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Friday, July 9, 2010

CM snubs Ashoke, shunts IG Tamta....State's package to Darjeeling... Thapas' family rejected Gurung's 2 lakh

SNS, KOLKATA, 8 JULY: The state home department today shunted out the controversial IG (North Bengal), Mr KL Tamta, to the post of advisor, security and vigilance, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, giving no credence to his claims that he had single-handedly curbed the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha's (GJMM) agitation in the Hills.
The chief minister chose to stand by the decision of the police top brass to transfer Mr Tamta even though the urban development minister, Mr Asok Bhattacharya had opposed the decision.
Mr Bhattacharya had got the district Left Front leaders to endorse his view about retaining the police officer at his current posting.
Mr Tamta had made a representation before the home secretary following his transfer to the post of IG (planning) which was sent to the Police Establishment Board (PEB).
The PEB members had said that the "claim was devoid of merit since police always work as a team and there is no scope for individual achievement," while upholding Mr Tamta's transfer to the post of IG (Planning).
Mr Tamta had asked for a posting in CID or Kolkata Police in his letter to the home secretary.
The matter was then referred to the home department which transferred Mr Tamta to a more inconsequential posting.
While Mr Ranveer Kumar will take over as IG (North Bengal) Mr Rayapuri Thyagaraju, holding the post of  advisor, security and vigilance (WBSEDCL), will be IG (coastal security), a newly created post.
It may be pointed out that GJMM had demanded the removal of Mr Tamta. 
State's package to Darjeeling
KalimNews:Samar Ghose, Home secretary of the State is visiting Darjeeling very shortly to assess the present political and administrative situation. Ashoke Bhattacharya  said that Administration is more active in Darjeeling now and the political as well as administrative scenario has changed a lot. He confirmed that to fill up the vacant post of teachers 750+ in the primary and 300+ in the secondary sections will be appointed in the hills. He further added that 1300+ contractual staff appointed by DGHC   having experience of more than 10 years will be regularised. This was resolved on a discussion held with the Education Minister and Finance Minister.
In another statement Gautam Deb State Housing & Public Health & Engineering Minister stated that 1500 houses will be constructed for the poor people of Darjeeling. Each house will be constructed at a price of Rupese one lakh seventy five thousand.  Jaswant Singh MP will enlist 600 while three MLAs will enlist 300 each from their constituencies.
TITBITS: National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice on 20 June to the Home secretary and state Police chief regarding  an appeal made by Dawa Pakhrin, Ex GNLF Counllor. It is said that in the application Pakhrin had appealed to the NHRC stating that many GNLF supporters and leaders who were forced to leave hills  after their houses were torched and they were driven away, had appealed for their safe return to their home.
Family members of slain Pushpajung Thapa of Chungtung had rejected to receive Rupese Two lakh granted by Bimal Gurung GJMM Chief. Thapa  was a supporter of GNLF an accused of Pramila murder  case was arrested and released on bail. Late Thapa was murdered by GJMM supporters and his family members were GJMM supporters. They instead asked Gurung to give justice by arresting  and helping to arrest the accused of Thapa's murder.  
Smoke blocked tracks, recalls driver - Assistant pilot fights train trauma
Anirban Choudhary, TT, Alipurduar, July 8: A dark screen of smoke covered the tracks for an instant and everything went black for Ashim Kumar Som, the driver of Garib Rath Express that went off the tracks near Assam’s Gossaigaon early this morning.
“I saw the thick smoke in the beam of the engine light and as the train was moving fast, there was little time to react. Suddenly there was a loud bang like an explosive going off and we were off the tracks and hurtling down the slope,” Som said after a surgery at the railway hospital here. It was a while before he realised that the engine, along with some coaches, had rolled almost to the edge of the Modati river that runs along the tracks.
