To contact us CLICK HERE
View Kalimpong News at
Citizen reporters may send photographs related to news with proper information to

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Strike called by anti GJMM parties...Gurung friend in hack net...Morcha to take up tribal points after talks....CPM asks for early polls

KalimNews: Anti-GJM outfits Amra Bangali and Bangla O Bangla Bhasa  Bachao Samity have called for a 24-hour bandh in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar districts , protesting against the tripartite talks on the Gorkhaland issue to be held in New Delhi on 17th August 2010. Seventh tripartite talks will be held on 17th August in the secretariat level and is a follow-up of the sixth tripartite meeting held in Delhi on July 24. The team will be led by Roshan Giri, which comprises of  Trilok Dewan, L.B Pariyar, S.B Pradhan, Ramesh Alley, Mesh Acharya and Ratan Thapa.
Gurung friend in hack net-
Morcha core member in net for hill murder, Darjeeling, Aug. 16: A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader and prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case was arrested in Darjeeling last night.
The arrest of Nickole Tamang, an “old friend” of Morcha chief Bimal Gurung, comes a day before the hill outfit is set to hold official-level talks in Delhi over the proposed interim set-up for the Darjeeling hills.
A contractor by profession, Nickole is a central committee member of the Morcha. He was part of a party delegation that met Union home minister P. Chidambaram early this year.
Darjeeling superintendent of police D.P. Singh said Nickole, 42, was arrested from his ancestral home at Kaijhalay, 45km from Darjeeling town. “We received information that he was at his ancestral home last night. We arrested him immediately,” said Singh.
Nickole had been absconding since Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Tamang was hacked to death in daylight on May 21.
Singh said Nickole had told the police that he had been “frequenting Kaijhalay and its adjoining areas for the past few days, occasionally entering Nepal” through the porous border.
Nickole, the ninth person arrested in connection with Tamang’s killing, has been charged with murder and conspiracy. He was produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate of Darjeeling amid tight security and remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody.
The CID, which is probing the case, had said it had seized from Tamang’s murder site a cellphone Nickole had used to “orchestrate” the killing.
The Morcha leadership has not yet issued any statement on the arrest.
Tamang’s widow Bharati today demanded that the accused be given the death penalty. “He should be hanged. We want all of those who conspired to kill my husband to be arrested as early as possible,” she said.
ABGL supporters demonstrated in front of the court where Nickole was produced. They also blocked Hill Cart Road for 45 minutes.
TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 16: A central committee member of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case was arrested from Bijanbari last night.
Nickole Tamang’s arrest comes a day before the Morcha is set to hold official-level talks in Delhi over the proposed interim set-up for the Darjeeling hills.
A contractor by profession, the accused, who is known to be an old friend of Morcha president Bimal Gurung, was also part of the party delegation that met Union home minister P. Chidambaram early this year.
Darjeeling superintendent of police D.P. Singh said the 42-year-old Nickole had been arrested from his ancestral home at Kaijhalay, 10km from Bijanbari. “We had information that he was visiting his ancestral house last night,” said Singh.
The police officer said the accused had been frequenting the area, occasionally entering Nepal through the porous border. “He told us that he had mostly been moving around in the adjoining areas and had also entered Nepal,” said Singh.
The arrest is being considered a breakthrough as the CID, which is handling the case, had earlier claimed that it had recovered a cellphone used allegedly by Nickole to orchestrate the murder at Upper Clubside motor stand on the morning of May 21.
Nickole, the ninth person to be arrested in the case, has been charged with murder and conspiracy. He was produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Darjeeling amid tight security and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.
The Morcha leadership did not issue any statement on the arrest. But Bharati Tamang, wife of the slain ABGL leader Madan Tamang, demanded that the accused should be given the death penalty. “He should be hanged,” she said.
ABGL supporters demonstrated in the court here where Nickole was produced. They also set up a blockade on Hill Cart Road for 45 minutes.
