Bhasa Andolon has strengthened ties between West Bengal and Bangladesh: WB CM

WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee today laid the foundation stone of ‘Bhasa Smarak ’near the Birla Planetarium to pay homage to the martyrs of language movement.

The WB government had set up a ‘Bhasa Shaheed Smarak’ at Deshapriya Park earlier, but this one will at the heart of the city. After laying the foundation stone she said, “this Smarak will be a replica of the Dhaka University one and Jogen Chowdhury will modify it a bit. I am proud I will be in Bangladesh on 21 Feb. Thanks to UN for declaring it International Mother Language Day.”

Earlier in the day she addressed the press at the West Bengal Assembly. “The Bhasha Andolan strengthens the relationship between the two countries which share a large history and culture. I want the cultural, business, transport relationship with Bangladesh to develop further”, she said.

She expressed her gratitude to the Bangladesh Government for inviting her. She added, “I feel proud that the Bangladesh Government has extended invitation to us on the occasion of Bhasa Divas. The day is very significant in the history of Bangladesh. We have a very good cooperation with the Bangladesh authorities. I will be meeting the Bangladesh President and the Prime Minister.”

She also spoke about pending issues of border enclave and fishermen. WB CM Ms Mamata Banerjee has talked with the Union External Affairs Minister. She said, “We have requested the Center to prepare a rehabilitation package for the people living in the border enclave. Due to crossing of geographical boundaries, fishermen from both India and Bangladesh get arrested. We have been releasing the Bangladeshis, mostly fishermen, held as prisoners from time to time. Bangladeshi Government is also reciprocating.”


“West Bengal will act as bridge for cultural exchange between Bangladesh and India. In West Bengal we celebrate the Bhasa Divas by paying respect to all languages. I pay my tributes to “Bhasha Shahids” she added.


CM Ms Mamata Banerjee will be leaving for Dhaka later today. She has been invited as the chief guest of “Bhasa Divas” ceremony at the Central Shaheed Minar.


Ham Radio

WB Govt to use ham radio to issue warnings to fishermen

The state government has taken an initiative to use amateur radio, popularly known as ham radio, to communicate warnings to fishermen engaged in deep sea fishing.

The fishermen may soon get new technology that can send them weather bulletin and save them from venturing into the deep sea during extreme weather condition.

Recently the regional meteorological department along with the state fisheries department organised a workshop at Digha to demonstrate the efficacy of ham radio with the help of a radio club that operates in the state and across the country.

Mr Ambarish Nag Biswas, secretary of West Bengal Radio Club, said they have already given live demonstration in the presence of officials from both the fisheries department and regional meteorological department.

Another senior officer of the fisheries department said that they have already applied for necessary clearances from Ministry of Communication and Information and Technology.

GOI must take steps to expedite release of Bengali fishermen arrested by Bangladesh

Bangladesh authorities have been seizing and confiscating several registered Indian fishing trawlers in Bay of Bengal on the pretext of violating International Maritime Border Line.

132 fishermen from West Bengal to been arrested by Bangladesh authorities and kept in Bagherhat jail in Khulna division since October this year. The fishermen were unaware of the new re-alignment of the maritime border between the two countries.

Realignment of maritime border

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on December 2, 2014, spoke to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to initiate the process of bringing back fishermen who have been captured in Bangladesh owing to the change in Indo-Bangla martime border after the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) was passed in July earlier this year.

Principal Secretary of the Fisheries Department, Syed Ahmed Baba stated that protocol requires a 3 month cooling off period after the verdict is passed, during which there cannot be any action taken against cross border trawlers on the basis of the order. After this period, the Energy Maritime Association (EMA) is supposed to notify on the redrawn maritime border and give appropriate time to such trawlers to return to their respective countries.

Centre must take immediate action

19,000 sq km of exclusive economic maritime zone where Indian fishermen would cast their nets, which was handed over to Bangladesh about five months ago to bring an end to a 40-year-old dispute between the two countries, has negatively resulted in families of the 132 fishermen in Khulna jail, spending sleepless nights.

It is difficult to free these guiltless fishermen unless the Foreign Ministry sends a message explaining what had led to the error. We demand immediate steps from the Government of India to have a dialogue with the Bangladesh Government for the release of fishermen and trawlers.