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Sunday, December 5, 2010

GJM called 12 hr transport strike in Kurseong and Mirik

KalimNews: A 12 hr transport strike is called in Kurseong by ATJAC on 6th December. The strike is called in protest against the closure of MVI office. It is reminded that GNLF has announced to celebrate 5th year anniversary of signing an accord with the central government for granting VIth schedule status to the DGHC areas on 6th December in Kurseong, Panighatta and Ghoom. In order to avoid any clash the strike is called a GJM source said.
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 5: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-affiliated All Transport Joint Action Committee has called a transport strike in Kurseong and Mirik blocks tomorrow.
Norbu Lama, the president of the committee, said today they could not renew their permits and registration and fitness certificates because of the closure of the district motor vehicles office in the hills. “We had asked the authorities many times to reopen the office but nothing has been done. So, we have called a strike tomorrow,” he said. According to Lama, vehicles will not run between Siliguri and Kurseong or Mirik or Darjeeling or between the three hill towns tomorrow.
One killed in bike accident

TT, Jaigaon: Ranjit Oraon, a resident of Santalibusty near Jaigaon, died when the motorcycle he was riding rammed into a roadside tree on Saturday night. The 30-year-old was going home when the accident occurred at Santalibusty.
Orange festival

TT, Jalpaiguri: The two-day Samsing Jaldhaka Orange Festival will start at Samsing, around 30km from here, on Monday. Tourists, residents and stakeholders of the tourism industry will participate in the festival.
Ashoke solution to setup riddle
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 5:Asok Bhattacharya today said the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha should agree to hold elections to urban and rural local bodies in the hills so that the proposed interim set-up could be run by people chosen on the basis of proportionate representation.
“We would like to reiterate that it is imperative to hold polls to panchayats and four municipalities in the hills to know whom people support.If the Morcha is confident about its support base, it should not shy away from the elections,” Bengal municipal and urban development affairs minister said here.
“Once the polls are conducted, talks can be held if people can be picked on the basis of proportionate representation to run the interim authority as is done in the case of Rajya Sabha (where members are elected by state legislators).
Observers said the minister was taking the middle path as the Morcha was determined to form the interim set-up with nominated members, while the state wanted elected representatives.The chief minister had made it clear last week that the state was not ready to consent to the interim set-up unless elections were held to the authority and the local bodies.
Told about Bhattacharya’s comments, Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, said: “The demarcation of panchayats, panchayat samitis, blocks and municipalities was done on the basis of records of 1971.
“As there have been substantial changes in terms of population and administrative jurisdiction of areas after 1971, we want the government to start a delimitation process, which may result in the division of existing blocks and the formation of new panchayats. We have already submitted a detail report on this to the Centre during the tripartite talks.”
KalimNews: Gautam Dey, District Secretary of TMC also stressed that three tier panchayat election should be held in Darjeeling hills.

Bangladesh lifted Second Chandan Singh Rawat Trophy
KalimNews: Bangladesh veterans lifted 2nd Chandan Singh Rawat Tropy in the Chandan Singh Rawat Veterans Football Tournament 2010 organised by Kalimpong Veterans Club defeating Kolkata veterans by 2-0. L.B.Pariyar Ex IAS officer Chief guest of the programme gave away the prizes. of the programme gave away the prizes.

