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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Plea to start Madan murder trial rejected... Kalimpong hockey player rocks .. Darjeeling DM transferred ... Naina singh Yonzone receives academy award

Madan Tamang
Court turns down application as CID fails to attach properties of 23 Morcha absconders 
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Oct. 12: The court of the chief judicial magistrate in Darjeeling has rejected an application moved by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to start the process for the trial of seven persons arrested in connection with the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang.
Judge S.P. Rajak turned down the plea yesterday on the ground that the CID had failed to attach the properties of 23 accused people who were yet to be arrested.
“The CID yesterday made an application before the court to start the process for trial of those who have already been arrested. But the application has been rejected,” said defence lawyer Dinesh Chandra Rai.
Madan Tamang was hacked to death on May21, allegedly by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activists, minutes before he was to address a public meeting at Upper Clubside Motor Stand in Darjeeling.
“Chief judicial magistrate S.P. Rajak was of the opinion that since the police had not submitted the execution report on the Warrant of Proclamation and Attachment (WPA), the CID’s application could not be accepted,” said a court source.
The CID had filed a charge-sheet in the CJM’s court on August 30 naming 30 Morcha members for their alleged role in the murder of Madan Tamang. Of the 30, only seven accused are currently remanded in judicial custody. Nickole Tamang, a central committee member of the Morcha and the 8th person to be arrested in the case, had allegedly escaped from CID custody at Pintail Village near Siliguri on August 22.
The accused, including two women, have been booked under Sections 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. 
From September 4 to 8, the chief judicial magistrate had issued WPAs against the 23 accused persons who had not yet been arrested. Darjeeling police are expected to attach the properties of the 23 absconders and submit an execution report to the court.
Since the execution report has not yet been submitted, the court refused to pass a favourable order on the CID’s application.
D.P. Singh, the Darjeeling superintendent of police, said the attachment process had started and it would be completed in 15 days.
According to lawyers, once the execution report is submitted by the police, the chief judicial magistrate will split the case between the arrested people and the absconders. Then, the case will be committed to the court of the session’s judge for the trial of the seven arrested persons.
The trial will involve the examining of 61 witnesses, including Madan Tamang’s wife Bharati and son Sanjog.
While filing a chargesheet on August 30, the CID had told the court that an additional charge-sheet could be filed. This essentially meant that more names could figure in the murder case. However, till date, the CID has not yet filed an additional charge-sheet.
Baton on tea workers
TT, Jaigaon, Oct. 12: Police tonight resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas burst to disperse workers of Dalsinghpara Tea Estate who were blocking the Saarc Road near here to demand Puja bonus.
The police used force to chase away the labourers when some cars and an Assam State Transport Corporation bus returning from Jaigaon were stoned around 8pm.
The law enforcers said it was difficult to say if the vehicles had been attacked by the workers or local people who had gathered at the spot in a drunken state.
The agitators numbering more than 500 disrupted traffic on the Hashimara-Jaigaon road two times today to protest the management’s failure to disburse the Puja bonus. Traffic was halted for more than eight hours because of the agitation in front of Torsa-Dalsinghpara Club, 7km from here.
The labourers began blocking the road leading to Bhutan at 8am. They withdrew the agitation at noon after the Jalpaiguri district administration told them that the management would deposit the bonus in bank by afternoon.
Garden manager Subhasis Kar said: “We need Rs 6.5 lakh to pay the bonus at the rate of 19 per cent to our 2,300 workers. But till now, we have received only Rs 4.1 lakh. I cannot say when the entire amount will be credited to the account so that we can distribute the bonus to the workers and the staff.”
A huge police force, including woman constables, armed with lathis and tear gas, were present at the spot during the agitation. Subdivisional police officer of Alipurduar David Lepcha, block development officer of Kalchini R.R. Sundas and other officials also reached the spot.
A meeting was held at the club between the officials and representatives of different trade unions to sort out the issue. The workers decided to lift the blockade around 12.30pm when the BDO assured the union leaders that the management of the Octavious Tea and Industries Ltd that owns the Dalsinghpara garden would send the pending amount by today.
However, as the funds did not arrive, the workers resumed the road block at 4.30pm.
