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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DI Primary arrested ... GJMM answered queries of opposition parties in Kalimpong ... Tarundeep bags silver

ROADMAP TO GORKHALAND an interactive programme organised by Vision  Kalimpong on Interim Setup on 24.11.2010 in Ramkrishna Rangamanch, Kalimpong
In the panel: R Moktan (former BJP) , Pratap Khati(ABGL), D.C. Poudel(BGP), DK Pradhan (GNLF'C')  and Arun Acharya (individual) from opposition parties and Roshan Giri and H.B. Chhetri from GJMM , Mediator: Pravakar Dewan
KalimNews, Kalimpong: In the programme held today the GJMM and opposition parties were in the same platform and the points raised by opposition parties were answered satisfactorily by the GJMM representatives.But the questions raised and proposals and suggestions made were not upto the mark. CPRM absented from the programme.
Dr. H.B.Chhetri asked what is the alternative to the route for Gorkhaland without via Interim setup. R Moktan said that we must find the the historical background of Darjeeling by filing an application under RTI. Pratap Khati claimed that the proposal and idea of Interim setup is not the dream and goal of the people, and what is the compulsion that made GJMM to opt for it, ABGL too will fight together if GJMM opts for Gorkhaland . DK Pradhan proposed that we must sit together and find out the reasons of our failure in the agitation, so far we have achieved nothing. DC Poudel remarked that GJMM is not cooperative  to other parties and the infight must be stopped. Arun Acharya remarked that we have wrongfully opted to select a non Gorkha as our MP and he and his party had done no remarkable thing in the center and the parliament.
Tarundeep bags silver
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok,23 Nov:Tarundeep Rai created history after he became the first Indian archer to win Asian Games silver medal in the men's individual archery event on Wednesday, 23rd November 2010. The Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Chamling has congratulated Tarundeep Rai for his medal and wished him every success in future. Mr. Rai is at present in Guangzhou, China representing India in 2010 Asian Games.(Photo: Voiceofsikkim)
DI of Primary Schools arrested for indecent proposal
KalimNews, Kalimpong: PK Patnaik, District Inspector of Schools of Primary Education is arrested by Darjeeling police. Patnaik is arrested under section IPC 509 for allegedly intending to insult the modesty of a lady who was seeking an appointment against died in harness case of her late father. Patnaik is alleged to have invited her in a hotel of Chowrasta and told her to accompany him to Sikkim for a visit . The lady filed a complaint alleging that the accused had made indecent proposal to her for getting the appointment. Patnaik will retire in the Febrary 2011.Patnaik was arrested and produced before the ACJM's court in Darjeeling and granted bail. On the other hand Patnaik said that the lady is a married woman and no appointment in died in harness case can be considered and after knowing that she is not getting the job she conspired and framed the story to defame him. Under this section the accused if found guilty shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Rallies stare at hill travel plans - Morcha meets on interim set-up for drivers

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Nov. 24: Four Gorkha Janmukti Morcha rallies on two consecutive days to educate hill drivers about the proposed interim set-up are expected to hit hard 5,000 daily commuters tomorrow and the day after.

The rallies — in Kurseong and Mirik tomorrow and in Darjeeling and Kalimpong on Friday — will also be platforms of protest against the alleged police harassment of drivers and vehicle owners.
“The rally in Kurseong will start from the Tourist Lodge at 1pm. Since all drivers will participate in the rallies, we are appealing to everyone to refrain from riding their vehicles from noon to 4pm in Kurseong and Mirik tomorrow,” said Subash Pradhan, the secretary of the Kurseong-based Gorkha Janmukti Chalak Mahasangh that will also organise the rally in Mirik.
The All Hill Transport Joint Action Committee is the organiser of the programmes in Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
Pradhan said the rallies were being held to demand the immediate formation of the interim set-up for the Darjeeling hills and to stop “police harassment”.
