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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rural polls? Yes; interim election? No-GJM ... Dawa Pakhrin to announce formation of a new party .. 340 primary teachers appointed this year is likely to be suspended

TT, Darjeeling, Dec. 8: Bimal Gurung today said he had no objections if elections to the panchayats, defunct in the hills since 2005, were held within a month of establishing the interim set-up but the new authority should have nominated members.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had so far been saying it would allow elections to be held only for the municipalities, which, like the panchayats, are being run by a board of administrators since 2009.
The Morcha had earlier said rural polls could not be held, as the territorial jurisdiction of the interim set-up was yet to be decided, and that, the party wanted a three-tier panchayat system instead of the existing single tier.
The territorial jurisdiction is one of the major stumbling blocks to the setting up of the new set-up, for the government does not want to part with the Terai, portions of which have been demanded by the Morcha. These portions are in panchayat areas.
Addressing a public meeting at Sukhiapokhri, 17km from Darjeeling, Morcha chief Gurung said: “The government seems to be thinking that we are afraid of facing elections. I have told the Centre that if they want to hold elections to both the municipalities and the panchayats they can do so within two days, 10 days or 40 days (of the interim set-up coming into place).”
The Morcha president iterated that he did not want an election to the interim body. “The interim body is only for two years and the tenure of an elected representative will be for five years. How can we have an election to a body of two-year duration?”
By asserting that the Morcha had no problems with the panchayat polls, Gurung seemed to counter the government and rival parties’ claim that his party does not enjoy popular support. “I am not sure whether the Opposition can field enough candidates,” he said.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had recently said the Morcha should first allow elections to be held to hill municipalities and panchayats after which the interim set-up board would be formed through proportionate representation. “How do we know if the people want them (the Morcha)?” Bhattacharjee had said.
Gurung’s latest stand is also an indication that for the moment the Morcha is not going to press hard for a three-tier panchayat system in the hills. Going back to a three-tier system from the current two-tier would have widespread ramifications that will spread to the plains too.
The Constitution was once amended in 1997 to put the two-tier panchayat system in place in the hills as then DGHC chairperson Subash Ghisingh had said otherwise the powers of the zilla parishad would overlap with those of the council if there were three rungs in rural governance.
In Darjeeling district since then, while the hills have a two-tier system, Siliguri sub-division, which was not under the DGHC, has a three-tier panchayat system headed by a mahakuma parishad.
To go back to the three-tier now in the hills would involve another constitutional amendment. In that case, there would be much opposition in the plains for the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad would have to be dissolved as there are no provisions for simultaneous existence of two zilla parishads or similar bodies in one district.
School teachers in Jalpaiguri to be suspended
KalimNews: According to a report from the Bikash Bhavan Kolkata, the office of the education directorate of West Bengal confirmed that 340 primary teachers appointed this year in Jalpaiguri is likely to be suspended. On receiving the allegation that there were discrepancies in the appointment of primary teachers in Jalpaiguri District 16 teachers were suspended. All the 16 teachers were relatives of the selection committees, teachers organisation and 1st rank CPM leaders which includes Anita Paul wife of the Chairman of School Board, daughter in law of Manik Sanyal, Secretary of District CPM, Secretary of District ABTA (Teachers organisation) and 3 members of a CPM leader of Nagarkatta.
A team from the directorate to investigate the matter later proposed to investigate the matter for the entire selected teachers. It is informed that all the selection examination papers of the candidates will be re-examined. Examined papers are now in the custody of the directorate. Government has sent an order to the District Primary School Board to suspend the selected candidates. So far government suspended Mrinal Paul the Chairman of the District school Board and show caused the examiners and the selection committee members . 