Rita Lohar, one of the agitating workers, had said earlier in the day that all of them were waiting for the bonus. “The Puja has already arrived and the company has distributed bonus to the workers of three other gardens owned by it. We are not going to withdraw the blockade and if need be, we will face bullets.”
At 8.40pm, traffic from both sides resumed amid a heavy police presence.
NBU Seminar
TT, Siliguri: The department of lifelong learning and extension (DLLE) of North Bengal University organised a seminar on “extension programmes of the university” on Monday. The seminar that was attended by 155 participants — mainly NGO representatives — from different north Bengal districts focused on the role of the varsity in disseminating information to people of the region. Certificates were also distributed to participants who completed different courses offered by the DLLE. 
Death Protest

TT, Jaigaon: Around 200 members of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad on Tuesday demonstrated at the Kalchini police station demanding the arrest of the murderers of their leader Kuldip Khef. The 30-year-old Khef was killed 2km from his house at Nimti Chowpatty on October 5. The hour-long demonstration was withdrawn at 12pm after police assured the speedy arrest of the culprits.
2 injured in Jumbo attack
TH, KOLKATA: Two persons were seriously injured when their dwellings were attacked by a herd of elephants at a tea garden in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district in the early hours of Tuesday.
“Two men were injured when some elephants went on a rampage near their huts. The herd of about 40 elephants had entered the tea plantation at Bedguri during the night and couldn't return to the nearby forest area,” Sumita Ghatak, Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife II) told The Hindu over telephone.
The herd was stranded in the tea garden the whole day until dusk fell and they started to move into the forest areas, she added.
“We have asked the managers of the tea gardens to introduce certain measures that would limit the number of these incidents, but many tea gardens have not adhered to the recommendations,” Ms. Ghatak said.
The people living on the plantations have been asked to build their hutments on stilts to reduce chances of people being trampled in case of a wandering elephant herd.
2 held for bid to buy baby boy
TT, Siliguri, Oct. 12: Two persons were arrested while allegedly trying to buy a 10-month-old boy from a woman at Mallaguri here. The widowed mother was detained but was later released.
Krishnaprasad Sharma of Baghajatin Colony here and Pintu Chanda of Cooch Behar were caught while negotiating with Sumitra Sharma to buy one of her children. “We were informed and arrested the two,” an officer of Pradhannagar police station said.
Police suspect that the two had offered the woman around Rs 15,000 to buy her son.
Sumitra has three children — five-year-old daughter Khushi, two-year-old son Sanjay and 10-month-old Chandan. The mother denied the allegation of selling her child.
“The death of my husband who was a wall painter about a month back has put my three children and myself into hardship. When they (the two) offered me Rs 15,000 and wanted to get my son treated, the local people called the police,” she said. “But I never did want to sell my child.”
Siliguri additional superintendent of police Gaurav Sharma said: “We are now verifying the identity of the two arrested persons and their intention. We will also find out whether the two are part of any child trafficking gang.” 
Darjeeling DM transferred 
KalimNews: Darjeeling DM Surendra Gupta is being replaced by P M K Gandhi. Gupta is transferred to South 24-Parganas. 
N.C.Khaling inn ABGL
KalimNews: Veteran ABGL leader NC Khaling joined ABGL after a long time. He was the Vice President of ABGL and had absented himself due to obvious reasons.
जनतालाई दिने उपहार पाएन मोर्चाले
Central team on hospital site recce
TT, Raiganj, Oct. 12: A central team today visited the site of the proposed AIIMS-like institution here and collected the relevant information about the plot of land from the North Dinajpur district magistrate.
This is the first visit by a central team after Delhi announced setting up the AIIMS-like institution in Raiganj last year to bolster the healthcare service in north Bengal. The district authorities had identified 125 acres for the project.
The three-member team comprising Anukul Chakraborty, a professor from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, L.P. Srivastav, an engineer, and Chandrasekhar, an architect from the Union health and family welfare ministry, visited the site at Sitgram, 12km from Raiganj town, along National Highway 34. They spent nearly half an hour at the spot.
The officials landed at Bagdogra around 9.30am and came straight to the circuit house at Karanjora.
Lunch over, they had an hour-long discussion with district magistrate Sunil Dandapat and other senior officials including chief medical officer of health Partha Sarathi Bhattacharya.
