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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seventh tripartite meeting resolved to meet on 7th is fruitful-Giri...CID appeals for remand of Nickole...Adivasis Clash

KalimNews: To resolve the Gorkhaland agitation and the demands of the Gorkhas seventh round of tripartite talks was held in Delhi with a promise to meet on 7th September again in official level to decide on the proposals put in the meeting. All the three parties the center, state and GJMM met in the North Block of New Delhi in the meeting that lasted for nearly three hours. The only agreed consensus of the three parties was to form an alternative setup in lieu of DGHC at the earliest.
No resolution could be made regarding the territory and term of the proposed GAA which according to Center should be upto December 2012. Roshan Giri speaking to News 7 Channel and Kalimpong News said the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and except a few there were no arguments. He also mentioned that the meeting was fruitful and GJMM proposed to increase the number of representatives from 20 to 55. In the proposed GAA there would be 15 elected and 5 nominated representatives but GJMM insisted that the number should be 55 and all should be nominated while state government proposed that the representatives should be selected by election and the center opined that 55 is a very large number. Regarding the proposed name of Gorkha Autonomous Authority forwarded by the center GJMM proposed another name Gorkha Regional Authority to which state government nodded in approval.
Later Samar Ghose, State Home Secretary said that the meeting was held with some positive outcome. In some points we came to a common consensus and for some GJMM requuired more time to decide.
Union Home Joint Secretary Nirmaljit singh Kalsi, State Home Secretary Samar Ghose and a team of 7 namely Roshan Giri,  Trilok Dewan, L.B Pariyar, S.N Pradhan, Ramesh Alley, Mesha Sauriya and Ratan Thapa participated in the talks. 
Manwhile ABGL has demanded arrest of  Aloke Kantamani Thulung (President GJYM) , Kismat Chhetri (President GJVM), Keshavraj Pokhrel (Secretary GJYM), Puran Thami, Dinesh Gurung and Tenzing Khambachey. According to police all are absconding. It has also demanded arrest of Roshan Giri (General Secretary) Bimal Gurung (President), Pradip Pradhan (Vice President, and Executive members of Central Committee, Asha Gurung (President GJNM), Dr H.B.Chhetri,(Chief, Media Cell) Ramesh Alley (GLP Chief) as the conspirators. 
It is learnt that the representatives of Center and State government sat for 1 more hour after the meeting when GJMM representatives departed from the meeting hall.

Nicole to be remanded by CID 
CID has submitted an appeal to the CJM Darjeeling for granting remand of Nickole Tamang for taking him to the headquarter for further investigation. The matter will be heard on 18th August at Darjeeling.
Territory, tenure delay deal 
TT, Aug. 17: The contentious issues of territory, tenure and composition of the interim set-up for the Darjeeling hills remained unresolved in Delhi today, but the participants in the tripartite talks hammered out a consensus on the administrative and legislative powers of the new body and the subjects under it.
The pending issues will be discussed at the next round of official talks to be held between the Centre, the Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on September 7.
Roshan Giri, general secretary of the Morcha, told The Telegraph after the official-level talks: “The meeting was a success and an agreement has broadly been reached on issues like the number of subjects to be transferred to the new body as well as its administrative and legislative powers.” However, a home ministry official expressed disappointment. “We had hoped to clinch the deal at today’s meeting,” he said. “We hope the three stakeholders reach a consensus on all issues at the next meeting.”
It is only after this “consensus” that political-level talks will be held to finalise and announce the interim set-up.
At today’s meeting the Centre proposed that the tenure of the new body should be extended to December 31, 2012, instead of the 2011-end suggested earlier.
“The Centre was of the opinion that the 2011 deadline was too short a duration,” Giri said. “We have not yet given our opinion in this regard.” The Morcha is expected to hold a meeting with party chief Bimal Gurung before conveying their response to Delhi.
The Centre’s draft had proposed that there should be 20 members in the interim authority that would replace the DGHC. But the Morcha today insisted that it should have 55 members. “We are flexible on this,” a ministry source said. “We could concede this if the Morcha is reasonable on the others.” The issue that may pose a stumbling block even in the next round of talks is the territorial jurisdiction of the set-up. While the Centre and the state government have made it clear that they are willing to concede only the hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, the Morcha is insisting that the Dooars and the Terai should also be included in it.
