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Friday, June 25, 2010

3 (Nicole Tamang suspected) in Hill Murder Arrested ....BLOW TO GJM : FIRST ANNOUNCE THEN WITHDRAW...5 resigned from GJMM

TT, Darjeeling, June 25: The CID team probing Madan Tamang’s murder detained three people at Kakarvitta, on the Nepal border, this evening. One of them is suspected to be Nicol Tamang, a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader.
KalimNews : Announce first and make correction and withdraw later. This has become the usual practice of the largest political outfit of Darjeeling hills called Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Its leaders are not aware as to what to say before the media and what not. A statement delivered by a prominent leader regarding an issue is  either interpreted by another leader in a different manner or repeated by another one in a completely different tone confusing the public. 
In one such an instance Col. Ramesh Alley, President, Bharatiya Gorkha Bhutpurba Sainik Morcha (BGBSM) had said sometime ago that the GLP camps occupied by the party in different locations would be vacated if the authorities issue order in writing. On the same issue, Binay Tamang, Assistant General Secretary, Central Committee said that the GLP camps would not be vacated at any cost. Such contradictory statements have become the daily phenomena of the GJM leaders. 
Regarding the proposed interim set-up it forwarded a long list before the centre later it made corrections and added the left out departments in the list. In the recent days, it asked all the tourists twice in Darjeeling hills to leave the queen of the hill  within a stipulated time frame to avoid possible harassment during the proposed bundh to be observed from 25th June. Later, the bundh was withdrawn without any achievement in the hand and till then the tourists had already left the hill by paying much higher rate of taxi fare from Kalimpong/Darjeeling to Siliguri.
During a recently held party rally Latika Sinha, a woman front leader of Kalimpong threatened the minority communities of the town for their non participation in the party's activities. Later she however  on 25th June withdrew the statement and apologised before the media. The media on the other hand in their routine visual news being telecasted through local cable network showed the press conference addressed by Sinha where she was depicted apologising. The local news channels also highlighted the controversial statement of Sinha which ultimately amounted to resentment among the concerned communities and led the woman leader to make correction and apologise.
If earlier incidents are recalled, it is found that the Morcha strictly issued diktat in its early phase of agitation to support the Gorkhaland nomenclature in each and every shop's hoardings and also to write GL (for Gorkhaland) in the name plate of the hill vehicles. Later, the Morcha forgot its diktat and widhdrew the same. Now neither Gorkhaland has been written afresh in the business establishments nor GL plate is seen in the traffic.
Five Members of Morcha resigned from the Party :  
KalimNews: Five Morcha supporters of Mirik Town Zonal Committee named Barun Rai, Bidhan Rai, Sanjay Hingmang, Arpana Pakhrin and Bumsang Tamang tendered their resignation from the party today on 25th June. These three male and two female ex Mirik municipality councillors submitted their resignation with an allegation that party has diverted the main demand of the separate state of Gorkhaland towards other non-significant matters. They said that we have rejected the GAP concept as we cannot part with the word Gorkhaland.
Earlier they were inducted in the town zonal committee by the GJMM chief himself when he was in Mirik.
Ashok Bhattacharya, Urban Development Minister, visited Mungpo : KalimNews: Ashok Narayan Bhattacharya, Urban Development Minister and MLA/Siliguri visited Mungpo today on 25th June and inspected the existing Rabindra Bhawan. He announced a grant of Rs. 25 lakh for the renovation of the house. It may be recalled that poet laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore had spent some years of his life in this beautiful village called Mungpo. He had also penned some of his masterpieces here.
ABGL plans rally to cement hill base CPM on mission to gain foothold
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, June 25: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha might have been able to contain the backlash following the murder of ABGL president Madan Tamang, but the rivals seem determined to create some political space in the hills and have started their groundwork.
To start with, the ABGL has once again decided to organise a peace rally in Darjeeling.
“The rally will be held soon,” said ABGL leader Mohan Sharma. “We shall decide on the date tomorrow.”
The ABGL had earlier demonstrated in front of Darjeeling Sadar police station followed by a peace rally on June 21 — a month after the murder — when the hills had been shut because of the strike called by the Morcha.
Today, Asok Bhattacharya, the CPM heavyweight of north Bengal, paid a visit to Mungpoo, about 40km from Darjeeling, to pay his respects to Rabindranath Tagore at the bungalow where the bard had often stayed between 1938 and 1940.
Observers believe the urban development minister’s visit underlines the CPM’s efforts to be visible in the hills given the fact that he has hardly visited Darjeeling since the Morcha was formed in 2007.