The sabhadhipati of the North Dinajpur zilla parishad and local Congress leader Moqtar Ali Sardar and district party president Mohit Sengupta were also present at the meeting.
Around 3.45pm, the central team visited the site at Sitgram. DM Dandapat said the central team wanted to know if the district administration would be able to acquire the 125 acres already identified.
“We have told them that it will not be a difficult task as we have already taken the local panchayats into confidence,” the district magistrate said. The team had been given the copy of the soil test result of the land, he said.
District secretary of the CPM Bireswar Lahiri was, however, not amused at the arrival of the central team.
“We had too many central teams arriving here with too many projects in the past few years. But nothing transpired,” Lahiri said.
The CPM leader claimed that they had all along been demanding an AIIMS-like institution at Raiganj. “The visit of the central team was nothing but the Congress’s gimmick before the Assembly elections. Otherwise, how could a man like Mohit Sengupta attend a meeting which was purely administrative in nature,” Lahiri said.
Sengupta, however, said he had represented Congress MP from Raiganj Deepa Das Munshi at the meeting today. Das Munshi could not be present since she was not in town.
India's record gold haul
Indian women wins 4x400m relay
India's Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji, Manjeet Kaur and Mandeep Kaur celebrate their gold medal in the women's 4x400m relay final of the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. (AFP Photo
TNN, NEW DELHI: On a day of goosebump-raising performances by the men's hockey team and the women relay runners,India on Tuesday registered its best gold medal haul in the Commonwealth Games. With 32 golds in its kitty, and a few more likely on Wednesday, many former greats are calling Delhi 2010 the beginning of India's rise in marquee sports like athletics.
That India would overhaul its gold haul of 30 at Manchester 2002 was predicted by TOI on October 9, but the quality of the performances has come as a pleasant surprise. At the Dhyan Chand Stadium, India produced rousing hockey to wipe off a two-goal deficit and beat world no. 4 England, winning 5-4 in penalties after the game was locked 3-3 in extra time. It's the first time it'll win a hockey medal in CWG since the sport was introduced in 1998. Top seed Saina Nehwal too entered the badminton women's singles final.
India's medal winners on Tuesday
Gold (2)
Silver (2)
Bronze (4)
Heena Sidhu, Anu Raj Singh (women's 10 m air pistol pairs)
Samresh Jung, Chandrashekhar Kumar Choudhary (Pairs 25m Standard Pistol Men)
Rahamatulla Molla, Krishnakumar Satish Rane, Shameer Mon Naseema Manzile, Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (4X100 Men's Relay)
Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Chidananda Akkunji, Mandeep Kaur (Women's 4x400 Relay)
Tejaswani Sawant (Singles 50m Rifle Prone)
Geetha Satti, Srabani Nanda, Priya PK, Jyothi Hiriyur Manjunath (4X100 Women's Relay)

Kashinath Naik (Men's Javelin Throw)

Renjith Maheswary (Men's Triple Jump)

India's total so far: 32 (G) – 25 (S) – 32 (B) = 89

The more significant firsts came in athletics. On Tuesday, Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur won the 4x400m relay in 3:27.77, ahead of Nigeria and England. It was India's first track gold since Milkha Singh's 400m run at Cardiff 1958 (Krishna Poonia's discus triumph was a field victory). In all, India bagged 12 medals in athletics, two more than all previous CWG wins.
Earlier, Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh won the 10m air pistol pairs event to take India's past its previous record gold mark of 30.  
WORLD IN HIS POCKET- The Indian finance minister is recognized as one of the world’s best
K.P. Nayar, TT, 13 October:
When word filtered through Washington last week that Pranab Mukherjee has been chosen as the “Finance Minister of the Year for Asia 2010”, the reaction in the lobbies of the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund was curious. At a gathering which included finance ministry officials from Morocco and Estonia, everyone was going round congratulating anyone who looked Indian, including this columnist, on the assumption that all those who looked Indian at that venue must be aides to Mukherjee or members of the Indian delegation to the World Bank-IMF meetings.