दावा पाखरिनले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति नयॉं दल गठन गर्ने

कालेबुङ, 8 दिसम्बर। पूर्व गोरामुमो नेता दावा पाखरिनले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति नयॉं दल गठन गर्ने घोषणा गरेका छन्। नयॉं झण्डा आउने घोषणा गरिराखेर अखिल भारतीय नवराज्य निर्माण समितिका उपाध्यक्ष दावा पाखरिन छुट्टै राज्यको दाबी गर्न समितिले आयोजना गरेको दिल्लीको जन्तरमन्तर धर्नाको निम्ति आज प्रस्थान भए। 
प्रस्थान गर्न अघि तिनले यहॉंको डम्बरचोकस्थित स्व, डम्बरसिंग गुरूङ, सी.के प्रधानको प्रतिमामा ढोग गरे। बीस सदस्यीय टोलीसित नै दावा पाखरिनले डम्बरचोकमा आएर सम्बोधन गरे। तिनले पत्रकारहरूलाई भने, केवल गोर्खाल्याण्ड क्षेत्रमा मात्र बन्द गरेर गोर्खाल्याण्ड हुँदैन। जनतालाई मात्र दुख हुन्छ। हामी बीसवटा राज्यका छुट्टै राज्यपन्थी सङ्गठनहरूले एकैसाथ दिल्लीको जन्तरमन्तरमा धर्ना गर्नेछौं। 11 दिसम्बर समितिको सभा छ अनि 12 तारिकको दिन जन्तरमन्तरमा धर्ना हुनेछ। हामी सोही धर्नाको निम्ति प्रस्थान गरिरहेका छौं। 
दावा पाखरिन, जो एकसमय गोरामुमोका कट्टर नेता थिए। तिनले आफ्नो अध्यक्ष सुवास घिसिङको छैटौं अनुसूची हुनुपर्ने सम्बन्धमा कालेबुङमा व्यापक कार्यक्रमहरू गरेका थिए। गोजमुमोले घिसिङलाई लखेटेपछि अनि मोर्चाले दावा पाखरिनलाई पनि कालेबुङबाट लखेटेपछि धेरै समय विस्थापित जीवन बिताएका थिए। यसै अवधीभित्र तिनले गोरामुमो त्यागेको घोषणा गरेका थिए। आफू छैटौं अनुसूचीको पक्षधर नरहेको बताउँदै तिनले केवल गोर्खाल्याण्ड मात्र आफ्नो राजनैतिक जीवनको सपना रहेको बताउँदै यसैको निम्ति कार्य गर्न कालेबुङ फर्किएको घोषणा पनि गरेका थिए। तिनले भने, म कुनै दललाई पनि व्यक्तिगतरूपले टिप्पणी गर्दिन। म केवल गोर्खाल्याण्डको कुरा गर्छु। पहाड़मा गोर्खाल्याण्डको कुरा गर्ने झण्डा छैन। अब केही दिन भित्रमा नै गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति लड्ने नयॉं झण्डा आउने म घोषणा गर्छु। 
तिनको आशय अनुसार सुवास घिसिङले गोर्खाल्याण्डको वहानामा आन्दोलन गरेर दागोपाप अनि पछि छैटौं अनुसूची जस्तो जनताले नचाहेको व्यवस्था पहाड़ छिराउने कार्य गर्‍यो अनि अहिले गोजमुमोले पनि गोर्खाल्याण्डको नाममा आन्दोलन गरेर जनताले नचाहेको अन्तरिम प्राधिकरण छिराउने काम गर्‍यो। तिनी अनुसार गोर्खाल्याण्डको नाममा भएका आन्दोलनहरूले गोर्खाल्याण्ड नभएर अरूथोकमा नै सम्झौता गर्नुपर्ने अनि जनताको आकांक्षालाई पछि धकेल्ने प्रयत्नहरू भइरहेको छ। त्यसै कारण तिनले केवल गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति मात्र लड्ने नयॉं दलको आवश्यकता रहेको आशय प्रकट गर्दै दुइचार दिन भित्र नै नयॉं दल खोलिने घोषणा गरेका छन्। 
तिनले भने, मैले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति लड्ने दलहरू देखिन। यसैकारण गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति अघि आउनुपर्ने समयको माग रहेको देखें। जनताको आकांक्षालाई सम्बोधन गर्न सक्ने नयॉं झण्डाको आवश्यकता भएको छ, यसैकारण नयॉं झण्डा शीघ्र नै आउने छ। यसको निम्ति 1907 देखि गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति लड्ने सपुतहरूसित आशिर्वाद मागेको छु। हाम्रो माग बङ्गालको दासत्वबाट मुक्ति हो। बङ्गालमा बस्नको निम्ति होइन। राष्ट्रीयस्तरको कार्यक्रम र नीति तयार गरेर कार्य गरिनेछ। नवराज्य निर्माण समितिले सहयोग गर्नेछ। भारतभरि एकैचोटी छुट्टै राज्यको आन्दोलन हुनेछ। पहाड़मा होइन, दिल्लीमा धर्ना र जुलूस हुनेछ।
Sikkim tour dreams ride on rail plan - Hope for pilgrims & trekkers: four stations in hill state

Bijoy Gurung, TT, Gangtok, Dec. 8: An ambitious plan to link tourist destinations in Darjeeling district and Sikkim through train service has been drawn up by the Northeast Frontier Railway.
