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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ghising wants VI th Schedule in hills

KalimNews:In a letter to the Central and State Government Ghising had warned that there would be chaos in the hills if special status under VIth schedule is not granted in due time. He also alleged crores of  government funds is being misused in the DGHC and there is a conspiracy by the GJMM and CPM to misuse the public money by forming an alternative setup of DGHC by rival parties. 
Addressing a Press Conference of GNLF at Jalpaiguri on Friday Ghising stated that nothing other than present DGHC and VIth schedule will be accepted by GNLF and th e hill people and above all it is violation of the DGHC accord made on 22nd August 1988 .  GNLF is still in existence in the hills, it has just given a chance to other parties for time being for Gorkhaland but it has failed to fulfill the aspirations of Gorkhas, Ghising stated. We also want to be included in the tripartite meeting but so far we have not received any invitation, he further added.
It is said that Ghising is sure that GJMM will be forced to agree on the alternative setup which will have less power than VIth schedule, thats why he is again asserting his existence.
Ghising in his letter addressed to P. Chidambaram the Home Minister has warned the Central Government  that GNLF will not accept any thing less than VIth schedule as an outcome of  the  tripartite talks of 18th March.
In the other hand GJMM is of the opinion that the proposed setup in lieu of DGHC would be as powerful as a state and Gorkhaland will not be necessary, said Dr. H.B. Chhetri spokesperson of GJMM at Kurseong. At the same time he stated that GJMM will not drop the demand of Gorkhaland and inclusion of Dooars and Terai in the propsed Gorkhaland. 
According to the political analysts , GJMM will agree to the new administrative setup in some name that will not have the name Gorkha or Gorkhaland nor any areas of Dooars. It will have more administrative power as well as flow of grants than the present DGHC but less than the VIth schedule status. There would be more corruption in the hills as the flow of money will bring division and dissatisfaction among the common mass. GJMM would again be a party of contractors and Dadas and all sincere GJMM leaders will be forced to resign from it. Meanwhile GJMM will promise and will raise the demand of Gorkhaland but in due course of time it will be just a vote propaganda, they presumed.
CPRM cry for tea wage hike
TT, Darjeeling, March 5: The CPRM-affiliated union for tea garden workers in the hills has demanded an interim increment of 33 per cent in their daily wage.
K.B. Subba, general secretary of the Darjeeling Terai Dooars Chia Kaman Mazdoor Union, said given the rise in food prices, the workers were finding it hard to make their ends meet.
“According to the labour department, New Delhi, the minimum daily wage in Sikkim was Rs 85, Rs 89 in Karnataka, Rs 87 in Uttar Pradesh, Rs 71 in Tamil Nadu, Rs 81 in Kerala and Rs 73 in Jharkhand for 2006-07. But workers in the hills are getting only Rs 62.50,” said Subba.
An agreement on hike in the wages of tea garden workers had last been reached on August 23, 2008.
“We demand an interim increment of 33 per cent of the current wage not only in the hills but in the Terai and the Dooars also,” said Subba.
According to the union, the second largest in the hills, there are three lakh workers in 277 gardens in north Bengal, of whom 55,000 are in the hills.
Sandeep Mukherjee, the secretary of the Darjeeling Tea Association, had recently said: “The industry is in trouble. While the production has come down, labour strength of 55,000 has not gone down. Wages, too, have increased by almost 20 per cent in a decade.”
Nexus exposed: CPI(M)
TH,KOLKATA: The disclosures to the police made by the senior Maoist leader, Venkatesh Reddy alias Deepak, underscore the nexus between the Maoists and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Mohammed Salim, member of the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said here on Friday.
Deepak — who was arrested on March 2 — has reportedly indicated to interrogators his outfit's links with the Trinamool in Nandigram and Khejuri — scenes of intermittent violence over much of 2007. He revealed that the Trinamool had provided the Maoists with arms and they, in turn, trained party activists in the use of firearms.
Deepak is also believed to have been behind planning a violent movement against the setting up of a nuclear power plant in Haripur, a project the Trinamool is opposed to.