The reaction was curious because Morocco’s finance minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, and Estonia’s finance minister, Jurgen Ligi, had also been selected as “Finance Ministers of the Year” respectively for emerging Europe and for the Middle East. However, no one seemed to take any notice of these choices, and aides to Ligi and Mezouar were understandably peeved that no one wanted to congratulate them or shake their hands. The only other award that appeared to generate some excitement was the one to a Muslim woman — Malaysia’s Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who was chosen “Central Bank Governor of the Year for Asia 2010.”
Journalists often cannot resist a mischievous twist to such proceedings; so this columnist nonchalantly told some of those who offered congratulations over the honour bestowed on Mukherjee that he had already been recognized as one of the five best finance ministers in the world the last time he held the same job in the Indian government. That was 26 years ago, when Estonia and several other countries represented in this gathering did not exist as independent states and many of their delegates were too young to know why Mukherjee got this award more than a quarter of a century ago. Or that while India is the flavour now at global gatherings, it was, for instance, not an Estonia or an Ivory Coast even in the 1980s.
Quickly, some Indian officials filled the information deficit by telling those who did not know that in 1984, the honour went to Mukherjee because, during his first innings as finance minister, India had turned down the last tranche of an IMF loan after the country put its finances in order under his stewardship.
India’s decision to approach the IMF in 1981 was an economic decision, forced upon the government by the mismanagement of the economy by Morarji Desai’s government and by a global oil crisis flowing from the Iran-Iraq war. For Indira Gandhi, it was a humiliating choice because IMF conditionalities for the loan ran counter to everything she preached and practised. R. Venkataraman, who later became president, was finance minister when India approached the IMF for a loan.
But in January 1982, Indira Gandhi shifted Mukherjee from his dual charge of commerce and steel and mines ministries and brought him in as finance minister. Mukherjee recognized that Congress politics at that time demanded that India should end its dependence on the IMF at the first opportunity, but he was equally aware that this would not be possible unless the country raised public-sector efficiency, initiated fiscal reforms, howsoever limited, and began a process of ending the licence raj. Instant history may not acknowledge this, but if there is a cut-off point to which India’s economic reforms can be traced, it was Mukherjee’s two-year tenure as finance minister. His recognition in 1984 as one of the five best finance ministers in the world was in acknowledgement of this landmark effort.
Mukherjee wove politics and economics into a grand mural to Indira Gandhi’s liking then, bailing her out from the humiliation of having to follow the IMF’s diktats —which were to come into force only in November 1984 — and delivering a vastly improved economy. Last week, in Washington, the finance minister once again used politics to protect India’s economic interests at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings.
This year’s Bank-Fund meetings had more significance for India than any such meetings in recent years. Until last week, for instance, India had only the remainder of this year to convince deputies of the International Development Association that the country should continue to receive money from the World Bank’s window, which provides interest-free credits and grants to the world’s poorest countries. In the 1970s and 1980s, critical years in their economic development, India and China received some 63 per cent of IDA’s total assistance worldwide.
Their share came down in later years; yet, in the last decade beginning in 2000, India received $12.6 billion, an average of $1.2 billion a year. This is not a small amount to be scoffed at by a country which has anything between 500 to 600 million poor people, especially since 83 per cent of IDA assistance has gone for rural development projects, education as well as health and nutrition. In the last year or two, there have been demands from donors — especially the United Kingdom, the IDA’s largest donor — that India should no longer be given soft loans because it is an emerging economy, destined to be one of the most powerful economies in the world.
By the time the Bank-Fund annual meetings were over, Mukherjee, in his role as second vice-chair of the “Group of Twenty Four”, a ginger group of developing countries on monetary and development finance, had got the group to commit that “developed countries need to meet their responsibility as the principal donors in order to ensure a successful IDA-16 replenishment.”
Subsequently, a ‘development committee’, which advises the boards of governors of the World Bank and IMF on issues related to economic development, issued a communiqué, which was silent on demands by the UK and some other developed countries that India, China and others should have to pay for their growth notwithstanding the massive development needs of millions of their poor people.
The finance minister has prepared the ground for India to continue to have an inflow of about $1.2 billion in easy money for financing development, but the country still has to make the case before the IDA, in a few months from now, that money from tax-payers around the world, which is replenishing the IDA, is being put to good use and not being squandered.
