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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Violence erupts in Jaldhaka Hills...Rural officials stay away for fear of violence

KalimNews: Three opposition leaders of Rongo were threatened allegedly by GJMM supporters of Rongo of Jaldhaka region. ABGL leader LM.Sharma, Cong Leader Prabin Gurung and CPRM leader Urgen Sherpa were threatened of dire consequences by GJMM leaders of that area .  Later the three reported the matter to the  Jaldhaka Police Station, where angry protestors of GJMM gheraoed the Thana .
They were charged by GJMM of conspiring to form another political party in Rongo area.  Later with the intervention of Sub Divisional Committee of GJMM the matter was hushed up and amicably settled. Prabin Gurung stated that we were blamed of opening a new party which is totally untrue, but now everything is settled.
In the hills there is a rumour of the possibility of formation of a new party and reviving of GNLF on and from 5th April .
This morning copies Himalaya Darpan in Kalimpong were burnt by GJMM supporters. Himalaya Darpan is blamed of spreading rumours and  disturbing the peaceful situation of the hills by printing unnecessary news.
KalimNews: 1.Kalimpong Press Club will publish Yellow Pages of Kalimpong this year , a sub committee is formed and Pradip Lohagun is co-opted as convenor .
2. 3rd Death anniversary of Late K.W.Molommu was observed by Kalimpong Press Club. He was the photojournalist of the then Himalchuli and Sunchari samachar and Ex President of Kalimpong Press Club.
Extended weekend hits hail relief
TT, Alipurduar, April 2: Forty-eight hours after a fierce hailstorm in Kalchini block damaged over 3,000 dwellings, thousands of people have been left homeless and without food, thanks to the long weekend that has apparently hampered the administration’s efforts to put together relief measures.
The worst hit are the residents of the two closed tea gardens of Kalchini and Raimatang where workers have not been given the financial allowance meant for locked out industries since October last year.
Sources in the Jalpaiguri district administration said there were sufficient funds to procure tarpaulin and plastic sheets for makeshift shelters, but because of the long weekend — with yesterday being a bank holiday and today being Good Friday followed by Saturday and Sunday — matters have not moved much. It would be at least Tuesday — for the tarpaulin sheets will be bought from Siliguri only on Monday — before relief reached those affected.
With helplessness and frustration fanning the tempers of the garden dwellers, panchayat functionaries and staff from the block development office are reluctant to visit the affected areas for fear of violence. “We have received 800 tarpaulin sheets and we fear that we will face the people’s anger if we go to them with what we have when the demand is for about 5,000 tarpaulins,” said a block official from Kalchini, 45km from here.
In Dalsingpara gram panchayat, deputy pradhan Sambhu Jaiswal has formed a 10-member team to identify the worst sufferers. “Yesterday, the administration had promised to send 50 quintals of rice but the consignment has not reached us. I have contacted the Jaigaon Merchants’ Association for supplies, as we cannot wait for the administration. Let us see how they respond,” Jaiswal said.
He said the affected people had been asked to come and stay at a camp set up with tarpaulin sheets beside the panchayat office and take shelter at a local Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan Kendra if it rains. He said at least 4,000 men, women and children were homeless in Dalsingpara.
The deputy pradhan of Kalchini gram panchayat, Chanchal Das, declared that he was too scared to face the people with a handful of tarpaulin sheets. “We are not feeling safe to distribute the small quantity of sheets sent to us, but at the same time, we are secretly giving the tarpaulins to those who have been rendered totally homeless,” Das conceded. He said the workers of the two closed gardens would be immensely benefited if they were paid the allowance.
Ramkumar Lama, the RSP zilla parishad member from Kalchini, said the non-payment of the allowance for locked out industries was a major lapse on the part of the administration. “What we are facing now is an emergency situation after a natural calamity of immense proportion. We had demanded that the block office remain open for the next three days, but no one listened to us. Not only is the administration callous, it has proved to be unsympathetic as well. The block development officer is on leave when he should have been more active,” Lama said.
The situation is a tad better for workers of Bhatpara tea estate that also faced the fury of the storm. N.S. Thapa, the manager of the garden, said 300 workers’ houses had been completely damaged and an equal number partially destroyed. “We have already spent around Rs 4 lakh to purchase tarpaulin, pipes and asbestos sheets to rebuild the houses. Tea bushes on about 300 hectares have been badly damaged and we will get new leaves only after six weeks,” Thapa said. He said no government relief had reached the garden.