“As part of the non-co-operation movement (in the past two years), hill drivers have not paid their taxes nor updated the documents related to vehicles. So, the police are harassing us. We will protest the police highhandedness and will demand the immediate formation of the interim authority, to which the motor vehicle department will be transferred,” said Pradhan.
Around 6,000 taxis are registered in the hills. Most of them are currently being run without valid documents — licences and fitness certificates have not been renewed — because of the “non-co-operation movement”. Moreover, registration of new vehicles has also been stopped after the “non-co-operation movement” began in 2008.
According to Section 158 of the motor vehicles’ act, drivers must carry the permits and certificates of fitness with them. Driving without valid permit can lead to a fine of Rs 2,000-5,000 when caught for the first time. One has to face imprisonment for three months to one year or pay a fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 or both if he is held for driving without valid documents for the second time.
Although traffic will not be disrupted in Darjeeling tomorrow, people leaving the town will be affected as they will have to pass through Kurseong, whether they use the Hill Cart Road, Panbari road or the Rohini link. As a rally will be held in Mirik, the route via this town will also be choked. The only option left for vehicles entering or leaving Darjeeling is the road through Mungpoo, which takes about 45 minutes more than the time required to travel through the other routes.
The Mungpoo route branches out from Jorebunglow and joins NH31A at Rambi Bazaar.
Narbu Lama, the president of the All Hill Transport Joint Action Committee, said the rally in Darjeeling would start from the railway station at 10am on Friday. “We do not want any vehicle to ply in Darjeeling for three hours,” he said.
Even though there is no huge rush of visitors to Darjeeling this time of the year, tour operators said the tourists would have to change their itinerary to ensure a hassle-free travel.
“We will definitely have to make a lot of changes in the travel plans. No one would like to get stuck in a traffic jam for three-four hours,” said a tour operator who did not want to be named.
On an average, around 5,000 people, including tourists, travel between the hills and the plains everyday at this time of the year, said a transport operator.
“The disruption in the vehicle movement will not be confined to just these hours. It will definitely stretch for more than that as it takes time for traffic to get streamlined. So, those who have a flight to catch at Bagdogra will definitely have to leave early morning. But people who have booked trains might have to spend the entire day in Siliguri,” said a tour operator.
Another issue which is a worry for the tour operators is the unavailability of vehicles. “This could be a major problem if all the drivers decide to attend the rally,” said the tour operator.
Injured king cobra rescued

TT, Alipurduar, Nov. 24: A male king cobra, probably injured in a fight with a mongoose, was rescued this morning by the forest staff on elephant census duty.
The snake, over 12-feet-long, was spotted in the Panbari forest of the Buxa Tiger Reserve.
A range officer of the reserve, Bhabesh Basumata, was leading a team on foot to sight elephants in the forest when they spotted the reptile near a waterhole.
“We had reached the waterhole where elephants often come with the hope of sighting them when we spotted the snake under a tree. It was a huge snake and at first we thought that it was dead. But when I poked it with a snake stick, it stirred. We saw that its lower jaw was badly damaged and it was weak. We took it to the veterinary unit at Rajabhatkhaowa,” said Basumata. He added that the reptile was weak and could hardly move. It has been kept in an empty enclosure at the unit.
Manas Kundu, the veterinarian treating the snake, has instructed the staff members to feed the reptile glucose and antibiotics with the help of a pipe. “The snake is 12.5-feet-long and seems to be over 10 years old,” said Kundu. King cobras feed only on other snakes and sometimes lizards. They have a life span of about 20 years.
“We suspect that the wound is from a fight with a mongoose. We fed the snake chicken soup today. We are trying our best to keep it alive,” said Kundu.
Deputy field director (west) of the tiger reserve, R. Jakhar, also suspected that the injury was caused in a fight with a mongoose. “The snake is seriously injured and chances of its survival are slim. However, our vets are trying their best to keep it alive.”