Bail rejected
A division bench of Justice Amit Talukdar and Justice Mrinal Kanti Chowdhury of Calcutta High Court today rejected the bail petition of Sudesh Rai Maji, an accused in the Madan Tamang murder case. Maji had been arrested from Darjeeling on June 6.
On talks eve, GJM leader held for Tamang killing
Subrata Nagchowdhary, IE, Kolkata: In what seems a carefully timed move, the West Bengal Police late on Sunday night arrested Nicole Tamang, one of the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case and a Gorkha Janamukti Morch (GJM) central committee member, from a “hideout” in Bijonbari in Darjeeling.
The arrest comes before an “official-level” tripartite meeting in Delhi on Tuesday between the Centre, the West Bengal government and the GJM. The arrest would put the GJM on the backfoot, hurting its bargaining powers as it seeks a settlement for an interim council. The last “political-level” talks were held in Delhi on July 24.
A GJM spokesperson said if the police had evidence against Nicole, they had no problem. “But we feel it is a fabricated case to weaken the movement for Gorkhaland,” said Benoy Tamang.
The West Bengal police had accessed telephone conversations allegedly between Nicole and other senior GJM leaders on the day of Tamang’s murder on May 21, which were reproduced by The Indian Express. President of the All Bengal Gorkha League (ABGL), Tamang had been killed in public in the midst of a rally. 
The GJM has been losing ground since Tamang’s murder, while the ABGL has been on the upswing. Even Subash Ghising has got a fresh lease of life.
Nicole is the seventh accused to be arrested in the Tamang murder case. A number of accused are still on the run, and are believed to be hiding either in Nepal or Bhutan.
One of the accused is GJM general secretary Roshan Giri, who will represent the Morcha at Tuesday’s talks. From the West Bengal side, state Home Secretary Samar Ghosh and some other officials will be present. 

Top GJM leader arrested for Tamang murder
Deep Gazmer, TNN, DARJEELING/SILIGURI/KOLKATA: Nearly three months after the barbaric daylight murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang in Darjeeling, the CID arrested one of the prime accused, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Nicole Tamang, from a hideout in Bijanbari late on Sunday.
Nicole’s arrest comes just a day before tripartite talks between the Centre, state and GJM in Delhi. It will put pressure on the Morcha to accept the Centre’s terms for an interim Hill council.
Nicole is the seniormost Morcha leader to be arrested for the crime that shocked the country and dealt a body blow to the Morcha’s clout in the Hills. He is a GJM central committee member, former president of the Morcha youth wing and party chief Bimal Gurung’s bodyguard and trusted lieutenant. His cellphone was found in the blood-splattered crime scene near Chowrasta where Madan Tamang was hacked and stabbed to death in full public view.
Nicole spent the last 11 weeks in hiding, mostly across the border in Nepal. He was shadowed by Indian intelligence agents who captured him in June but had to let him go to avoid provoking a major incident on foreign land. Indian agents trailed him as he crossed over into Darjeeling on Friday afternoon. His hideout in Kaijaley near Bijanbari was kept under surveillance. Police moved in on him around 1.45am on Monday.
He was produced before the chief judicial magistrate’s (CJM) court in Darjeeling and remanded in judicial custody for a fortnight. ABGL supporters swarmed the streets of Darjeeling on getting the news and demanded the arrest of Gurung and other top leaders accused in the FIR. Madan Tamang’s widow Bharati mocked the government and said: "It's good that the state has been able to arrest at least one of the culprits. What was it waiting for all these days?"

GJM man held
Darjeeling, HT: West Bengal Police arrested the alleged killer of Madan Tamang, president All India Gorkha League, on Sunday night. Nickol Tamang (46), a central committee member of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) which is spearheading the movement for a separate state in the Bengal hills, was picked up from his ancestral home in Kainjaley, 47 km from Darjeeling town.
Nickol has been taken into judicial custody till August 30 by chief judicial magistrate U K Nandi. The criminal investigation department issued arrest warrants against 10 other persons on July 13.
Madan Tamang was killed  on Upper Clubside Stand, one of the prominent streets of Darjeeling, when he was minutes away from addressing a public meeting.