Som and 18 others had been brought to Alipurduar railway hospital later in the morning by a relief train from Babubill — where the Garib Rath derailed — near Gossaigaon station in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
The driver said he remembered the relief train arriving around 5am. It reached Alipurduar, 58km away, an hour later. “I was told that many passengers had been injured, but they were safe. My right hand was impaled by a metal in the engine cabin and I could not move it. My assistant Anup Chakrabarty helped free my arm and we climbed out of the engine and collapsed.”
When the general manager of the Northeast Frontier Railway, Shiv Kumar, arrived at the hospital’s male ward, Chakrabarty burst into tears. “I was frightened when I saw the smoke in front. I am worried that something will happen to me. I am still so scared,” the assistant motorman told Kumar, clutching his hand. “Everything will be all right, you take rest,” Kumar told him.
Doctors attending on the injured said Som had to be shifted to the railway hospital in Garden Reach, Calcutta, in the evening for another surgery on his hand.
Five railway employees and 14 passengers had been brought to the hospital here. Himadri Samaddar, who is doing a course in hotel management in Guwahati, was returning home in Barrackpore on the outskirts of Calcutta. “I was in coach G1 when suddenly there was a huge lurch and the coach toppled on its side. Many of the passengers fell off the berths. Within seconds a railway track sort of pierced through the coach. Some passengers had managed to climb down through the vestibule,” Himadri said. The vestibule connects two compartments and had given away.
Despite the darkness, Himadri could see two compartments and the engine lying on slope. The other coach was the power car that carried the generator and some passengers. Durlav Sethia, the six-year-old boy who was killed, was travelling in the power car right behind the engine. “The passengers from the other coaches helped those inside the two compartments to come out. Railway officials came to the spot about an hour later,” said Himadri, who suffered injuries on the right knee.
Vinita Phukan, who was taking her husband to Chennai for his diabetes treatment, said she remembered people screaming. “We were all asleep when everything suddenly changed. My 11-year-old daughter Ankita was not hurt but my husband and I suffered cuts on the head and arms. We will miss our connecting train to Chennai today evening from Calcutta,” she said. A special train with the passengers of Garib Rath left for Calcutta at 7am.
CPM keeps Durgapur but loses stranglehold
TT, July 8: The CPM today won a fig leaf of a victory in the Durgapur I bypoll, the rare triumph after a string of reverses elsewhere diminished by a steep fall in the margin.
The CPM did manage to hold on to the seat it had never lost since 1977 but its margin plunged from 41,000 in 2006 to 8,867 votes now. Compared even with the Assembly segment lead of more than 16,000 votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the party has lost votes. This means the erosion has worsened from last year.
Delimitation, which nibbled away some rural areas where the CPM was unassailable earlier, must have played some part but the fact remains that the party could not stem the slide even though the lone bypoll had given it the opportunity to concentrate all its firepower on the contest.
However, there are lessons for the Trinamul Congress and the Congress. The results underscore the need for both the parties to put up a united fight, with the Assembly polls round the corner. The parties had failed to stitch an alliance before the May civic polls. But they fought together in Durgapur this time, a probable reason for the slide in the CPM’s vote count.
The Durgapur bypoll was necessitated by the death of former power minister Mrinal Banerjee in February. Banerjee had won the seat by a margin of 41,000 votes in 2006. This time, the CPM’s Archana Bhattacharya won by only 8,867 votes.
Bhattacharya, who defeated the Congress’s Bansi Badan Karmakar, said today: “I dedicate my win to our dear and respected leader Jyoti Basu and of course to the people who didn’t let us down amid the strong anti-Left tide.’’
However, the Congress was quick to claim “moral victory” as the CPM’s winning margin had gone down.
“We think our party has won a moral victory in the bypoll because the CPM won by only 8,867 votes. The figure is about one-fifth of the CPM’s 2006 victory margin and almost half of the Lok Sabha lead the Left had in 2009. We could have fared better had there been no bandh on the day of the polls (July 5),” said state Congress president Manas Bhuniya.
He alleged that several of the Congress’s “traditional voters” were not allowed to enter the polling booths by “muscle-flexing CPM goons”.