Teen cover for fake note carrier
TT, Siliguri, Nov. 24: A Malda youth who was arrested here yesterday along with two boys on the charges of carrying counterfeit notes had used the minors to “avoid suspicion”, police said.
Aziz Mian, 24, and two others — a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old boy — were picked up by Pradhannagar police from the Siliguri Junction area around 5pm yesterday.
“They were arrested for carrying counterfeit currency with a face value of Rs 4 lakh. The notes were packed in eight bundles of Rs 500 denomination, with each bundle containing 100 fake notes,” Darjeeling district police chief D.P. Singh told reporters here today.
Acting on a tip-off, a police source contacted Aziz, a resident of Baisnabnagar in Malda district, and struck a deal with him. He was assured of customers in Siliguri.
“Aziz stepped into the trap and reached Siliguri with the notes. He arrived with the two minors to avoid suspicion,” Singh said. “It is natural that if two boys, aged 14-15 years carry fake notes, nobody will suspect them. The notes can be brought to Siliguri safely.”
Preliminary investigations reveal that Aziz had been involved in carrying fake notes earlier also. The antecedents of the two minors are being investigated.
Last month, officials of the directorate of revenue intelligence had arrested a person from Bagdogra and recovered fake notes with a face value of Rs 10 lakh. He, too, was from Malda.
The police said the fake notes smuggled into the country from Bangladesh were supposed to be circulated in north Bengal. “Given the quality of the notes, it will be difficult for the common man to distinguish the fake from the original. Anti-national agencies and criminals are running a racket in north Bengal. Some links have been identified which need to be checked. We will contact our counterparts in Malda. Teams have been formed to carry out further investigation,” Singh said.
Neora on jumbo census map
The yellow road signs in the dark mark the Mainaguri-Chulsa route through Gorumara forest. Picture by Biplab Basak
Three-year-old Teesta, a pet elephant and the youngest participant in the census, at Gorumara on Wednesday. Picture by Biplab Basak
TT, Jalpaiguri, Nov. 24: The elephant census has been extended to the Sakam forest at the edge of Neora Valley National Park this time. For the past two years, jumbos had been spotted using the 800-foot-high patch of land in Neora as their corridor.
This morning, on the first day of the three-day census, beat officer Mahesh Roy — who was part of a team on foot in Sakam, 129km from Jalpaiguri — recorded the sighting of seven elephants.
The direct sighting method of count had been adopted for the first day. Tomorrow elephant dung will be collected for analysis and on the last day of the census the foresters plan to carry out fixed-point sightings of herds and individual jumbos.
The census will cover Gorumara National Park, Chapramary and Mahananda sanctuaries, the lower Sakam range of the Neora national park, Baikunthapur forest division and Singalila — a total forest area of around 1659sqkm.
Over a hundred teams of forest staff and NGOs are conducting the elephant count that began at the crack of dawn and went on till 11am. The elephant population was estimated to be about 350 in the last census in 2008.
According to foresters, 10 teams, comprising three members each, are on kunkis or pet elephants to conduct the census.
For three-year-old Teesta, a kunki, this was the first outing deep in the forest. “She was a bit nervous but followed our other kunki, Rani, into the Engdong block where we spotted a herd of dozen elephants. Teesta was scared at seeing wild elephants but soon she gathered herself together and lifted her trunk to smell the herd,” said beat officer Sunil Dey, who was riding Rani.
The divisional forest officer of the Jalpaiguri wildlife, Sumita Ghatak, said the census would also help look into the food habits of the elephants and find out if their diet has changed over the years. “We are also looking out for ailing or injured elephants,” she said.
The conservator of forests, northern circle, Bipin Sood, said many elephants from Assam crossed the Sankosh and Mechi rivers to enter the forests of north Bengal. “We are hopeful that with the number of calves sighted today and over the past two years, the elephant population would touch the 400 mark this time. We will reveal the census results by next month,” Sood said.
