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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Morcha axes two... to rebuild singer home

TT,Darjeeling, March 31: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has suspended two of its office-bearers in Pokhriabong-Nagri constituency for two months over an attack on the house of singer Binod Sangden on March 16.
The party has also decided to rebuild Sangden’s house at Magarjung, about 40km from here, and bear the cost, although Morcha and the singer himself had said there was no political angle to the attack.
Jyoti Kumar Rai, a central committee member of the Morcha who has been entrusted with looking after the party activities in Pokhriabong-Nagrifarm, said: “We have directed the president of the local unit, Bhawajit Tamang, and Dipen Mallay, who heads the youth wing in the area, to refrain from indulging in any party activities for the next two months. The incident (arson) was an outcome of a misunderstanding between two groups. Everyone is a Morcha supporter and it is our responsibility to help Sangden given his stature.”
Even though the reason for suspending the leaders was not given by Rai, it is believed that the Morcha took action as the two had failed to control the situation that had led to the attack on the house.
Sources said two groups of local youths had been at loggerheads over a contract work in the area. One group went on the rampage, burning a motor bike and damaging a vehicle allegedly belonging to the rivals on March 16. The house of Sangden was also burnt down, but the exact reason for the attack is not yet known.
“My house was set on fire by anti-socials over a contract work. There were no political overtones in the incident and I request all to refrain from politicising the issue. However, I urge the Morcha to ensure that those responsible for the incident are punished,” Sangden had said.
The Morcha had come in for criticism from rival parties as well as its own frontal organisations like the ex-servicemen’s association for failing to maintain peace in the area. Sensing the public sentiments, Morcha president Bimal Gurung had ordered an inquiry to fix the people responsible for the attack.
Hotelier ‘flees’ hills
Ajay Edwards, a hotelier, has alleged that he was forced to leave Darjeeling on Sunday by a group of 15-20 people. “I have been staying in Siliguri, but I had gone to Darjeeling to look after my parents who are not keeping well and to take care of my business. However, a group of 15-20 people came to my place on Sunday and asked me to leave Darjeeling,” Edwards said over the phone from Siliguri.
He owns Glenary’s, a popular restaurant in Darjeeling
“I am not linked to any party and as a lover of the hills, I welcome any interim arrangement that will bring peace, stability and development to the region,” he added.

Jaigaon: Debpara Tea Estate in the Dooars will reopen on Thursday. The decision was taken at a meeting at the deputy labour commissioner’s office in Jalpaiguri on Wednesday. The garden with 1,175 workers on its payroll has been shut since March 26. Sonali Tea Estate, which had closed down on March 19, reopened on Wednesday.

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