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Friday, June 4, 2010

Anti-Gorkhaland body for stopping land sale to Nepalis... 3 arrested in Tamang murder

PTI, Siliguri, June 04: An organisation based in the plain area of Darjeeling district and opposed to the idea of Gorkhaland, on Friday gheraoed the sub-registry office here demanding that sale of land be stopped to Nepalis who, according to them, were foreigners.
The Bangla o Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee kept the sub-registry office gheraoed for three hours and submitted a memorandum to the local sub-divisional officer threatening to go for a vigorous movement if sale of land to the 'foreigners' was not stopped immediately.
If the demand was not considered at the appropriate level, it would move court, Majumder said.
Because of the 'defective' Indo-Nepal treaty 1950, the Nepalese nationals were enjoying free access to India and purchasing land in Siliguri and its adjacent areas posing a serious threat, the Committee president Dr Mukunda Majumder said.
Asked why treaty was 'defective', Majumder claimed that the Nepal government ignored a few parts of the treaty in their interest unilaterally with no consent or reaction from its Indian counterpart.
According to the provisions of the Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, 1950, nationals of one country can enjoy in the territory of the other the same privileges in the matter of residence, ownership of property, participation of trade and commerce, etc.
Phone clue in hill arrests
TT, June 4: A cellphone found from the Clubside motor stand in Darjeeling on the day Madan Tamang was hacked to death has helped the CID home in on three persons, who were arrested last night.
The mobile phone belonged to Nicol Tamang, a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha youth leader from Darjeeling who is absconding. “We examined the call records on the phone and found that Nicol Tamang had made frequent calls to three persons. Two of them, Prashant Chhetri and Subhas Tamang, were in a Kalimpong hospital. They had been shot at in the leg by Madan Tamang’s bodyguard after the attack. The other is Suresh Raimaji from Darjeeling. We have arrested all three,” P. Neerajnayan, the inspector-general (I) of the CID, told The Telegraph in Calcutta.
The injured duo had initially refused to admit that they had anything to do with Nicol, but they apparently gave in and told the police about Raimaji. He was arrest from Darjeeling town late last night.

“The two who were shot at were definitely present at the murder spot. But we have conclusive proof that Raimaji, too, was there during the attack,” the CID officer said.
Raimaji, 36, a contractor, is a resident of Darjeeling. “He was produced in court today. The two others have been sent to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital,” said K.L. Tamta, the inspector-general of police, north Bengal.
The court has remanded Raimaji in police custody for 10 days. All the three have been charged with criminal conspiracy, the police said.
Sangey Yolmo, who is being treated at a Siliguri nursing home and is still in a critical condition, had also suffered bullet injuries when Tamang’s guard had opened fire on May 21, the day the ABGL chief was killed before he was to address a public meeting.
The Morcha promised to allow a fair probe. “People can be arrested on doubts and suspicions but unless it is proved through concrete evidence that the arrested people were involved in the case, we cannot comment,” said Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the Morcha media secretary. “If anybody from our party is involved, we will disown the person and not come between the investigation and the accused.
SNS, SILIGURI, 4 JUNE: The state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has netted its first “big catch” in connection with the 21 May assassination of the Gorkha League president Madan Tamang in Darjeeling.
The arrested person, Sudesh Raimajhi (39), is an enlisted contractor with the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) and is believed to be close to the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM).
A special investigative team of the CID headed by inspector Mr Ardhendusekhar Pahari nabbed Raimajhi from Darjeeling town yesterday evening, the IG CID Mr Nirajnarayan Pandey informed over the phone. The man hails from Mangalpuri area (near Darjeeling Govt School) in Darjeeling.
“Sudesh Raimajhi was arrested last evening and today he was produced before the court in Darjeeling Sadar. The court has granted us ten days remand of him,” Mr Pandey said, clarifying that no arms or ammunition were found on the accused.
Although the IG CID did not  divulge if the arrested person features in the GJMM party ranks, sources in Darjeeling confirms that being a contractor with the DGHC, Raimajhi was “hobnobbing with the Morcha leaders” in the Hill town.

Forest project tastes success- Strawberries find place in Darjeeling hills 
AVIJIT SINHA, TT, Siliguri, June 4: From Mahabaleshwar to Darjeeling, strawberry has travelled a long way. Visit Labdah and green fields splashed in red greet you. Not only that, every household is busy packing the juicy fruits plucked from organic farms.
Labdah, at 4,500ft on the fringes of Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, is fast emerging as a strawberry-producing village. Experts said the soil condition in Labdah was just right for the fruit — acidic and grainy.
“But that we came to know after producing the crops. In 2007-08 under a pilot project seedlings worth Rs 10,000 were distributed among farmers,” said Sumita Ghatak, who had spearheaded the project when she was the divisional forest officer (DFO) of wildlife I. Recently she has been transferred to wildlife II.
Labdah, near Ghoom, is under wildlife division I.
“Our intention was to see whether strawberries can be grown in this area,” she said. Strawberries need moderate sunshine and has to be protected from frost.
With the onset of the season, which is usually between December and April, the fruits appeared. This prompted the forest department to move ahead with the project. “In 2008-09 we could not do much because of certain factors including the political situation in the hills,” a forester said.
The next year, foresters distributed seedlings worth Rs 1 lakh among farmers and members of eco-development committees in the village.
“An expert from Pune held a training workshop for the cultivators and taught them strawberry farming and merchandising techniques,” Ghatak said.
By April, all the produce had been sold in the local market. Strawberry is grown in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. “From next year, the cultivators will have to pay one fourth of the money needed to buy seedlings. The amount will increase by 25 per cent every year. From the fifth year, the cultivators will bear the total expenditure,” Ghatak said.
Padam Prasad Rai, a farmer, said: “There are a number of bakeries, sweet shops and ice-cream factories that use strawberries. If we can merchandise properly, there is great scope. ”
Mudslide hit houses
TT, Gangtok, June 4: Thirteen houses were damaged and crops were destroyed in a series of landslides triggered by heavy rain in East Sikkim last night.
The houses were damaged at Padamchey in Pakyong subdivision, Sumin and Kamery in Rangpo block and Kumrek in Gangtok subdivision. A.B. Karki, the subdivisional magistrate, East Sikkim, who had toured the affected places this morning, said the bridge at Kumrek had been damaged by the slides and the road passing through the area would be opened by the evening.
A road connecting Singtam and Makha in East Sikkim also caved in because of the torrent and the agencies concerned were directed to complete the repair in two days.
Bhandari ill
TT, Gangtok: Former Sikkim chief minister and the Pradesh Congress Committee president Nar Bahadur Bhandari was on Friday morning admitted to the emergency ward of STNM Hospital here because of health problems. Bhandari underwent several tests and the doctors said they had not diagnosed yet what ailed the 71-year-old leader.
TT, Siliguri: Eighteen stolen motorcycles have been recovered and four persons have been arrested in a series of raids in Siliguri in the past one week. Gaurav Sharma, the additional superintendent of police, Siliguri, said the gang used to steal the two-wheelers and then sell them using forged documents.
TT, Jaigaon: A lone tusker damaged two huts in Dalmore Tea Estate near Birpara on Thursday evening. Foresters said the elephant had gone back to the nearby Dhumchi forest after the attack.

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