“This is part of the design of the Trinamool to obstruct development in the State the way they did in Singur,” Mr. Salim said.
Though the Trinamool is part of the government at the Centre, it was opposing the decision on joint security operations to flush out Maoists, he pointed out. The operations started in the Lalgarh area in June 2009.
‘Garnering sympathy'
“They [Trinamool] are trying to garner sympathy for the Maoists, who are being provided logistics and ground support by them,” Mr. Salim said. “While the Maoists are an underground group engaged in guerrilla warfare, the Trinamool Congress is creating a conducive atmosphere [for the ultras to operate] out in the open.”
Mr. Salim also condemned the killings of CPI (M) workers in the “Trinamool-Maoist nexus” almost every day, pointing out that a local leader of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (a youth organisation of the CPI-M) was murdered on Thursday in the Belpahari area of Paschim Medinipur district by suspected Maoists.
The violence unleashed by Maoists and Trinamool activists on CPI (M) and other Left workers will be highlighted at a rally by the Left parties in Delhi on March 12.
KESHAV PRADHAN, TIMES OF INDIA:Bimal Gurung, 44, is often called a mass leader born out of the television tube. In 2007, the Nepali diaspora across the globe was seized by frenzy when Prashant Tamang, a Kolkata Police constable and native of Darjeeling, reached the voting round of Indian Idol-III , a reality TV show. In no time, numerous fan clubs named after the new singing sensation sprouted everywhere.
Gurung, then a Subash Ghisingh loyalist , volunteered to raise funds to help people vote for Prashant. Money poured in from India, Nepal, Bhutan, the Gulf, the US, Britain, Hong Kong and Brunei (the last three have a sizeable number of serving and retired Gorkha soldiers from the British army). Prashant is believed to have got over five crore votes, twice the size of the Nepali population, in the final. Prashant’s victory turned Gurung into a hero. Grateful Gorkhas rallied behind him as he geared up to take on Ghisingh, who had refused to help Prashant. The impulsive former militant leader quit Ghisingh’s GNLF to float the GJM in collaboration with leaders of Prashant Fan Clubs on October 7, 2007. By then, Ghisingh’s popularity was on the wane for a number of factors. The crafty former bantamweight boxer had landed himself in a mess by trying to bring the Darjeeling hills under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. 
People were very unhappy with him for not helping Prashant, the way Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling did. Gurung was waiting to avenge the raw deal he had always got from Ghisingh. A school dropout, Gurung roped in intellectuals , whom Ghisingh always shunned, to add respectability to his party. Within weeks, he hounded his discredited mentor, who headed the DGHC for 19 years, out of the hills. To consolidate his hold, he shifted his focus to the Gorkhaland issue. This paid immediate dividends as West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee invited him to Kolkata in February 2008. Since then, Writers’ Building has always treated Gurung as the sole representative of the hills. A rabble rouser, Gurung has declared that he will shoot himself dead if he fails to achieve Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010. Like Ghisingh, he is superstitious and consults astrologers before taking any crucial decision. 
All through the 1986-88 Gorkhaland stir, Gurung was attached to Gorkha Volunteers’ Cell, the GNLF’s police wing that beheaded people, burnt down houses of CPM workers and launched armed attacks on government installations and security posts. He went into hiding for years thereafter . When he resurfaced in the ’90s, he organised unemployed youth under the banner of the Parbatiya Bekari Sangathan and worked as a contractor. Later, he returned to the GNLF and represented Tukvar, his native place, in the DGHC after disgruntled party workers killed sitting councillor Rudra Kumar Pradhan in 1999. 
“We took up arms because Ghisingh misguided us. I have now realised that violence is bad for everybody,” Gurung once said. Possibly because of this, he has so far desisted from arming his cadres, including those from Gorkhaland Personnel. The man who has seen poverty and suffering from close, now talks about Gandhi and his non-violent agitations like noncooperation and satyagraha. His party workers pointedly display his portrait along with that of Gandhi. His wife, Asha, leads the GJM’s women wing.

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