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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Murder plotted in Morcha office in May - Chargesheet says ...... Pathak met PM.. Strike in NHPC Stage V

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 31: Madan Tamang’s murder was not a spur-of-the-moment act but a planned conspiracy hatched in the first week of May at the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s office at Singamari, the CID has found out.
The investigating agency has also found out that ABGL leader Tamang was first hit by a stone on the forehead, before 31-year old Dinesh Subba alias Kaila, a resident of Vah-Tukvar in Darjeeling, hacked him to death.
According to the chargesheet filed by the CID in court yesterday, Tamang was trying to stop his supporters from fleeing towards Gandhi Road when an armed group of 200 people swooped down on the ABGL meeting venue at Upper Clubside on May 21.
“At this time, Madan Tamang was trying to persuade his supporters not to flee from the spot. In the melee he was also hit by a stone on his forehead and one Dinesh Subba, alias Kaila, assaulted Tamang on his neck with a sharp cutting sword,” reads the chargesheet prepared by Ardhendu Sekhar Pahari, the investigating officer of the case. A copy of the chargesheet is in the possession of The Telegraph.
Investigations have also revealed that two SIM cards were used to co-ordinate the entire incident. Both the SIM cards were fitted to a Spice M 4580 cellphone, which was recovered from the murder site by constable Kiran Rai of Darjeeling police.
While one of the numbers — 9932516944 — was registered in the name of Samir Bhutia of Darjeeling, the other, 9733166826, was found registered in the name of Nickole Tamang who on August 22 fled from CID custody.
The CID said Bhutia had confessed that Nickole had taken his phone with his SIM and that he was “helpless as Nickole Tamang was a politically powerful person having close association with the GJM (Morcha) president, Bimal Gurung”.
The 30 persons named in the chargesheet had made an elaborate plan to prevent Madan from holding a pubic meeting in Darjeeling and the plot was hatched at the Singamari office of the Morcha in “the first week of May 2010”.
This meeting was attended by Nickole and other Morcha leaders like Puran Thami, Alok Kant Mani Thulung, Dinesh Subba, Dinesh Gurung, Kesav Raj Pokhrel, Kismant Chhetri, Suraj Singh, Tenzing Khambachey and the others. It was decided that no political party would be allowed to hold a public meeting in Darjeeling.
Call details of the accused a day before and on May 21, when Madan was murdered, have also been tracked by the CID along with their tower locations.
It has also come to light that three persons named in the chargesheet — Subash Tamang, Yogen Rai alias Prashant Chhetri and Sangay Yolmo — who suffered bullet injuries were not shifted to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. Instead police took some time to trace them to nursing homes in Kalimpong and Siliguri.
Madan Tamang’s memorial at the Motor Stand in Darjeeling
Among the three injured, Yolmo has not been arrested yet. His family has shifted him to Vellore for better treatment. Currently, the number of arrested persons in CID custody is seven contrary to belief that it was nine. Yolmo had not been arrested at all, and Nickole has fled.
“On humanitarian ground he has not been arrested till date and after recovery, his (Yolmo) arrest will be secured for production before the Ld (learned) Court,” the chargesheet reads.
On May 21, seven Morcha leaders and activists were seen moving around the meeting venue and keeping a watch over the arrangements so that it could be attacked at an opportune moment. These people have been identified as Nickole Tamang, Sanjoy Tamang, Sudesh Raijmajhi, Dinesh Gurung, Dinesh Subba, Sona Sherpa and Babita Ganguly.
The CID believes that the group had first assembled at Chowrastha and had made their way to the meeting venue using Nehru Road.
KalimNews, 1 Sept: GJMM will start hungerstrike starting from today till 7th September in the respective subdivisional Offices demanding arrest of Nicole.Janmukti Karmachari Sangathan members of Kalimpong participated in the hungerstrike.

KalimNews:Saman Pathak MP of Rajya Sabha met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  and proposed for an all hill party discussion for a solution regarding Gorkhaland and other issues. He also submitted a  memorandum to the PM signed by LF MPs Sitaram Yechuri, Brinda Karat, Ram chandra Dom and Bajuban Riyang. He thanked PM for his concern over Darjeeling problem and said that WB govt has no objection for the forthcoming tripartite Talks but  he demanded that before coming to any conclusive decision there should be an all party meeting regarding the overall situation of the hills and restoration of peace, law and order and democracy as well as  the formation of an Interim body. On demand Pathak submitted a list of the hill parties to the PM Singh.

