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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tripartite talks ended in a cordial atmosphere ...Beginning of final break-up: MorchaReal debates for political round ... without any consensus... Quit blow to Adivasi body ,,

Beginning of final break-up: Morcha ... Real debates for political round
TT, Sept. 7: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today claimed “victory”, with the Centre and the state “tentatively” agreeing to hand over excise, the regional transport authority and the management of forests and the cinchona plantation to the proposed interim authority for the Darjeeling hills. All three subjects had so far been outside the purview of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, which the new set-up will replace.
However, contentious issues like the territorial jurisdiction of the new arrangement, its composition and the mode of appointing its members were not part of today’s official-level tripartite talks and have been left to be sorted out at the political round. Another point that remains to be thrashed out is the tenure of the interim set-up. While the Morcha wants it to end by December 31, 2011, the state government has been insisting that it should be stretched to five years.
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who had led the party’s talks delegation, said: “They have agreed upon most of our demands . It has been a very fruitful visit. We now need to work out the issue of territory, its composition and the mode of selection, which will be taken up during the political round.”
A triumphant Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the Morcha spokesperson, said: “The beginning of the final break-up with Writers’ Buildings has began.”
The next official-level talks are scheduled for September 30. This meeting is expected to prepare the ground for the political round.
Giri said today’s meeting had also decided that the interim body would be able to generate, distribute and transmit electricity and that it will get a share of the 12 per cent free power that the state government is entitled to from major hydel projects. However, there was no confirmation on this from Delhi or the state government.
The Morcha said even colleges would come up under the interim set-up, but officials in Calcutta said the state government’s higher education department would have overall academic control.
The mood at the Centre is to accede to most of the Morcha’s demands, Union home ministry sources said. “We are positively inclined to delegating many of the subjects that the Morcha wants in case there are no constitutional or legal hurdles,” an official said in Delhi.
However, sources said, reserve forests cannot be handed over to the new authority because it is a central subject. It is also unlikely that tauzi, or tea garden land, would be handed over to the new body.
The development functions of the district magistrate — for example handling MLA and MP local area development funds — would, however, be handed over to the new authority. But the district magistrate would continue to oversee magisterial functions, like law and order.
At the same time, funds meant for the Border Area Development Project (BADP) is unlikely to be given over to the new authority as it is directly under the Union home ministry.
The Morcha has demanded that the DGHC workers must be regularised before the new set-up is put in place. “The state government, which was represented by the home secretary has agreed to look into the matter,” said Giri. The council currently has 6,321 casual workers.
The hill party today told the state and the Centre that if peace was to be restored in the region “at least the Gorkha-dominated areas of the Terai and Dooars” must be included in the interim set-up. “Detailed discussion on this would be taken up only at the political level,” said Giri.
Sources in Delhi said it had been agreed that the new body would be called Gorkhaland Regional Authority.
KalimNews: Eighth round of tripartite talks between the Central and State governments and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ended here in New Delhi with no concrete decisions though the representatives of both the governments listened to the proposals forwarded by GJMM with positive attitude, said Dr Harka Bdr Chhetri Spokesperson of GJMM to News 7 and Kalimpong News. The name of the interim body was resolved as Gorkha Regional Authority.
During the talks the structure and functions of the proposed GRA was discussed . Proposal of inclusion of various departments were also discussed. in the talks. The inclusion of  Reserve forest, Cinchona and Medicinal plantation, Regional Transport Authority, Excise department and Higher and Technical Education in the proposed Interim set up was also welcomed by the government representatives as feasible and possible proposal  with a condition to sort out technical problems rising thereof or if any. In the meeting the Central State government proposed for holding election for the formation of GRA body to which GJMM opposed. They had proposed  for holding direct election of GRA or as an alternative for holding Panchayat election and the representatives of different be parties be nominated  for 6 months as councillors of GRA as in DGHC in accordance to their ratio of numbers (28 councillors) and 14 other nominated , and an election of GRA be held after 6 months.
Finally it decided to meet on 30th September for official level of talks.
In the talks Samar Ghose Home secretary of state, Nirmaljit Singh Kalsi Union joint home secretary represented the state and center.
Differences over Gorkhaland shrink
HT, New Delhi:Raising hopes of setting up an interim authority for Gorkhaland before assembly elections in West Bengal, a tripartite meeting on Tuesday narrowed down difference of opinion between the three sides — Centre, State and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha — to just four issues. "The final break-up with the writers' (Writers' Building that houses the state secretariat) has begun," GJM publicity secretary H B Chhetri declared after the official level meeting at the Ministry of Home Affairs, a signal that the talks were in the right direction.