Sikkim arranges coaching camps for examinees
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, GANGTOK, December 5: Following Chief Minister Pawan Chamling’s promise to conduct free winter camps for students appearing for Class X and Class XII board exams due next year, the State human resource development department had identified each school in each constituency in the State where students can attend the free coaching sessions.
The two months long winter coaching camp will commence from December 15 or earlier, said HRD director CS Rao.
It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had recently announced free winter coaching camps for students appearing for the Class X and Class XII board exams. He has sanctioned a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs for this purpose so that Sikkimese students are well prepared for the upcoming board examination.
The HRD director informed that the department has identified one school in each constituency where the free coaching camp will be conducted by best teachers selected from the constituency. “Each constituency will have one school where the coaching camp will be held. Separate teams of teachers will be holding the classes for Class X and Class XII students. The minimum duration of the camp will be of two months where the students can take special coaching free of cost”, he said.
The teachers will be providing coaching classes for Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and English. Four teachers will be in one group for Class X and another four teachers will be selected for Class XII camp.
“We have asked the school principals to identify the best teachers from each constituency and prepare teams. The joint directors of the department have been asked to organize the camp and make the necessary arrangements”, said Rao.
The sum of Rs. 50 lakhs approved by the Chief Minister has been divided equally among the 31 territorial constituencies of Sikkim. Each identified school will be receiving Rs. 1.67 lakhs to organize the winter coaching camp.
The schools identified for constituencies of East Sikkim are Tadong senior secondary school (SSS) for Upper Tadong, Tashi Namgyal SSS for Upper Burtuk and Gangtok, Assam Lingzey SSS for Namcheybong, Machong SSS for Gnathang-Machong, Rumtek SSS for Martam-Rumtek, Singtam SSS for Khamdong-Singtam, West Point SSS for Syari, Deorali Girls SSS for Arithang, Sonamati SSS for West Pandam, Rhenock SSS for Rhenock and Chujachen SSS for Chujachen.
In West district, the identified schools are Tashiding SSS for Yuksom Tashiding, Pelling SSS for Yangthang, Kyongsa Girls SSS for Bermoik-Geyzing, Dentam SSS for Maneybung-Dentam, Kaluk SSS for Rinchenpong, Soreng SSS for Chakung-Soreng, Sombari SSS for Daramdin-Sombaria and Zoom secondary school for Zoom-Salghari.
In South district, the identified schools for winter coaching camps are Samdung SSS for Tumin-Lingee, Temi SSS for Temi-Namphing, VC Ganju Lama SSS for Barfung, Yangang SSS for Rangang-Yangang, Jorethang SSS, Namchi Girls SSS for Singithang-Namchi, Namthang SSS for Rateypani-Namthang and Melli secondary school for Melli.The identified schools in the three constituencies for North district are Phodong SSS for Kabi Lungchok, Mangan SSS for Lachen-Mangan and Hee Gyathang for Dzongu-Mangshila.
“All the students are requested to contact the principal of these schools for attending the winter coaching camp. We appeal the students and parents to make use of this opportunity provided by the State government. The coaching camp is free but the students have to make their own arrangements for their stay”, said Rao.

