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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gurung bullet cry on dais...GNLF noozes Morcha

TT, Calcutta, March 10: Bimal Gurung, the president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, was prevented by his bodyguards today from carrying out a threat during a public meeting in Kalimpong to “put a bullet” to his head for failure to realise his “vision”.
However, in a twist of irony, some Morcha leaders told journalists not to file reports or photographs of the incident. Later, the Morcha said that a report could be published but not the photographs of the particular incident.
In the interest of readers who cannot be denied information and a chance to be apprised of the extent to which Gurung was prepared to go for statehood, The Telegraph is reporting the event as well as carrying an illustration done in Calcutta based on information from the ground.
The Morcha president was in the middle of his speech on Leechi Ground when he expressed remorse for not being able to realise his “vision” (of getting Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010) and walked towards a table on the middle of the dais and tried to open a suitcase kept on it.
However, before he could open the box, one his bodyguards snatched it from him. “I only want to put one bullet in my head. You can’t prevent me by surrounding me,” Gurung said, as the people seated on the dais circled him.
Around 500 people gasped and some screamed but Gurung returned to the microphone and continued his speech. “Mero mun ma ekprakar ko bahi raheko cha (I am having a strange feeling),” he said and wished his party’s central committee and the people well before ending his speech.
As soon as Gurung was through with his speech, the party’s assistant secretary, Binay Tamang, took the microphone and promised to ensure the safety of Gurung, as the audience shouted “Jai Gorkhaland” and “Jai Bimal Gurung”.
Some people wiped tears. Tamang then made a request to the people in the hills, the Dooars and Terai to pray for the next three days for a long life for Gurung. “Gorkhaland will happen in the presence of Bimal Gurung,” Tamang said.
Earlier in his speech, Gurung said he was aware that many people were waiting for today in order to see if he would act on his threat to kill himself. “I have come to spend my last few moments in your backyard. I am a father’s son. In the past 30 months, I have struggled with many things, but I have never tried to undermine your issue,” he said.
Gurung had in the past promised to deliver Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010.
“We had tied up with the BJP because it promised to create new states within 100 days of coming to power. Had the BJP come to power, Gorkhaland would have happened much before 2010,” he told the gathering.
GNLF dangles noose to rap Morcha Drama greets 'empty promises'
TT, Siliguri, March 10: GNLF leader Rajen Mukhia today organised a media conference holding a rope with noose and iterated his promise that he would hang himself if the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha could keep its pledge of achieving the separate state.
“After Bimal Gurung’s assertion that he would achieve Gorkhaland by March 10, 2010 or else he would shoot himself in public, I had announced that if he could deliver on the promise, I would commit suicide by hanging,” said Mukhia, the convener of the Terai branch of the GNLF.
According to Mukhia, the Morcha is making empty promises to fool the people of the hills.
“Since this morning, I have been carrying this rope (with noose) to hear from the Morcha leadership that they have achieved Gorkhaland and to commit suicide to keep my word. I rang up Alokekantmani Thulung ( a central committee member of the Morcha) at 11.19am and asked him where Gorkhaland was. He could not answer and now I want to see how the Morcha leader will keep his word or else, we interpret this as another attempt by him to fool the people in the hills,” said the GNLF leader.
Mukhia said it was part of the GNLF’s tactics to keep silent when the Morcha had gone on the rampage frequently in the hills after its birth in 2007.
“We remained silent and did not do anything even when houses and vehicles of our leaders and supporters were torched and attacked. The non-reaction was only to make sure that the Morcha would not blame the GNLF in future for its failure to form Gorkhaland.”
Hinting that the hills would again witness violence, Mukhia said the GNLF cadres had now been asked to come out and confront Morcha members.
The GNLF said the only result of the Morcha movement was that its leaders had become millionaires by siphoning off government funds. “We feel the movement was part of a conspiracy hatched by the state government to deter the GNLF from achieving the separate state,” said Mukhia.
He added that the GNLF was seeking Gorkhaland or autonomous council under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. “We are moving step by step and are waiting to know the result of the March 18 tripartite meeting at the political level. If nothing fruitful emerges after the talks, we will raise the demand to bring the hills under the Sixth Schedule.”
He said Subash Ghisingh’s party did not believe in fixing arbitrary deadlines to achieve the goals..
CPM call
The Darjeeling district leaders of the CPM on Wednesday asked the Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee to call off the 24-hour strike on March 18 to protest the tripartite meeting in Delhi on that day.
“The CPM wants a peaceful environment in the (Darjeeling) district before and during the tripartite talks and asks the Bhasha Banchao Committee to withdraw the strike,” said Jibesh Sarkar, a district secretariat member of the party.
Hill teachers’ threat yields talks offer
TT, Siliguri, March 10: Officials of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education today said they were ready to discuss the demands raised by a teachers’ union of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha so that it did not go ahead with the threat to skip exam duties.
The Janmukti Secondary Teachers’ Association had announced yesterday that its members would not evaluate the answer scripts of the Madhyamik candidates and would abstain from invigilation during the Higher Secondary exams scheduled to begin on March 17, if their demands were not fulfilled.
The union had demanded that an adhoc board be formed in the hills to recommend the regularisation of contract teachers, appointment of headmasters and recognition and upgrade of junior high schools.
“We have not yet received any formal communication from the association,” said Debasis Dutta, the regional officer of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education at Shivmandir near Siliguri. “But if the threat is true, it will definitely be a problem for us. We need to sit with them and discuss the demands raised by them.”
A total of 11,307 students appeared for this year’s Madhyamik examinations conducted by the board at eight centres across the three hill subdivisions.
Mukta Narjinari, the deputy secretary at the north Bengal regional office of the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education also denied having received any intimation from the association.
An official of the council said on condition of anonymity that they would explore the possibility of sending teachers from the plains to exam centres in the hills for supervision. “Also, more teachers have to be roped in to check answersheets to ensure that results are announced in time. But we have to take into account the security of the teachers if they are sent to the hills.”
Tamal Chanda, the Darjeeling district secretary of the All Bengal Teachers’ Association, criticised the Morcha union for issuing the threat.
“It is unbecoming to teachers to announce such decisions. The teachers can raise demands and organise movements, but they should not do anything that will affect the future of the students.”

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