Nickol's had been absconding since the killing and police had recovered his mobile from the spot. Nickol Tamang was booked for two other cases of vandalising and theft.
Darjeeling district police chief D P Singh said, "There were two ladies with him (Nickol) at the time of his arrest. The police are verifying as to who they are."
Nickol was part of the four-member GJM delegation — led by GJM chief Bimal Gurung — that met Home Minister P Chidambaram, on April 9 before the sixth round of tripartite talks held on May 14.
Nickol is believed to be a close confidant of Bimal Gurung.

Prime accused in Tamang murder case held
SNS, DARJEELING, 16 AUG: Mr Nicol Tamang, the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case and a member of the GJMM central committee, was arrested from his ancestral home in Lower Kaijalay last night. The CID and the Darjeeling police conducted a joint raid around 10 pm last night. The Darjeeling superintendent of police, Mr D.P Singh informed today.
With Mr Tamang's arrest the number of those arrested in connection with the daylight 21 May murder of the AIGL leader has gone up to 10.
A smirking Nicol Tamang, known to be intimate to the GJMM president, Mr Bimal Gurung, was produced before the chief judicial magistrate this morning amidst tight security. He was remanded for 14-day judicial custody. The next hearing is scheduled on 30 August.
According to the police sources, he has been sent to the district correctional home. The police might appeal to the chief judicial magistrate to grant a police remand for Mr Tamang to facilitate further investigation..However, the GJMM rank and file seems to have taken the arrest with conspicuous irresponsiveness, though the AIGL organised a well-attended procession at the court. The GJMM leaders like Mr Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Mr Binay Tamang refused to comment on the arrest. But the AIGL executive president, Mr Dawa Sherpa expressed satisfaction over the development, saying that others involved in the assassination should be brought to justice at the earliest.
Bail petition of accused in Tamang killing case rejected
SNS, KOLKATA, AUG 13 : The bail petition of  Sudesh Roy Majhi, an accused in the case of killing of Gorkha League leader Madan Tamang was rejected by the  Division Bench of Mr Justice Amit Talukdar and Mr Justice M K Choudhury of Calcutta High Court today. The granting of bail to the accused would hamper the investigation of the case as many others wanted in connection with this case are still at large, Mr Asimes Goswami, public prosecutor submitted.  
Morcha to take up tribal points after talks
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 16: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is waiting for tomorrow’s tripartite meeting to be over for a threadbare discussion on the seven conditions set by the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad to extend support to the hill party.
As a seven-member team led by Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri flew to Delhi from Bagdogra this afternoon, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the media and publicity secretary of the party, said: “As we have said earlier, discussion among our party top brass is necessary on some of the demands of the Parishad. We are yet to hold the discussion and will approach the Parishad, preferably after our delegation returns from Delhi. Since there might be some developments during the talks with the central and state governments, it is better that we take a stand on the Parishad’s letter after the Delhi meeting.”
The Dooars and Terai regional unit of the Parishad had expressed a desire to work closely with the Morcha provided the seven conditions were accepted. Except for one condition that all Gorkha communities should not be included in the Scheduled Tribe list, others are likely to be accepted by the Morcha.
“In tomorrow’s meeting, our delegates will definitely mention the issue of the tribal populace and their expression of support to us, obviously on the basis of certain demands and conditions, along with other issues,” said Chhetri.
“We feel the issue of territory needs to be discussed at length. At tomorrow’s meeting, the delegates will focus on powers to be conferred on the interim authority, the departments to be handed over and some other basic issues.”
In that case, Morcha insiders said, the territory issue was likely to take a backseat tomorrow and that was why no representative from the Parishad had been included in the delegation.
Earlier, there was speculation that Parishad leaders would be accompanying the Morcha team to Delhi to prove that the tribals wanted the Dooars and the Terai to be included in the interim set-up. 
CPM asks for early polls
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 16: The Darjeeling district CPM today demanded immediate elections to the civic bodies and the panchayats in the hills which would be a step towards restoring democracy in the region.