Molest scanner on colonel
TT, Gangtok, Dec. 5: A code of inquiry has been initiated against a colonel and three other army officers for allegedly molesting women manning a casino here after midnight on December 1. According to army sources, Colonel Sandeep Singh, who had checked into the hotel after he arrived in Sikkim as a temporary duty officer for the Signals, and three other officers, are now facing the inquiry being conducted by the 17th Mountain Division. Senior army officers here said the colonel had come from Indore, where he was posted.< While the hotel was tight-lipped about the incident and made no complaint with police, sources said the management got in touch with the tour operator that had handled the colonel’s reservation. The tour operator got in touch with the army here and Colonel Singh was taken away from the hotel by the military police the morning after the incident took place, the sources said.
अब चुनाउ?
मनोज वोगटी,;कालेबुङ, 5 दिसम्बर।केन्द्रले दिएको प्रस्ताव हो अन्तरिम प्राधिकरण। दागोपापको वैद्धता भङ्ग गर्दा आउने रित्तो ठाउँमा चलाइने एक अन्तरिम व्यवस्था। मोर्चाले त्यसमा अधिकार र क्षमता थप्यो अनि झन्नै गोर्खाल्याण्ड नै वा डिफेक्टो गोर्खाल्याण्ड नै बतायो। चाहिएको हो दागोपापसित नै सिलगढ़ी महकुमा परिषद पनि भङ्ग गरेर, त्यसमा तराई र डुवर्स पनि सामेल गरेर गोर्खाल्याण्डको पूर्ण मानचित्र तयार पार्नु। मोर्चाको प्रारम्भिककालीन घोषणा पनि यस्तै थियो।
अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणमा पनि खुशीको माहौल बनाउने विषय नै थियो तराई र डुवर्सको अन्तरभुक्तिकरण। किन भने मोर्चालाई गोरामुमोको भूल सच्याउनु थियो। गोरामुमोले सिलगढ़ी, तराई डुवर्सलाई छोड़िसकेको थियो। गोर्खाल्याण्ड हुँदैन अनि छैटौं अनुसूची नै पर्याप्त हो भन्ने ज्ञान घिसिङमा पसेपछि छोड़िएका यी भूभागहरू अन्तरिमको वाहनामा मोर्चालाई हुल्नु थियो। तर राजनैतिक चरित्रले अरू नै रङ देखायो। अन्तमा तराई, डुवर्सविना नै प्राधिकरण थाप्ने कुरामा मोर्चा पुग्यो।
दागोपाप भङ्ग गरिनुपर्ने विषयमा केन्द्रले आफ्नो राजनीति शुरू गर्‍यो अनि अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको मसला निकाल्यो। सबै कुरा ठामठिम भइसकेर पनि केन्द्रले अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको निम्ति कुनै पनि चुड़ान्त निर्णय गर्न सुरसार नगरेकोले अहिले मोर्चाले केन्द्रलाई चुनौति नै दिँदै आन्दोलन नै प्राधिकरणको निम्ति चर्काइरहेको छ। यसको निम्ति मोर्चाले एकमुष्ट कार्यक्रम नै घोषणा गरिसकेको छ। मोर्चाका अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङ दिल्ली गएपछि प्राधिकरण भइहाल्ने ठोकुवा गरेका थिए भने प्राधिकरण हुनु त टाड़ाको कुरा वार्ता नै नगरेर केन्द्र चुपचाप बसिरहेको बेला मोर्चा टोली फेरि दिल्ली पुगेर पनि फर्किएका छन्‌।