In Darjeeling, Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of the Morcha, said there was “no question of compromising” on the inclusion of the Dooars and the Terai. Morcha leaders said they are soon to tie up with the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, the main political entity in the Dooars, for a joint movement for a separate state.
However, a home ministry official said this was “posturing” by the Morcha to play to its support base in the hills. “We are sure we can negotiate on this,” he said.
The talks were attended by joint secretary in home ministry Nirmaljit Singh Kalsi, Bengal home secretary Samar Ghosh and a seven-member Morcha team led by Giri.  
TH, KOLKATA: Matters relating to powers to be invested in the proposed regional authority for the Darjeeling hills were discussed at the seventh round of tripartite talks between the Centre, the State Government and the leadership of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) held in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“The talks were good though there are certain issues which will have to be taken up in a subsequent round of talks at a political level”, Roshan Giri, GJM general secretary who led the party's seven-member delegation to the talks told The Hindu over phone.
“The outstanding issues that need to be sorted out at the political level are the territorial jurisdiction of the interim body, its composition, elections and its tenure”, he added. The State Government is in favour of having elected representatives to the proposed regional authority, West Bengal Chief Secretary Ardhendu Sen said here.
Meanwhile a 24-hour bandh called by the ‘Bangla O Banglabhasa Bachao Committee' (Save Bengal and the Bengali Language) that is opposing the setting up of any interim council in the hills evoked substantial response in Siliguri and in parts of Jalpaiguri district in the plains of north Bengal.
“Such a council will only pave the way for a separate Gorkhaland state which we are opposed to”, president of the Committee, Mukunda Majumdar ,said from Siliguri.
As for the talks in the Capital, “there was an agreement on many of the subjects that were placed at the meeting,” according to Mr Giri.
The next round of tripartite talks at the secretary level has been scheduled for September 7. That will precede the more critical “political level” talks, he added.
Besides, the three hill sub-divisions in Darjeeling district the GJM is demanding the inclusion of the Gorkha-dominated areas in the Terai and Dooars regions of north Bengal within the jurisdiction of the proposed set-up. The Centre and the State Government are reportedly against its jurisdiction extending beyond the three hill-subdivisions.
Threat to shut hill power plants- Morcha alleges conspiracy in outage
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 17: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today threatened to shut down the two major hydro electricity projects in the hills if the power situation did not improve here.
“We could go for a shutdown of power projects in the hills if the situation does not improve here. If we do not get electricity, why should we supply it to the plains?” said Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang, smelling a “conspiracy” behind the long power cuts.
There are two hydel electricity projects in the hills, one at Ramman and the other at Jaldhaka.
The hills have been reeling from frequent power cuts, ranging from four to six hours daily for almost a year. The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has said the people of the Darjeeling hills owe the company Rs 60 crore in unpaid electricity bills. The dues have been piling up ever since the Morcha gave a call to the people not to pay their bills as part of its agitation for a Gorkhaland state in April 2008.
“Frequent power cuts are taking place in the hills. We do not get electricity when it is time for our children to study and for us to broadcast our programmes (through the local cable operators). This is a conspiracy,” said Tamang.
He was addressing a public meeting at Chowrastha here to wish “success” for today’s tripartite talks in New Delhi.
He said the Morcha had refrained from launching any agitation because of the ongoing tripartite talks. “However, if the situation remains the same, we will announce some bold steps after discussing the issue with our central committee members,” he said.
However, a senior official of the WBSEDCL had earlier said there was a general shortage in power generation and had denied that only the hills were going without electricity. “Load-shedding is happening everywhere. In smaller towns (like Kurseong and Kalimpong), we supply power through a single transmission grid. But in Siliguri, we have three such grids. If there is load-shedding in one grid, areas that receive power from it will have no electricity. But places that get power from the other two will not have to go without electricity. That is the reason why people in the hills might be feeling that power cut is taking place only in their area and not in Siliguri,” Pradip Dey, general manager of the WBSEDCL, north Bengal, had earlier told The Telegraph.