Another official level tripartite meeting has been slated for 30 September, likely to be followed by political level talks to be chaired by Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Maken, in early October.
Sources said the four remaining points identified by GJM leaders were resolvable issues and will not be a hurdle in an early decision.
"The governments concerned do not have an inflexible position," a government official said.
Chhetri said the definition of the legislative powers, management of the tea gardens, number of members in the interim Gorkhaland Regional Authority and the selection procedure of the members remained to be sorted out.
The GJM has since its inception been demanding a separate Gorkhaland state that includes the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district in the plains and contiguous areas in neighbouring Jalpaiguri district.
IBNS, New Delhi, Sept 7 : The tripartite meeting between the Union Home Ministry, the State Government and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha(GJM) spearheading the separate statehood movement ended here on Tuesday without a consensus.
The next meeting to discuss the hill issue will take place on Sept 30, media reports said.
The seven-member GJM team at the meeting was headed by its General Secretary Roshan Giri.
“Today's meeting was satisfactory,” said Giri.
“We feel some positive thing will happen,” he added, referring to the next meeting.
The three sides (GJM, the Government of West Bengal and Union Home Ministry) discussed about the form, structure and powers of the Gorkha Regional Authority (GRA) to be created as an interim arrangement.
Earlier, GJM had settled over the decision to create an interim arrangement specially with the State Assembly polls scheduled in West Bengal in 2011.
The GJM has been spearheading the agitation for a separate statehood (Gorkhaland) in the hill districts of Darjeeling for quite some time now.
A renewed demand for Gorkhaland carved out of Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri district was reignited in the past few years by new leaders like Bimal Gurung, plunging the hills in fresh turmoil.
The Gorkhaland movement that began in the 1980s had ended with a truce between hill leader Subhash Ghising and New Delhi after he accepted limited autonomy in 1988 with a new Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).
Darjeeling is a geo-politically important region for India as it lies on or close to the borders of China, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. 

