher spending on costly social programmes.

The National Advisory Council (NAC) is headed by Sonia Gandhi, powerful chief of the ruling Congress party who is seen as more inclined toward favouring the predominantly rural poor to help boost the party ahead of some key state elections.

May 28, 2010

Q+A: How big is the Maoist threat in India?

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Suspected Maoist rebels sabotaged a high-speed train in eastern India on Friday, killing at least 65 people when the crowded train derailed and smashed into the path of a goods train, officials said.

Maoists rebels have in recent months stepped up attacks in response to a government security offensive to clear them out of their jungle bases.

May 28, 2010

Maoists suspected of sabotaging India train, 65 dead

NEW DELHI, May 28 (Reuters) – Maoist rebels are suspected of sabotaging a high-speed train in eastern India on Friday, killing at least 65 people after it smashed into the path of a goods train, officials said.

Local television showed the mangled wreckage of capsized carriages across the tracks and the death toll could rise as many passengers were still trapped. At least 200 people were injured.

"As of now we have got information that 65 dead bodies have been recovered. There may be many more," Samar Ghosh, Home Secretary of West Bengal state where the incident occurred told NDTV news channel.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said a bomb had hit the train, but police said they were also looking at other sabotage methods such as the removal of the tracks’ "fish plates".

"From whatever I have been told the apprehension is the Maoists were involved," Banerjee said.

The crash occurred in an area known to be a stronghold of Maoist rebels. Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless, have attacked trains in the past and have stepped up attacks in recent months.

"The driver heard a loud noise which indicates there could be a blast. A detail investigation will reveal more, but definitely there was lot of tinkering done to the tracks," Vivek Sahay, a senior railway official, told reporters.

"It was definitely sabotage."

West Bengal official Ghosh said a portion of the tracks was found missing.

The Maoists number thousands of fighters across swathes of eastern and central India. In April, 76 police were killed in an ambush in one of the heaviest tolls in years.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the insurgency as India’s biggest internal security challenge and his Congress-led government has been under increasing political pressure to deal with the insurgents.

TRAPPED PASSENGERS

The Gyaneshwari Express, which was going to Mumbai from the eastern metropolis of Kolkata in West Bengal state, was derailed in the state’s Jhargram area at around 1:30 a.m. (2000 GMT).

"The cries of women and children from inside the compartments have died down. They (railway staff) are still struggling to cut through metal and bring out those trapped inside," Amitava Rath, a local journalist at the scene of the crash, told Reuters.

A reporter of the Telegraph newspaper described a scene of chaos and panic at the site. "Rescuers are struggling to save the survivors and get the bodies out," Naresh Jana told Reuters.

"I can see body parts hanging out of the compartments and under the wheels. I can hear people, women, crying for help from inside the affected coaches."

The incident comes days after a passenger airliner crashed in southern India, killing 158 people, underscoring safety issues and concern that India’s ageing infrastructure was failing to keep pace with an economic boom.

The Maoists had called a "black week" to condemn what they call police atrocities against innocent villagers and for an immediate halt to an armed campaign against them in India.

In March, police suspected their hand in the derailment of India’s most prestigious high-speed Rajdhani Express. Maoists have also taken over trains in past years in a show of strength, holding them for hours.

The rebels, who often attack police, government buildings and infrastructure such as railway stations, have in recent months stepped up attacks in response to a government security offensive to clear them out of their jungle bases.

The decades-old movement is now present in a third of the country. They are mostly spread in rural pockets of 20 of India’s 28 states and hurt potential business worth billions of dollars. (Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Michael Perry)





May 28, 2010

Suspected Maoists sabotage India train, 25 dead

NEW DELHI, May 28 (Reuters) – Suspected Maoist rebels sabotaged a high-speed train in eastern India on Friday, killing at least 25 people after it smashed into the path of a goods train, officials said.

Local television showed the mangled wreckage of capsized carriages across the tracks and the death toll could rise to between 50 and 60 as many passengers were still trapped. Dozens more were injured.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said a bomb had hit the train. Police said they were also looking at other sabotage methods such as removal of the tracks’ "fish plates".

The crash occurred in West Bengal state in an area known to be a stronghold of Maoist rebels, but involvement of Maoists has not been confirmed.

"At this stage I can confirm 25 deaths," Manoj Kumar, a railway official, told Reuters. "The toll will be much higher.

"We can give a final figure only after rescue operations are complete. We have to cut open the compartments and bring out bodies." Air force helicopters were evacuating the injured.

The Maoists, which number thousands of fighters across swathes of eastern and central India, have stepped up attacks in the last year. In April, 76 police were killed in an ambush in one of the heaviest tolls in years.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the insurgency as India’s biggest internal security challenge and his Congress-led government has been under increasing political pressure to deal with the insurgents.

The passenger train was going to Mumbai from the eastern metropolis of Kolkata in West Bengal state. The incident occurred in the state’s Jhargram area at around 1:30 a.m. (2000 GMT).

"From whatever I have been told the apprehension is the Maoists were involved," Banerjee said.

TRAPPED PASSENGERS

A reporter of the Telegraph newspaper described a scene of chaos and panic at the site.

"People are crying. Rescuers are struggling to save the survivors and get the bodies out," Naresh Jana told Reuters.

"I can see body parts hanging out of the compartments and under the wheels. I can hear people, women, crying for help from inside the affected coaches."

The incident comes days after a passenger airliner crashed in southern India, killing 158 people, underscoring safety issues and concern that India’s ageing infrastructure was failing to keep pace with an economic boom.

The Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless, have attacked trains in the past, mostly in eastern India.

In March, police suspected their hand in the derailment of India’s most prestigious high-speed Rajdhani Express. Maoists have also taken over trains in past years in a show of strength, holding them for hours.

The rebels, who often attack police, government buildings and infrastructure such as railway stations, have in recent months stepped up attacks in response to a government security offensive to clear them out of their jungle bases.

The decades-old movement is now present in a third of the country. They are mostly spread in rural pockets of 20 of India’s 28 states and hurt potential business worth billions of dollars. (Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Sugita Katyal)





May 28, 2010

Trains collide after blast in West Bengal, 25 dead

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Two trains collided after a blast hit a passenger train and flung it into the path of a speeding goods train in Jhargram area of West Bengal on Friday, killing at least 25 people, government officials said.

One local government official said the toll could go up to “anywhere around 50-60″ because many passengers were trapped inside mangled coaches.

May 28, 2010

Trains collide after blast in India, 25 dead

NEW DELHI, May 28 (Reuters) – Two trains collided after a
blast hit a passenger train and flung it into the path of a
speeding goods train in eastern India on Friday, killing at
least 25 people, government officials said.

One local government official said the toll could go up to
“anywhere around 50-60″ because many passengers were trapped
inside mangled coaches.

May 26, 2010

India fear Commonwealth Games venues will not be ready

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Construction delays have raised fears that Commonwealth Games venues may not be fully ready in time providing a potential embarrassment for India which hopes the Games will showcase its rising economic power.

The country is expecting two million tourists in New Delhi, as well as athletes from 71 teams from the 54 Commonwealth member states for the Oct. 3-14 Games. About 10,000 athletes and officials are due to take part.

May 18, 2010

Possible options in fight against Maoists

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Manhoman Singh to send in the military to quell a growing Maoist insurgency after a string of attacks this year.

Here are possible options for the government to tackle the decades-long insurgency which has killed thousands of people, mostly police, and has now spread to rural pockets in 20 of India’s 28 states.