The 163km-long broad gauge track linking Mirik and Gangtok will pass through the hills and valleys of the eastern Himalayas. The report was submitted to the Sikkim government last month.
Apart from Gangtok, which is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world, the NFR has proposed three more stations in Sikkim. They are Namchi in South Sikkim, Daramdin in West district and Ranipul near the state capital.
Namchi is the headquarters of South Sikkim and boasts the massive statue of Guru Padmasambhava, the patron saint of the state. The government is also working on the Char Dham project in Namchi, where the replicas of four famous Hindu temples are being built.
Tourism stakeholders pointed out that Daramdin was also an important choice for the travellers as it is the gateway to the popular trekking trails of Singalila and Barsey.
Lukendra Rasaily, the president of the Travel Agents’ Association of Sikkim, said the rail project was of paramount importance as far as the development of tourism — the primary industry of Sikkim — was concerned.
“This is a very important project from the point of view of tourism. This will develop regional tourism in a big way as tourism in Sikkim and Darjeeling cannot be separated. We will have a bigger reason to promote tourism,” he said.
The project will also boost the pilgrimage tourism of Namchi, said Rasaily. “The pilgrimage tourism potential of Namchi in South Sikkim will be fully complemented by the rail project. The project will develop tourism potential of Daramdin and nearby areas of West Sikkim. Basically, it will be a nice ride across the hills from Mirik to Gangtok through Daramdin and Namchi,” said the TAAS president.
Railway minister Mamata Banerjee announced the project in 2009 and the NFR took up the survey in September the same year.
The survey has estimated that Rs 11,684 crore will be needed to lay tracks in the hills and valleys. The railways have said because of the topography of the area through which the tracks will pass, 26 tunnels will have to be constructed with the longest one being 12.25km. The total length of the tunnels will be 84km, more than half of the route.
The project also envisages the construction of 124 bridges, the largest one spanning 625 metres. According to the report, 58km of the tracks will fall in Bengal and the rest in West, South and East districts of Sikkim.
“Highly sophisticated technology for the design and construction is required for the project and prior to finalisation, there is a need for meticulous investigation and geographical mapping along the proposed alignment,” reads the report.
The state transport department has started reviewing the report. “We are studying the report. The review will be completed by the end of this month and we will send our observation to the NFR headquarters in Malegaon, Assam,” said Uttam Pradhan, the chief engineer of the state transport department.
Work has already begun last year on the 52km rail between Sevoke in Darjeeling district and Rangpo, the gateway to Sikkim.
The foundation stone for this project was laid by Vice-President, M. Hamid Ansari, on October 30, 2009. The project is estimated to cost the railways Rs 1,339 crore.

Schoolboy kidnapped
TT, Nagaon, Dec. 8: Suspected KLNLF militants kidnapped a schoolboy from Japarajan in Bokajan subdivision of Karbi Anglong district this evening.
Sujit Pathak, 10, was in front of his Japarajan residence when a four-member team of Karbi militants group accosted him and took him along with them.
According to witnesses, all the cadres were armed and in civil dresses. Villagers saw the boy walking with the militants around 6pm, but were afraid to risk their lives as the kidnappers were carrying guns.