सधैँ प्राधिकरणको निम्ति कुरा गर्न जाने मोर्चाले यसपल्ट बेग्लै कामले गएको बताए पनि फर्किँदै बाटोमा नै प्राधिकरणको कुरा नगरेर पञ्चायत तथा अन्य चुनाउहरूको कुरा गरे। उनीहरूले दिल्लीबाट फर्किँदै चुनाउको कुरालाई प्राथमिकतासित उठाएकोले अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको कुरा अब चुनाउमा आएर अल्झिएको अनुमान लगाइन थालेको छ। यसै पनि चुनाउ लड़ेर नै अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणलाई प्रतिनिधि दिनुपर्ने कुरा राज्य सरकारको पक्षमा अघि आएको थियो। यसो गरे देशको संविधानको अवमानना हुने छैन अनि पहाड़ले निम्ति संवैधानिक अनि स्थायी व्यवस्था प्राप्त गर्ने छ। तर केन्द्रको प्रस्ताव अनुसार मोर्चाले प्राधिकरण अस्थायी र दुइवर्षको मात्र रहेकोले यसको निम्ति चुनाउ हुन नसक्ने अनि मोर्चाबाट नै प्रतिनिधिहरू चुनाउ नगरी मोर्चाले छानेर दिने कुरामा सरकारसित कुराकानी गरिरहेको थियो। जसको कुनै निष्कर्ष आएको थिएन।
दसवर्षदेखि हुन नसकेको पञ्चायत चुनाउको कुरा अहिले उठ्‌दैछ। यस अघि पहाड़मा त्रिस्तरीय चुनाउ हुनुपर्ने कुरामा पनि निक्कै दवावी कार्यक्रमहरू भएकै हो। दसवर्षसम्म चुनाउ नभएको कारण पहाड़मा गणतन्त्र हराएको कुरा उठिरहेको थियो। मोर्चा आएदेखि नगरपालिका चुनाउ पनि हुन छोड़ेको थियो। दागोपापको चुनाउ नगरी यसको मियाद बढ़ाउँदै बङ्गाल सरकारले कार्यवाहक प्रशासक राखेर काम गरिरहेको छ, जहॉं व्यापक भ्रष्टचार भएको खुलासा प्रशासकले नै गरेर आफ्नो क्षमता देखाइसकेका छन्‌।
गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति भएको आन्दोलन प्राधिकरणमा पुगेपछि दसवर्षपछि पहाड़मा पञ्चायत चुनाउको कुरा भइरहेको छ जसको निम्ति मोर्चाले क्षेत्र सीमाङ्‌कनको कुरा उठाएको छ। मोर्चालाई दलीय क्षमता देखाउन अब चुनाउ नै गरेर केन्द्रलाई देखाउन पर्ने परिस्थिति आइपुगेको हो कि भन्ने कुरा मोर्चाले दिल्लीबाट फर्किएर चुनाउको कुरा गरेपछि चलिरहेको छ। उसो भए अब पहाड़मा पञ्चायत चुनाउ हुनेछ। नगरपालिका चुनाउ पनि हुनेछ जसमा मोर्चाले प्रार्थी दिनेछन्‌ अनि त्यहीँबाट दुइवर्षे अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको निम्ति पॉंचवर्षे मियादी प्रतिनिधिहरू दिनेछन्‌ त? के अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको मियाद फेरि पॉंचवर्षको हुनेछ त? पॉंचवर्षको अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको मियाद तन्काउँदै फेरि बीस वर्षे हुन्छ त? फेरि मोर्चाको शासन बीसवर्ष चल्ने हो त? यस्ता किसिमका प्रश्नहरू अहिले उठिरहेको छ।

