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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Most of the killers identified-Top Cop....Tribals differ in public...GNLF plea for chief... Governor at Center's door on peace mission for hills

Challenge to Morcha, second in seven days 
TT, June 9: The state’s top cop today said most of those involved in Madan Tamang’s assasination have been identified. The police claim comes on a day the slain leader’s outfit, the ABGL, announced it’s intention to hold a meeting at the murder spot on Friday to push ahead with its campaign against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
The Telegraph had in today’s edition reported how Tamang was hacked to death in line with a plot hatched by 60 persons and the CID probe that had narrowed down to two the number of suspects who might have delivered the killer blow.
“We have been able to identify most of the assassins. I cannot divulge their identities as it would compromise the investigation,” said director-general of police Bhupinder Singh at Writers’ Buildings this evening.
According to Singh, the CID investigating the ABGL chief’s murder would ask Interpol to issue red corner notice against some of the accused who had fled to Nepal. The red corner notice allows police of any country to arrest criminals who have committed a crime in another country.
Bengal’s top cop said it could not be said with certainty yet whether those identified as Tamang’s assassins were Morcha activists.
The police have sent a video footage of Tamang's assassination uploaded on Youtube to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Hyderabad. The website authorities will be asked for details of the person who uploaded the footage.
"The identity of the person who uploaded the video would help in the investigation. That person was obviously there at the spot and was witness to everything that went on during the incident,” said Singh.
In Darjeeling, the ABGL said it would hold the public meeting on Friday at the Clubside motor stand where Tamang was murdered last month, indicating the party’s determination to remain the most vocal opposition force in the hills.
The rally will be held close on the heels of an ABGL demonstration in front of Darjeeling police station on Monday, a move that was more symbolic of opposition parties regrouping themselves than any show of numerical strength. “We will not be browbeaten into stopping our political activities,” said Laxman Pradhan, the district secretary of the ABGL, at a media conference. “We want the arrest of Madan Tamang’s killers who are all Morcha men.”
Pradhan at the media conference. (Suman Tamang)
The CID, which is investigating the murder, had revealed that as many as 60 persons were involved in the conspiracy to kill Tamang. The plot was hatched a month before the murder and the agency had zeroed in on two persons who were part of a five-member group of killers. One of them is Dinesh Gurung, a Darjeeling town committee member of the Morcha, whose name had figured in an FIR filed by an ABGL leader.
After the Friday meeting, the ABGL supporters will take out a procession through town that will culminate at Darjeeling sadar police station where they will demand the arrest of Tamang’s killers.
On Monday, too, the ABGL supporters had gheraoed the police station on the same demand and made it clear that it would carry on with its activities despite Tamang’s death.
The ABGL has also voiced its opposition to the next round of scheduled tripartite meeting on the interim set-up in the hills, saying that the talks would be “meaningless” until peace and democracy are restored.
Tamang’s party is likely to write to the Centre expressing its opinion. It will also demand an all-party meeting to discuss the “prevailing situation” in the Darjeeling hills. “Holding tripartite talks would be meaningless until peace and democracy are restored in the hills. We will write to the Centre demanding an all-party meeting to discuss the prevailing situation in the hills,” said Pradhan.
After Tamang was hacked to death on May 21 just before he was to address a public meeting, not only the ABGL, but other opposition parties in the hills also had said the priority was to restore democracy and maintain peace. “Before the talks are held, those accused in the murder of our leader, along with the masterminds, should be arrested,” said Pradhan.
The Morcha with whom the Centre and the state are holding the talks, has been saying that the prerogative of holding the tripartite meeting lay with the Union government and not with the state.
The ABGL has also announced that it is against schoolchildren participating in political parties.
“Students are being told to attend rallies called by political parties. This must come to an end and we will write to the various heads of schools, appealing them to stop sending children to political meetings. Even the Supreme Court has issued a directive against school students attending political meetings,” said Pradhan.
TT, Calcutta, June 8: Gorkha leader Madan Tamang was hacked to death in public in line with a plot executed by as many as 60 people, according to investigations that have narrowed down to two the number of suspects who might have delivered the killer blow.