“We scanned the area through which, according to the local villagers, the militants took the boy away,” a Bokajan police source said.
The incident took place just three days after the abduction of three employees of a survey unit in adjoining Dima Hasao district.
Sujit’s father Shivnarayan, a 45-year-old trader, was not at home when the militants kidnapped his son.
“We are continuing the search operation. As the incident was reported immediately after the child was kidnapped, we hope to rescue him at the earliest,” a Karbi Anglong police source said.
The anti-talks faction of the KLNLF is suspected to be behind the kidnap.
The group emerged just after the February 11 arms surrender of the KLNLF and it is on an extortion drive in the bordering areas of Karbi Anglong for the past couple of months.
“Initially it was a small group led by a hardcore cadres of the KLNLF. It comprised not more than 30 cadres. Recently, it has emerged as a strong organisation all through the district,” a Karbi Anglong police source said.
Rally of Gorkha Janmukti Yuwa Morcha in Kalimpong

भागोपको योकसोम शाखा गठन
भागोपको अभियानमा शिक्षित युवाहरूले सहभागिता जनाउऩु पर्छः आइ बी गुरुङ
गान्तोक,8 दिसम्बर।  भारतको 22 वटा प्रान्तमा छरिएर बसेका गोर्खा जातिको राष्ट्रिय संगठन भारतीय गोर्खा परिसंघ (भागोप) सिक्किम राज्य शाखाद्वारा आफ्नो संगठन विस्तार व्यापकरूपमा शुरु गरेको छ। सिक्किमको इतिहासमा सम्मानित अनि अति महत्वपूर्ण स्थल पश्चिम सिक्किमको योकसोमबाट भागोपले आफ्नो सांगठनीक विस्तार अभियान शुरु गरेको छ। सिक्किमको पहिलो राजधानी योकसोममा भागोपका राज्य समितिका पदाधिकारीहरूको उपस्थितिमा पूर्व अध्यक्ष आईबी गुरुङको अध्यक्षतामा सागठनीक बैठक सम्पन्न भयो। बैठकमा लामो छलफल अनि भागोपको कार्यक्रम र सांगठनीक ढाँचा, उद्देश्य र लक्ष्यबारे चर्चापरिचर्चा पछि भागोप योकसोम शाखा गठन गरियो।
स्थानीय जिला पंचायत सदस्य बुद्धहांग सुब्बा लगायत शिक्षक-शिक्षिका, शिक्षित युवावर्ग, पर्यटन व्यावसायी तथा समाजका बुद्धिजिवीवर्गको व्यापक उपस्थितिमा सम्पन्न बैठकले आइबी गुरुङलाई योकसोम शाखाको अध्यक्ष मनोनित गरेको छ। यसै गरि बुद्धहाङ सुब्बालाई कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष पदमा सर्वसम्मतिले चयन गरिएको छ भने नरेन्द्र राईलाई महासचिव पदमा मनोनित गरिएको छ। यसैगरि कार्यकारी समितिमा कार्यकारी सदस्यहरूको रूपमा आर टी गुरुङ, उगेन भोटिया, पीबी प्रधान, एल पी काफ्ले, उत्तम अधिकारी अनि धनराज गुरुङ चयन भएका छन्।
योकसोम शाखा गठनपछि अध्यक्ष पद ग्रहण गर्दै आइ बी गुरुङले भने, परिसंघ जस्तो जाति विकास र उत्थानको निम्ति लागिपरेको संस्थानमा युवावर्गको सहभागित व्यापकरूपमा हुन आवश्यक छ। भावि समाजको नेतृत्व पहाडवासी गोर्खाहरूको युवाजमातको हातमा भएको हुनाले यो संगठनमार्फत सचेत र शिक्षित युवाहरू जोडिनु अनिवार्य भएको छ। उनले अझ भने यो संगठनमा सबैले सहयोग गरेर पहाडवासी गोर्खा समुदायलाई राष्ट्रियस्तरमा सभ्य समाज भएको बलियो जाति बनाउन  सबै अघि आउनु पर्छ।
यसैगरि आफ्नो सम्बोधनमा जिल्ला पंचायत बुद्धहाङ सुब्बाले भागोपको गरिमा र यसको उद्देश्यलाई सबैले आत्मसात गरेर राज्य र राष्ट्रिय स्तरमा गोर्खा जातिको विकासको निम्ति लागिपर्नु पर्ने आह्वान गरे।