Plains body bays for Jaswant blood
TT, Siliguri, Sept. 7: Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh today refused to be dragged into the controversy over the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s demand to include the Terai and the Dooars in the interim set-up even as an anti-Gorkhaland outfit here demanded the BJP MP’s resignation for being “biased”.
The Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee, which had called a 24-hour bandh here to protest the official-level tripartite talks with the Morcha and which coincided with the Citu-sponsored countrywide strike, burnt the effigy of the BJP leader a few hours ahead of his first visit to town.
“Since his election, Singh has never visited Siliguri or allocated any money from his local area development funds for the plains. So far, he has only visited the hills and has only worked for the interests of the Morcha. He has allotted money for the hills only, although his constituency includes the Siliguri subdivision also,” said Mukunda Majumdar, the president of the Bhasha Committee.
“We demonstrated this morning against his political stand which encourages the partition of Bengal and we want him to resign from his post. A by-election should be held to elect a new MP from the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency who does not have any such biased political stance,” Majumdar said. His outfit is against the Morcha demand for a new state and the inclusion of the Dooars and the Terai in the set-up proposed for the hills.
Around 10.30am, nearly 100 Bhasha Committee members burnt Singh’s effigy at Hashmi Chowk.
Later, they took out a rally, wielding black flags and the outfit’s flags and toured the deserted streets of the town. With policemen patrolling in different areas, no untoward incident was reported.
Singh, who came to Darjeeling on Wednesday, arrived at a hotel near Darjeeling More here at 2.30pm.
“I have heard that a tripartite meeting was held at official-level with a delegation of the Morcha but I do not have detail information of the meeting till now. So, I cannot comment,” the MP said.
Singh dodged a question on the Morcha demand for the Dooars and the Terai in the hill set-up. “I would prefer not to comment on this issue,” he said. Tomorrow, the Darjeeling MP is scheduled to attend a meeting of party workers before leaving for Delhi, sources said. 
Quit blow to Adivasi body
TT, Jaigaon, Sept. 7: One of the key leaders of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, Rajesh Lakra, today resigned from the organisation, saying he was tired of the “war of statements” among the top brass.
The Parishad’s state committee secretary Tezkumar Toppo confirmed the resignation of the general- secretary of the Terai-Dooars co-ordination committee.
“We have received his resignation and whether it will be accepted or not will be decided at our state committee meeting at Malbazar on September 11,” said Toppo.
According to Birsa Tirkey, Parishad state committee president, Lakra has said in his resignation letter that he was tired of the “war of statements” between the leaders of the organisation. Tirkey said Lakra had also felt that the feud in the Parishad was harming the interests of Adivasis.
Sources said Lakra had in the letter raised questions on the attempts being made to create a rift within the Adivasi community.Lakra today locked up the Parishad’s office in Nagrakata as it was being used by leaders of the newly formed Progressive People’s Party (PPP), a breakaway faction of the tribal outfit. Parishad insiders said Lakra had been under tremendous pressure from other leaders for not coming forward to protest a meeting of the PPP in Nagrakata on Sunday. Even the president of the Terai-Dooars committee of the Parishad, John Barla, had written to police, saying there might be law and order problems if the meeting took place.Barla admitted that Lakra had locked up the Nagrakata office and handed over the keys to him. “The PPP’s use of our office that was opened just a year ago was sending wrong signals to the community. The PPP was formed on July 25 this year and they have no right to use our office,” said Barla.He added that the Parishad was not in any way connected to the PPP. “We are where the people are, and they are with us. No one can force us to join any political party,” said Barla. The president of the PPP’s central committee, Kiran Kalindi, lashed out at Barla and Birsa Tirkey. “Only they can say what they mean by locking up the office. There is no clause in the Parishad’s constitution that its members cannot join a political party. I do not know why Barla and the others are allergic to people joining the PPP,” said Kalindi. Kalindi said Barla had held secret meetings with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in Gorubathan sometime ago and had also written to the hill party’s leadership.
“The meetings were held after the Morcha had proposed that the name of the new state would be changed from Gorkhaland to Gorkha-Adivasi Pradesh. We have held no secret meetings with the Morcha,” said Kalindi.Countering the charges, Barla said he had met the Morcha leadership to discuss peace in the region and had written to them expressing a desire to talk about the common problems being faced by the Adivasis and the Gorkhas in the Terai and the Dooars.
KalimNews:India Bundh a 24 hrs industrial Strike called by CITU and INTUC had no effect in the tea gardens of Dooars, almost all the tea gardens were open even the NUPW a  unit of INTUC defied the bundh. 
China trip for school lessons
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Sept. 7: From Darjeeling and getting ready to scale great heights. Only this time, it is not Mount Everest, but the Chinese wall.
Nearly 40 students of St Joseph’s School will be hopping around the quaint Shaanxi province in China during pujas, rubbing shoulders with the life-size terracotta soldiers standing there since before Christ instead of visiting pandals modelled on them.
The authorities of the school, also known as North Point School, the visit will be part of an educational trip. The holidays begin from October 9.
“Forty boys from Class VI to XII would be visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Xian as part of an educational tour. During the last winter vacation, 45 boys had gone to Egypt for a similar tour,” said Father Kinley Tshering, rector, North Point.
“They will visit the Great Wall of China. We will also take them to Xian to see the museum of Qin’s Armies, the terracotta warriors and horses,” he added.