“Considering the present state of affairs in the hills, we believe that conducting elections to the two-tier panchayats or the four municipalities (Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and Mirik) in the three hill subdivisions is essential to restore democracy. We will raise the demand before the state government as well as appeal to all other political parties to support it,” said Asok Bhattacharya, the district CPM leader at a media conference.
“Several other political parties and organisations are claiming that democracy should be restored and peace should be the first priority in the hills. We agree with them and considering the fact that the elections are long due, we, too, have the same demand,” he said.
Bhattacharya, also the state urban development minister, said the panchayats elections in the hills were due since 2007, while the municipal polls were last held in 2004.
On the bureaucratic-level talks scheduled to be held with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Delhi tomorrow, the CPM leader said the Centre should also invite other parties from the region to know their opinions on the statehood demand as had been done by the Bengal government earlier this month. “Whenever the demand for a separate state is raised, we are the only party to protest. Despite enjoying so-called huge support in the state, the Trinamul Congress, Congress or other parties have never been vocal on the issue.”
Workshop for civic bodies
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 16: The municipal affairs department has started conducting workshops for civic bodies across the state to provide better services in urban areas. One such workshop was held at a tourist lodge here today.
“The total population of the state is 2.25 crore which is expected to be around 3.66 crore by 2026,” said municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya. “To ensure that the civic bodies do not succumb to this pressure and continue to improve services, we have decided to conduct the workshops.”
Siliguri mayor Gangotri Datta, who attended the workshop, said: “We welcome the holding of workshops for better service. But keeping the present situation in mind it is necessary to execute pending projects on housing, roads, drinking water and development of slums.”
Bagdogra Air Traffic Goes Up... But growth eludes ground 

TT, Siliguri, Aug. 16: Bengal government’s lackadaisical attitude to land acquirement is impeding the development of Bagdogra Airport that is witnessing rapid growth in passenger traffic and cargo movement, says the Airports Authority of India.
“We have witnessed a substantial rise in air traffic in Bagdogra with around 62 flights operating every week. Keeping this in mind, the AAI is in the process of upgrading the infrastructure at the airport by introducing the ILS (Instrumental Landing System) for planes to land at night and during inclement weathers,” said Praveen Seth, the member (operations) of the AAI.
He also said a master plan had been approved by the AAI to develop an integrated building wherein both international and domestic flights would arrive and depart.
“All ancillary facilities needed for a modern airport will also be there. However, despite several correspondences, we are yet to get the necessary land from the government,” said the official.
Seth was at the airport on Saturday to inaugurate a new administrative building. The three-storied structure was constructed with Rs 2.21 crore and has a carpet area of 1,807sqm. It has an elevator as well as a fire protection mechanism.
People of north Bengal and Sikkim have been demanding for long that international status be conferred on the Bagdogra Airport. Although the state government raised the demand many times, the AAI is yet to get hold of the land needed for the modernisation of the airport.
According to the AAI, 12 acres of land are needed to increase the length of the runway and to introduce the ILS, while another 23 acres are required to implement the master plan.
“As the airport is a civil enclave (located inside an Indian Air Force base), we have obtained a no-objection certificate from the air force about a year back to improve the infrastructure. A portion of the land was also acquired. But it is the responsibility of the state government to provide the additional land,” said an airport official.
“We have witnessed a 25 per cent increase in the number of passengers and 37 per cent rise in cargo movement (see chart). If the trend continues and we cannot put in place additional facilities, the airport will be choked by passengers in the coming years, as the terminal is crowded even now in case of a delay in one flight,” said the official.
The total area of the terminal is only 6,600sqft, with 3,690sqft on the ground floor and 2,910sqft on the first floor.
The new building caters for some needs of the passengers
“We are setting up 22 new stalls at the terminal. My office was earlier on the first floor of the terminal and it has now been shifted to the new building opened on Saturday. The vacant space will now be used for commercial purposes,” said K.K. Bhowmik, the airport director of Bagdogra.