बैठकमा राज्य अध्यक्ष डॉ. कमल गुरुङले भने, जाति तत्व अपरिवर्तनशील भएकोले नै अपरिवर्तनीय तत्वलाई अंगालेर गोर्खा जातिलाई देशको अन्य विकसित जातिको हाराहारीमा उभिएर राष्ट्रियता बोध गर्न सक्ने समाजको रूपमा विकास गर्ने उद्देश्य रहेको बताए। उनले भने, जन्म लिएपछि कहिले पनि आफ्नो जात परिवर्तन गर्न सकिन्दैन यसकारण यो अपरिवर्तनीय तत्वले हामीलाई हाम्रो जाति चिन्हाउँछ त्यसैको आधारमा हाम्रो भाषिक, सामाजिक, राजनैतिक, अर्थनैतिक, शैक्षिक तथा राष्ट्रियस्तरको विकास हुनु पर्छ। उनले योकसोम शाखा गठन पछि समितिका सदस्यहरूलाई बधाई तथा शुभकामना व्यक्त गरे।
यसैगरि बैठकमा भागोपको सदस्यता अभियान पनि चलाइयो जसमा आजीवन भागोपको सदस्य हुनेहरूलाई प्रमाणपत्र पनि वितरण गरियो।
संगठन विस्तार अभियानमा भागोप राज्य समितिका प्रतिनिधिहरूमा राष्ट्रिय परिषद सदस्य डीजीपी सि पी गिरी, कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष नारायण भट्टराई, महासचिव एस पाण्डे, पाकिम शाखा महासचिव जी गुरूङ, सचिव प्रवीण खालिङ, सांगठनीक सचिव प्रेमराज गुरुङ अनि कार्यकारी समिति सदस्य नारद भट्टराईको उपस्थिति रहेको थियो। भागोप सिक्किम राज्य शाखाले आफ्नो संगठन विस्तार राज्य व्यापी रूपमा शुरु गरेको हुनाले दैनिक रूपमा विभिन्न स्थानमा सभा र बैठक तथा सदस्यता अभियान संचालन गरिरहेको छ।
Tech students design jumbo alarm
TT, Jalpaiguri, Dec. 8: Nine former students of Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College have devised an “elephant alert”, a contraption to prevent animal death on railway tracks.
The device proposed to be buried in areas around the railway tracks has been tested in the presence of divisional forest officer Sumita Ghatak at the Dhupjhora elephant camp. Meghlal, a kunki, was used to test the machine.
For the past two months, the youths had been working on their invention at the house of Rahul Sarkar, a former IT student of the college. He was joined by Santanu Sarkar and Subhankar Banerjee.
For now, the tests are being carried out by using one inch thick iron plate — which is 2ft long and 18 inches wide — mounted on four heavy-duty springs. The inventors explained that the springs were wired to a circuit that will set off the alarm when an elephant stepped on it.
“We have used DC power for the device which is harmless for animals even if they step on the plate. If the forest department and the railways want, the alarms can go off in their offices or control rooms for prompt action,” Rahul said. The alarm will be activated only when an animal weighing not less then 500kg stepped on the plate.
The invention was spurred by the deaths of seven elephants on the Dooars rail tracks at Moraghat on the night of September 22. Subhankar said the railways could activate the plates along the known elephant corridors an hour before a train was to pass through the area. “There is no need for the device to be fed with power all the time.”
Rahul said it took Rs 4,500 from their pocket money to make the pilot device. “We decided that being IT students we should do something to protect the wildlife as there were repeated incidents of animals getting killed by trains.”
The device that they have made is only a model. The instrument will be given a final shape after the railways and the forest department decide on its implementation, Rahul said.
DFO Ghatak said she would have to talk to senior officials and explain to them the working of the alarm. “We are yet to finalise anything.”
