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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Territory talk for plains cadres - Morcha reveals panel plan ... Didi shocker: Pranab could be Bengal CM

Vivek Chhetri & Rajeev Ravidas, TT, Nov. 4: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, in an effort to keep its flock together, today claimed that it had received “positive indication” from the Centre that a joint committee would be formed to identify areas in the plains which could be brought under the interim authority for the Darjeeling hills.
The committee will submit its report within six months of the new body being put in place. The party leadership also said the issue of “territorial jurisdiction” of the interim authority would find a mention in the memorandum of understanding on the interim set-up.
The Morcha is under tremendous pressure from its supporters in the Terai and the Dooars not to accept an interim set-up without the Gorkha-dominated areas of the plains.
Party spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri said the Morcha was not giving up on territory but would want it to be settled during the negotiations for the “final solution”, which is a separate state comprising the hills and the Dooars and the Terai.
“This is only an interim arrangement for two years. However, territory will find a mention in the memorandum of understanding for the interim administration. A joint (verification) committee will study the (Gorkha-dominated) areas in the Dooars and Terai and submit its report by May 2011. And before the final solution (read a separate state) is arrived at, the issue would be resolved,” said Chhetri.
Morcha president Gurung had yesterday said the next round of political-level talks would take place either in the last week of November or early December. The Morcha had earlier said it would not accept the interim set-up if the territory issue was not resolved. The party’s revelation today that the report would be submitted within six months of signing the deal looks like an attempt to ensure there is no backlash from the Gorkhas in the plains.
“They have dangled a six-month carrot and wanted to pacify their supporters by maintaining that the territory has been mentioned in the pact and that the Dooars and the Terai have not been left out like in the DGHC Accord signed by Subash Ghisingh,” said an observer.
Even though the six-month deadline that the Morcha has been talking about might be able to avert immediate discontentment among the party rank and file, observers believe it would be difficult for the committee to complete work within the timeframe.
“The Assembly elections are scheduled around April-May and when the entire machinery is in an election mode, it would be difficult to complete the survey and the report on time,” said an observer.
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said other unresolved issues that would be hammered out at the next round of political-level talks included composition of the body that would run the interim administration and whether its members would be elected or not. The legislative powers of the interim administration and the management of tea gardens will also be discussed.
“We had a fruitful discussion with Union home minister P. Chidambaram. The Centre is keen on addressing the problem of the Gorkhas,” he said in Kalimpong after a party central committee meeting that was also attended by Gurung.
Giri said the sole purpose of holding the meeting was to brief the central committee members on the recent talks in Delhi.
Although Gurung chose not to interact with the media, his body language suggested he was in a good frame of mind. In fact, he distributed sweets and money as Diwali gifts to his party cadres.
Giri said the party would organise a series of meetings in Darjeeling to update its supporters on the on-going negotiations for the interim set-up.
Members of different community-based associations in the hills will be briefed at Darjeeling Gymkhana on November 10, while members of the party’s affiliate organisations will be addressed on November 12. “We want to take everyone on board. We will be transparent. Out party does not believe in hiding from the people or cheating them,” he added.
(KalimNews:Gurung along with Giri met party members in Morgan House near Durpin for about 3 hrs. After the meeting HB Chhetri and Giri addressed the press.)
Cops attach properties of Tamang murder accused
TNN, Darjeeling: 
Police on Thursday completed the process of attaching the properties of 30 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders and supporters accused in the murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) leader Madan Tamang. SP D P Singh said police started the process after a court issued the attachment order on September 4. The last date of reporting the final attachment is November 8. "Today, we completed attaching the properties of the 30 GJM leaders accused in the Madan Tamang murder case. We will submit our report to the court on Monday," the SP said. 
Earlier, CID had filed a plea in court to start the trial of seven accused currently in jail. However, the court had rejected the plea as the attachment report was yet to be submitted. The ABGL chief was murdered in Darjeeling on May 21. CID had filed a chargesheet against 30 people in connection with the murder. Of the 30, police managed to arrest seven GJM leaders. Nicole Tamang, prime accused and a central committee leader, was arrested on August 16, but he managed to escape from CID custody. 