Malay Kumar De, the chairman and managing director of the WBSEDCL, had also said in Siliguri recently that the company was not in a position to either collect electricity bill dues or stop supply to the defaulters.
“The amount due to the company in the three subdivisions of Kurseong, Kalimpong and Darjeeling is Rs 60 crore since April 2008 and we have approached the state government to provide necessary support,” said De.
He avoided giving any specific reason why the department was unable to collect the amount and said: “Till March 2008, the collection in the hills was normal. Irregularities started only after that. But once we get assistance from the government, it would be easier for us to collect the amount.” He, however, did not elaborate on the kind of assistance he expected from the state government.
Nickole warrant
The CID today made a prayer before the court of the chief judicial magistrate here for the production of Morcha leader Nickole Tamang in court tomorrow.
Manik Saha, assistant public prosecutor, said: “The CID made a prayer before the court seeking a production warrant and the same has been granted. Nickole will be produced in the court tomorrow.”
Nickole was produced in the court yesterday after he had been arrested from Kaijalay for allegedly masterminding the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang.
However, since no prayer for a police remand was made by the CID yesterday, Nickole was sent to 14-day judicial custody and was to be produced in the court on August 30.
Sources said the CID was likely to make an appeal for police remand. “A police remand is most necessary for further investigation. Accused are usually sent to judicial custody after the police are satisfied that no further information can be obtained from them,” said a lawyer.
Namrata Biji Ahuja, Asian Age, New Delhi: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the West Bengal government on Tuesday agreed on a broad range on points for the setting up of a Gorkha Interim Authority, which is temporarily being called the Gorkhland Autonomous Authority (GAA). While the standoff between the GJM and the West Bengal government over the jurisdiction of the
proposed GAA continues, an agreement has been reached to extend the term of the interim authority till December 2011. The GJM has also been assured that the proposed interim authority will be without any prejudice to its demand for creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland, government sources said.
The official level tripartite meeting between the Centre, GJM and West Bengal government on Tuesday moved a step forward with the GJM general secretary Roshan Giri agreeing to discuss the contentious issue, including its demand for enhanced territory with GJM chief Bimal Gurung and revert back to the Centre with a response. While the GJM is demanding that the Centre discuss its demand of separate statehood for Gorkhaland once the term expires, the Centre has said that the term can be extended after the stipulated date with the consent of the three parties. The Centre has also conveyed to the GJM that the interim authority cannot be vested with powers on law and order, judiciary nor can it have a body like a state Assembly. It also turned down the GJM’s demand for integrating Dooars-Terai region in the proposed interim authority.
The GJM and West Bengal government have broadly agreed on vesting powers of conduct of elections to gram panchayat, panchayat samities apart from handing over public health, sanitation, agriculture, horticulture to the interim authority.
The next tripartite talks are expected to be held on September 7. Once an agreement is reached, the political level talks will be held to give a final go-ahead for the setting of the authority.
Tuesday’s meeting, convened by the Union home ministry, was attended by the West Bengal home secretary, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, interlocutor Lt. Gen. Vijay Madan and other officials.

Adivasis Clash
KalimNews: ABAVP and PPP two Adivasi parties clashed fist to fist in Banarhat of Central Dooars during a closed door meeting organised by ABAVP regarding bonus matters. It is alleged that some People's Progressive Party members formed by the ABAVP ousted members for anti ABAVP activities led by Kiran Kalindi and Sohan Lakra  tried to disturb the meeting and tried to draw the attention of the audience to them which resulted in a clash in which many have been injured. In the beginning some leaders of PPP were present in the meeting and they were asked to leave the premises, they left and came back with a vehicle full supporters and the clash took place reported a ABAVP leader.
Elephant blocks trains in Dooars 
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 17: A elephant suspected to be on mast blocked the railway tracks passing through the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary two times today. The animal also damaged a train engine and delayed three expresses.
The drama started unfolding between Sevoke and Gulma stations around 9.45am when the driver of a passenger train that was on its way to New Jalpaiguri from Alipurduar noticed the adult makna (male without tusks) on the tracks.
“He stopped the train near Gulma station and waited for the elephant to move. However, the animal walked towards the train and damaged the engine with the trunk,” said A. Hossain, the senior divisional commercial manager of the Alipurduar division of Northeast Frontier Railway.