The marvel or the funerary art was discovered in 1974 by a group of peasants, while digging up a well in the area. Archaeologists have confirmed that the terracotta warriors dated back to the era of the First Qin emperor, Shi Huan, who ruled the region between 221 and 206 BC.
The figures are almost 6 feet high and there are hundreds of warriors along with chariots and horses lined up in a war formation in the museum.
The group will leave for Calcutta on October 9.
They will first fly to Kunming in China. From there the boys will be taken to Beijing where they will see the Bird’s Nest — the stadium that had hosted Olympic Games in 2008. They will also visit Tiananmen Square.
The students will spend a day in Xian and from there they will head back to Beijing.
The boys will also be taken to Shanghai before returning to India on October 17.
During the Egypt trip the North Pointers had visited Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan. They had also cruised on the Nile.
“I will be accompanying the boys along with four other teachers. Each student is paying Rs 57,000 for the trip,” said Father Kinley.
During the last trip an Egyptologist had guided the students right till Calcutta, he added.
Swaroop Pradhan, a Class XI student from Darjeeling, said: “I recently got my passport made. I could not visit Egypt last year, but am happy that I am going to China this time.”
His friend Gaurav Raisaily from Gangtok is also ready to embark on his first tour abroad. “When I told my parents about this wonderful opportunity they immediately gave their nod,” he said.
Dajeeling Girl raped  
TNN, Gurgaon/New Delhi: The Gurgaon police has registered a rape case against the driver of Haryana home ministers niece.A maidservant working with the ministers niece,has alleged rape by the driver.The victim also claimed she was thrown out of job at the instance of Priyanka,her employer,when she tried to complain about the incident.
DCP (east Gurgaon) Vikas Arora confirmed that a case of rape has been registered against the driver,Sunil,who is absconding.The incident came to light after the south district of Delhi Police arrested three persons employed as bouncers in Gurgaon for allegedly threatening the 17-year-old maidservant on Sunday,after she complained she was feeling unwell,nine days after the alleged rape.The threat was made allegedly at the instance of the driver.The maidservant,who is from Darjeeling,had allegedly told Delhi Police that she had been raped by Sunil on the night of August 27.
The police has recovered a Hyundai Tucson with a sticker of the home ministry pasted on it from the three accused,Amarjeet,Sanju and Gautam.However,the Delhi cops did not record a zero FIR on the basis of the statement of the victim,claiming that the incident had taken place in Gurgaon.
In a statement from Chandigarh,the home minister Kanda told media that he had nothing to do with the car. I had given the car to my niece about five years back.I dont even know why my name is being dragged into the incident, he told local journalists.
Sources said the victim had approached ministers niece two days after the incident at her Janapratinidhi Apartments in Sector 28 in Gurgaon.
TOI, Gurgaon/New Delhi: The Gurgaon police has registered a rape case against the driver of Haryana home ministers niece.A maidservant working with the ministers niece,has alleged rape by the driver.The victim also claimed she was thrown out of job at the instance of Priyanka,her employer,when she tried to complain about the incident.
DCP (east Gurgaon) Vikas Arora confirmed that a case of rape has been registered against the driver,Sunil,who is absconding.The incident came to light after the south district of Delhi Police arrested three persons employed as bouncers in Gurgaon for allegedly threatening the 17-year-old maidservant on Sunday,after she complained she was feeling unwell,nine days after the alleged rape.The threat was made allegedly at the instance of the driver.The maidservant,who is from Darjeeling,had allegedly told Delhi Police that she had been raped by Sunil on the night of August 27.
The police has recovered a Hyundai Tucson with a sticker of the home ministry pasted on it from the three accused,Amarjeet,Sanju and Gautam.However,the Delhi cops did not record a zero FIR on the basis of the statement of the victim,claiming that the incident had taken place in Gurgaon.
In a statement from Chandigarh,the home minister Kanda told media that he had nothing to do with the car. I had given the car to my niece about five years back.I dont even know why my name is being dragged into the incident, he told local journalists.
Sources said the victim had approached ministers niece two days after the incident at her Janapratinidhi Apartments in Sector 28 in Gurgaon.
Asian Age, Gurgaon: Three persons have been arrested in Munirka here over the weekend for allegedly threatening a teenage rape victim. The criminal assault had allegedly taken place in a flat occupied by the relatives of a senior Haryana minister at Gurgaon last month, sources said.
The arrests were made on Sunday afternoon when the prime accused, Sunil, reached the house where the victim has been staying with her friend with his three friends and allegedly molested her and threatened her not to tell anybody about the assault. “A call was made to the Police Control Room and a police team reached the spot. Three persons were arrested,” said a senior Delhi police officer.
Those arrested were identified as Gautam, Sandeep and Amarjeet. Sunil managed to escape.
The police claim to have seized the car in which the four had come to threaten the victim. The car bears a Haryana registration number and efforts are on to ascertain its ownership. A case has been arrested under Sections 354 (assault with intent to outrage the modesty of a woman) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code at the Vasant Vihar police station.
According to the sources, the victim had been working as a maid at a flat occupied by the relatives of the minister in Gurgaon.
While the minister’s relatives were away in August, their driver Sunil brought the girl, who had gone to stay with her friend in Delhi, to the flat on some pretext and allegedly assaulted her.
The girl did not report the matter then.
For their part, Gurgaon police commissioner S.S. Deshwal said: “The girl has been produced before a judicial magistrate and her statement is being recorded. We will take further necessary action after the statement is recorded. No case has been registered as yet in this regard. The medical examination of the victim has already been conducted by the Delhi police.”
The victim is a native of West Bengal.

