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Monday, December 27, 2010

Madan Tamang memorial damaged ... Four flee jail through window ... Ghising to meet CM.. ABAVP strike on 28 & 29 .. Telangana heat rises before report date

Tamang memorial erected
just after the murder
KalimNews: ABGL has made an FIR against unknown miscreants for damaging a memorial of Late Madan Tamang in Darjeeling. The memorial was built at Clubside of Darjeeling on the spot where Late Tamang was hacked to death on 21 May 2010.
As per the report, photo plate of late Tamang is missing as well as ABGL flags of the memorial were also found torn in the morning of 26th December. It is believed that miscreants during attack damaged the plaque and the memorial. 
Vandals strike Madan memorial at murder site
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Dec. 26: Unidentified hooligans have removed the portrait of Madan Tamang and the ABGL party flags from his memorial structure at Upper Clubside in Darjeeling.
The memorial was erected by Tamang’s family members at the site where the former ABGL chief had been hacked to death hours before he was to address a public meeting on May 21.
The vandalism was noticed this morning. The photograph of Tamang was missing and eight of the 11 flags surrounding the plinth were found uprooted. The flags had been planted at the spot ahead of the meeting on the fateful day.
The memorial to Madan 
Tamang after the vandalism. 
Picture by Suman Tamang
The ABGL has refrained from blaming any political party for the incident.
“We will immediately write to the chief minister and the Union home minister regarding the incident. We believe the act has been the handiwork of those who oppose our party,” said Laxman Pradhan, the general secretary of the ABGL’s Darjeeling district committee, without naming any political outfit.
The hill leader’s assassination has been blamed on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, names of whose 30 members figure in the chargesheet filed by the CID in a Darjeeling court
“If police do not take any action and immediately arrest the miscreants involved in the incident, the ABGL will take appropriate steps,” said Pradhan, without elaborating the party’s plan.
The police have started an investigation.
“The ABGL has filed a complaint with us, saying unknown miscreants removed party flags and took off Tamang’s picture from the memorial. We are investigating the incident,” said a police officer.
The ABGL is planning to put up a statue of Tamang at the memorial. “The statue is being made and it will be placed on the memorial soon,” said Pradhan.
Ghising to meet CM
KalimNews: GNLF Chief Subhas Ghising will meet CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya today. Ghising is in Kolkata and had sought an appointment with CM. A source said Ghising is seeking escort and security for his safe passage to Darjeeling. In response to Ghising appeal district administration has denied to escort him explaining him that the situation is still not favourable for his return. 
ABAVP strike on 28 & 29
KalimNews: ABAVP will oppose the National Adivasi Federation convention to be held on 28th and 29th December in Mal Bazar. The federation is a CPM sponsored association and Brinda Karat, Upen Kisku, Devlila Hembrom and Biman Basu are attending the two  day convention. 
District administration and CPM had arlier requested ABAVP to withdraw the proposed strike on these two days. ABAVP sources said that a meeting held in Banarhat yesterday couldnot decide over the exact programme of ABAVP as a mark of its protest against the convention. It is meeting today to decide over it. It has called a two days complete strike in the Dooars area on 28th and 29th.
Four flee jail through window- Scanner on hacksaw presence
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 26: Four prisoners fled the Siliguri special jail through a bathroom window early this morning, raising questions on how they got hold of a hacksaw suspected to have been used to cut through an iron rod and putting under the scanner the role of the security staff.