V.K. Sood, the conservator of forests, north Bengal, said he had been told about the device and he would take it up with the Northeast Frontier Railway at the next meeting with them.
Elephant rage
A herd of about 30 to 35 elephants raided Lal Jhamela Busti in Nagrakata this morning and destroyed more than 200 betel nut trees in the area.
Forest department sources said the herd had been driven out from the Red Bank tea estate into the Diana forest yesterday. Jalpaiguri DFO Kalyan Das said the forest guards were keeping a close watch on the herd.
Forester ‘caught’ ferrying timber
TT, Alipurduar, Dec. 8: A beat officer of Jaldapara was today caught by residents of a Falakata village while allegedly smuggling timber, prompting the forest department to initiate an inquiry.
Dilip Kanti Choudhury, the beat officer of Kunjanagar in the wildlife III division, was found with logs of sishu worth Rs 10,000 on a rickshaw-van at Sabhapati More in Falakata, 39km from here.
Around 8.30 this morning, Sahorai Oraon, an executive committee member of the Kunjanagar eco-development committee, spotted a rickshaw-van with the timber in front of his house. “I asked the puller about the logs and wanted to see the papers. The van-puller told me that the timber belonged to the beat officer. Shortly, beat officer Choudhury reached the spot on his motorcycle. When I asked him about the timber, he replied the consignment would be used for departmental work. But he failed to produce any papers,” Oraon said.
Eco-development committees are set up under the joint forest management programme with villagers as members to protect wildlife and trees.
After intercepting the rickshaw-van, Oraon contacted Upananda Roy, the beat officer of Kunjanagar eco park, who seized the timber. By then, villagers who came out from their houses in ones and twos demanded that the beat officer be arrested. But Choudhury fled the spot.
Sushil Sinha, the secretary of the Kunjanagar EDC, alleged that Choudhury who has been in charge of the beat for the past five years, had smuggled timber earlier also in similar fashion.
V.K. Sood, conservator of forest, wildlife, north, said the alleged smuggled timber was worth about Rs 10,000. “I have asked the divisional forest officer of wildlife III to conduct an inquiry and submit to me the report soon. Legal action can be taken against the officer if he is found involved in smuggling timber.”
Panel seeks expulsion of ragging accused
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 8: The anti-ragging committee of North Bengal University has recommended a slew of measures, including expulsion from the institution, against four students accused of ragging a junior.
The committee submitted its report to vice-chancellor Arunabha Basumajumdar on December 6.
A first-semester student of philosophy department had sent a letter to the VC, narrating the mental and physical torture inflicted on him by four seniors in their third semester before leaving the varsity on December 3.
“On the basis of the letter, the anti-ragging committee was asked to probe the incidents. Investigations revealed that the complainant, who stayed at Vivekananda Hostel, was ragged by the four students, who were also the boarders of the same hostel, since he joined the department in August and the torture continued well after the Puja holidays,” a varsity official said.
“A set of measures has been recommended by the committee on the basis of the UGC guidelines on ragging. One of the recommendations is the expulsion of the accused from the varsity,” the official said. Currently, the victim is not present at the university but it is not known whether he will come back or not.
Varsity sources said names of seven other students had also came out during the probe. “But the committee found that the seven were present on one or two occasions of ragging and were not liable for punishment. So, they were let off. The four involved in the ragging are still on the campus,” a source said.
The NBU authorities, however, have not filed any FIR against the four accused. “No FIR has been lodged so far,” an official said.
The anti-ragging committee had submitted the report but the final decision is yet to be taken. “We submitted our report on the stipulated date of December 6. One more meeting is likely to take place before a final decision is taken,” said a member of the committee.
Student unions are, however, pressuring the varsity authorities to take steps against the accused on the recommendations. The Chhatra Parishad met the VC and submitted a memorandum demanding action against the offenders.
“Ragging is unacceptable and we condemn it. We demand that action should be taken against the four on the recommendations of the anti-ragging committee,” said Ronald Dey, the CP unit president at the varsity.
The VC could not be contacted.