The probe by the CID has also found that five people had formed the core group of attackers that silenced the prominent opposition voice on May 21 near Planter’s Club in Darjeeling. Officers also spoke of a “mastermind” but refused to name any suspect, citing the extremely sensitive nature of the case.
The findings strike at the root of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s claims that the daylight murder was the result of a spontaneous outburst of emotions by common people who wanted Gorkhaland.
The Morcha leadership has rubb- ished the probe, carried out on the basis of an FIR that names some party functionaries.
As president of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL), Tamang was one of the few voices that had challenged the Morcha writ in the hills and occasionally reminded its chief Bimal Gurung that he had failed to deliver the promised Gorkhaland.
CID officers said Dinesh Gurung and Naresh Thang had been entrusted with the task of killing Tamang. Both had apparently hidden sharp weapons under their clothes. “We are yet to determine which one of the two, Dinesh or Naresh, actually stabbed Tamang from behind,” a CID officer said.
The name of Dinesh, a Darjeeling town committee member of the Morcha, had been mentioned in the FIR filed by an ABGL leader. But this is the first time Naresh’s name is cropping up. Sources in Darjeeling said they had not heard of the person before.
According to CID sources, at least 60 people were involved in the plot. “These men had been asked to spread out in the area where the incident took place. They were roaming there pretending to be pedestrians or residents hanging around. Their job was to provide the five, who had been asked to execute Tamang, a safe passage after the completion of the operation by creating confusion. They rushed towards the spot where Tamang was making arrangements for a rally and shouted Gorkha war cries,” said a CID source.
The officer said the five were supposed to get close to Tamang. “While Dinesh and Naresh were supposed to attack Tamang, the three others were asked to protect them,” he added.
P. Neerajnayan, inspector-general (I), CID, said the agency had specific information about those who had attacked Tamang. “They are absconding and our officers are camping in Darjeeling to collect more information and arrest them.”
Another CID officer said the conspirators appeared to have been taken aback by the retaliation by Tamang’s bodyguard. “Seven rounds were fired during the attack. The policeman guarding Tamang managed to fire five rounds from his revolver and two other armed policemen at the spot fired a round each,” the officer said.
Three men were injured when Tamang’s bodyguard fired. Two of them, Subash Tamang and Prashant Chhetri, have been arrested and sent to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy.
The other injured man, Sangey Yolmo, is in a Siliguri nursing home. The CID is interrogating Suresh Raimaji, a contractor from Darjeeling who was arrested on June 3.
The CID had earlier said that Morcha central committee member Nickol Tamang was at the murder scene. His phone was found close to where Tamang had been attacked.
Addressing a gathering of students at the Mall in Darjeeling this afternoon, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said the police were hatching a conspiracy to malign his party. “A conspiracy is being hatched to derail the movement for Gorkhaland,” he said.
Governor  at Center's door on peace mission for hills
TNN, KOLKATA: Governor M K Narayanan has rushed to Delhi for getting the Centre's help restore peace in the Darjeeling Hills.
Sources said Narayanan is likely to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and seek more CRPF personnel in the Hills, so that the administration could get on with restoring normality. The governor will also submit a first-hand report of the situation to the Centre.
"It's obvious that the governor wants steps to be taken immediately to restore democracy in Darjeeling. He left for Delhi immediately after his return from Darjeeling," said a senior official at Writers' Buildings. The governor, sources said, has consulted chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee before he left for Delhi.
On Tuesday, the governor returned from Darjeeling after a prolonged visit to the Hills since May 16. He was there when Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) president Madan Tamag was killed on May 21. Four days before he was murdered, Tamang had met the governor and complained to him about the absence of democracy in the Hills.
Hours after the murder, Narayanan issued a statement that was stronger than the comments of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government, which has been handling the Darjeeling situation rather cautiously. In his statement, the governor referred to the point raised by the slain leader, saying, "The fatal attack on him can only be regarded as an attack on democratic forces. This state of affairs will not be allowed to continue."
On Monday, the day before he was about to leave the Hills, the governor met senior administrative officials of the region. District magistrate Surendra Gupta is said to have submitted a report to him to corroborate the state government's views that the situation wasn't ripe for tripartite talks in Delhi.