When in use, a hacksaw gives off a screeching noise of metal moving against metal that is hard to miss on a still winter night.
The jail has two armed personnel manning the main gate and a guard for each ward.
After jumping out of the window of the bathroom on the ground floor, the undertrials scaled the 20ft boundary wall with the help of a rope made by tying up gamchas (thin coarse cotton towels used to dry the body after bathing). One of the gamchas was left behind at the base of the wall on the prison grounds, sources in the jail said. They also said the accused could have got hold of the hacksaw during a construction work inside the jail a month back.
However, the superintendent of the Siliguri Special Correctional Home — one of the four special jails in the state set up to accommodate excess prisoners in some district jails — refused to say anything on the construction work and added that details would be available only after all the guards and staff were interrogated.
All the four are undertrials and had been booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The six wards of the jail in Subhaspalli have 200 inmates and the four who fled were in Ward 1. Each ward has two bathrooms. Police stations across the Darjeeling district have been alerted.
Jail superintendent T.R. Bhutia said the jailbreak occurred between 1am and 2am and an inquiry is on to find out whether there had been a security lapse.
“This morning, we have lodged a complaint with the Siliguri police. I have informed my higher officials also about the incident,” Bhutia said.
Sources in the jail said the four who fled today are Akas Gurung, 33, Matrika Upreti, 28, Raju Das, 37, and Anarul Haque, 20 Apart from Upreti who is from Jhapa in Nepal and was picked up from Kharibari in 2009, the others were arrested this year. Gurung and Das are from Jalpaiguri district, while Anarul from Islampur in North Dinajpur. The four had been booked for transporting cannabis, the minimum penalty for such offence being 10 years in prison along with fines.
Asked if it was not unusual for the jail staff not to have heard the hacksaw being used at night which reflected lapses in prison security, Bhutia said: “An inquiry has been started to ascertain whether there was any negligence on the part of on- duty guards.”
Gaurav Sharma, the additional superintendent of police, Siliguri, and other officials inspected the jail today.
“We have started search operations for the prisoners and alerted all the police stations across the sub-division and district as well, but nobody has been arrested so far,” the ASP said.
No recommendation for Telangana
PTI, Hyderabad, Dec 27:The BN Srikrishna committee will not make a concrete recommendation to form Telangana state and a long-drawn battle may be needed to achieve the goal, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao said today.
"I have information that the Srikrishna committee will only give the pros and cons of continuation of Andhra Pradesh and the pros and cons of a separate Telangana," the TRS chief told a meeting of the steering committee of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC). "It will not make a concrete recommendation to form a separate state. We need not bother about it."
Rao announced a plan of action to be undertaken in the new year after the Srikrishna committee submits its report by the end of this month.
Protests will be held in front of district collectorates on January 10 followed by road blockades on January 17, he said.
Indefinite relay hunger strikes would start from January 21 across Telangana, he said, adding that the JAC would decide on undertaking a non-cooperation movement as part of the agitation.
Stating that the separate protest programmes announced by the students of Osmania University are resulting in problems, he suggested that all should work under the auspices of the JAC which includes the TRS, the BJP and a number of smaller Telangana outfits.
Condemning the heavy deployment of security forces in Telangana ahead of the submission of report to the Centre, Rao said Telangana supporters should go ahead with their fight for a separate state without fearing the security forces.
He criticised the Congress leaders from Telangana for not taking concrete action to achieve a separate state.
Meanwhile, the JAC repeated its demand that the Centre table a bill in the budget session of Parliament to form Telangana state.
Telangana heat rises before report date
G.S. RADHAKRISHNA, TT, Hyderabad, Dec. 26: The campaign for a Telangana state has intensified as the scheduled date for the release of the Srikrishna Committee report draws near.
The Telangana Political Joint Action Committee and Congress leaders from the region today held separate meetings in Hyderabad to chalk out their plans for December 31, when the report is to be released.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who leads the action committee, even offered to merge his party into the Congress if the Centre granted statehood, but the Congress rejected it.
Both meetings demanded that the state government withdraw the cases against all the Osmania University students and pull out the paramilitary from Telangana. The Congress leaders threatened resignations and a fast while the action committee promised to intensify its agitation.
The action committee meeting demanded that the state government announce the statehood process by the year-end. The TRS-BJP combine has already begun motivating cadres to fight tooth and nail if the government keeps the statehood question hanging.
Congress Working Committee member and MP K. Keshava Rao said today’s Congress meeting had urged the party high command to place the Telangana bill in Parliament during the budget session. The TRS made a similar demand and said it would intensify its agitation immediately to put pressure on the Centre.
The nine MPs, seven ministers, 15 MLAs and four members of the legislative council present at the Congress meeting declared they would resign their posts if the Centre failed to announce the creation of Telangana.
Keshava Rao said he was confident that the Srikrishna report would favour statehood. “If not, we will not blink twice and resign en masse,” he said.
The Congress leaders plan to launch a hunger strike from Monday, December 27, at the gun park in front of the Assembly if the state government fails to withdraw all the cases against the students involved in the Telangana agitation. The government has withdrawn only 565 of the 1,667 cases, giving relief to 2,436 of the 8,047 accused.
Sarve Satyanarayana, Congress MP from Siddipet, said: “We will stage a fast till death if the government does not withdraw the cases by this evening.”
“Deployment of paramilitary forces against a democratic agitation is unprecedented and unheard of,” Keshava Rao said.
The Congress leaders demanded that the Centre launch the process for the formation of a Telangana state.
“We won’t have the face to visit our constituencies if the Centre fails to do so,” Keshava Rao said.
Train-hit tusker dead
TT, Siliguri, Dec. 26: An elephant hit by an goods train on November 15 was found dead at Farabari beat of Baikunthapur forest division this morning.
According to forest officials, the animal had lost one of its tusks and had suffered severe injuries on its shoulder, left hind leg and other parts of the body in the accident at 10th Mile between Gulma and Sevoke stations in the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary. “Post-mortem findings have revealed that the animal had suffered multiple injuries and the wounds had developed septicemia over time that caused its death,” said Dharamdeb Rai, the divisional forest officer of Baikunthapur.
Depot blaze
TT, Siliguri: A warehouse on Sevoke Road was damaged in a fire on Sunday. Three fire engines from the Siliguri station doused the flames. Fire officials suspect a short circuit had caused the blaze.
Garden meet
TT, Jaigaon: A tripartite meeting between the management of Bhagatpur Tea Estate, workers’ unions and officials of the labour department will be held at the joint labour commissioner’s office in Siliguri on Monday. The estate is shut since December 18 after some workers demonstrated in the garden alleging the owners had not been able to manage the estate. The garden in Nagrakata block has 1,692 workers.

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