चुनाउको कुरा पहाड़मा भित्रिएपछि पहाड़को राजनीतिले दिशा मोड़ेको अनुमान सबैले गरिरहेका छन्‌। पञ्चायत चुनाउको कुरा उठ्‌दाउठ्‌दै बङ्गाललाई विधानसभा चुनाउले छोप्ने छ। यस चुनाउमा पहाड़को पदक्षेप कस्तो हुन्छ त? यो प्रश्न निक्कै झरिलो बनेको छ। पहाड़को तीनवटा आशनमा कसले कसलाई आफ्ना प्रतिनिधिहरू दिनेछन्‌? कस्तो शर्त र सम्झौतामा विधानसभा चुनाउमा पहाड़ले अंशग्रहण गर्ने हो? माकपालाई सघाउने हो?कि तृणमूल केग्रेसलाई? कि कंग्रेसलाई कि भाजपा वा अन्य दलहरूलाई? यसको निम्ति मोर्चाले अहिले सॉंधिरहेको मौनताबाट प्राधिकरणको मुद्दाले उठाइरहेको अनेकौं सवालहरूको एकसाथ जवाब निस्कने हो त? अब पहाड़मा प्रश्नै प्रश्न उठ्‌न शुरू भएको छ।
कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सह्गठनद्वारा कृषक घोषित गरेर पर्चापट्टा दिनुपर्ने माग
कालेबुङ, 5 नोभेम्बर।जिल्लाभरि 250 वटा सङ्गठनहरू स्थापित गरेर देशमा दार्जीलिङ जिल्लालाई जैविक कृषि क्षेत्रकोरूपमा स्थापित गराउन प्रयासरत कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सङ्गठनले सिन्कोनाबारी, चियाबारी अनि राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग वरिपरिका मजदूर वा नागरिकहरूलाई सरकारले कृषक घोषित गर्नुपर्ने अनि उनीहरूलाई पर्चापट्टा दिइनुपर्ने माग गर्दै देशका प्रधानमन्त्री मनमोहन सिंह अनि युपीए चेयरपर्सन सोनिया गान्धीलाई एउटा फ्याक्स वार्ता पठाएको छ।
कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सङ्गठनले चियाबारी अनि सिन्कोनाबारीका सम्पूर्ण समस्याहरूमाथि स्वाधिनता दिवसको दिन अन्तरक्रिया गरेको थियो। यसै कार्यक्रममा लिइएको प्रस्ताव अनुसार सङ्गठनले चियावारी अनि सिन्कोनाबारीका समस्याहरूबारे लिएर केन्द्र सरकार अधिनस्त निकायहरूलाई अवगत गराइरहेको छ। अहिले महङ्गाइमा चियाबारी अनि सिन्कोनाबारीका मजदूरहरूले जुन रोज प्राप्त गरिरहेका छन्‌ त्यो समयानुरूप नरहेको अनि सरकारद्वारा मजदूरहरूको निम्ति तयार गरेको रोजनीति अनुसार नरहेको कुरालाई सङ्गठनले महत्वकोसाथ उठान गरिरहेको छ। दैनिक रोज राम्रो नरहेको कारण नै सिन्कानाबारी, चियाबारी अनि राष्ट्रीय राजमार्गहरू (जस्तै 31 ए. राजमार्ग, 31 राजमार्ग अनि 55 राजमार्ग)को निकटवर्ति क्षेत्रहरूका मानिसहरूले कृषिलाई आफ्नै क्षमतानुसार अप्नाइरहेका छन्‌।
उनीहरू मजदूर रहेको भएपनि देशका किनारीकृत(मार्जिनलाइज्ड) वा साना कृषकहरू हुन्‌। देशले यस्ता किनारीकृत कृषकहरूको निम्ति अलग्गै नीति तयार पारेको छ जस अन्तर्गत उनीहरूलाई विभिन्न सहुलियत प्रदान गर्दै उनीहरूको कृषि अनि ग्रामीण समस्याको निदान गरिन्छ। तर अहिलेसम्म पनि उनीहरूलाई सरकारले कृषकको दर्जा दिएको छैन। सङ्गठनका मूल सचिव विष्णु छेत्रीले यसै सम्बन्धमा भने, उनीहरूको जीवन कम्ति दैनिकरोजले चल्दैन यसकारण उनीहरूको अधिकांश जीवन कृषिमा नै निर्भरशील छ। पहाड़ी बजार र माग अनुरुपको कृषि उनीहरूले गरिरहेका छन्‌ तर भारत स्वाधिनता भएको यत्रोवर्षसम्म पनि उनीहरूलाई किन सरकारले कृषककोरूपमा मान्यता नदिएको हो? सङ्गठनले यससम्बन्धमा सरकारको ध्यानाकर्षण गर्दै उनीहरूलाई कृषक घोषित गर्नुपर्ने माग राखेको छ।
तिनले यससम्बन्धमा सङ्गठनको एउटा टोलीले यससित सम्बन्धित मन्त्रालय अनि निकायसित मात्र नभएर प्रधानमन्त्री समेतलाई अवगत गराइरहेको पनि जनाएका छन्‌। तिनले यससम्बन्धमा सरकारी एजेन्सीहरू जो यससित सम्बन्धित छ उनीहरूको हाइपवर कमिटी बनाउनुपर्ने अनि उनीहरूले सरकारलाई यी क्षेत्रमा नागरिकहरूको समस्याहरूबारे सुजाउ र सल्लाह राख्नुपर्ने पनि जनाएका छन्‌। तिनले भने, उनीहरूलाई साना कृषक वा किनारीकृत कृषकहरूले पाउने सहुलियतहरू उपलब्ध गराइनुपर्छ। तिनले सङ्गठनले यस्ता चियावारी. सिन्कोनाबारी अनि राष्ट्रीय राजमार्ग निकटवर्ती क्षेत्रमा बसेबासो गर्ने नागरिकहरूलाई पर्चापट्टा दिइनुपर्ने सम्बन्धमा पनि फ्याक्स वार्ता पठिाएको र यस सम्बन्धमा सङ्गठनले निरन्तर आवाज उठाइरहेको पनि जनाए।
तिनले भने, युपीए सरकारले साना कृषकहरूको निम्ति विभिन्न योजनाहरू तयार पारेको छ जो पहाड़मा पनि शीघ्र नै लागू गरिनुपर्छ। तिनले धेरैजसो योजनाहरू अरू राज्यमा कार्यान्वयन गराइएको भए पनि त्यसको एकांश पनि दार्जीलिङमा लागू नगरिएको बताउँदै यससम्बन्धमा पनि फ्याक्स वार्ता प्राधनमन्त्री अनि सोनिया गान्धीलाई पठाइएको पनि जनाएका छन्‌।