Tamang's widow, Bharati, met the governor demanding a CBI inquiry into her husband's assassination. She also pleaded with him to look into the worsening law and order situation in the Hills. During his stay, the governor met various people and took stock of the situation. "He didn't want to waste any time after his return and rushed to Delhi to see if he could do anything to restore peace in Darjeeling," said the official at Writers'.
The ministry of home affairs, meanwhile, already has a report from central interlocutor for tripartite talks Vijay Madan. On May 26, Madan met GJM chief Bimal Gurung to take forward the process for the next round of tripartite talks. According to sources, Gurung had expressed his keenness to attend the talks that were originally scheduled for the last week of May. 

KalimNews: Motor vehicle department of Sikkim has announced that all taxis plying in Sikkim route must have properly tax paid papers for their entry in Sikkim. This announcement has annoyed the drivers and taxi owners of Darjeelng District. Following and forced to abide by the diktat of GJMM, motor vehicle taxes have not been paid by the owners since two years. 
Adivasis differ in opinion
TT, Siliguri, June 9: The difference of opinion in the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad over supporting the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha came to the fore today with the state leaders refusing to back the hill party on its statehood agitation and the regional leadership wanting time to decide on the matter.
Nearly 30,000 Parishad supporters from the Dooars and the Terai attended a public meeting in Banarhat, around 75km from here in Jalpaiguri district, to mark the 110th death anniversary of tribal icon Birsa Munda.
At the meeting, the outfit’s state leaders iterated that under no circumstances would they support the Morcha for the Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh, the new name for the state the hill party wants.
“The state committee does not find rationale behind the Morcha’s stand. Who are they to include us in their separate state or interim set-up and ask us to sit for talks with them?” said Birsa Tirkey, the state president of the Parishad. “If the state or the Centre had given us a proposal, we could have given it a thought.
Tirkey said given the tribal majority in the Terai and the Dooars, an autonomous body with special status, like the Sixth Schedule, could be formed. “This will help the socio-economic development of the tribal population in north Bengal.”
John Barla, the president of the Dooars-Terai Regional Unit of the Parishad, however, spoke on a different note. “The issue is local and we need some more days to decide on the proposal mooted by the Morcha,” he said.
Observers believe that the regional leaders’ insistence on more time confirmed a difference of opinion in the tribal outfit.
Tirkey, who had earlier warned Raju Bara, the party’s Kalchini block secretary and a state committee member, of action for speaking in favour of the Morcha, today evaded a reply on punishing him. “It (Bara’s earlier comments of supporting the Morcha for development) was his personal opinion and does not reflect the Parishad’s stand,” Tirkey said.
GNLF plea for chief
TT, Siliguri, June 9: GNLF leaders have decided to request party president Subash Ghisingh to champion the cause of Gorkhaland again, as they fear that his insistence on Sixth Schedule status for the Darjeeling hills will further alienate the supporters.
“I will meet the party president (Ghisingh) and request him to change his stand. As of late, he has been advocating Sixth Schedule for the hills. Most of our party leaders and supporters are against the hills being brought under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. They are ready to spearhead the movement on Gorkhaland and are feeling disappointed as the president is saying the opposite,” said Rajen Mukhia, the convener of the Terai branch committee of the GNLF, today. “We feel that such stand is affecting the support base of the party.”
GNLF sources said many leaders and supporters were annoyed with Ghisingh’s call for Sixth Schedule status.
Dawa Pakhrin, the former Kalimpong branch president, had on Sunday come out in the open to criticise Ghisingh.
“Our president is in favour of Sixth Schedule. I believe that he has shifted his focus from the movement for separate state….but I cannot choose his path as 1,200 supporters of the GNLF were martyred during the agitation for Gorkhaland,” Pakhrin had said.
Echoing Pakhrin, Mukhia said: “I will categorically tell the president that under no circumstances will we settle for anything less than a separate state. So, it is imperative that he listens to workers and changes his stance.”
After the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had been formed in 2007, the GNLF faced resistance and Ghisingh was shunted out of the hills . For the past two years, he has been living in a rented house in Jalpaiguri. Rarely does he attend party programmes and has restrained the members from carrying out political activities.