Echoing Bhuniya, Trinamul leader Partha Chatterjee said “we could have easily won the seat if the CPM had not called the bandh”.
Trinamul sources said Mamata Banerjee congratulated the Congress candidate for “putting up a brave fight against the CPM nominee”.
In 2009, the CPM had won from the industrial belt of Burdwan, which had resisted the winds of change and stood by the party. The Left had won the Durgapur-Burdwan parliamentary seat by a margin of more than one lakh votes.
Amid the losses the CPM suffered in the agricultural belt of Burdwan in the civic polls this time, the party managed to retain the Raniganj and Jamuria civic bodies in the district’s industrial belt.
Amal Haldar, the CPM’s Burdwan unit secretary,
Chaos in House as speaker, Trinmool MLAs clash
Assembly clashENS, Kolkata: In an unprecedented show of misdemeanor, Assembly Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim and Trinamool legislators, led by Leader of Opposition Partha Chatterjee, engaged in an obnoxious verbal duel on Thursday with each calling the other a “goonda”.
(Photo:Partha chatterjee & Hasim Abdul Halim)
The spat took place after the Speaker turned down Trinamool legislators’ notice of moving a privilege motion against Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee over the transfer of Birbhum SP Rabindranath Mukherjee in the wake of the murder of former CPM MLA Ananda Das at Nanoor.
The Opposition had alleged that the CM had misled the House by saying that the SP was “useless” and so he was being transferred, while the Home Secretary Samar Ghosh had termed Mukherjee’s transfer as a “routine exercise”.
After the Question Hour came to an end, Speaker Halim stood up and announced that Trinamool’s notice of bringing a privilege motion is being turned down. “A privilege notice cannot be substantiated by newspaper reports,” the Speaker said, pointing to a bunch of newspaper clippings that were attached with the notice. Moments later, there was pandemonium in the Assembly, with Trinamool MLAs rushing to the Well of the House and shouting slogans against the Speaker. They accused him of “dancing to the tune of Alimuddin Street” — the CPM party state headquarters in Kolkata. 
When Halim returned to his chamber, the Trinamool legislators barged into the room and a heated exchange took place between the Speaker and Partha Chatterjee. “You don’t know how to behave,” Chatterjee told Halim, to which the Speaker retorted, “I will not learn it from you. You have unleashed rowdyism here.” An angry Chatterjee then told Halim that he was “the leader of goondas”.  
Hasim later termed the incident as an “unfortunate” one which “tarnished the image of the Assembly”. “They (Trinamool MLAs) were in such a belligerent mood ... I have never seen this in my life. One such incident took place in 1984 when late Jyoti Basu was the chief minister. On that occasion, a Congress delegation had barged into my chamber and shouted at me. But this was different,” the Speaker said.
Chatterjee, on the other hand, said the Speaker has broken all parliamentary rules and “tarnished the prestige of the Chair”. 
Viswa Bharati strike against fee hike
TT, SANTINIKETAN: There's trouble brewing again in Tagore's abode of peace. All departments and offices of Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan were closed on Thursday due to an indefinite strike called by the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TCP). The strike supporters were demanding a fee slash in various departments, including admission fees, which had been hiked recently.
Though the university officials tried to sort out the matter with the agitating students, no solution has yet been found. The students said that all departments would remain closed on Friday, too.
"Our demand is that all sorts of fees must be decreased by at least 50%," said Rajdeep Ghosh, the V-B unit secretary of TCP, adding, "The university authorities invited us to a discussion today. They agreed to reduce only the caution deposit. We will not withdraw our strike call until fees are decreased. The university authorities are spending huge amounts of money for other purposes. So, the explanation that students will have to pay more to meet the expenditure is not just. On Friday, too, all departments will remain closed."
Amitabha Chowdhury, the officiating finance officer of the university, said: "We held detailed discussions with student representatives and have agreed to reduce the amount of caution deposit, but they insisted on their demands. Earlier, they had said that they would observe the strike only in the departments, but office employees were also prevented from joining work. We will again talk to the students to arrive at a solution."

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