Potholes in the NH 31C roads
Meanwhile MP Amar Singh President fo Federation of new states stated that demand of Gorkhaland is not the demand of a region but a political demand of all Gorkhas of India.
KalimNews: Private Buses of Dooars area were off the road from Monday. Protesting against the bad condition of roads Bus owners of Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri and Siliguri didnot ply their buses as a result passengers were seen rushing after the NBSTC buses and many were stranded. 
Hill College registration under scanner
Darjeeling, Aug. 31: Fifty-eight students of a year-old college here are staring at an uncertain future as the institution authorities have been unable to clear the air on its registration.
Mangal Priyaa Management and Engineering College, which was established on August 8, 2009, in a rented place on Lebong Cart Road, offers courses in BCA, BBA, hotel management and English honours.
According to the college prospectus, the institution “has been granted an autonomous status under the UGC Act (1964-65) and is supervised by Bangalore University and some of the course of the engineering department is supervised by Delhi University with an NOC i.e. joint venture of Pranath Institute of Management and Technology (Regd. No.S/IL/34754”.
Aditya Sharma, a second semester student of the BCA course, said: “We started suspecting the college’s claim after we got the admit card. It did not look like a proper admit card. Moreover, we did not get a proper marksheet and our marks were merely pasted on the notice board.”
When the students met college director Nishesh Jaishee on August 11, he reportedly left for Bangalore to get the registration documents. He is yet to return.
Arpan Sharma, co-ordinator of the college’s hotel management department, said Jaishee could not be contacted till date. “We are also in the dark. If the situation so demands I might have to shut down the college from tomorrow unless the director returns,” said Sharma. Jaishee could not be contacted on the mobile numbers provided by the college staff. Janam Rai, a resident of Ghoom, had filed an RTI application on August 13 seeking a clarification from the UGC on the status of the college.
“The reply I got states that the college is not recognised under Sec 2 (f) and 12(B) of the UGC Act 1956,” said Rai.
In protest some of the students also slept within the college campus for six nights starting from August 20.
College students now fear that they might have lost a year. “Where will we get admission at this time of the year? Even if we manage, we probably have to start the course afresh,” said another student.
According to the prospectus, a student has to pay Rs 15,850 per semester for a BCA course. The fees for other courses range from Rs 15,600 to Rs 20,300 per semester. The total amount a student has to pay for all the six semesters (three-year course) ranges between Rs 93,600 and Rs 1,21,800.
Garden siege over power demand
The workers of Subhasini Tea Estate lay siege to the manager’s office on Tuesday. Picture by Anirban Choudhury
TT, Alipurduar, Aug. 31: More than a thousand workers of Subhasini Tea Estate confined the garden manager to his office for 10 hours today demanding the restoration of electricity lines that had been disconnected five months ago.
The siege that began at 7.30am was lifted at 5.30pm after the manager, Anindya Roy, assured the protesters that he would sit with the trade unions on Thursday to thrash out the issue. Work in the garden in Kalchini was hampered throughout the day.
According to Abdul Hamid, the unit secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad’s Progressive Tea Workers’ Union, the management had begun to deduct Rs 350 a month from the workers’ wages as electricity charges from October last year causing widespread resentment among the workers.
Earlier, the management had charged a worker between Rs 200 and Rs 225 a month for power consumption. But the workers protested the sudden rise in deduction from their wages and said they were ready to pay Rs 100 a month for electricity supply for 12 hours a day. Earlier, the supply was for 24 hours.
“The management did not heed our plea and instead disconnected the power lines from every worker’s quarters from April 1 this year. Since then we are living in tremendous hardship, especially the elders and the students. So we decided to gherao the manager till some assurance was given,” Hamid said.
The PTWU leader said the workers had submitted a proposal that electricity meters be installed in each quarters and the amount consumed would be paid for. But that demand was also rejected by the management, he said.
The garden has 1,200 workers.
Around 3pm, police from Hashimara outpost arrived at the garden office and tried to persuade the protesters to lift the gherao but failed.
As the manager was feeling uneasy — garden sources said the agitating workers did not allow him to drink water or use the washroom — the police asked the central leaders of the Parishad from Hashimara to come and negotiate. After the talks with the Adivasi leaders, the agitation was withdrawn.
While the manager was not available for comments, Amitangshu Chakrabarty, the secretary of the Indian Tea Planters’ Association’s Birpara branch, of which the garden is a member, said Roy’s confinement was uncalled for.
“It was very undemocratic of the workers to confine the manager to his office in this manner. What the workers have been demanding is unreasonable. However, let us see what takes place in the meeting scheduled for Thursday,” Chakrabarty said.
Strike in NHPC V
Prakha, Gangtok, Aug 31: Administrative work at 510 MW NHPC Teesta Stage V power plant at Balutar, Singtam in East Sikkim was crippled today with a section of labourers calling an indefinite strike demanding ‘re-designation of grades as per educational qualifications’.
The Teesta Stage V power plant located 42 kms away from Gangtok had been commissioned by Union Power Minster Sushil Kumar Shinde last year in the month of June.
The NHPC Teesta Stage V had recruited fifty three workers as part of its rehabilitation and resettlement package for the project displaced families. The workers, all local residents, had been appointed by the hydro-electric giant under the ‘rehabilitation and resettlement’ plan for the families who had been ousted from their lands by the project.
Contending that they have been given a raw deal by the NHPC authorities, the local workers claimed they were given appointment only in the lowest grade of W-0 irrespective of the educational qualifications. 
After a series of submissions to the NHPC and State authorities went unheeded, the workers today locked the gates of the administrative block of the power plant at Balutar at 9 am.
Backed by the labour front of the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front, the workers shouted slogans against the alleged ‘discrimination’ meted out to the locals by the NHPC and demanded their grades be promoted as per educational qualifications.
However, the power generation was not halted by the workers.
Later, sub-divisional magistrate (East) AB Karki intervened and convinced the agitating workers and supporters of SDF labour front to come to dialogue with the NHPC authorities.
After nearly two hours of talks between the NHPC authorities, workers, sub-divisional magistrate and SDF labour front functionaries, it was decided that the indefinite strike has been deferred till September 3.
“All parties have come under a dialogue process. A meeting has been fixed on September 3 at the East district administrative centre where the issues of workers and concerns of NHPC authorities will be sorted out”, said Karki to reporters after the meeting.
In the meantime, the NHPC Teesta Stage V management will also be contacting its higher authorities to place the demands of the workers here, said Karki.
The agitating workers however remain non-committal on the outcome of the talks. “We will be having a meeting again on September 3 with the NHPC and district authorities. If our demands are resolved on that meeting, then we will be happy. If demands are not met, we will again resume our indefinite strike from September 4”, said Santosh Adikhari, one of the agitating workers.
All Sikkim Democratic Labour Front (ASDL), the labour frontal organization of ruling SDF party, also reiterated its support to the NHPC workers.
ASDL general secretary Hari Chettri, who attended the meeting, said that meeting was ‘okay’. “Some hopes have been generated today that demands of the workers will be resolved in the upcoming meeting. We want a conclusive result in that meeting and we are ready to support the workers if they call indefinite strike again”, he said.
Chettri said that demands of the agitating workers are fully genuine. “Our local workers are being humiliated and discriminated by the NHPC.  The NHPC should not take advantage of the peaceful nature of our people”, he said.
Though the district authorities and ASDL remain optimistic of a solution to be reached on September 3, the statements given by NHPC Teesta Stage V chief engineer D Chottapadhya gave hints about an unfruitful meeting on September 3.
“We have our own policy matters regarding employment of workers. There is a government policy for all NHPC projects and to incorporate something new, we have to change the entire policy”, said Chottapadhay when asked about the ‘grade re-designation’ demand of the workers.
When asked what new things he will have to offer in the table during the September 3 talks, the NPHC Teesta Stage V chief enigineer said that he will approaching his higher authorities and see what can be done.
“Lets us see. The talks will have to continue”, he said. He added that State labour department has already constituted a commission regarding the labour issues in the Teesta Stage V.
“We will have to wait for the commission to submit its report on September 17”, said Chottapadhya. He asserted that NHPC has fulfilled all its promises given to the local people and Sikkim government.
However, the local aggrieved workers are not agreeing to this claim of the NHPC. They are presently employed as helpers and beldars under W-0 grade in the plant.
We are the land oustees were appointed as helpers and beldars under W-0 grade irrespective of our educational qualifications and we had been regularly requesting the NHPC authorities to consider our pending demands. Our chief demand is re-designation of existing grade to suitable grade as per educational qualification and as per the rehabilitation and resettlement plan approved by the State government”, said Sangram Basnett and other workers.
The 510 MW NHPC Teesta Stage V project had been commissioned by Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in July 4, last year. The project had been built at a cost of Rs. 2619 crores and took eight years to be completed.
The State government is entitled to 12 percent free power from the installed capacity of the NHPC Teesta Stage V plant which translates to around Rs. 300 crores per annum.
Pointing out that they had given their lands for the project, the workers said that they have been languishing at the lowest levels for the past six years. “We gave our land and got employment but our qualifications were not respected by NHPC management. We have been repeatedly demanding that our grades should be given as per qualifications but they failed to listen to us. Till today, we are working as helpers and belders and we feel exploited as our educational qualifications were not respected”, they said.
“We have worked for six years and it should be natural that we should have been promoted as per our experience and educational qualifications but today, even a mechanical engineering graduate is forced to continue as a helper”, said the group.
According to the group, there are workers holding graduate and post graduate degrees who are working in the lowest grades. There are workers who have engineering degree, graduate and graduate degrees but still have to work as helpers and beldars, they said.
It was pointed out that there were 60 families who were ousted by the project. These land oustees were offered appointment in the lowest grade in the project.
Only 57 members from the ousted families joined out of which four have already passed away.