The building has also a conference hall and three rest rooms for VIPs and common passengers. Offices of employees associated with operation of flights are also located there. Bhowmik said charges for the rest rooms were yet to be fixed.
Surendra Gupta, the district magistrate of Darjeeling, said the government had started the process of acquiring land for the airport.
“We are aware that the air force has already granted NOC to the AAI. On our part, we are in the process of acquiring the land but it would take some time as there are certain factors,” he said.
State hikes subsidy on Diesel
TT, Calcutta, Aug. 16: The state government today doubled the subsidy on diesel for bus, minibus and taxi operators to Rs 2 per litre and lifted the cap on the total subsidy offered to each operator in a bid to avoid a fare hike.
For a taxi, up to 20 litres of diesel was being subsidised per day. The limit for buses and minibuses was 50 litres.
Now, the subsidy will be available on whatever quantity of diesel the vehicles consume, provided the operators can produce the bill.
At the end of each month, Rs 2 will be deposited in the bank accounts of the transport operators for each litre of diesel they buy.
After the state government had announced the Re 1 per litre subsidy in July, transport operators threatened a strike demanding a fare hike.
The three-day strike planned from August 10 to 12 to press for higher fares or more subsidy was deferred in the first week of the month.
“We have done everything to accommodate the demands of the transport operators. Now, the Centre must also do something to reduce their burden,” said state finance minister Asim Dasgupta today.
“After this, there cannot be a demand for a fare hike. We have done everything we can,” transport minister Ranjit Kundu said.
According to Dasgupta, the state government had decided to forego Rs 100 crore of sales tax income annually to offer the first subsidy. The government would have to shell out Rs 100 crore from its coffers to pay the enhanced subsidy.
The transport minister will meet the transport operators at Writers' Buildings on Wednesday afternoon.
Sources in the operators' lobby said a strike was unlikely now. “Most of us did not want to go on a 72-hour strike in the first place. Now there is little reason for one,” said a leader of bus operators.
Trinamul Congress MLA and a leader of transport operators, Swarnakamal Saha, said they were satisfied with the government’s “gesture”and “method” but would still try and negotiate for a higher subsidy. 
Nepal SC snubs Sobhraj's marriage claim
SNS, KATHMANDU, 16 AUG: After dismissing his "not guilty" plea in a nearly 40-year-old murder case, Nepal's Supreme Court has now demolished the claim by yesteryear's master criminal Charles Sobhraj and his Nepali fiancée Ms Nihita Biswas that they were man and wife, saying the claim had no legal validity.
The court, while hearing a contempt of court case yesterday against Nihita and her mother Ms Shakuntala Thapa, who was also Sobhraj's lawyer, said that the pair could not claim to be related to Sobhraj, now a French citizen, since there was no legal evidence that Nihita and Sobhraj ever tied the knot.
Nihita had met Sobhraj in Kathmandu's Central Prison in 2008, after he had been given a 20-year jail term for the murder of American backpacker Connie Jo Bronzich in 1975. The pair, who have a 44-year age difference, say they fell in love at first sight and the courtship flourished undeterred right under the eyes of guards and other prisoners.
Last year, during celebrations of Dashain, Nepal's biggest religious festival, prisoners were allowed to meet friends and relatives in an enclosure inside the jail. Nihita claims she and Sobhraj underwent traditional Nepali rites to become man and wife.
Since then, the 22-year-old has been calling herself the wife of Sobhraj, who has an earlier failed marriage to his credit and a string of women accomplices. In a series of media interviews, Nihita claimed her "husband" had been wronged by Nepal's judiciary and convicted without evidence.

Tech boy raises ragging charge- Bankura student to discontinue study at SIT

TT, Siliguri, Aug. 16: A first-year student of the Siliguri Institute of Technology was forced to return to his Bankura home yesterday after he was allegedly ragged by two senior boys who beat him up with shoes and forced his face into a commode at a private hostel here.
The father of the victim has lodged an FIR at the Pradhannagar police station against Kaushik Chakraborty and Aritra Bhattacharya, accusing them of physically and mentally torturing Riju Ghosh, who was pursuing a BTech course in computer science at the SIT.