The CPM did not even campaign in the hills during the last parliamentary elections with Bhattacharya visiting Darjeeling only when party candidate Jibesh Sarkar filed his nomination papers.
After the elections, the only time the minister had visited Darjeeling was to express his condolences to the bereaved family of Tamang.
But today, Bhattacharya promised to visit Darjeeling again.
The bungalow where Tagore had stayed had been neglected for long and Bhattacharya promised to start its renovation by the end of the year. “For three years, attention could not be paid to the place because of various reasons. The structure is fine but the ceiling is leaking, the floor has to be changed and electrification needs to be done,” said Bhattacharya.
Apprehending opposition to Bhattacharya’s visit, the administration had made adequate security arrangements and had also posted the CRPF personnel. Some black flags were noticed by the police almost an hour before the minister was scheduled to visit the bungalow and they were immediately removed.
Apart from the ABGL, the Democratic Front, which is an anti-Morcha front, has also decided to hold a public meeting in Darjeeling soon.
The front had decided to hold a public meeting in Darjeeling yesterday but had postponed it saying most of the ABGL leaders, along with Bharati Tamang, the slain leader’s widow, had gone to Calcutta on Wednesday to meet the chief minister and would not be able to come back to Darjeeling on time.
Accused remanded
TT : The court of the chief judicial magistrate in Darjeeling today remanded Subash Tamang and Prashant Chhetri, who were allegedly involved in the murder of Madan Tamang, in judicial custody for 14 days.
The two, who had suffered bullet injuries at the spot where Tamang was murdered on May 21, were produced in the court but their bail application could not be moved because of a strike by lawyers.
Parishad to take stock of Dooars move
TT, Siliguri, June 25: The president of the Dooars and Terai Regional Committee of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, John Barla, has been summoned by the state leadership to Calcutta to discuss his decision to hold talks with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on a joint movement for the creation of Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh.
Before leaving for Calcutta, Barla said the date for the talks with the Morcha would be decided on his return to the Dooars.
“I have received an urgent call from our leadership in Calcutta to attend the state committee meeting tomorrow,” said Barla. “I will return to the Dooars by Sunday and after that on June 28, we will hold our regional committee’s meeting at Banarhat where we will decide on the date for holding talks with the Morcha.”
On Tuesday, Barla, in defiance of his party leadership, had sent a letter to the Morcha saying the Parishad’s regional committee was willing to hold talks with the Morcha on Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh and they would shortly be informed of the date.
However, yesterday Birsa Tirkey, the state president of the Parishad, had said there was no question of holding any dialogue with the Morcha as the hill party had no authority to decide on the developments in the Dooars.
He had also told The Telegraph that he had received an invitation from the government to sit for a dialogue on June 30. “I have received the invitation from the home department over phone that government will hold a dialogue with us on June 30 at Writers’ Buildings,” said Tirkey. “We have convened the Saturday meeting to discuss the issues which are going to be placed before the government on June 30.”
Tirkey also confirmed Barla’s participation in the meeting and ruled out any possibility of a rift with its regional committee over joining hands with the Morcha.
“We had cleared our stand in a public meeting at Banarhat on June 9 that we want the Terai and Dooars to be included under the Sixth Schedule and we won’t allow the inclusion of any part of the Dooars and Terai in the state demanded by the Morcha,” Tirkey said. 
Tamta plea rejected
TT, Calcutta, June 25: The police brass today rejected new inspector-general (planning) K.L. Tamta’s request to the home secretary to let him continue as IG (north Bengal) or put him in the CID or Calcutta police. Tamta is said to have mentioned his “good performance” in dealing with the hill unrest as a reason for his continued posting in north Bengal. 
Writers' flutter over transfer of Tamata
TOI, Kolkata: A senior police officer has got into a row with the government for his reluctance to be removed from Darjeeling, where he claims to have worked "single-handedly to curb the GJM movement. The plea has been summarily rejected and the issue has created a furor at Writers' Buildings.
A week after the state issued a transfer notification of 27 IPS officers, including IG (North Bengal) Kundan Lal Tamta, the latter shot off a petition to home secretary Samar Ghosh that he should be retained in his current post. Tamta, who has just been transferred as IG (planning), is said to be close to CPM's Darjeeling district unit. Urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya has been openly lobbying to retain him in the Hills.
DGP Bhupinder Singh said: "The police establishment board (PEB) has rejected the plea. It will be decided later whether the matter warrants disciplinary procedure.
Tamta cited several reasons why the government shouldn't remove him from Darjeeling. "He wrote to the home secretary that he has single-handled tackled the GJM movement and has been fighting all by himself to bring peace in the region. He says he speaks the local language and has bonded well with the people, the DGP said.