NHAI blames bumpy ride on rain- Bus owners refuse to budge till visible proof of road repair
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 31: On the backfoot because of the indefinite strike called by private bus owners, the NHAI has assured the protesters that it would repair the roads in the region at the earliest and was waiting for the rain to stop.
The promise from the National Highways Authority of India comes even as thousands of commuters in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar struggled for toehold in the few over-packed government buses and the private owners from other districts, besides some trains and smaller vehicles.
Around 1,500-odd private buses remained off the roads to protest the condition of the routes on which they travel. The bus owners said the potholed roads meant additional expenses for the maintenance of their vehicles, which were often damaged.
Smaller vehicles like cars hiked up their rates and goods carriers like mini trucks turned means of transport for daily passengers today.
Since morning, thousands of people swarmed New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Junctions, New Mal, Birpara, Hasimara, New Cooch Behar, New Alipurduar, Dhupguri, Falakata, Jalpaiguri Road and Jalpaiguri Town stations. Train travel would have been easier had the tracks been connected to the remote corners.
“I teach at a school on Gayerkata and travel by bus from Siliguri everyday. Today, I boarded an express train from NJP to reach Dhupguri, more than 10km from Gayerkata. From the station, I had to take a rickshaw van to reach NH31D and then got a pick-up van to reach school,” said Ashima Chakraborty, a teacher.
“I don’t know how I will go back. The only hope is that a couple of express trains on way to NJP stop at Dhupguri in the evening.”
Those whose destinations were Changrabandha, Lataguri, Jaigaon, Barovisa, Tufanganj, Sitai, Baxirhat, Kumargram and Mekhliganj in Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts where there is no train connectivity had to wait for government buses or take private vehicles on share.
“Private vehicles are often available between Siliguri and Jalpaiguri on share with rates varying between Rs 40 to Rs 60. But today these vehicles are charging as high as Rs 150 per person,” said Binod Chhetri, a resident of Jalpaiguri who works in a bank in Siliguri.
Although bus owners admitted that passengers were inconvenienced, they refused to budge till the roads become “motorable”.
“It is not a strike called for revision of fares. There is the question of safety and security. Everyday, accidents are reported, as the roads are not in motorable condition. The strike was spontaneous today and we plan to continue with it until we see visible proof of repair,” said Pranab Mani, secretary of the North Bengal Passenger Transport Owners’ Coordination Committee.
The NHAI claimed the repairs that have started would be expedited soon. “We are responsible for NH31 and have started repairing the stretch between Sevoke and Bagdogra via Siliguri. The incessant rain is posing a problem but we expect the work to take a full swing once it stops,” said Dhruba Chakraborty, the superintending engineer of PWD (NH Division IX).
R.K. Chaudhry, the project director of the NHAI posted in Siliguri, said tenders have been issued for repairing NH31D, from Ghoshpukur on the outskirts of Fulbari to Dhupguri and Falakata.
“Repair has commenced in five places on the entire stretch. We have floated three tenders of Rs 15 crore for strengthening the road but the main constraint is rain which is hampering work,” he said.
Tech boy arrested for assault 
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 31: The third-year student of Siliguri Government Polytechnic College, who allegedly assaulted his junior over a video shot of his girlfriend on the latter’s cellphone, was arrested from a private hostel here this morning.
Subham Bera, who is pursuing a course of electronic instrumentation technology, was produced before B. Khesang, the additional chief judicial magistrate of Siliguri, and was released on bail.
“Subham was booked under Sections 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and was granted bail by the court today,” his lawyer D. Roy said.
The college has constituted a fact-finding committee that is supposed to submit its report within seven days. According to polytechnic sources, both Arin Dutta, a second-year student and the victim, and Subham have been suspended from the institution for seven days. College principal Subrata Sarkar was not available for comment.
“All the second-year students have boycotted classes today and we will keep doing so until the college takes action against Subham. The first-year and third-year students attended classes as usual. The college is shut for Janmasthami tomorrow so we will meet the principal with our demand again on Thursday,” said Nurul Hassan, a second-year civil engineering student. Nurul was also assaulted allegedly by Shubham at his hostel in Aurobindopally on Sunday night.
Subham had allegedly assaulted Arin, a student of electronic telecommunications, at his hostel following which Arin was admitted to the Siliguri District Hospital. Arin had filed an FIR against Subham alleging physical and mental torture. He was discharged from the hospital today. Subham had denied the charges.
Leash on primary job drive- 15 told not to join duty
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 31: The state school education department has asked the Jalpaiguri district inspector of schools not to allow 15 candidates selected for primary teachers’ post to join duty in a tough stand against corruption in job drives.
A letter written by S.C. Ghosh, a deputy secretary of the department, that reached the DI (primary) office yesterday, also asked the official to suspend the candidates, if they have joined by now, immediately on an interim basis. All 15 are reportedly close to the CPM leaders.
Earlier, the department had removed Jalpaiguri district primary school council chairperson Mrinal Pal and shifted Kaushik Roy, the then DI (primary) of schools, to West Midnapore as assistant inspector after receiving around 1,000 complaints on allegation of corruption and nepotism in the recruitment process. An inquiry had been started.
The Youth Congress, which had been spearheading a movement over the issue, demanded the arrest of those involved in corruption. The party had accused Pal and district CPM leaders for inducting their near and dear ones in the final merit list by depriving the deserving candidates.
“All the 15 names mentioned in the list are the family members and the relatives of CPM leaders. They include the wife of Mrinal Pal and three family members of K.K. Jha, a CPM leader from Nagrakata,” said Saikat Chatterjee, the Jalpaiguri district Youth Congress president. “Our movement has succeeded in unearthing the corruption to some extent but we want a complete amendment of the final list as at least 550 others — 1,411 were recruited — have got jobs by virtue of nepotism. They should be treated like the 15.”
The Youth Congress leader said now that the corruption had been proved, the party wanted police to immediately arrest all those involved in the racket — right from Pal to some of the employees of the DPSC who had resorted to illegal means to ensure job for their family members. “Or else, we will continue our agitation and call a general strike in Jalpaiguri district or sit on indefinite hunger strike.”
Mohan Bose, the Jalpaiguri district Congress president who had sought the intervention of governor M.K. Narayanan, claimed that Raj Bhavan had forwarded the matter to the state school education department.
“On the basis of the movement by the Youth Congress and our request to the governor, the school education department was forced to take the action,” Bose said.
Pal, however, could not be contacted. The district CPM leaders, too, refused comment.
Naparajita Mukherjee   DGP of Bengal appointed
TH, Kolkata: Naparajit Mukherjee, a 1976 batch IPS officer, took over as West Bengal's Director -General of Police on Tuesday. He takes the place of Bhupinder Singh who laid down office after a 14-month tenure.
In an informal chat with the media, Mr Mukherjee identified police welfare among his priority areas.
In response to a query on his plan in the Left-wing extremism-affected areas, he said: “ There is a set policy and we will follow it”.
Asked whether the combined forces will continue their anti-Maoist operations, he quipped: “I am surprised that you are asking this question to me, but I have no indication to the contrary”.
Mr Mukherjee takes charge at a time when the State is just months away from the Assembly elections which are scheduled in May 2011. .
After the rain Golfers at Golf Course , Durpin,  Kalimpong
Stephen Hugh-Jones
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” So, reportedly, Jesus answered a crowd of men who had brought to him “a woman taken in adultery”, pointing out that Jewish law said she should be stoned, but what did he think? Surprisingly, instead of stoning him too, at his rebuke her accusers slunk away, while he told her to “go, and sin no more.”
And what’s odd about his answer? I don’t mean its ethics, though I imagine that to any ayatollah, they’re very odd indeed. No, just the wording. It comes from the great 1611 translation of the Bible, but you could easily find its like today.
The oddity is let him. We use that phrase often enough today, and still more often ones such as let’s go. That let’s go sounds pretty colloquial, but it’s simply short for let us go, and there are thoroughly formal parallels: let us pray, for instance, used in church services. And the question is: why him and us, not he and we? After all, it is he who is to cast a stone, we who are to go or to pray.
Private grammar
The easy answer is to see him and us as merely the standard forms of those pronouns when they are the objects of a verb, as in, say, humour him or he’ll shoot us. Not so. The let of let him cast or let’s go is utterly bogus. It’s no equivalent of allow him/us to. No third party is being told to do the letting. In practice, those phrases are commands, that he or we should carry out, and the let is hardly a verb at all, merely a meaningless part of the imperative mood of the verbs cast or go. To quote one expert, “let’s is being treated as a quasi-modal”. (And let’s hope that leaves you wiser than it left me.)
Most languages have an imperative available for phrases like these. France’s Marseillaise opens Allons, enfants de la patrie — let’s go, children of the fatherland — not Permettez-nous aller, as if the enfants needed permission. The French equivalent of let him cast is more complex, but it too uses their version of he, not of him.
In English, phrases like let he cast or let we go can be found as far back as the 17th century. But they were oddities then, and they’re plain wrong now. You’ll find today’s usage in Shakespeare’s Henry V: he which hath no stomach to this fight, let him depart. Or Henry VI: let’s kill all the lawyers. Not that Shakespeare was above a bit of his own private grammar, as in Hamlet: break we our watch up, which is plainly a kind of imperative, a substitute for let’s break — and is indeed at once followed by let’s impart.
Spell out
So that’s settled? Not quite. Even now, the we/us confusion is reflected in one subtlety. If you say let’s go, would you spell out that us as you and me or you and I? Trollope went for I, writing and now, my dear, let you and I say a few words about this unfortunate affair. Half a century later, William Faulkner had a character say let’s you and me take ‘em on. However colloquial, that’s surely correct: if it’s us, it has to be you and me, not you and I.
Well, so I would think, and many a pedant would affirm (as indeed the great and unpedantic H.W. Fowler did, reproving Trollope). Yet in 1910 T.S. Eliot, hardly an illiterate, in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” was writing let us go then, you and I, exactly as if the two people concerned were the joint subjects, not objects, of let. As in real life they are. At which point, my pedantic friends — just how am I to put this?— let’s admit we’re beaten, you and me. Source: THEWORDCAGE@YAHOO.CO.UK