ISRO in tea gardens
TTJalpaiguri, Dec. 5: A team of Indian Space Research Organisation scientists has arrived in north Bengal to conduct ground-based surveys of tea gardens before using remote sensing satellites to map the estates.
The survey is part of a project expected to help tea growers in north Bengal improve the management of their plantations and their yields.
The Isro programme jointly with the Tea Board is intended to determine actual area covered by tea in the gardens, find out if land is available for new crops, and develop plans for improved water management. Satellite imagery may also be used to monitor the uprooting of tea bushes for soil rehabilitation before fresh planting.
The Isro-Tea Board programme is initially expected to cover Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar and North Dinajpur in Bengal, and more than 20 districts in Assam. A research component of the programme will aim at predicting the green leaf yield of plantations and issuing advance warnings about pest attacks and diseases.
“We are hoping that once the project is completed the tea industry would undergo an overall change for the better. Growers will have forecasts of the yields as well as information about pest attacks,” said Samaresh Mondal, the assistant director of the Tea Board office here.

Isro has already mapped areas covered under tea in about 300 large tea gardens in the Terai, Dooars and the Darjeeling hills, an Isro scientist said.“We are currently comparing the maps with our satellite images and carrying out an on-the-spot survey of these gardens,” the scientist said.
The satellite images can also accurately determine the land lying fallow as well as map irrigation and drainage systems in the gardens. This will help identify potential drains to divert excess runoff water and improve the water management in the gardens. A scientist also pointed out fresh mapping was being done in parts of North Dinajpur and Cooch Behar classified as a New Tea Growing Area.
“We have prepared maps for small tea gardens right from the block and the mouza levels. We are mapping both large and small tea gardens that are facing river erosion and land degradation through landslides,” the scientist said.
The scientists also said that within a year 40 weather observatories would be set up by Isro so that planters, both large and small, got forecasts of rainfall as well as changes in the weather.
The team surveyed gardens in the Kharia area of Jalpaiguri Sadar block in this morning and in the afternoon visited Mainaguri and small gardens in adjoining Cooch Behar district. They were equipped with global positioning systems and satellite images. They said it would take another year till the survey was completed. Once the project was completed the information will be updated regularly and will be available on a dedicated server.

Run for Kalimpong a marathon organised by Adidas(Namther Lepcha of Darjeeling was declared the winner of the race)