Anurag Srivastav, the subdivisional officer of Alipurduar, said 5,000 tarpaulin sheets had been requisitioned. “However, because of the long weekend they cannot come before Tuesday. It will take some time to send sufficient relief to the people. I have also instructed the assistant labour commissioner to release the financial assistance for closed gardens in a week’s time,” said Srivastava.
Detonator haul in Hili border
TT, Balurghat, April 2: The BSF found 500 detonators in a shopping bag that was abandoned by a man after he was challenged by the border guards in Hili last evening.
BSF sources said the carrier, who was walking past the border with Bangladesh at Hanripukur in Hili, about 25km from here, escaped. This was the largest haul of explosive devices in the state in recent times, a BSF source claimed.
A team of senior officers is scheduled to visit Hili in connection with the seizure soon. “Around 6.30pm yesterday, the man was spotted carrying a large shopping bag in Hanripukur. As soon as the jawans asked him to stop, he dropped the bag, ran towards Bangladesh and disappeared into the darkness across the unfenced border,” the sources said.
The detonators in the bag were kept below vegetables. The jawans deposited the bag with their officers at the Hili camp. An Indian ration card was also found in it. Investigations are on to find out whether the document is fake and the whereabouts of the person named on it.
Intelligence sources said the unfenced portion of the border was a favourite gateway for subversive elements. In 2006, a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, Ali Ahmed, was arrested from the Agra area in Hili, 2km from Hanripukur. Ahmed jumped off a train near Varanasi while being taken to Kashmir by police. However, he was caught later.
Following the seizure, the BSF has tightened the vigil in the area and has also alerted its women battalions. 
Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 comes into force from April 1, 2010
PIB, New Delhi: April 1: The Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act has come
into force from today, April 1, 2010. This is a historic day for the people of India as from this day the right to education will be accorded the same legal status as the right to life as provided by
Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. Every child in the age group of 6-14 years will be provided 8 years of elementary education in an age appropriate classroom in the vicinity of his/her neighbourhood.
Any cost that prevents a child from accessing school will be borne by the State which shall have the responsibility of enrolling the child as well as ensuring attendance and completion of 8 years of schooling. No child shall be denied admission for want of documents; no child shall be turned away if the admission cycle in the school is over and no child shall be asked to take an admission test. Children with disabilities will also be educated in the mainstream schools. 
The Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh has emphasized that it is important for the country that if we nurture our children and young people with the right education, India's future as a strong and prosperous country is secure.
Further, all private schools shall be required to enroll children from weaker sections and disadvantaged communities in their incoming class to the extent of 25% of their enrolment, by simple random selection. No seats in this quota can be left vacant. These children will be treated on par with all the other children in the school and subsidized by the State at the rate of average per learner costs in the government schools (unless the per learner costs in the private school are lower).
All schools will have to prescribe to norms and standards laid out in the Act and no school that does not fulfill these standards within 3 years will be allowed to function. All private schools will have to apply for recognition, failing which they will be penalized to the tune of Rs 1 lakh and if they still continue to function will be liable to pay Rs 10,000 per day as fine.
Norms and standards of teacher qualification and training are also being laid down by an Academic Authority. Teachers in all schools will have to subscribe to these norms within 5 years. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been mandated tomonitor the implementation of this historic Right. A special Division within NCPCR will undertake this huge and important task in the coming months and years. A special toll free helpline to register complaints will be set up by NCPCR for this purpose.
NCPCR welcomes the formal notification of this Act and looks forward to playing an active role in ensuring its successful implementation. NCPCR also invites all civil society groups, students, teachers, administrators, artists, writers, government personnel, legislators, members of the judiciary and all other stakeholders to join hands and work together to build a movement to ensure that every child of this country is in school and enabled to get at least 8 years of quality
GOOD FRIDAY Celebrated
PTI, New Delhi, Apr 2 : Christians today thronged churches to hold special prayers and observed fasts as a way of renunciation of earthly comforts to commemorate Good Friday, marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Members of Catholic Church held processions at various places with devotees carrying wooden crosses to symbolise the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus some 2000 years ago.
In the Christian-dominated Mizoram, the largest Presbyterian Church organised prayers and worship services as priests performed masses in all local branches of the church.
Massive processions were taken out by the faithful in Aizawl and certain other towns, braving inclement weather, to signify sufferings of the Christ to save mankind.
Many devotees in the national capital observed fast which they will continue till Sunday when the community celebrates Easter - marking the resurrection of Christ. Special masses were held by the Church of North India.

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