Monday, August 30, 2010

GJMM withdraws strike.. team to find Nicole.. CID submitted chargesheet against 30 GJMM

KalimNews: In view of the forthcoming tripartite talks to be held on 7th September the strike to be resumed is withdrawn. GJMM is in favour of an amicable resolution for the demand of Gorkhaland as such it wants to create a favourable and harmonious environment before the talks.  GJMM leadership during a press release of the party declared that the indefinite strike is henceforth withdrawn
Meanwhile ABGL team met Rahul Gandhi at Delhi on Monday who assured them of necessary assistance.
CID Named 30

Darjeeling Times, Darjeeling, August 30: GJMM has announced the withdrawal of its indefinite Bandh, which was suspended till today, taking into consideration of the forth coming Tripartite Talks scheduled to be held on September 7 in New Delhi. GJMM had called the indefinite Bandh in the hills against the suspicious escape of Nicolel Tamang, who was under the remand of CID for investigation.
Dilemma of indefinite Bandh had been lynching over the suspended political atmosphere of Darjeeling hills after the Nicole Tamang suspiciously vanished from the custody of CID. As the much awaited moment exceeded, ‘Hearing’ of Nicole Tamang to be produced at the Darjeeling Judicial Court, Police officials along with CID arrived at the premises of the Darjeeling Judicial Court but without Tamang.  However, CID has filed a ‘Charge-Sheet’ against 30 GJMM supporters against the murder of Madan Tamang on May 21. There were intense activities witnessed in Darjeeling District Court today between GJMM leaders and Darjeeling District Magistrate Surendra Gupta. Session bench of Judicial Magistrate also discussed the matter of Nicole Tamang with CID officials in Darjeeling today. Later GJMM leaders called the Press conference at 2 O’clock and revealed their programs as follows: Withdrawal of Indefinite Bandh in the hills, considering the importance of Tripartite Talks, which is scheduled to be held on September 7 in New Delhi. An investigating Team will be formed by GJMM in search of Nicole Tamang, which is liable to go beyond International boundaries. The issue has been discussed with the Darjeeling District Magistrate, Surendra Gupta for necessary requisites.
Relay Hunger strike will be observed by GJMM from September 1 to September 17 in Darjeeling, demanding Nicole Tamang Should be produced at the Court of Law without any harm.
30 GJMM supporters named in the CID’s ‘Charge-Sheet’ against murder of Madan Tamang on May 21 are Basant Yogen Rai, Sudesh Raimaji, Ashish Tamang, Sunil Rai, Tilak Rai (Sotang), Puran Rai, Kismat Chettri, Alok Thulung, Tenzing Khambachey, K R Pokhrel, Dinesh Gurung (Kaila), Puran Thami, Dinesh Subba (Kaila), Nicole Tamang, Sanjay Tamang, Suraj Singh, Prabin Subba, Arun Moktan, Dawa Sangay Sherpa, Bhanu Rai, Kamal Sinha of M P Rd, Naresh Rai, Nagendra Pradhan, Babita Ganguli, Sona Sherpa, Keshar Rai, Amol Lama, Dil Kumar Rai of Singla , Subash Tamang and Sangay Yolmo of Harsingh.
Kalimpong News adds: CID submitted a 519 paged Charge sheet signed by Ardhendu Pahari the chief Investigating Officer of CID. The name list contains 2 women leaders but excludes Roshan Giri whose name was included in the Telephonic intercept published by Indian Express. Further it has stated that it may submit supplementary list if any. 
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The CID today submitted a chargesheet before a Darjeeling court alleging that 30 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activists were involved in the murder of Madan Tamang.
Senior Morcha leaders, who had earlier been named in an FIR after the murder of the ABGL chief, do not figure in the chargesheet.
Assistant public prosecutor Govind Chhetri said: “The CID has filed a 519-page chargesheet and has further maintained that they can file a supplementary chargesheet if other names figure in their investigations.”
This technically means that the senior Morcha leaders could figure in the supplementary chargesheet if further investigations point to their involvement.
The FIR filed by ABGL general secretary Laxman Pradhan soon after the May 21 murder had named Morcha chief Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha Gurung and central committee members of the party Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Pradip Pradhan, Col(retd) Ramesh Allay and Binay Tamang as conspirators. None of the names figure in the CID chargesheet.
But seven other persons named by Pradhan figure in the chargesheet.
All the 30 persons have been booked under Section 147/148 (rioting/rioting with deadly weapons), 149 (unlawful assembly), 427 (mischief causing damage), 506 (criminal intimidation), 302 (murder) and 120 (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Of the 30, nine people had already been arrested. One of the prime accused, Nickole Tamang, fled from CID custody on August 22. Another accused is nursing bullet wounds in hospital.
While submitting the chargesheet the CID had pleaded before the chief judicial magistrate to issue arrest warrants against those who have not yet been picked up. Court warrants make it easier to arrest the accused if they have fled to other states. Shyam Prakash Rajak, chief judicial magistrate, has granted the petition.
With the filing of the chargesheet, the first step towards the trial of the murder case has started. Had the CID failed to submit a chargesheet within 90 days of the arrest of the accused, even those picked up for non-bailable offence would have been entitled to bail.
The chargesheet is primarily the findings of the investigation team. However, whether those named are actually guilty of committing the crime will be evident at the end of the trial.
“The trial will take place at the session’s court. If those named in the chargesheet are not arrested, there are provisions in the CrPc to even attach their properties. A few other procedures like transferring the case to the session court (from the chief judicial magistrate’s court) and separating the cases for those who have been arrested and those who are yet to be arrested will take place before trial starts,” said a lawyer.
In fact, the court had earlier imposed a freeze on the bank accounts of 10 of the accused including Nickole.
According to Chhetri, 61 witnesses have been named in the investigations. Sources said Bharati Tamang, the wife of slain leader Madan Tamang, and his son Sanjog Tamang are among the witnesses.
The Morcha refused comment on the chargesheet. Party assistant secretary Binay Tamang said: “Let the law take its own course.”
The CID has filed a fresh FIR after Nickole’s disappearance. The accused’s police remand ended today. Defence lawyer Seshmani Gurung said: “The CID team maintained that Nickole has fled from their custody and have filed an FIR at the Pradhan Nagar police station in Siliguri. The bail application of the other seven accused were rejected and they will be produced in court on September 13,” said Gurung. 
Talks on mind, strike pushed back once again
TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to postpone its indefinite strike once again, keeping in mind the official-level tripartite meeting scheduled for September 7.
However, the party has decided to organise relay hunger strike from September 1 to demand that their party leader Nickole Tamang be produced in court alive.
The Morcha had earlier threatened to start an indefinite general strike across the hills if Nickole was not produced alive in court today. Nickole’s 14-day police remand ended today.
In fact, soon after Nickole escaped from the CID custody, the Morcha had called a strike from August 22 to 24. The party had given a two-day breather to the indefinite strike before postponing it on Friday till August 30.
Roshan Giri, general secretary of the Morcha, today said: “We have decided to postpone the general strike keeping in mind the scheduled tripartite talks. We will however start a 24-hour relay hunger strike from September 1 which we will carry on unless Nickole is produced alive in court. Seven Morcha supporters will sit for the hunger strike in shifts.”
The relay hunger strike will take place in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. Giri said preparations were on to stretch the fast till September 17. “We are ready till September 17 and if Nickole is not produced alive even by then we will stretch the hunger strike.”