Dais shifts, but not disruption
TT, Kolkata:Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress shifted a rally dais from a hospital zone by a token 20 metres on Wednesday, sending a message to rivals who don’t budge an inch but making little difference to the common man.
The decision to shift the dais built in front of Salt Lake’s AMRI Hospitals for Thursday’s rally against land acquisition in Rajarhat-New Town was taken in response to a notice served by the subdivisional officer of Bidhannagar, citing inconvenience to people visiting the hospital.
So while the structure right in front of the hospital was dismantled, a three-tier replacement came up simultaneously near the Hidco office barely 20 metres away, blocking an entire flank of the road connecting the EM Bypass with Karunamoyee.
In a city where exponents of street politics have never been known to bother about such administrative notices, the shift is seen as a climbdown even within sections of the Trinamul Congress. But for those who will visit the hospital on rally day, the scope for disruption hasn’t diminished a bit.
“Don’t the leaders know that there are hospitals here? Couldn’t they have held the meeting elsewhere?” demanded Jiten Mallik, a Burdwan resident whose wife has been undergoing treatment at AMRI since Monday.
Thursday’s meeting is scheduled to start at 1pm and continue for at least four hours. “We will mobilise 1.5 lakh people. Our fight for the farmers whose land has been taken away forcibly will continue,” declared Gaighata MLA Jyotipriya Mallick, the organiser-in-chief of the rally.
Relatives of hundreds of patients admitted to AMRI will bear the brunt of the disruption, struggling to reach the hospital in time for the 4.30pm-6.30pm visiting hours.
“We are very apprehensive,” said a senior AMRI official. “We have been promised passage for ambulances but you can imagine what will happen if 1.5 lakh people actually turn up. Both flanks of the road will get blocked,” he added.
Rally raj had so far spared Salt Lake and the adjoining Sector V, with traffic-stopper meetings restricted to the heart of the city. Many in Sector V fear that Thursday’s rally could be the beginning of a trend of disruption in the tech hub.
A police officer said the security deployment for the rally would be double of that for an East Bengal-Mohun Bagan football match at the Salt Lake stadium. Trinamul leaders of North 24-Parganas promised “not to block the road” but admitted that they could do little if the crowd count hit 1.5 lakh.
On the top deck of the dais will be the Trinamul leadership. A member each from 100 families of “unwilling farmers” will be on the next tier.
The lower tier is meant for alleged “victims of CPM atrocities” from North 24-Parganas.
By evening, loudspeakers adorned the light-posts till the Salt Lake Stadium island, across which is another hospital, Columbia Asia.
Some Trinamul leaders suggested that the programme was a scaled-down version of what was originally planned because Mamata didn’t want to be seen as disruptive. “It is no longer a siege to the Hidco headquarters (as threatened earlier) but a bikkhobh (protest),” said a leader, clarifying that it was not aimed at IT giants eyeing Rajarhat,
Wipro chief Azim Premji, who was in town on Wednesday, met chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. IT minister Debesh Das later said Wipro would start work on its second campus in Rajarhat “as soon as possible” and the facility would accommodate “another 20,000 employees”.
Carron to reopen on Friday
TT, Jaigaon, Dec. 8: The closed Carron tea estate will reopen on Friday following a tripartite meeting held at the Malbazar subdivisional office.
Carron had been locked out from October 2 following an assault on the management staff allegedly by a section of workers over the payment of Puja bonus.
Malbazar subdivisional officer Nilkamal Biswas said according to the agreement arrived at today’s meeting, the garden would open on Friday. “The unions and the management have agreed that the bonus will be paid in two instalments — the first one before December 24 and the next one before Holi.”
Two arrested
TT, Raiganj: Two persons were arrested on Wednesday when they went to the chief medical officer of health’s office with fake appointment letters to join as Group D staff. Mohammed Zahirul and Basiruddin Ahmed of Sujali in Islampur were picked up on the basis of a complaint lodged by CMOH Parthasarathi Bhattacharya.
Train timing
TT, Siliguri: The Northeast Frontier Railway authorities said on Wednesday that 0572Dn Guwahati- Digha Express scheduled to leave Guwahati at 12 noon on December 9 had been rescheduled to leave Guwahati at 3.30pm the same day. The decision has been taken following the late arrival of the Up train.