Mukherjee successfully disarmed anyone in Washington who complained to him that India was no more enthusiastic or proactive about its economic reforms. Once again, using political arguments to score economic points, the finance minister silenced those in Washington who had reservations about India, some three weeks before the visit of the president of the United States of America, by insisting that reform “legislation cannot be done only on the basis of intention. You require the number — majority on the floor of the House. The Congress party does not have a clear majority on the floor of the House to get (reform) legislation started. We do not have 272.”
Of all the finance ministers from all over the world who were in Washington last week, Mukherjee was the only one for whom the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, found time. The meeting was, once again, a reminder of how far India had come in its dealings with the US. Mukherjee can recall the time in the 1990s, when he was external affairs minister for the first time, and India’s dealings were primarily with none higher than the assistant secretary of state for South Asia.
Equally, it was not surprising that the two awards which got most attention were both from Asia — for India’s finance minister and Malaysia’s Central Bank governor — thereby underlining the current interest worldwide in the region. This year’s award was instituted by Emerging Markets, the daily newspaper of record for the Bank-Fund meetings through nominations from public and private sector economists, analysts, bankers, investors and other experts. Mukherjee’s award 26 years ago was given by Euromoney magazine through a similar process.
Mid air dilemma- NOW AGAIN
jagmohan chopra, SNS
“Wake up, I’m sinking”, said my wife Sudha. Fast asleep, I couldn’t hear what she had said. “Wake up, I am sinking”, said Sudha again, this time nudging my shoulder with hers.
“What do you mean by saying you are sinking?” said I waking up from my slumber.
“ I am feeling lifeless. It seems I am going to faint. It could be a heart attack.”
“Heart attack? Are you joking? My God!” said I.
I looked at my watch. It was four in the morning and everyone in the aircraft was fast asleep. The inside of the aircraft was dark with only the night lights on. All I could hear was the drone of the aircraft and snores of some of its passengers. The computer screen in front of me told me we were approximately mid-way between Delhi and Amsterdam, somewhere to the north of Black Sea at a height of 35,000 feet. What should I do, I thought to myself. I had never faced a situation like this before in my life. I had read about planes being diverted in emergencies, but didn’t know what to do. Somehow, I held myself together and pressed the button for the hostess.
“Sir, can I help you?” said the hostess within seconds. “I am feeling giddy. I feel like throwing. Take me to the wash room”, said Sudha. With the hostess’s help, I took Sudha to the wash room. After throwing, Sudha said she felt extremely weak and needed to lie down. Since the flight was full, the only place the stewardess could offer was the floor next to the emergency exit at the rear of the aircraft with a word of caution – it would be extremely cold there. With five blankets under her and five above, I could see Sudha squirm. Even the hot water bottle the hostess gave her was not of much help.
As I sat on the floor besides Sudha, praying for her, the fortnight leading to our boarding the flight to Amsterdam flashed through my mind. We had been planning to visit Amsterdam for a long time. We had heard a lot about this fascinating city from friends and relatives - its museums, canals, flower market, street life and transport system and thought September would be a good time to be there. Eleventh of September 2009, the day prior to our flight, had been an extremely busy day, sapping us of all our energy, what with attending to office, getting the visa, getting travel insurance, getting foreign exchange, packing our clothes, packing our medicines, loading the camera, reporting at the airport three hours before the flight and so on.
While I kept an eye on Sudha’s pulse, checking it intermittently, all kinds of crazy thoughts swept through my mind. What if her condition worsens? Should I speak to the commander and ask him to land the aircraft at the nearest airport? What if he says he can’t? Should I mobilise support from fellow passengers and force him to do so? What do I do after the plane lands? Which doctor or hospital do I take her to? And then I heard a voice behind me.
“I am Dr Adhip Mitra. Can I help you?” Apparently, he had noticed the flurry of activity inside the aircraft and had come to help. After examining Sudha he said: “It seems to be a case of cervical spondilitis worsened with stress. It happens when you keep your neck or head in the same position for a long time. Give her this tablet and she will be fine.” The pill had a magical effect. What if Dr.Mitra was not there on the flight? What if he didn’t have the required medicine with him? The mere thought of it sends a chill up my spine whenever I think of that night.
My advice to those travelling abroad: never leave the travel arrangements for the last day and always carry an anti-nausea pill with you while travelling by air.

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