The fast will be held in front of the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling and on the subdivisional office premises in Kurseong and Kalimpong.
Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of the Morcha, said the party would form its own “investigating team” to find out the whereabouts of Nickole. The Morcha has not yet ruled out “foul play” by the CID.
The party had earlier alleged that the CID was staging the escape drama to cover up Nickole’s death in custody.
“We will not disclose the name of our investigating team and we are ready to go anywhere including Bhutan and Nepal to trace Nickole. We will inform the police about our movement but if we find that Nickole has been killed by the CID, the state government and the police must be held responsible,” said Binay Tamang.
The Morcha said it would not close down the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council offices this time.
“We will keep them open but the DGHC authorities must start the regularisation process against the 3,472 sanctioned posts in the council,” said Binay Tamang. 
CPM job demand
TT, Kalimpong, Aug. 30: Senior CPM leader from the hills Tara Sundas has demanded that the appointments of para-teachers and midwives in the hills should not be stalled, but completed at the earliest in a fair and transparent manner.
Taking on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Sundas, a member of the CPM’s Darjeeling district secretariat, said the appointments should not be kept on hold till an interim administrative arrangement was put in place in the hills, as demanded by the hill party. The Morcha has called for a freeze on appointments, alleging malpractice in the recruitment process.
Green & grey for equality- Premier college goes for uniform
TT, Gangtok, Aug. 30: First semester student Sunil Chettri was a bit apprehensive as he walked into Tadong Government College dressed smartly in a deep green blazer, green striped tie and grey trousers. But soon Chettri’s awkwardness dissipated.
His friends also turned up similarly dressed, and soon the premier college in the hill state was crowded with students in green and grey uniform. The dress code had been enforced by the authorities from today to maintain uniformity among students hailing from different economic backgrounds.
For the girls, grey skirts with black stockings have replaced the trousers. “We are very happy about the uniform. It has brought unity and uniformity on the campus,” said Chettri.
Tadong Government College comes under Sikkim University. The monsoon semesters had started from June and the college authorities said the decision to introduce uniforms was taken at that time. “But we could not implement it then, as we had to give students time to get them stitched,” a member of the college authority said.
College principal M.P. Kharel said the institution had a dress code earlier from 1985 to 1987, but for some reason it was withdrawn. “We feel uniforms are necessary in the present times to inculcate a sense of discipline, attachment, uniformity and identity among the students,” he said.
Kharel said the large number of students was one reason why uniforms had been introduced. “We have more than 2,500 students. It is impossible to identify all of them giving opportunity to outsiders to enter the college campus and create mischief,” said the principal. The uniform, the principal believes, will also discourage students to indulge in bad habits, said Kharel. “Students in uniform will be spotted immediately outside the campus if they take drugs and alcohol.” The principal said uniforms would also remove the rich-poor discrimination and save many parents from unnecessary fashion expenditure.
Tadong college is the second government college in Sikkim to have uniforms after Law College in Gangtok. 
Tea Talks
TT, Siliguri: The tripartite meeting between labour minister Anadi Sahu, stakeholders of tea industry and the state labour commissioner that was held in Calcutta on Monday ended without any results. The meeting was held to discuss the interim wage hike. Another tripartite meeting has been called on September 9, a trade union leader said.
One hacked
TT, Jaigaon: Saroj Kalikotay, 40, of Chhetri Line in Dalsinghpara panchayat, was hacked to death on Sunday. Police said neighbours Bidhan Mangar and Manjit Rai have been arrested. The two had an altercation with Kalikotay over money which led to the murder, the police said. The duo were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Alipurduar on Monday and have been remanded in jail custody for 14 days. (KalimpongNews:Kalikotay was a travelling agent.)
A protest rally against Gorkhaland agitation was brought by Amra Bangali in Siliguri declaring formation of Bangali Regiment (Photo:Bartaman)
The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award-2009 to Ms. Chandraprabha Aitwal for Life Time Achievement, in a glittering ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi on August 29, 2010.(PIB)
Pothole protest clamp on 1500 buses
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 30: Around 1,500 private buses that ferry nearly 1 lakh passengers daily will stay off the roads in the three districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar indefinitely from tomorrow to protest the crater-filled routes so infamous in north Bengal.
The bus owners have also demanded the refund of the road tax for the past two quarters.
While the buses will ply within Darjeeling district, they will not be available for travel inside Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar. No buses will ply among the three districts either, or from Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar to the rest of north Bengal.
A delegation under the banner of the North Bengal Passenger Transport Owners’ Coordination Committee met Jalpaiguri divisional commissioner A.K. Singh this afternoon and intimated him their decision while demanding that the road tax deposited with the motor vehicles department be refunded.
“The road condition of both national and state highways has been at its worst in the three districts for the past six months. We made several correspondences, submitted memorandums and had even resorted to strikes to pressure the state government and the National Highways Authority of India to repair the roads at the earliest, but nothing happened,” said Pranab Mani, the secretary of the co-ordination committee today.
“Now we are determined to keep our vehicles off the roads unless their conditions improve. It is not possible for us to bear additional costs like repairing our vehicles every time after a trip,” said Chandi Sarkar, a co-ordination committee member from Jalpaiguri.
Depending on the type of vehicle — whether it is local or an express — the bus owners pay tax ranging from Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,500.
“Even after paying tax on a regular basis, we have to ply vehicles on routes where there is hardly any bitumen cover with huge ditches spread across several kilometres. We have asked the divisional commissioner to refund us the tax paid against each bus for the past two quarters and unless the roads are completely repaired, the motor vehicles department cannot charge us any tax,” Mani said. The 1,500-odd vehicles that will remain off the roads also include minibuses and maxis.
“On an average 60 persons travel on each of the 1,500 vehicles a day. That would be around 90,000 passengers. But some buses can carry more than 60 people. So we ferry 1 lakh passengers a day. Of them 20,000 are daily commuters like students, teachers and office-goers,’ said Mani.
Two national highways — NH31 and NH31D — pass through all three districts. The condition of both the roads is deplorable. Since the beginning of this year, the bus owners alleged, the state PWD and the NHAI have been passing the buck on each other. NH31D, which connects Siliguri to Jalpaiguri, is an example. “For the past six months, nobody knew who was responsible for maintaining the road. When the NHAI floated a tender for a Rs 90 lakh work order earlier this month, we realised that the state PWD had finally handed over its responsibility. But they never disclosed it before,” said Mani.