(KalimNews: Property attachment completed list includes properties of main accused Nicole Tamang, Aloke kanta mani Thulung and Kesav raj Pokhrel.)
Cops accused of stealing chicken in Malda
TNN, MALDA: The reputation of the men in uniform struck a new low with hundreds of villagers in Malda's Habibpur agitating before the BDO on Wednesday, alleging that policemen had taken away chickens from the house of a villager of Oraol. They demanded action against the cops and the return of the birds.
A team from Habibpur PS on Tuesday night raided the house of a resident of Oraol, Garai Burman. They were looking for his son Susanta, who was not at home. The policemen then allegedly took away 25 chickens, asking Burman to take them back when he handed over his son. ASP Kalyan Mukherjee denied.
Robbed at hospital
TT, Alipurduar, Nov. 4: Two persons who had accompanied a patient to Birpara State General Hospital were attacked and robbed of Rs 18,000 early this morning when they were sleeping on the veranda of the hospital building.
Durga Lama was stabbed by the robbers and had to be admitted to the hospital. He had come to the hospital with Sonam Tamang, whose pregnant wife was admitted to the emergency ward.
According to a complaint filed with police by Tamang, he and Lama were sleeping on the veranda when three criminals pounced on them. The duo were mercilessly beaten up and robbed of Rs 18,000. Lama was stabbed on the back by a dagger.
Doctors said in the evening that Lama’s condition was stable.
Pay stop blame on ABTA - Teacher accuses CPM organisation of stalling salary
TT, Raiganj, Nov. 4: A newly appointed teacher of a high school in North Dinajpur’s Kaliaganj has complained to the authorities that he had not been paid salary for the past three months for refusing to enrol as a member of the CPM-dominated All Bengal Teachers’ Association (ABTA).
The district inspector of schools (secondary), Rezabul Karim Tarafdar, who received the complaint, has started an investigation.
The complainant, Prasun Saha, said he had qualified through the School Service Commission and had joined Mahespur High School in Kaliaganj in August. “When I joined work on August 27, I was asked by the secretary of the school managing committee to enrol as ABTA member. When I refused, he made other staff members threaten me. Ultimately, I joined the Secondary Teachers’ Employees’ Association (STEA) that is predominantly anti-Left.”
Incensed by his decision to spurn the ABTA, the secretary of the school managing committee, Amjad Ali, refused to sign Saha’s service book. Unless the secretary approves the appointment by signing the service book and sends it to the DI’s office, Saha’s salary cannot be released.
“For the past three months, I had been pleading with the secretary a number of times but he has not yet signed the book on some pretext or the other, forcing me to draw the attention of the district inspector of schools as a last resort,” Saha said.
The DI of schools, Tarafdar, said he had received the complaint. “As soon as the schools reopens on November 8, I will ask the headmaster of Mahespur High School to meet me.”
The district secretary of the Congress-dominated STEA, Amal Mitra, said: “If his (Saha) salary is not released when the schools reopen (after Puja vacation), we will gherao the DI.”
The district secretary of the ABTA, Bipul Moitra, said there was no question of making teachers join the association forcefully.
“The managing committee meets before approving the service book of new teachers, maybe the meeting has been delayed because of some reason,” Moitra said.
Repeated attempts to contact managing committee secretary Ali failed.
Headmaster Shyamapada Bandyopadhyay said he was trying to persuade Ali to put his signature on the service book. “I am hopeful that the matter will be solved soon,” he said.
Didi shocker: Pranab could be Bengal CM
PTI, KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has said ally Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee could head the government in case the alliance came to power in West Bengal after the Assembly elections next year. In a TV programme, she said the alliance with the Congress will be kept intact for the Assembly elections, but warned that she would not tolerate any "blackmail".
Responding to a question, she said she might not contest the Assembly polls and devote time for campaigning though she could always enter the House within six months in the event of becoming CM.
The railway minister said in the programme last night that she had also told Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee that he could head the government in West Bengal in case the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance came to power.
On who would handle the railway portfolio if she became the chief minister, she contended that it would remain with the Trinamool Congress as long as it was an ally of the central government. "After all, the Trinamool Congress has only one cabinet minister."
Refusing to join issue with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi that his party wanted an alliance "with honour", she said, "I will not give my opinion on comments by others. But I personally don't like blackmail and also do not like others doing so." Dismissing reports she'd referred to Gandhi as a seasonal bird, she said, "I had compared CPM with a seasonal bird as it makes promises before elections."