While Kaushik is a BCA student at the SIT, Aritra is pursuing electrical engineering course at Surendra Institute of Engineering and Management (SIEM). Both are into the second year of their courses
“There are around 10-12 students at the private hostel at Pradhannagar. Five of them, including my son, were first-year students, while others are senior to them at different colleges. Riju had been staying in the boarding since August 9 when first-year classes began at the SIT. He was facing physical and mental torture from some of the seniors,” said Subir Ghosh, Riju’s father.
Ghosh said Riju had never told his parents about the ragging.
“He feared the seniors would torture him more if they found out that he had been complaining. When I or his mother asked him if he was being treated well at the hostel, he would avoid giving any reply. We never suspected anything foul. However, the situation turned ugly on Friday night when the seniors tortured him so much that my son went into shock. One of his friends called me up in the dead of night to tell me about his condition. I immediately boarded a bus and reached Siliguri on Saturday,” Ghosh said over the phone from Bankura.
The father reached Bankura with Riju this morning.
According to Ghosh, Riju was suffering from fever on Friday night.
“The other senior students had gone home for the weekend and only Kaushik and Aritra were present. They called the junior boys to their rooms and asked them to do sit-ups 250 times, sing and dance. They were also forced to smoke ganja. Riju was feeling feeble and requested the seniors to spare him. But Kaushik and Aritra were not ready to relent. My son did what they asked him to as long as he could. But he started feeling weak and could not carry on any more,” said Ghosh.
But the senior boys refused to listen. They beat Riju with shoes and forcibly took him to the toilet.
“The seniors put my face in the commode and turned on the flush,” Riju.
Ghosh said Riju would never be sent back to the college.
“I will never send my son back to that college even if it means he will lose an academic year. I have spoken to the SIT authorities and requested them to take severe steps against the guilty students. Riju has been examined by a doctor in Bankura. The doctor said my son is depressed and prescribed some medicines,” said Ghosh.
The 48-year-old man runs a grocery shop near his house at Natunganj in Bankura.
Riju’s mother Ruplekha, too, is against sending the boy back to Siliguri.
“We hope he gets admission to any college here. He may have to change stream but it is better than facing such horrific situations. His career is shattered; I hope the culprits are punished so that other boys like Riju don’t go through such situations,” she said.
The SIT authorities admitted having received a verbal complaint from the boy’s father.
“We were informed of the incident by Riju’s guardians as well as police authorities. The college has an anti-ragging committee that will start an inquiry immediately. We do not encourage students indulging in ragging and in case the boy against whom the allegation has been levelled is found guilty, we can either suspend or rusticate him,” said Gautam Das, the principal-in-charge of the SIT.
Principal of the SIEM said the college had not received any complaint. “We have received no complaint so far. However, we take undertakings from students during admissions that they can face severe consequences if they indulge in ragging. We will start an inquiry and if the student is found guilty, we will suspend or rusticate him,” said R.K. Jha, the SIEM principal.
The police, too, are investigating the case.
“We received the complaint yesterday and have already started an investigation,” said Swapan Ghosh, the inspector in charge at Pradhannagar police station.
According to police sources, the Supreme Court had ruled in February, 2009, that all cases of ragging had to be reported to police who would then immediately set in motion criminal laws. The court had also observed that ragging is a “human rights abuse”.
Aritra and Kaushik were removed from the three-storied private hostel yesterday. Shivotosh Chakraborty, the owner of the facility, said he often kept tabs on the boarders.
“We regularly check on the boys to find out if they are facing any difficulties. We had asked Riju also whether he had any complaints. But he did not talk about any sort of harassment and neither did the other first-year students. We came to know about the ragging only after Riju’s father came here on Saturday. Both Aritra and Kaushik were asked to vacate the hostel and they left yesterday. While Kaushik’s maternal uncle and father came and took him away, Aritra left saying that he would shift to a friend’s house,” Chakraborty said.

No comments:

Post a Comment