“We had approached the president on several occasions and asked him to permit political activities, particularly at a time when the Morcha is fast losing its support,” a GNLF leader said. “But his stand and silence have only left workers disgruntled.”
Plains take refuge in Mirik from strife- Siliguri residents change hill destination
TT, Siliguri, June 9: People in the plains wanting a a quick getaway to the tranquillity of nature nowadays prefer the mist-shrouded Mirik to other two hill towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which witness frequent law and order problems because of Gorkhaland agitation.
Not that Mirik was a less popular tourist haunt ever. But with its picturesque Sumendu Lake, and surrounded by thick coniferous forests, Mirik is just a 90-minute drive from Siliguri, making it convenient for visitors to return home at the slightest murmurs of trouble up in Darjeeling or Kalimpong.
“It takes three hours to get to Darjeeling and two-and-a-half hours to reach Kalimpong. Moreover, after the recent incidents of violence in these places, the situation is quite unpredictable. Mirik is a short drive from here and is quite peaceful, making it fit for family outings and picnics during weekends,” said Sudeshna Bhattacharya, who lives in Siliguri.
Residents of the plains also cited Mirik’s proximity to Siliguri.
“Just after one crosses the plains and enters Garidhura, 20km from Siliguri, a road on the left leads to Mirik. In case, there is a disturbance in the hills or an impromptu strike, we can easily manage to leave Mirik in time,” said Paritosh Chakraborty, another Siliguri resident. Mirik is 52km from Siliguri.
According to tourism stakeholders in Mirik, the peaceful ambience of the town and its cleanliness have scored over other hill destinations.
“Mirik has remained peaceful with no untoward incidents in the past year compared to other hill towns. Tourists in the plains have taken note of this and come here for picnics and weekend outings throughout the year. The tourism season is currently going on and the hotels here are doing brisk business as a lot of people from Mumbai and Gujarat are visiting Mirik,” said Chandramani Thapa, the manager of a Mirik hotel.
“Mirik is a small place and it is clean and the roads are wide in sharp contrast to the crowded and bustling towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong. People come here to enjoy the quietness and serenity,” said Thapa.
A short trek through woody trails lead to the beautiful Bokar monastery, which is surrounded by tall pine trees and is quite popular among foreigners.
“Foreigners are fascinated by the monastery where they carry out research on Buddhism and monks’ way of life. They come in large numbers and stay at the monastery for months,” said Shivangini Limbu, a resident of the town.
The Sumendu Lake with boating facilities in the heart of the town is equivalent to Chowrasta (famous promenade) in Darjeeling.
“What Chowrasta is to Darjeeling, the lake is to Mirik. Tourists and local people alike converge around the lake in the evenings to take boat or pony rides. Some feed the fish, while others just hang out,” said Limbu.
The Thurbo Tea Estate and Ramitey Dara viewpoint, which give a bird’s eye view of the town below, are other tourist spots in Mirik. Magnificent scenery of the plains nestled between two hillocks can be viewed from the Ramitey Dara on one side and the towering hills of Kurseong on the other.
Save-jumbo appeal to Mamata 
TT, Calcutta, June 9: Bengal forest minister Ananta Roy said today that he would request railway minister Mamata Banerjee to divert night trains running through the Dooars forest to check incidents of elephant deaths on tracks.
Two elephants were mowed down by speeding trains in the Buxa Tiger Reserve recently.
“It has become quite alarming that 20 elephants and seven bison have been killed in railway accidents in the Dooars in the past three years. I shall write to the railway minister, requesting her to see that trains, especially goods carriers, running at night be diverted to avoid the Dooars forests. I shall also request her to build elevated tracks in the Dooars for the free movement of animals,” Roy said.
He also said elephants from Dalma could not walk through the corridors in south Bengal because of firing and bombing by Maoists and the animals were trying to enter Bankura.
Cup fashion & fan loyalty swell coffers
TT, Siliguri, June 9: A tuft of spiky hair in front, preferably streaked and closely cropped at the temples. This is for the loyal fans of Cristiano Ronaldo, said a hairstylist here, snipping away briskly at a salon here.