Youth stabbed to death
TT, Cooch Behar, Nov. 4:A cellphone shop owner was stabbed to death by his friend following an altercation yesterday.Mazarul Islam, a first year student of Sitalkuchi College, was at his shop at Sarkarer Haat under Khalashimari gram panchayat when his friend Niren Barman came to meet him in the afternoon. According to police, a quarrel broke out between the two over the payment for a cellphone Niren had bought. “Suddenly, Niren stabbed his friend and ran away,” said Ilias Farooq, an eyewitness. He took shelter in a nearby house and soon it was surrounded by a mob. Later, police arrived and rescued Niren, a Class XII student. He has been arrested on charges of murder, said the police.

Shop looted
TT, Balurghat:A shop selling cellphones and computers near the house of cabinet minister Biswanath Chowdhury was looted on Wednesday night. Owner of the shop Rajendra Dutta said 65 cellphones and computers worth over Rs 3 lakh had been stolen along with Rs 55,000 in cash.
Husband held
TT, Islampur:Police on Thursday arrested Atabur Rehman for allegedly murdering his wife and burying the body near his house at Simulia near Chakulia on October 24. The police had exhumed Jaitun Nesa’s body three days later. Rehman was produced in Islampur court and remanded in 14-day jail custody.
Woman killed

TT, Jaigaon:Chandana Bibi, 35, was found dead at her rented house in Jharna Busty here on Wednesday night. The body was found after a foul smell had started emanating from her house. Jaigaon police said the body had strangulation marks and they suspected that she had been murdered by her husband, Abdul Mian.
TT, Siliguri: The body of a female adult leopard was found near Phuguri Tea Estate near Mirik, about 40km from here, on Wednesday night. Kurseong foresters said the leopard had been run over by an unidentified vehicle.
Man killed 
KalimNews: Budhu Oraon (51) of Nikhilpara, Dhupjhora under Matelli Block was killed by an elephant while he was chasing the elephant from his paddy field. 
5th SHARE CUP Inter village Football Competition
KalimNews: A unique Soccer Festival  for villages under constituency no 24 of Kalimpong Block I is organised by Share an NGO. The Share Cup was started with teams of Pabringtar and Nimbong Gram Panchayats . This tournament aims to promote budding talents from far flung areas of Kalimpong Subdivision uniting and bringing together people of all places. Share has expected  70 teams from 9 Gram Panchayats to participate .
The tournament will be played at six different venues - Sinjee , Samthar , Kafer , Nimbong , Barbote and Chuikhim.Starting from Quarter final the final rounds will be held at Chuikhim, the alcohol free Village , from 16November to 21.
Best Players are selected from the participating teams by the special panel of selectors consisting of expert football personalities. Last year 4 players were selected for Kolkata Maidan Super Division Club. Of the 4 , 2 are playing successfully in Kolkata super division level.
Former Indian Stars like Debjit Ghosh (ex - captain , INDIA ), Basudev Mandol ( ex- captain , India ) , Dulal Biswas ( National Player ) , Kalyan Choubey ( National Player) , Arun Sengupta ( Sports Editor , Daily News Paper ) are in the panel to select the players.

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