The IG — as the DGP said — also wrote that he should either be sent to CID (Bhabani Bhaban) or Kolkata Police (Lalbazar) if the government must transfer him. The IG seemed unwilling to work at Writers' and take orders from the DGP. Officials said the relationship between the two had soured over the past few months, but Tamta managed to enjoy the confidence of a section of CPM leaders who openly sided with him vis-à-vis his transfer.
However, the DGP sounded firm as he said, "Tamta's order stays. He will join as IG (planning) and hand over charge to Ranvir Kumar. The IG's letter led to brisk action at Writers' as the five-member PEB met on Friday to discuss the matter at length before turning down the petition. The members include the DGP, police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti and three senior-most ADGs.
Officials said Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee — despite pressure from comrades — decided to go by the rulebook by forwarding the letter to PEB. Officials till the IG's rank should route letters through the DGP and not the home secretary.
Girl rescued from brothel
TT, Kalimpong, June 25: A 17-year-old girl from a village in the Kalimpong subdivision was rescued from a brothel in Pune and handed over to her family yesterday.
Prerna Gurung (name changed), who had allegedly been sold for Rs 1 lakh to the brothel by a woman in March last year, was rescued by the anti-human trafficking cell of the Hill Social Welfare Society with the help of the Rescue Foundation, a Maharashtra-based NGO.
“I had known the woman, who took me to Pune, for only about three months. She lured me on the promise of a job. However, once there, she forced me into a life of hell,” said Prerna, who is illiterate.
Uden Bhutia, the co-ordinator of the Kalimpong-based society’s anti-trafficking cell, said Prerna had actually been rescued in February, but in the absence of a shelter for trafficked girls in Kalimpong, she had to be kept at such a facility in Murshidabad.
“After Prerna’s parents had approached us saying the girl was missing, we made inquiries and found that she was in a brothel in Pune. We then got in touch with the foundation and it took us almost a year to pull it off. The girl was actually rescued by the foundation,” said the co-ordinator.
For the initial one month, Prerna had stayed in the Mumbai shelter of the foundation before she was shifted to Murshidabad.
“We brought her to Kalimpong yesterday, and handed over the girl to the family. Prior to that, we had extensive consultation with her family members over weeks, and only after everything was settled, we brought Prerna here,” said Bhutia.
This, Bhutia explained, was necessary to ensure that the victim did not face ostracism in and outside the family.
The co-ordinator said the woman who had taken Prerna to Pune is not a resident of Kalimpong. “She used to stay in a rented place here. Our investigation is on and we are hopeful of netting her. The woman sold Prerna to the brothel for Rs 1 lakh.”
TT, Alipurduar: The decomposed body of a female adult leopard was found in Patkapara Tea Estate under the Buxa Tiger Reserve (west division) on Friday. Rajendra Jakhar, deputy field director of Buxa Tiger Reserve (west), said: “It seems that the animal died two days ago. It might have died after an in-fighting.”
Two arrested
TT, Jaigaon: Jyotsna Oraon, 30, and Basanti Mirdha, 35, were arrested from Batabari Tea Estate on Friday for trafficking a minor girl to Delhi. The duo sent the 17-year-old girl from Nageswari Tea Estate to Delhi last week. The girl’s father had lodged an FIR against the two at the Mateli police station on Thursday.
Walkout blow to alliance
TT, Siliguri, June 25: The Trinamul Congress today walked out of a board meeting of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation to protest the Congress chairperson’s alleged “misbehaviour” towards its leader, dealing a blow to the alliance.
Gautam Deb, the Trinamul leader in the civic body, later threatened that his party would not cooperate with chairperson Sabitadevi Agarwal in future meetings unless she apologised to him.
“Unless the chairperson apologises for her misbehaviour at today’s board meeting, we are not going to cooperate with her in future meetings,” said Deb, who is also Trinamul’s district president.
He, however, made it clear that the party councillors would attend the board meetings in future. “Being responsible public representatives, we will definitely participate in the coming meetings so that the civic services do not get hampered,” Deb said.
The drama unfolded at the conference room when the meeting began at 1.15pm. Sharadindu Chakraborty, a CPM councillor, asked Deb about his assurance of talking to the railways for keeping the railway gate under the flyover at Mahabirsthan open for the convenience of shopowners. Chakrabarty said the railways had kept the gates shut after the construction of the flyover.
The chairperson, however, asked Congress mayor Gangotri Dutta to reply, instead of Deb. The mayor said there was an agreement between the railways and the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority during the construction of the flyover that once the flyover was done, the gates would be closed. “But considering the inconveniences of the local people, we have requested the railways to keep the gate open and the Trinamul leader has taken the initiative.”