Business is bright. The football World Cup is two days away and the soccer mania has reached its peak in Siliguri, the moment the hairstylists had been waiting for. As one stylist put it: “You better know the soccer stars or rather their hair-dos well. Most youngsters walk in and say, they want a Ronaldo or a Beckham. You have to be aware (of the hair styles) to deliver.”
But for now, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored over David Beckham in Siliguri.
“Ronaldo is the craze now. In the past one week, we have had more than a dozen youngsters who had come to get the Ronaldo hair style done. Others want the World Cup logo or football etched on their head,” said B. John Ray, the in-charge of Neel David’s Salon of Hair and Beauty.
But Ronaldo (who is from Portugal) apart, Bengali sentiment has always centred around Brazil and Argentina. This time too jerseys, flags and wristbands with names of Brazilian and Argentinean players and clubs are flying off the shelves of sports stores.
“From the sales of jerseys and flags it is evident that people are crazy about Brazil and Argentina. Items like wristbands, shin guards, caps and towels bearing names of the teams are selling like hot cakes. We have customers from Siliguri as well as from the hills and neighbouring counties of Nepal and Bhutan,” said Khokon Bhattacharjee, the owner of Silco Sports. The store has sold items worth about Rs 10,000 a day during the past one week.
And what is a World Cup without a big, bright screen? Television companies are making most of the opportunity. “There isn’t a better occasion than the World Cup to go for an LCD set. This time all my friends will get together at my home to watch the matches,” said Alok Deb, a resident of Deshbandhupara.
Sports enthusiasts from the hills too are streaming down to buy items in bulk for their clubs. “I have come to make some purchases like flags and jerseys for my club. The other members are divided between Brazil and Argentina but I am a die-hard Portugal fan. We will watch the matches together at the club,” said Sandip Subba, a member of the Kurseong Gorkha Sporting Club.
The Archies outlet here said more girls than boys had been visiting the store.
“Girls are fans of individual players. They come mostly for posters of Ronaldo, and at other times for Beckham. The boys come for car pillows with team names written on them, car flags, wallets and sling bags,” said Juhi Agarwal of Archies.
A local NGO has taken an initiative to send out a social message against child labour this World Cup season.
“The International Labour Organisation has come up with the message, Go For the Goal and Show Red Card to Child Labour. We are organising a football match on Saturday between two schools in areas vulnerable to child labour,” said Benjamin Khasouso, a representative of World Vision, the NGO.
SSC fails to fill up vacant posts
9 June 2010, SNS,KOLKATA, 9 JUNE: Despite lowering the cut-off marks for the written test, the West Bengal Central School Service Commission has failed to fill up over 3,300 teaching posts in schools.
The commission today published a panel of 13,677 candidates against 17,041 vacancies in schools across the state. A total of 21,097 candidates who had cleared the written test, were called for the personal test and the final merit list was published today.
This year, only a handful of students of Mathematics and Biological Sciences managed to secure the requisite 40 per cent marks at the written test following which the commission was compelled to lower the cut-off marks to 30 per cent, while for candidates under the reserved category, marks was lowered to 20 per cent.
Mr Ranjit Basu, chairman of the commission said more seats would have been left vacant had the commission not lowered the cut-off marks.
He argued that a lower cut-off mark will not lower the academic standard. Most of the candidates who failed to secure 40 per cent marks in these two subjects had scored first class marks in both the undergraduate
and postgraduate examinations, said Mr
Deliberating on the commission's failure to fill up the teaching posts, Mr Basu said that dearth of candidates under the reserved category had left many seats vacant.
Many teaching posts in the Hindi medium, Urdu medium and Santhali medium schools have been left vacant due to the dearth of suitable candidates. This apart, it was difficult to find teachers for subjects like Science, Physical Education and Work Education, he added.
According to the data available from the commission, around 3,300 teaching posts have been lying vacant since the past two years. In 2008, the vacancy was 3,399 and in 2009 the vacancy was 3,367. This year, 3364 posts have been left vacant.
According to the norm, the seats that are left vacant in one year is carried forward to the next year. The counselling session for the empanelled candidates will be started from the first week of July.

1 comment:

  1. Its amazing that every one is curios es to know about the updated information . I am waiting for updated information , up till now i really happy for the information ,thank you very much.