Free study kids 'rescued'
TT,  Malda, Dec. 5: The GRP rescued 10 children from an express train at Malda station last night but was forced to release the suspected trafficker accompanying them after the parents of the minor boys refused to complain.
Mohammed Razim, hailing from Purnea, had claimed that he was taking the children to a madrasa in Kerala for free Arabic studies. All the boys, aged between five and 10 years, are from Purnea and Chhapra districts in Bihar.
Razim had also told police that the parents of the boys had consented to let them go with him.
But the police refused to buy his story since he failed to produce any documents in support of his claims.
Of the 10 boys, six had boarded the Teesta Torsha Express from Aluabari in North Dinajpur while the rest caught the Sealdah-bound train at Dalkhola.
The passengers of the train had become suspicious on seeing 10 children huddled in a compartment and informed the GRP at Malda station over their cellphones.
When the train reached Malda around 9pm yesterday, the GRP surrounded the compartment and rescued the boys. Imran Sheikh, one of the boys, said he was from Chhapra district. He has four brothers and one sister and his father Intiaz Sheikh was a day labourer.
The 10-year boy said a maulavi of his village was sending him to a madrasa in Kerala. Most of the boys told the police that they were going there to study.
The inspector-in-charge of the GRP, Prabir Das, had said last night that the parents of the children would be called to crosscheck if they were really sending them to Kerala for studies.
“We have collected the address of each boy and their parents would be sent informed. We shall hand them over to their parents once they come to us. The boys are too young to speak clearly,” Das had said.
Today, all the boys who had spent the night in GRP custody at Malda station, were handed over to their parents, who refused to file any complaints against Razim. He was released.
The inspector said his force had been informed about the children by the passengers.
School poll heat on CPM MLA - Trinamul accused of Left assault
Harish Barman, TT, Cooch Behar, Dec. 5: The CPM MLA from Sitalkuchi and several Left Front leaders were beaten up by alleged Trinamul Congress supporters this afternoon after elections to a school committee in Harish Barman’s constituency.
Police burst tear-gas shells and resorted to a lathi-charge to disperse the mob as CPM and Forward Bloc leaders sat on a dharna in front of Sitalkuchi police station demanding the arrest of Trinamul leader Abid Ali Miyan, accused of orchestrating the attack.
This is not the first time that a CPM leader faced Trinamul heat in Mathabhanga subdivision. On September 23, former CPM minister Dinesh Dakua had a narrow escape, after a party office in Sarkarerhat, 10km from Sitalkuchi, came under attack from Trinamul supporters. In a series of clashes in nearby Mathabhanga a day later, nearly 50 persons were injured, including some prominent Left leaders, while trying to enforce a bandh in the area to protest the attack on Dakua.
Today, the elections to the managing committee of Gopinath High School in Sitalkuchi, 70km from here, that began at 9 am.
Barman said he had been sitting inside the Bloc office, close to the school and almost adjacent to the police station, when the attack took place. “When Trinamul realised they were losing the elections, they attacked the party office. A mob of over a hundred hoodlums had lathis and spears with which they beat me up. My two security guards were injured while trying to protect me and Bloc leader Atiar Rehman,” MLA Barman said.
Rehman claimed at least 25 Left Front members were injured. Eight people, Rehman said, were admitted to the Sitalkuchi block hospital.
Barman said he was surprised at the role of police, who could not prevent the attack on him and the party office.
The additional police superintendent of the district, Amit P. Javalgi, said his force had to burst three rounds of tear-gas shells to quell the violence. The police confirmed that some people had to be hospitalised but could not confirm the number.
The president of the Cooch Behar Trinamul, Rabindranath Ghosh, said: “Harish Barman and his men are indulging in nothing but drama.”
Congress comeback eye on Siliguri

TT, Siliguri, Dec. 5: The Congress is eyeing all three Assembly seats of the Siliguri subdivision and will soon begin political activities to consolidate its support base, Darjeeling district president Shankar Malakar said here today.
Since morning, the district Congress office wore a festive look with party supporters dancing to the tunes of music played out by bands, smearing each other with green abirand shouting “Shankar Malakar Zindabad” to celebrate the district president’s comeback.
“Presuming that the Assembly elections will be held in the next few months, my focus will be on the three Assembly seats of the subdivision, — Siliguri, Matigara-Naxalbari and Phansidewa. We have proved our base at the mahakuma parishad and the civic body elections. Now it is the time to prove ourselves (in the Assembly polls) and consolidate the support base,” Malakar said.
The Congress leader said he had led the party in a number of elections and tasted both success and failure. “My attempt will be to take up both macro and micro-level issues, enhance the contact with common people and apprise them of the atrocities of the CPM and vision of the Congress as well as the Congress-Trinamul Congress alliance.”
Malakar’s focus on the three seats assumes significance considering the party’s political base. “Trinamul has some support base in the civic area and in some parts of Bagdogra, while the Congress is strong both in the municipal parts and the rural areas of the subdivision,” an observer said.
Malakar’s reinstatement, Congress workers said, would help augment the party activities in the district. “We are not undermining the qualities of Uday Dubey (the outgoing district chief) but under his leadership regular activities of the Congress had taken a backseat, particularly in rural levels. It was either Youth Congress or Chhatra Parishad members who were running the show with virtually nothing being done by the district leadership,” a worker said.

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