Deb stood up from his seat and wanted permission to speak on the subject. But Agarwal asked him to resume his seat as the mayor had already replied to the question.
At this, Deb lost his cool and told the chairperson that she had no right to stop him from replying the question as it was put to him before walking out of the room with all his party councillors at 1.20pm.
The board was formed in October after the Congress and Trinamul alliance wrested the SMC from the Left Front. Though the Congress formed the board and bagged the mayoral post with the CPM’s support, on March 30 Trinamul joined hands with the Congress to run the civic body.
The chairperson, however, defended her decision. She said she had asked the mayor to reply according to the business conduct rule of the SMC. “I have not done anything intentionally. If there was any supplementary question, I would have allowed the Trinamul councillor to answer. But during question hour, I cannot allow any debate according to the rule,” Agarwal said. 
Rebels burn women alive
TT, Bankura, June 25: Suspected Maoists torched a house killing an 80-year-old woman and her elderly daughter when they did not find a CPM leader on Wednesday night.
Their neighbours at Bagdubi village, who had kept mum for a day, called up Nabin Hembrum in his hideout this morning and told him his house was gutted and they had seen two bodies amid the rubble.
Nabin, who stays 40km away in Khatra since the Maoists named him on a hit list, went to police after hearing what had happened to his house.
The police removed its burnt remains amid the stink of rotting flesh and pulled out the bodies of Amala Hembrum and Saraswati Hembrum, 55.
The Maoists had shot dead Nabin’s younger brother Kalipada last December. He had stayed back to look after their farmland when Nabin and another brother, Gabin, fled home.
The Maoists had been hunting for Nabin since the CRPF shot dead two squad members on December 15, 2006. “They think it was Nabin who tipped off the police about their presence in Bagdubi,” a police officer said. The hit list was released soon after.
Nabin was a CPM local committee member and a leader in his village. His brothers were party sympathisers.
Residents of Bagdubi, a village in the midst of a jungle 210km from Calcutta, said 30-40 people came to the Hembrums’ house around 9.30pm on Wednesday. “They went inside and we heard muffled voices and screams. We were terrified and did not dare to go near. Soon after, the attackers stepped out and set the hut ablaze. They watched it burn for some time and left. In the morning, we ventured closer and saw from a distance the burnt bodies,” said a villager.
Nabin and Gabin identified their mother and sister from their burnt clothes and bangles. Their faces had been charred beyond recognition.
Since December 2006, this was the second time the brothers stepped into the village. The only other occasion was Kalipada’s death.
“Revenge appears to have been the motive,” Bankura police chief Vishal Garg said. The rebels would have known that Nabin wouldn’t be at home.
This is the first time CPI (Maoist) guerrillas have killed their target’s kin in his absence. In May 2002, alleged People’s War Group members had killed CPM member Sristidhar Mahato’s wife and three-year-old daughter after he gave them the slip. A 60-year-old woman related to the Mahatos was also killed in West Midnapore’s Salboni. On December 31, 2005, the party’s Purulia district secretariat member, Rabindranath Kar, and his wife were locked in and burnt by the Maoists in Bandwan.
Although it was not clear why the Maoists killed Nabin’s mother and sister, police sources said it was meant to warn people against informing the police about their activities. “It comes at a time when several Maoists have been arrested following tip-offs from villagers,” the officer said.
Teen abducted
The Maoists are suspected to have abducted the teenage son of a CPM leader in West Midnapore’s Binpur.
Branch committee member Motilal Tudu said one of his neighbours got a call last night in which a man demanded the release of an arrested Maoist action squad member in exchange for his son. The police said the Maoists wanted the release of Durga Mandi, who had been arrested on June 20.
Six people came on motorcycles and took Srimanta, 18, away last night. Motilal has been staying away from home as he is on the rebels’ hit list.
West Bengal criticises fuel price hike
IANS, Kolkata:West Bengal's Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led ruling Left Front Friday flayed the Congress-led central government and its ally Trinamool Congress for the fuel price hike, saying it would put an extra burden on the common man.
'The prices of essential commodities are almost out of the common man's reach. And this increase in fuel prices will have a drastic effect on the poor and the common people,' said Biman Bose, CPI-M state secretary and Left Front chairman, in a press statement.
He criticised the United Progressive Alliance-II government and its ally Trinamool Congress for not looking after the interest of the common man.
'Trinamool Congress being an ally of UPA-II cannot run away from the responsibility of the price hike of fuels,' added Bose.
The government hiked the prices of diesel by Rs.2 a litre, kerosene by Rs.3 a litre and cooking gas by Rs.35 per cylinder. The prices of petrol will now be costlier by Rs 3.50 per litre.

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