The decision of indefinite bus strike has put the daily commuters in a fix. “Even today, there are several places in north Bengal where there is no train connectivity. We have to depend absolutely on buses, that too private ones as throughout the day, hardly one or two government buses ply on these routes,” said Subrata Mukherjee, a schoolteacher who travels daily from Siliguri to Mathabhanga in Cooch Behar.
Divisional commissioner Singh said instructions to patch up the roads had been given. “Work has also commenced and soon, the road conditions will improve. We have asked the bus owners to refrain from strike,” he said.
Officials from the NHAI said they had initially issued a tender for repairing NH31D connecting Siliguri with Jalpaiguri. “Two other tender notices have been floated for further repair of the national highways in the region,” an official said.
For the stretch of NH31 that connects Sevoke to Bagdogra, PWD officials said they had started the repair but had to stop because of the rain.
“We expect to resume the work by this week,” an official said. The Hill Cart Road or NH55 that connects Darjeeling to the plains is shut since June 16 because of the cave-in at Paglajhora. Last week, NH31A, Sikkim’s only road link, was struck by seven landslides and was shut for three days.
KalimNews: 15 Primary Teachers' appointment is cancelled after the investigation. It includes  Anita Paul wife of the suspended District Primary School Board's Chairman Mrinal Paul some of the sons and daughters of the Dist Primary School Board members and prominent CPM leaders . It also includes three sons and daughters of KK Jha a prominent CPM leader of Nagarkatta.
Rockvale Academy won Inter ICSE School debate competition.
 पीडित शरणार्थीले भात मागेका हौं
केही महिना अघिबाट भूटानी शरणार्थी शिविरहरुमा विश्व खाद्य कार्याक्रमले गरेको प्रमाणीकरण पछि धेरै शरणाार्थीहरु भोकभोकै बस्नु पर्ने वाध्यतामा छन् । पछिल्लो समय राशन उपलव्धका लागि पटक पटक क्याम्प व्यवस्थापन समितिले जिल्ला प्रशासन कार्यालय झापा र सम्बन्धीत निकायसँग पहल नगरेका पनि होइनन् । तथापी अझै ३ हजार बढी शरणार्थीहरुलाई हरेक दिनको गाँसको समस्याले पिरोलिरहेको छ । यी पीडित शरणार्थीको राशन उपलब्ध गराउनको लागि अनुरोध गर्न केही समय अघि सात शिविरको प्रतिनिधित्व गर्दै राहत बन्चित पीडित शरणार्थी समूह गठन भएको छ । समूहले हाल पीडित शरणार्थीलाई राशन उपलव्ध गराउँन विभिन्न गुनासोहरु राख्दै आएको छ । समूहका संयोजक नन्दु पौडेलसँग डिकेश लामाले गर्नु भएको कुराकानीको सार संक्षेप ।
राहत बन्चित पीडित समूह किन गठन गर्नु भयो हामी शरणार्थीहरु सबै एकै हौं सवैले पाईरहेको राशन एकासी रोक्का गर्न थाले पछि सम्बन्धीत निकाय सँग सहयोग गर्न पहलको लागि यो समूह गठन गरेको हो ।
तपाईहरुले पछिल्लो पल्ट सार्वजनिक गरेको विवरण कसरी संकलन गर्नु भयो हामीले यो समूह सवै पीडितहरुको लागि भनेर गठन गरेका हौं र हाम्रो कसैको एकै घरका आधाको राशन छ त कसैको छैन यसले गर्दा पनि हामीलाई विवरण संकलनमा सवै तहबाट सहयोग पुगेकेा छ । मुख्य गरेर क्याम्प व्यवस्थापन समितिको महत्वपूर्ण सहयोग रहेको छ भने समूह सातै शिविरको अनुगमनमा हिडेको पनि छ ।
क्याम्पमा यस विवरण बाहेक बालबालिकाको पनि धेरैको राहत छैन भन्ने तपाईले जानकारी दिनु भयो नि कति छन् ।
हामीले प्रकाशित गरेको प्रेश विज्ञप्तीमा नै भनेका छौं कि ३ हजार १ सय ९० शरणाार्थी बाहेक अरु पनि निक्कै संख्यामा मिश्रिति विवाहबाट तथा अन्य कारणले अभिभावक विहीन बालबालिकाहरु छन् । अर्को कुरा भूटानमा त्यहाँको सरकारले बन्दी बनाएर राखेका हाम्रा नातेदारहरु पनि आउने क्रम जारी छ । अव तपाई भन्नुहोस् सवै परिवार यहाँ बसे पछि एउटा नेपाली भाषी भूटानीले शिविरमा आउँदा शरणार्थीको दर्जा पाउने कि नपाउने ।
जेलबाट छुटेर आउने शरणार्थीलाई पहिले त ऊ शरणार्थी हो कि होइन छुट्याउनु परेन र त्यो जरुर हो हामीले पनि गैर शरणार्थीलाई राशन दे भनेका छइनौं । पहिले पहिले जेलबाट आउनेहरुको लागि भूटानी हो कि होइन त्यसको लागि यूएनएचसीआर आफै काँकडभिट्टामा स्क्रीनिड्ड पोष्ट खडा गरी जाँचचेक गरी प्रमाणिकरण गरिन्थ्यो तर अहिले त्यो पनि छैन । तर उसको परिचयको लागि हाम्रा जेल जिवन भोगेर आउने शरणाार्थीको भूटानी परिचय सम्बन्धी कागजात भने अवश्य छ ।
तपाई पनि जेल बस्नु भएको रे हो हो म पनि भूटानको केन्द्रिय जेल चेम्गाड्डमा साढे चार बर्ष र अन्य क्षेत्रका जेलमा गरी लगभग ९ बर्ष जति जेलमा बसे ।
जेलमा याताना दियो कि दिएन जवसम्म रेडक्रसले जेलको भिजिट गरेन त्यतिखेर सम्म चाँही खाना खाँदा समेत पशुले जस्तो कुदेर गएर खाना खानु पथ्र्यो भने वाँड्दा बाँढ्दै खाना पुगेन भने कोही भोकै पनि बस्नु पथ्र्यो । कहिले बरफमा सुताउँथ्यो कहिले साह्रै नराम्री कुट्थ्यो । याताना त कति सहियो सहियो नि । तर जव सन् १९९३ बाट अन्तराष्ट्रिय रेडक्रस संगठन र एम्नेष्टीले पहल र जेलबन्दीले पाउनु पर्ने अन्तराष्ट्रिय अधिकारको कुराहरु केही हदसम्म लागु भयो ।
भोलि ६ तारिख यो पेन डाउँन कार्यक्रम किन गर्न लाग्नु भयो यो कार्यक्रम भन्दा पनि हामीलाई भात देऊ भन्ने आवाज गरेका हौं जुन आवाज निकाल्न सवै निकायले सहयोग गर्नु भएको छ । यसका लागि सवै भन्दा पहिले सातै शिविरका सचीव र सीएमसी परिवारको ठूलो सहयोग छ । पेन डाउन भनेको एक दिन सातै शिविरको सम्पुर्ण काम कार्वाही वन्द गरेर सम्बन्धीत निकायमा हाम्रो भात देऊको अनुरोधको कार्यक्रम यो र ६ तारिख हाम्रो यो कार्यक्रम सफल हुन्छ नै ।
अझै पनि पीडित शरणाार्थीलाई राशन मिलेन भने नि हामी भात मागिरहन्छौ माग्दा पनि सुनवाई नभए सार्वजनिक स्थलमा बसेर भोकहड्ताल गर्ने अनि जेनेभा लगायतका शरणार्थी सम्बन्धी उच्च निकायमा हाम्रो अवस्थालाई सुनवाई नभएको गुनासो राख्ने हाम्रो समूहको योजना रहेको छ । यसको लागि यो समूह सवै शरणार्थी र स्थानीय सरोकारवाला संस्थामा सहयोगको लागि आग्रह गर्दछ ।
प्रस्तुतीः डिकेश लामा
Yechuri for all party
TH: A dialogue process involving representatives of all political forces in the Darjeeling hills should be initiated to find a way out of the political impasse in the region, Sitaram Yechury, member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said on Sunday. “All political forces should be brought on board in efforts to find a solution to the problems of the region that might require various stages of dialogue,” Mr. Yechury told The Hindu over telephone.
He had gone to Darjeeling to attend an event commemorating the 110th birth anniversary of Ratanlal Brahmin who was a prominent figure in the communist movement in the hills.
The CPI(M) will raise, both in Parliament and outside, the need to invite all political parties of the hills for talks to break the deadlock in the region, Mr. Yechury said.
So far the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has been the only political party that has been invited to the tripartite talks with the Centre and the State Government to discuss matters related to the region. The next round of talks is scheduled for next month. “We want the Centre to invite all the political forces in the region in future talks”, Mr. Yechury said.
All outstanding issues will, however, have to be resolved within the framework of the State with maximum autonomy and full rights to the people of the hills to determine how best the resources can be utilised for the development of the region, the CPI (M) MP said.
Keen on dialogue
TH:The State government too is keen on dialogue with all of the region's political forces, Minister for Urban Development Ashok Bhattacharya said. On the tripartite talks, he said, “Let the tripartite talks continue, but the other political parties should also be involved in them.”
“We hope that the GJM appreciates the political reality in the region,” Mr. Bhattacharya said, referring to the growing resistance of the people against the violent forces in the hills.
The non-GJM parties who have been demanding participation in such talks, have been critical of the autocratic ways of the GJM. They have been demanding a restoration of democracy in the hills.TNN, DARJEELING: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has withdrawn the indefinite strike called in Darjeeling hills from Monday in view of the tripartite talks with the Centre and government West Bengal government on September 7.
The decision was announced by GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri after a meeting with the Darjeeling District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police Devendra Pratap Singh.
The indefinite strike had been called to demand production of Nicole Tamang, the main suspect behind the May 21 killing of Gorkha leader Madan Tamang in the town, in court by Monday.
To press for the demand, Giri said batches of seven GJM supporters would fast in Kalimpomg, Kurseong and Darjeeling from September 1 to 17.
A GJM 'investigation team' has also been formed, he said, adding it would leave for Assam and Nepal in search of Nicole.
He also announced that henceforth government and Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council offices in the hills would be allowed to function unhindered.