Civic tag for Atharokhai & Falakata
The Bengal cabinet today approved a proposal to set up municipalities at Atharokhai on the outskirts of Siliguri and Falakata in Jalpaiguri district.
Atharokhai and Matigara I gram panchayats in Matigara block, which will be included in the Atharokhai municipality, have a large number of institutions like the North Bengal University and the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital.
“There has been a consistent rate of urbanisation in the two panchayats with colleges, schools and universities coming up there. So, we had come up with a proposal some months ago and today, the state cabinet gave its approval to bring the two panchayats under a new civic body,” said Siliguri MLA and urban development and municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya.
According to sources, the Matigara block, spread across five panchayats, witnessed a population growth of 40 per cent in the past decade against the state’s average of 17.84 per cent. “Shivmandir, Medical More, Kadamtala, NBU and NBMCH are among the localities which will come under the new civic body,” said a Jalpaiguri district official.
The Falakata municipality will consist of Falakata I and Parongerpar panchayats and certain areas of Falakata II panchayat.
The cabinet has also decided to issue notification for the formation of municipalities at Tehatta in Nadia and Canning in South 24-Parganas.
KLO Currency
TT,Jalpaiguri, Nov. 24:The employees of a State Bank of India’s branch here went into a tizzy today when they spotted a large number of fake notes in a bundle of over Rs 2 lakh that was brought from the court to be deposited by police.
The chief judicial magistrate’s court today ordered that Rs 2.73 lakh, seized from arrested Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) militants during the Royal Bhutan Army’s operation to flush out rebel camps from their territory in 2003, be deposited in the treasury account of the district.
Accordingly, a police constable came to the bank to deposit the money in the afternoon. During the counting of the cash, the bank officials discovered that 178 one-hundred rupee notes were fake.
The chief manager of the SBI’s local branch, Pradip Chakrabarty, said the fake notes had been handed over to the Kotwali police. “We have also filed an FIR with the police giving details of the incident.”
The superintendent of police of Jalpaiguri, Anand Kumar, said the Bhutan army had launched the operation in their territory from December 2003 to January 2004 to flush out KLO rebels that had settled in camps there and had been training new batches of militants every year.
“The Bhutan government handed over the arms, ammunition and Indian currency seized from the rebels. The entire cash was kept in the custody of the court in a sealed parcel. It was not possible to check whether the notes were genuine or fake when our men got the money. However, we are investigating the case,” Kumar said.
Malda Doc College from July
TT, Malda, Nov. 24: Classes in the new medical college here will begin with the next academic session in July, state health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra has said.
After a daylong meeting with health officials from the six north Bengal districts here yesterday, Mishra said the construction of the new building of the medical college would begin next month
“The building will be located on the district hospital campus. The 20-odd acres of land on the campus is adequate for us to set up the college here. Earlier, the Medical Council of India had stipulations that medical colleges should come up on a minimum area of 25 acres but the norm has now been relaxed to 20 acres. So we have no problems,” Mishra said.
Initially, the college will have 100 seats and will start functioning from July next year, the health minister said. “There are many buildings, old and new, on the campus of the hospital. Some of them will have to be demolished and some of the quarters will also have to be shifted. A team of engineers from the public works department is scheduled to visit the hospital on December 26 and will conduct a joint survey with the engineers and architects of the firm that will be awarded the job.”
Mishra said the new construction would include classrooms and laboratories as well as hostel for students, teachers and technicians.
A team from the MCI will come for an inspection in January. “We have already appointed Debashis Bhattacharya, currently the deputy superintendent of the SSKM Hospital in Calcutta, the principal of the medical college. He will start functioning from the office of the chief medical officer of health,” Mishra said. The office of the CMOH will be shifted to the TB hospital, lying abandoned now, within a month.
Srikanta Roy, the CMOH, said the building to which his office he would be shifted would also have to be renovated. “We are trying our best to do it within the stipulated time. We have sought funds from the department for the purpose.”

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