Crash echoes strike cause- One dies & 11 injured as bus falls into ditch
TT, Alipurduar, Sept. 7: Bad condition of roads in north Bengal took its toll on passengers’ safety today when a Guwahati-bound bus fell into a ditch, killing one person and injuring 11 others. The accident occurred when the driver tried to avoid a deep pothole on NH31C at Basti Bazar near Jaigaon around 2.30am.
Private bus owners of Siliguri, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar have been on an indefinite strike from August 31 to protest the bad condition of the roads in north Bengal. The bus owners did not withdraw the strike even after state public works minister Kshiti Goswami had assured them during an emergency meeting in Jalpaiguri on September 2 that the roads would be repaired within a fortnight.
Police said the bus had left Siliguri at 8.30pm and it was carrying 34 passengers bound for Meghalaya.
“Most of the passengers were from Balia in Uttar Pradesh. There were a lot of goods on the roof of the bus.The bus driver has been arrested,” said David Lepcha, the subdivisional police officer of Alipurduar.
While Goroknath Gupta, 45, died on the spot, 11 others were taken to the air force hospital in Hashimara by the local people. Later, the injured were shifted to the subdivisional hospital in Alipurduar.
According to the local people, there were three deep potholes filled with rainwater on the highway near the air force station in Hashimara. “The driver could not see the holes in the darkness and he lost control of the bus. The vehicle toppled on the left and fell into the water-filled ditch,” said Mithun Saha, a local trader who was among the rescuers.
The accident spot is 140km from Siliguri.
Bewas Prasad, who suffered injuries on his hand, said most of the passengers had been sleeping when the accident had occurred. “We were dozing off during the ride. We were woken up by a jerk and the bus toppled. Everyone was screaming and shouting; luckily, locals came to our rescue and pulled us out of the bus. The accident took place because of the appaling condition of the road,” he said.
The potholed roads have made people like Ratan Roy keep his two buses — plying between Alipurduar and Siliguri — parked at home. “The condition of the roads is so bad that I have not been operating my two buses for the past six weeks,” said Roy, a resident of Alipurduar.
Roy added that he was having to pay more money for repairs than the monthly loan repayments.
“I was spending something like Rs 70,000 a month for repairs. So, I decided not to ply the buses till the road conditions improved rather than risk them turning into wrecks and becoming non-roadworthy,” he said.
The North Bengal Passenger Transport Owners’ Co-ordination Committee met at Mainaguri yesterday and decided to continue with the strike.
Chandi Sarkar, a bus owner in Jalpaiguri, said another meeting would be held in Cooch Behar on September 11 to deliberate on the strike. About 1,500 buses and mini-buses are off the roads because of the strike.
SMU non-teaching staff hopeful for salary revision
Prakha, GANGTOK, September 7: The non-teaching staff of Sikkim Manipal University have pinned their hopes on an upcoming university governing council meeting for a positive outcome to their long pending salary hike demand.
Locals comprise a major chunk of the 700 odd non-teaching workforce in two educational institutes of SMU-Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences and Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology.
The aggrieved workers told Media that they have been regularly demanding the SMU authorities for an increase in their salaries for the past couple of years. So far, all our efforts have been stonewalled by the SMU authorities, they said.Our salaries have not been enhanced even as the cost of living has increased considerably and we can barely survive in the present salaries, said the workers. The recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission have been done in other institutions but it is yet to be implemented in SMU, they said.
Only a small pay revision is on process, the non-teaching staff members said adding that salaries of teaching staff have been already revised in October 2009.
The dissent among the non-teaching staff has almost reached to a confrontation stage where the workers are determined to go on a mass protest if their demand is not heeded by the SMU. However, this extreme step has been put on a hold till the October 4 meeting of the SMU governing council.
We are hopeful that our demand will be placed and resolved during the meeting, said the workers.
In a recent circular issued by SMU, the head of departments had been directed to inform the non-teaching staff members that their salary revision is already under consideration by the university‘Since the revision of salary involves huge financial implications, the same is required to be approved by the Governing Council’, said the SMU in response to a letter of grievances on salary revision submitted by non-teaching staff on September 3.
50% seat reservation for women