Arrest Barkha Dutt And Vir Sanghvi: Former Tehelka Editor
Afroz Alam Sahil & Md. Ali, 08 December 2010, a frank and straightforward interview senior journalist and former executive editor of Tehelka weekly, Ajit Sahi demanded immediate arrest of senior journalists Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi for undermining the constitution by their alleged lobbying for A Raja as the Telecom Minister when Union Cabinet was being formed in 2009. Excerpts from the interview are presented below:
What is your view on the issue of Nira Radia tapes?
It is quite clear from the whole Nira Radia episode that Nira Radia, Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi were together trying to make sure that Dayanidhi Maran doesn’t get the telecom ministry. Instead, the focus of their efforts was to make A Raja the Telecom Minister. It’s also very clear now that these things were being done at the behest of Ratan Tata whose company would have been the direct beneficiary from A Raja’s appointment as the Telecom Minister.
The Constitution of India says that it’s the Prime Minister of India’s prerogative to appoint or form the Council of Ministers. Even at the smaller level if any businessman tries to influence the working of a District Magistrate then it would be considered an obstruction in the due process of law and thereby a crime.
Likewise it becomes a criminal act under the Indian Penal Code when the biggest industrialist of this country like Ratan Tata tries to influence not a small affair but the very process of Cabinet formation with the help of the most influential journalists like Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi.
It’s high time that FIR should be registered against Ratan Tata, Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt and they should be arrested for obstructing and influencing the process of Cabinet formation which is a Constitutional process.
Prima facie there is ample evidence to suggest that these people were trying to influence the process of Cabinet formation which is a criminal act. However, whether these people are guilty or not should be decided by the Court of the law and not the media.
It has also become clear now that Ratan Tata had business interests behind these maneuverings.
What is your reaction to Barkha Dutt’s answer that “a journalist talks to many people while doing a story”?
As far as journalistic ethics is concerned my direct question to Barkha Dutt would be, “After talking to Nira Radia, did she air the news item showing that Ratan Tata was trying to make A. Raja the Telecom Minister?
Himalayan Glaciers Melting At Alarming Rates
(Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development report, 08 December, 2010,, Mexico, December 7, 2010 : Concern for high-mountain regions of the world is rising, according to a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today, which states that the Himalayas and many other glaciers are melting quickly, threatening lives by flooding, and by reducing the region’s freshwater supply. The findings of the report, “High mountain glaciers and climate change” were announced during the UN climate meetings in Cancun, where negotiators are working towards an agreement to reduce climate emissions.
The new UNEP data underlines the urgent need for climate action that will produce quick results – a topic addressed by a separate event today in Cancun, hosted by UNEP and the Federated States of Micronesia, a country calling for a fast-action work program to protect its low-lying islands and other vulnerable countries from climate change impacts.
The panel of scientists and policymakers, including UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, and Mexican Nobel Laureate Mario Molina, emphasized the need to address non-CO2 climate forcers like black carbon soot, methane, tropospheric ozone, and HFCs to achieve fast mitigation.
Black carbon, a particulate aerosol produced from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass burning, directly contributes to glacial melt by settling on snow and ice, which darkens the surface and then absorbs the heat instead of reflecting it.
“The Himalayan glaciers are the main freshwater source for hundreds of millions of people across several countries,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “Fast mitigation of black carbon soot and other non-CO2 forces are the best hope to avert disaster.”
Because these non-CO2 climate warming agents are short-lived in the atmosphere compared to CO2, which can remain for hundreds to thousands of years, reducing them can buy critical time to make aggressive cuts in CO2 emissions.
Added Zaelke, whose organization focuses on the non-CO2 issue and is attending the meetings in Mexico: “Reducing CO2 is essential and we can’t lose that focus, but these are complementary measures that are within easy reach. We would be guilty of Planetary malpractice to waste this opportunity.”
Achim Steiner stated that reducing the non-CO2 forcers “can buy back some of the time” the world has wasted by not addressing CO2 earlier. 

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