Yechuri for all party at hill talks.. 15 died in Bus accident

TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 29: CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury today said all political parties from the Darjeeling hills should be invited to the next round of talks on the interim set-up for the region and promised to raise the issue in Parliament in the next two days.
“The issue must be collectively taken forward and we would want all the political parties from the hills to be invited for the September 7 talks,” said Yechury while delivering the Ratanlal Brahmin Memorial Lecture at the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club.
The CPM had once lorded over the hills because of Ratanlal Brahmin. He was among the first three communist MLAs in Bengal along with Jyoti Basu and Rupnarayan Roy.
On the sidelines of the lecture, Yechury said if “procedural” problems arose in raising the issue in Parliament, he would talk to the Prime Minister. “I will separately take up the matter with the Prime Minister tomorrow itself.”
The CPM leader added: “What should have been the priority (finding a permanent solution to the hill problem) has not been taken up by the government.
“We want maximum autonomy for the region under the framework of the state legislature. The local people must be given an opportunity to frame their own policies.”
KalimNews: It is learnt that CID has prepared a chargesheet to be produced in the court of ASDJM in Darjeeling on Monday. The memo of evidence may also include some names involved in the murder and conspiracy as well as some informations regarding the Tamang murder of 21st May. Though CID is suppose to produce Nickole now on remand, in the court may appeal for allowing further time to produce him declaring him as absconding.
KalimNews:Pawan Chamling Chief Minister of Sikkim has declared Rs. 50 thousand to each of the family of the victims died in road accident near Jorethang. Though 9 belong to the state of West Bengal the help is done in humanitarian ground as well as the accident happened in the land of Sikkim said a government official. Bimal Gurung President GJMM too has declared to provide schooling and hostel accommodation for the 3 orphan children of the victims of the accident.
KalimNews: A ABGL team led by Bharati Tamang will meet Rahul Gandhi today in Delhi. The team includes, SB Zimba, Dawa Sherpa, Manoj Dewan and Munna Tamang.
KalimNews: 2 people of Sikkim were attacked 15 thousand cash were looted from them at kalimpong. Rabindra Tamang came to Kalimpong for treatment of his wife admitted in the hospital and on his way at 10 mile some unknown miscreants attacked them and snatched the money and 2 cellphones from Rabindra and his friend Raju Rai. It is said that later some people came and returned their money and cellphones. 
Young lives lost as tyre-burst propels crowded bus into north Bengal pond

TT, Cooch Behar, Aug. 29: As many as 15 people, many of them school students and young job aspirants, died this afternoon when a suspected tyre-burst sent a minibus hurtling into a pond beside the Cooch Behar-Dinhata road.

Preliminary investigations suggested that the driver of the bus lost control around 1pm after its right front tyre burst. It is not clear yet if the tyre was old but worn-out accessories and ancillaries have been a bane of Bengal’s public transport system.
The tube within the tyre was visible through the burst layer when the bus was fished out of water two hours after the accident. The delay and alleged lack of preparedness of the administration triggered a backlash with a mob attacking police.
No one was inside the bus when it was winched out. Some people claimed the driver and the conductor had fled but the version could not be confirmed independently.
Officials expressed the fear that some people could have been trapped in the silt of the pond bed. The officials could not say with certainty if anyone was missing as no one knew how many passengers the “crowded bus” was ferrying. Such vehicles ferry around 50 persons, although they can seat only 25-30.
Around 1.45pm — 45 minutes after the accident — Dinhata subdivisional officer Chiranjib Ghosh and the superintendent of the Dewanhat block primary health centre, Nikhil Das, arrived at the accident spot to face angry demonstrations.
At the health centre, about 200 metres away, five persons were declared brought dead followed by four others. Two persons died on way to the Dinhata hospital. At MJN Hospital in Cooch Behar town, four persons were declared dead on arrival.
A crane was brought at 3pm and the bus was hauled out of the water.
An hour later, the mob that had gathered in front of the health centre began throwing stones at the police who retreated into the premises and burst tear-gas shells.
The people then smashed windowpanes of a police van parked some 50 metres from the health centre.
The mob attacked policemen with stones, injuring several of them, including the deputy superintendent of police (crime), Sandip Mondol.
Some people said they were taken aback by the lethargic response of the administration. “They have no quick response team and no plan on how to handle such emergencies. Moreover, these private buses are never inspected and allowed to be overcrowded,” said Anirban Dutta, who owns a roadside grocery at Dewanhat.
District magistrate Smarki Mahapatra said: “The police had to used tear-gas shells to disperse the crowd. Fifteen persons died in the accident.”
At the morgue of the MJN Hospital stood Dilip Barman, whose son, a Class XII student from Dinhata, had gone to Cooch Behar in the morning for a clerkship examination. “I have lost my son, but he had a friend with him, Tinku Barman, who also went for the test. We cannot find him,” Barman mumbled.
Ratan Barman, 25, and his nephew Bimal Barman, 23, both exam candidates from Dinhata, have also died. “They are gone and we had some other distant relatives, too, who had appeared for the test. They are missing,” said Benoy Ray Sarkar, a relative of Ratan and Bimal.
Sakina Bibi, 25, who was in the bus with her son, Sakin Haque, 5, and sister Shaunaz Parveen, 18, survived as she forced open a windowpane and scrambled out as the bus slowly sank into the pond.
Sakina Bibi, her five-year-old son Sakin and her sister Shaunaz Parveen, who had managed to climb out of the bus, at the house of Mozzammal Haque, a local farmer. Picture by Main Uddin Chistii
“We were all standing in the crowded bus after boarding it outside Cooch Behar town. Near Dewanhat, there was a loud bang and the bus that was going moderately fast fell into the pond. We screamed as the water gushed in. I clutched my son and broke open a window, clambered out and pulled out my sister and son,” Sakina said, sitting in the house of Mozammel Haque, a farmer who lives near the accident site.
Residents managed to rescue three men and send them to the Dewanhat block primary health centre, where they are recovering.
Chanchal Kanti Roy, who works for an NGO at Dewanhat, said minibuses ply the 24-kilometre Cooch Behar-Dinhata route on a regular basis.
“They often carry around 50 passengers. I heard a loud bang and then saw the bus fall into the pond that is nearly 12 feet deep. As we rushed towards it, we realised that it was slowly sinking into the water,” he said.
Bus Strike in Dooars
TT, Siliguri: The North Bengal Passengers Transport Owners’ Coordination Committee will go on an indefinite strike from Tuesday to protest the poor condition of national highways and state highways that pass through north Bengal. The decision was taken on Saturday. The members said no buses would ply in the region during the strike and it would continue until they received any concrete assurance from the administration that the roads would be restored at the earliest.
Tech tickets after 2012 print wind-up

An NFR employee at work in the press at Kurseong. (Kundan Yolmo) 
Mrinalini Sharma, TT, Siliguri, Aug. 29: Northeast Frontier Railway has started revamping its printing press at Kurseong and has plans to install a computerised ticketing system at the only facility of its kind that caters for the section extending from Tinsukia in Assam to Katihar in Bihar.
The computerised ticketing system for unreserved ticketing system (UTS) and passenger reservation system (PRS) will, however, take place after the ticket printing section of the press shuts down in 2012.
Currently the unit prints manually generated tickets for the entire NFR zone.
“The railway board has sanctioned Rs 4.30 crore for upgrading the unit. This amount would be used to install machinery and revamp the infrastructure at the press,” Keshav Chandra, the general manager of the NFR, told The Telegraph over phone.
The 62-year-old press has two printing sections.
While the general section prints books, forms and railway passes, the ticket section prints and supplies manually-generated tickets for the Tinsukia, Lumding, Rangiya, Alipurduar and Katihar divisions, under the NFR, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
“The ticket printing section will wind up in 2012 because manually generated tickets are being phased out,” said Chandra.
The press that was established in 1948 is the only unit in the hill railway section that does not come under the DHR. It is controlled from the NFR headquarters in Maligaon.
Currently, computerised ticketing facility is only available at the Darjeeling railway station.
The move to close down the ticket printing unit at Kurseong had evoked strong protests after it was announced by the Indian Railways in 2008 because it would stop the production of manually generated DHR tickets that are popular as souvenirs all over the world.
“We had submitted a memorandum to the general manager of the NFR with a proposal to upgrade the press on August 5. Chandra surveyed the press and announced the railway board’s decision to revamp it,” said Rajiv Rai, the NFR Employee Union’s joint secretary and an employee at the press.
According to NFR sources, the railway has already removed some of the machinery at the general printing section.
“Around four old equipment have been scrapped and three more which have become obsolete will be removed. These machines would be replaced by offset printing machinery. The press will require three to four such equipment,” the source said.
Almost the entire sum of the sanctioned funds would be used for installing the computerised ticketing machine. “The remaining amount will be used for purchasing offset printing equipment,” the source said. 

