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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Morcha shifts Dooars onus...Employees union blamed..CRPF withdrawn

TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 21: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today said it would renew its agitation to press for the inclusion of the Dooars in the interim set-up for the hills but also put the “onus of the struggle” on the people of the Dooars.
Morcha chief Bimal Gurung said he would hold a public meeting at Jaigaon near the India-Bhutan border on August 29 where he would announce the “agitation programme” for the plains.
During an interactive session here today to discuss the interim arrangement, several Morcha supporters from the plains expressed fear that the Terai and the Dooars could be left out of the new set-up.
Gurung told them: “Have I ever said that the Dooars and the Terai would be left out? Stop listening to rumours. The onus of the struggle (to ensure that the Dooars is included in the set-up) will lie with you people now. We want to see how desperately you want the area to be included in the new set-up.”
He added: “We have to think of solutions. If the state government and the Centre give it in writing that the Dooars and the Terai will be included in the set-up, we will think of accepting the arrangement,” Gurung said.
Interactive programme of GJMM held
KalimNews: During an interaction programme organised by Gorkha Janamukti Morcha at Gymkhana Club hall in Darjeeling Bimal Gurung expressed his dismay on the questions raised by representatives of Dooars on the inclusion of Dooars and Siliguri in the proposed GAA. Morcha leaders stated that GJMM may be compelled to agree on the GAA without Dooars and plains and in that condition GJMM will surely ask for some written assurance on the status of these unincluded areas. GJMM leaders also accepted that the both the governments are applying pressure tactics to the party. Gurung even challenged leaders of Dooars to show their strength in the proposed meeting of 29th August at Jaigaon. Gurung in his speech clearly mentioned that whatever GJMM has achieved by tripartite meetings will not be shared to the opposition parties. And it is the reason that party is not willing to hold election.  
One arrested
KalimNews: Krishna Adhikari a GJMM  leader was arrested by Gorubathan Police for fire and arson case during the GJMM agitation in which a car and bike of a GNLF supported was torched in Gorubathan. Adhikari was wanted in other cases. Lately Adhikari was not active in the party.
CRPF withdrawn
KalimNews: Without showing any reason all three companies of CRPF are withdrawn and sent back. They were brought to Darjeeling on May 22 and 2 companies were deployed for National Highways while one company for the subdivisional headquarters .
What Posters of CPRM speak in Kalimpong
Employees Unions blamed
21 Aug, KalimNews : According to Hill Employees Association and Trade Unions activists, the bi-ennial conference of the union was decided two years back and venue of the programme was fixed at Town Hall, also known as Ramkrishna Rangamanch, Kalimpong. Requisite amount of the rental of the hall was already paid to the concerned officials prior to the conference some one month ago. Moreover, the organisers had even visited the venue 20th August to book the conference hall of the Town Hall. 
However, the union activists who started to throng into Kalimpong from the early hours of 21 August from all over the three hill sub-divisions felt surprised when they found the main gate of the Town Hall complex locked and there was no one to enquire about the same. They made several efforts to find out the watchman or responsible officials like SDIO and SDO for timely opening of the gate but to no avail. Meanwhile, the employees convey pouring from different locations started to stop in front of the hall premise waiting for the opening of gate. This caused havoc in the traffic system on the weekly haatbazaar day (Saturday). Further, the particular road also links the main street with the VIP areas like Circuit house, youth hostel, govt. tourist lodge, SDPO's office, SDO office and other administrative offices like BDO, Court, Food supply etc. The agitated employees also resorted to stop plying other vehicles on the way which caused difficulties to the regular commuters. 
Till then there was no sign of unlocking the shut gate. Later, the employees tried to contact Amiyas Thsering, SDO, Kalimpong who is ex-officio Chairman of Town Hall Committee which is in control of the hall but in vain. In the meantime, the union leaders contacted second officer who accompanied by local police personnel visited the spot. The lock was broken down by the police and the employee members of the union entered into the hall very late. Another surprise was waiting when the union members discovered that electricity supply inside the hall was also disconnected. The employees themselves managed to put on the light and the programme started.
While addressing the conference, Amar Rai, President of the union criticised those elements behind the act and thanked his supporters who had gathered in the programme despite several odd situations. He stated that the union was not interested in confrontation with any other counterpart. Referring to the opposition during the time of GNLF from its employees union, Rai recalled that his union had been facing such difficulties since last 21 years. According to J.B. Rai, Union leader of Kalimpong, the road was blocked by the agitated employees who faced difficulties in parking their vehicles.
On the other hand, the Janmukti Karmachari Sangathan (JKS) Pro-GJM employees association vehemently criticised the act of HEA&TU and carried out wide posterings throughout the town area the same afternoon. The JKS local leaders alleged their counterparts of creating disturbance in Kalimpong town. They also said that the conference of the HEA&TU was organised only to counter the interaction programme organised by Bimal Gurung, GJM chief in Darjeeling the same day.
It is recalled that the Govt. employees of Darjeeling hills particularly working under the West Bengal state Govt. had formed Hill Employees Association (HEA) during the first phase of GNLF led Gorkhaland movement. However, due to difference in the ideology the association was divided into two groups called Amar Rai (Independent) and Bhim Thapa (Pro-GNLF) factions. Now in the time of the GJM led movement the JKS has become the party affiliated association while some of the Bhim Thapa supporters have joined with Amar Rai faction and some have become the members of JKS. However, the committed members of the Amar Rai faction have so far not joined hands with the GJM's JKS and carrying out their organisational programmes regularly.
All these development indicate that the employees of the hills are not united under a single banner and due to this fact the most of the problems and grievances of this sector are still pending in the court of the West Bengal Govt.

A sudden traffic jam caused due to a demonstration by HEA&TU protesting against the alleged sabotage to create disturbance to the bi-ennial conference of the organisation scheduled on 21st Aug at Town Hall Kalimpong - Photo : Samten
Poster of JKS in the afternoon

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