Prakha, Gangtok: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling announced that there will be 50% reservations for women in next panchayats elections in order to give them equal opportunity and hoped that they will use this opportunity to empower themselves and will also shoulder equal responsibility and work towards ushering Sikkim into a new horizon.
Sikkim has come a long way to embrace democratic principle and rule of law to march ahead as one of the most happening state in the nation he added.

Remote but ready to grow- Sikkim travel agents adopt eight pockets for tourism

TT, Gangtok, Sept. 7: New tourist destinations are on the rise in Sikkim with the travel agents’ association adopting eight areas for their remoteness and natural endowment.
The memorandums of understanding for a two-year period were handed over to the respective tourism development committees from the eight unexplored pockets by the Travel Agents’ Association of Sikkim (TAAS) yesterday.
“The committees will analyse the MoU and a formal agreement will be reached within a week,” TAAS president Lukendra Rasaily had said at Janta Bhavan here yesterday.
While Dzongu in North Sikkim has been selected for promotion of tourism based on organic farming and culture of the indigenous Lepcha community, Lachen has been chosen for the trek to Green Lake at 12,000ft.
In South Sikkim, the TAAS has shown an interest in Sumbuk and Kitam villages for wellness, Borong for adventure sports and Yangyang village for natural and cultural tours. Submuk and Kitam are located along the Rangit river and near the Kitam Bird Sanctuary. Melli Aching in West Sikkim, which is the gateway to the newly notified Pangmelung Singalila trekking trail, has been adopted for adventure tourism.
The Rhenock-Rongli-Aritar-Lingtam axis in East Sikkim has also been taken up by the TAAS for promotion of cultural and nature-based tourism. This axis covers the route from Rongli to Nathu-la and is near the Fhabonglo Wildlife Sanctuary.
All these areas are relatively unexplored from the tourism point of view and were adopted after two years of study.
“There has been a lot of talk about village tourism over the years. We discussed with the state government and interacted with the villagers for two years before we concluded that these eight areas should be taken up for quality tourism promotion by TAAS with support from the state government,” said the TAAS president.
The TAAS will promote and market the eight destinations for two years. During the period, the apex body of tour operators will train the villagers on how to protect their ethnicity, culture, environment and the people, including tourists. “Our role will be to bring tourists, facilitate and co-ordinate with government and other support agencies and train the local people (on how to cater to tourists),” said Rasaily. At the end of two years, if the TAAS feels there is more to be done, then the timeframe will be extended.
The creation of new destinations will also ensure that tourists are not concentrated in one area during the peak season, he said.
The development of homestays and providing good service to visitors will be the responsibility of the respective tourism committees while the state government will create the required infrastructure.
State tourism secretary S.B.S. Bhaduaria said the government was committed to village tourism. “We have already prepared a detailed project report for village tourism promotion and within a year, work will begin at the ground-level for construction of approach roads and tourism related infrastructure,” he said.
TMC protest in Darjeeling