Highway to Sikkim opened for traffic - Sunshine helps BRO clear debris from NH31A q Mud blow to PSU

A bulldozer clears the debris near the Government Food Preservation Factory on NH31A on Sunday, shortly before the highway was cleared for traffic. (Prabin Khaling) TT,  Gangtok, Aug 29: Road connectivity between Gangtok and the rest of the country was restored this morning, three days after the vital link, NH31A, struck by landslides at seven places between 32nd Mile and Singtam.

Two days of sunshine helped Project Swastik personnel of the Border Roads Organisation, which maintains the highways of Sikkim, clear the debris and restore traffic. “The landslides were cleared before 11am and the highway is open for both light and heavy vehicles,” said A.K. Singh, the executive engineer of Project Swastik.
While five landslides had been cleared by the BRO, two near the Government Fruit Preservation Factory (GFPF), 28km from here, had been a major headache for the BRO. One of the two had breached about 15m of the road and the other had piled up huge slush on the highway. Fifty labourers and two excavators were engaged to repair the breach and sweep the slush.
Manav Prasad, the commander of 764 Border Roads Task Force, said his personnel had been clearing the debris near the GFPF for the past two days. “But three artificial ponds had been created by the slides about 200m uphill.”
The executive engineer said talks were on with geologists of the Sikkim government to “do something” about the ponds. “We have to wait till the weather clears up. Right now the only temporary measure is to clear the slush whenever it comes,” said Singh.
In the past two days before the traffic was restored on the highway, commuters to and from Gangtok had to depend on transshipment. They used to reach the troubled spot near the GFPF and take a 300m detour on foot and jump into the waiting taxis on the other side. Most of the vehicles from Gangtok used to take a detour from Ranipool, reach Pakyong (28km from here) and then drop 25km down to Rangpo to join NH31A bypassing the slides. Vehicles coming from Siliguri also took the similar route.
The BRO has sought three weeks from Sikkim High Court to file an affidavit on the time schedule for execution of the highway work. It was responding to a suo-motu public interest litigation initiated by the court in May on media reports on the condition of NH31A, North Sikkim Highway and Gangtok-Nathu-la road.
On August 25, A division bench of Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice S.P. Wangdi had directed the BRO to use the best technology in executing the repair within six months from September 1. “Similarly, the state government shall also identify the roads which are required to be repaired and maintained properly and make such roads fit for transportation,” the court had said. Senior advocates and members of of the Sikkim Bar Association have been asked to bring to the court’s notice the roads that are required to be attended. 

Back with Bayern memories - Siliguri players share dressing room experience

TT, Siliguri, Aug. 29: They flew to Germany, shared the dressing room of FC Bayern and posed with World Cuppers who did not offer any soccer tips.
But that did not dampen the spirit of the Siliguri Six. “So what (if they did not offer us tips)? Otherwise, it was a wonderful experience, as their grounds and stadium were picturesque and the training was systematic marked by sheer punctuality,” said Amit Thakuri, one of the six Under-17 footballers from Sliguri, after returning from a week-long dream tour.
The six players were selected for the overseas tour by FC Bayern when the German club visited the town for an exhibition match in January 2009. While the state government had paid the passage money, the German team had arranged for their food and accommodation during the trip.
Apart from posing with World Cuppers like Thomas Mueller and Frank Riberi, there was not much interaction. But the Siliguri players practised with the Under-17 team of the German club and picked up some vital tips.
“We reached Munich on August 19 and started our training at the FC Bayern ground the next day. The same evening, we visited the BMW headquarters in Munich,” Thakuri said.
On August 21, the players went to see the inaugural match of the Bundesliga (Germany’s premier football league) between FC Bayern and Wolfsburg which the former won 2-1.
After the match, the six players met their football heroes, Mueller, Schweinsteiger, Riberi, Mark Van Bommel and Miroslav Klose.
“We were taken to their dressing room and they obliged us with their autographs on the team jersey. Although we did not get the chance to interact with them, we got an opportunity to get photographed with the players,” said Abhishek Chhetri, another player.
“It was an experience, which we had only dreamt about. Watching a bunch of World Cup footballers from a handshake distance and visiting their dressing room and the ground are almost a lifetime achievement for us,” he added.
On August 22 and 23, the Siliguri players went for a local tour which included the famous Europa Park.
The budding players from Siliguri also enjoyed their training session with their foreign counterparts that continued from August 24 to 27 at Rust. They were surprised by the German club’s punctuality at the training programme.
“The second phase of our training started in Rust, which is a three-hour drive from Munich. We stayed with the Under-17 players of the Bayern team in Rust. During the four-day training, we got Stephan and Andreas as our trainers. The training was in two shifts. The first session started at 9am and continued till 11.30am, while the second schedule was from 1.30pm to 4pm,” said Sanjib Kerketta who hails from a tea estate.
Nishant Toppo, also from a tea garden, recounted how he was punished for being late. “I had to do six push-ups on the second day of our practice as I was late. But it was not a serious punishment, as they know that we were from abroad.”
The players said they were ready to utilise the techniques they learnt from the foreign team. “Whatever we have been doing here, the same thing we did there also but in a different way. We learnt how to tackle the ball, how to increase the power in our shots, dribbling and the movement. If we are exposed to such an organised training schedule throughout the year, we could play much better,” Dipu Burman said.
Litan Shil said if he got another opportunity like this in future, he would not miss it.
The six footballers will be felicitated here on September 3 by the Siliguri Mahakuma Krira Parishad.

Slush shuts down fruit factory
Mud flowing down to the fruit factory on Sunday (Prabin Khaling) TT, Gangtok, Aug. 29: The Government Fruit Preservation Factory will remain shut for at least 10 days because of muck and slush seeping down from the national highway above in Singtam.
The temporary shutdown comes at a time the state government has agreed in principle to disinvest or privatise four PSUs, the GFPF being one of them.
The factory, 28km from Gangtok, was set up in 1956 and produces 40-odd items including pickles, juice, ketchups, jam and marmalade with most of the raw material procured from the local farmers.
A landslide on Thursday night had peeled off the hillside and buried around 200 metres of NH31A just above the factory. But three days later, slush continues to flow down the hill into the factory. “Three ponds have been created in the hillside 300 metres above because of the accumulation of rainwater and supply from small streams. Slush continues to pour down even as we clear the existing muck on the roadside,” said 764 Border Roads Task Force commander Manav Prasad who is supervising the restoration of the highway.
The continuous flow of slush has threatened the staff quarters of the GFPF prompting the East district administration to evacuate 18 families.
“We shifted eighteen families yesterday to safer places,” said subdivisional magistrate (East) A.B. Karki. There are 90 employees in the factory.
The managing director of the GFPF, Karma Zimpa, said the unit had been shut since August 27. “The landslides above the factory were dangerous and slush continues to flow down into our premises,” he said. The Rani Khola flowing along the factory has also swelled and has damaged the retaining walls, said the managing director.
“This is a major blow. We are suffering a loss of Rs 1 lakh daily. There is no power and supply of raw material has been hit because of the road condition. The factory will remain closed for 10 to 12 days at the least,” said Zimpa. He also accused the BRO of sweeping down the slush into the factory from the road above.
Project Swastik chief engineer Brigadier Rajeev Sawhney, however, said he would see that the factory compound was cleaned.
The GFPF has been in a financial mess for the past decade. A committee has been formed to see how GFPF and three other state PSUs have been performing for the past seven-eight years and then submit its recommendations to the state government.
“This is a big blow for the factory caused by natural calamity and we hope for full support from the state government,” said Zimpa,