“The train was forced to stop for 34 minutes and resumed the journey when the elephant left the tracks. Because of the damage caused to the engine, the train stopped at Gulma station for 16 minutes to carry out preliminary repairs. We changed the engine at NJP to run the train back to Alipurduar in the afternoon,” said Hossain.
The drama, however, did not end. The elephant again came out of the nearby jungles and stood on the tracks, blocking the Guwahati-bound Sampark Kranti Express around 1.30pm. The foresters had to swing into action once again and the animal was sent back to the forest in 30 minutes.
Since the Dooars rail tracks were converted into broad gauge in 2004, 19 elephants have been mowed down by trains, mostly at night. After several meetings and correspondences between the state forest department and the railways, it was decided that trains would decelerate while travelling through the forests at night. Still, animals continued to be mowed down on the tracks and foresters alleged that drivers were not slowing down trains.
The forest department said today’s trouble had been created by a makna. “It moves alone. We have, however, managed to steer it out of the tracks,” said a forester from Sukna.
The railways said apart from the passenger and the Sampark Kranti, two other trains were also delayed because of the elephant. These trains are Mahananda Express and Jabbalpur Express.
Tapas Das, the divisional forest officer (wildlife-I), said: “It seems that the elephant was on mast, but we are yet to confirm it. We have requested the railways to ask the drivers to slow down trains tonight as the same elephant might stand on the tracks.”
Elephants are on mast (on heat) during the mating season.
Jaldapara to get more guides 
TT, Alipurduar, Aug. 17: The forest department has decided to increase the number of guides in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary from the next season beginning on September 15 to handle the pressure of tourists.
The number of safari cars would also go up in the sanctuary and the nearby Chilapata forest, popular with visitors from various parts of the country and abroad.
“Tourists often complaint that there are not enough guides and vehicles for the safari. To solve the problem, we have decided to increase the number of guides and safari cars,” said Om Prakash, the divisional forest officer of wildlife III.
He said 58 youths from the nearby forest villages would be trained as guides. Currently, the sanctuary has 42 tourist guides.
The training programme would be held at the Madarihat Nature Interpretation Centre from August 21 to 23.
“We are increasing the number of guides from 42 to 100 in Jaldapara. They will get Rs 150 instead of Rs 125 for showing the forest to each group of visitors. The number of safari cars will increase from five to seven in Jaldapara and in Chilapata there will be 22 cars instead of 12,” said Om prakash.
According to him, visitors will be taken to the eco-tourism centre in Dhumchipara. “The tourists will be taken inside the wild on bullock carts and they can enjoy cultural programmes by the local tribals,” he said. 
Landslide in NH 31A
TT, Siliguri: A minor landslide occurred on Tuesday morning on NH31A at Hatisuray, around 30km from here, disrupting traffic between Siliguri and Sikkim and Kalimpong for a couple of hours. BRO officials said the traffic resumed at 9am. 
2 injured in Jumbo attack
TT, Jaigaon: Two residents of Sylee Tea Estate in Malbazar were injured when a wild elephant raided the tea estate on Monday night. Foresters said the animal had entered the garden from Bhuttabari forest and attacked Milan Chettri and Sushil Kujur. Both are being treated at Malbazar Subdivisional Hospital.
Two hit books of the town now on sale in every bookstore
BIU BHALAY- A collection of 16 stories written by Shamsher Ali and published by Charitra Prakashan
(Shamsher Ali is a fact based popular story writer)
Price Rs. 150 (Paper Back) Rs 120 (Hard Cover)
CHARITRA a book containing 28 stories and 4 Research and analysis based articles
Price Rs. 300 

1 comment:

  1. ABGL is nothing but a lamp without an oil.They have no love for the Hill people, they only oppose the Gorkha parties in the hills but never say a word against WB Govt and Amra bangali.These laeders of ABGL are all opportunists.The day GJMM goes for a full swing of Gorkhaland movement they will come to know why we kept quite for all these days.Madan Tamang was killed by WB not by GJMM.Its a conspiracy to break our unity.Why cant these people unit for a noble cause.What good have they done for the Gorkhas till now???