Protest at Darjeeling court premises by Trinamul Congress on Monday

Protest of Trinamul Congress on Monday
Darjeeling Times, Darjeeling September 6: Supporters of Trinamul Congress from Naxalbari block held a silent protest rally in front of Darjeeling district court on Monday, with their various local problems and complains. The group was headed by Gautam Kritaniya, president of Trinamul Congress, Naxalbari block. List of 18 demands along with memorandum has been submitted to Mr. T W Bhutia, Additional District Magistrate. The administration has assured to reach them by next 15 days. (Source:

2 killed
TT, Alipurduar, Sept.7: Two persons were killed in separate incidents in a garden near Kalchini last evening.
Johon Kheria, 55, had gone to his friend’s house in Gangutia Tea Estate when his son Poulush came to him and asked for Rs 10 to buy country liquor. When Johon refused, Poulush started beating him up with a stick and dragged him out of the hut. Johon died after half an hour. Poulush tried to escape but the villagers caught him and tied him up to a post. Later they handed him over to police. In another incident, Gunun Naik, 35, was killed when his friend Befy Naik beat him up with sticks after an altercation. Later, Befy surrendered to the Kalchini police.
Body found
TT, Siliguri: Phansidewa police recovered the body of Pratap Sharma, 45, from Mahananda Canal on Tuesday. Police said Sharma, a resident of the New Jalpaiguri area, had been missing since Friday. No external injury marks were found on the body.
Wife murder
TT, Jaigaon: Baby Misra, a 26-year-old housewife, was killed when her husband hit her with a shovel on Tuesday morning. D. Lepcha, the subdivisional police officer of Alipurduar, said Hari Misra, a resident of closed Ramjhora Tea Estate near Birpara, was drunk when he hit Baby. She was taken to the Birpara State General Hospital from where she was referred to Jalpaiguri district hospital. She succumbed to injuries on way to Jalpaiguri.
NBU event
TT, Siliguri: The department of lifelong learning and extension of the North Bengal University will organise a programme on Literacy and Women Empowerment on International Literacy Day on Wednesday. Vice-chancellor Arunabha Basumajumdar will inaugurate the event that will be held at the humanities building of the varsity.
TT, Siliguri: A jewellery shop on Hill Cart Road was damaged in a fire on Tuesday evening. Two engines from the Siliguri fire station doused the flames.
All India strike
TOI, NEW DELHI: Functioning of government establishments was today affected by the countrywide general strike called by eight central trade unions including Congress-affiliated INTUC against price rise, alleged violation of labour laws and disinvestment in PSUs.

Workers from sectors including coal, power, telecom, banks, insurance, defence, port and dock, road transport, petroleum and construction took part in the strike across the country under the banner of INTUC, AITUC, CITU, HMS, AIUTUC/ TUCCAICCTU UTUC. Banking operations were partially affected as employees, mainly belonging to pub lic sector, cooperative and regional rural banks, joined the strike opposing in the banking sector and grant of licences to private banks. Major private airliners cancelled over 170 flights from various cities to West Bengal and Kerala in the wake of the strike but national carrier said its operations were not hampered due to the stir.

Air operations to and from Kolkata were crippled as private airliners like Indigo cancelled nearly 177 flights mainly to the two Left-ruled states, where normal life was badly hit by the strike which took the shape of a bandh. "It was unprecedented and inconceivable strike all over the country. It is the unity (of the trade unions) that inspired workers to join the stir and its impact was massive," AITUC general secretary and CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta said.

                                              He claimed that life came to "standstill" at many places. "After many years, the strike hit Maharashtra. Pune was totally closed, according to our information," he added. INTUC president and Congress MP G Sanjeeva Reddy told that he will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party presidentSonia Gandhi in the next two days and discuss the issues and demands of the workers. 

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