To contact us CLICK HERE
View Kalimpong News at
Citizen reporters may send photographs related to news with proper information to

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dooars Long March put on hold on 14th Day - Chain Hunger strike continues in Dooars on 3rd day ...Major’ protest threat from Morcha- Agitation to start on February 8 ... Gurung is Mamata of hills: Deb

Dooars Long March put on hold on 14th Day - Chain Hunger strike continues in Dooars on 3rd day 
KalimNews, Khumani More, 31 January: On the 14th day too Bimal Gurung and GJM is not allowed to walk through the Dooars area. No GJM supporters are allowed to enter and assemble in and around Shibsu area and near Shibsu Community Hall the hunger strike venue. Today as usual seven GJNM women members participated in the relay hunger strike without any obstruction. Several thousands of GJM supporters gathered at Khumani near the barricade area shouted slogans against the state government and state police. More and more youths are reinforcing in the Khumani GJM camps to support the GJM volunteers.
The party decided today in a central committee meeting held in Darjeeling to suspend the Dooars Padyatra till 7th February. Bimal Gurung had started his "Long March" on 18th January from Gorubathan but was stopped at various points and lastly at Samsing during the late afternoon of that day. On the 19th Gurung and Dr Harka Bdr Chhetri separately tried to enter the Dooars area bordering Darjeeling District from Kumai Chalsa Samsing area but were stopped by the Jalpaiguri police near Khumani. And from that very day Gurung is stationed there with a determination to enter Dooars. Though all are stopped at Khumani Gurung some GJM members managed to sneak to Shibsu Forest Village area of Nagarkatta Dooars twice and cross a few hundred meters of the barricade once.
Administration was ignoring while GJM supporters were entering the Dooars area very often but were not allowed in large numbers. On 30th January GJM supporters managed to enter the Shibsu Forest village and gathered around violating 144 Cr PC clamped there, the site where GJM supporters were on a chain hunger strike. Jalpaiguri Divisional Commisioner AK Singh ordered the crowd of GJM supporters lead by Dr Ram Bhujel and Kalyan Dewan to leave the area. The crowd ignored the order and after a few minutes IRB jawans came in a police van and caned the GJM supporters mercilessly injuring 11 with minor injuries and seriously injuring Prakash Rai of Shibsu with fractured ankle.
‘Major’ protest threat from Morcha - Agitation to start on February 8
TT, Jan. 31: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has threatened to start a “major” agitation across north Bengal from February 8 even as the Centre indicated that the draft of the interim authority might be soon presented to the party.
Nari Morcha members demonstrate in front of the Kalimpong police
station on Monday. Picture by Chinlop Fudong Lepcha
However, starting tomorrow, the party will scale down its existing programmes till February 6.
Union home minister P. Chidambaram, while presenting his ministry’s report card for January, said: “Next steps are being actively considered.” While laying emphasis on “actively”, Chidambaram indicated that the meeting with the Morcha last week was positive. In the same breath, he urged the Morcha to call off its agitation and cooperate in maintaining law and order. Chidambaram said he was happy to note that the bandh had been lifted by the Morcha. The minister was referring to the 27-day strike called by the Morcha in the hills to pressure the Centre to clear its stand on Gorkhaland.
The party is yet to react to Chidambaram’s statement.
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said: “An emergency meeting of the party’s central committee was held in Darjeeling today where we decided to start a major agitation in the Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars from February 8 onwards. We are, however, not immediately announcing the programme but are trying to convey a message to the general public to be ready for this agitation.”
Another round of the Morcha’s central committee meeting will be held on February 7. Till then the party has decided not to push hard for the Bimal Gurung-led “long march for Gorkhaland” to the Dooars. The march has been stopped by the administration at Kumani More on the edge of the Dooars where the security forces have set up a barricade.
“The march is being suspended till February 6. Between February 1 and 3, no demonstrations will be organised in front of police stations. The demonstrations will resume on February 4. The relay hunger strike will continue as usual,” said Giri. A proposed padayatra from Darjeeling to the Terai, which had been lined up for February 2, has also been postponed. 

The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha will, however, go ahead with its “black flag” rally in the hills tomorrow. The rally is being organised to condemn the alleged lathicharge on Morcha supporters at Sibchu in Jalpaiguri district yesterday.
TH, KOLKATA: Within a week of deferring till February 7 its call for a 15-day bandh in Darjeeling district that was to have begun on January 29, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership decided on Monday to put on hold till then its “padayatra” to the Dooars in the north Bengal plains in support of its campaign for a separate Gorkhaland State for what it described as “strategic” reasons. It has also called off the ongoing hunger strike by its volunteers at various places as well as demonstrations outside thanas in the Darjeeling hills till Thursday.
“These decisions are part of our strategy. The GJM's central committee will meet on February 7 to decide how to intensify the Gorkhaland programme,” GJM general secretary, Roshan Giri told The Hindu over telephone from Darjeeling.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram said in New Delhi that he was happy to note that the proposed bandh had been put off. He urged the GJM to “call off its agitation and cooperate in maintaining law and order” while the next steps towards finding a way out of the political impasse in the region are being considered.

To pressurise Centre?
Though a GJM delegation which had met Mr. Chidambaram in the Capital on January 25 had later said that it was hopeful that a draft proposal for an interim administrative arrangement would be made available by the Centre within the first week of February, the GJM leadership is now looking towards “intensifying” its movement for a separate Gorkhaland State.
Political observers view this “balancing-act” by the GJM as a ploy to put pressure on the Centre to affirm that the setting up of interim arrangement is part of the process towards granting a separate State while at the same time silencing the non-GJM regional parties who have been criticising it for allegedly compromising the statehood demand.

“By the time our central committee meets on February 7 we hope that we will have prepared a road-map for a full-fledged statehood movement”, said Harka Bahadur Chettri, senior GJM leader and member of the delegation that had called on the Union Home Minister.
Gurung is Mamata of hills: Deb
TT, Siliguri, Jan. 31: Housing minister Gautam Deb today compared Bimal Gurung to Mamata Banerjee, saying both were without direction and unpredictable.
Addressing a gathering of 10,000 at Baghajatin Park here today, Deb dubbed the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief “the Mamata of the hills”. The Morcha president was indecisive, Deb said, adding that under no circumstances could Gorkhaland be carved out of Bengal.
“Bimal Gurung does not understand anything in politics and as far as his indecisiveness is concerned, he is the Mamata of the hills. He calls strikes in the morning and withdraws them later in the day. They are jumping up and down for Gorkhaland knowing fully well that statehood is impossible,” Deb said.
The CPM state secretariat member told the audience that he had come to know from Gurung’s friends that the Morcha president wanted to achieve something bigger than Subash Ghisingh. “After signing the agreement on the Sixth Schedule, Ghisingh had entered the hills in a pompous manner as if Napoleon was entering Rome. Gurung should drop his demand for statehood and instead sit and discuss how to strengthen the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Let there be polls in the hills to the council after the Assembly elections, and whoever wins, the Morcha, the ABGL or the CPM will run the autonomous body.”
The minister rubbished allegations that the people of the hills have been deprived by the state and said the funds allotted for the region had been looted. “The per capita allocation made for the hills is the highest in the state. Some people have looted the money.” Since the date for the chief minister’s proposed meeting in north Bengal has not been finalised yet, Deb’s rally had been hyped up by the CPM and its allies through street corners, hoardings and posters. Today, the audience was mostly from Siliguri town and adjoining Jalpaiguri.
Deb did not miss the opportunity of a packed venue to take a pot shot at Mamata and called her an “unguided missile.”
“Just like an unguided missile, her activities are unpredictable and disliked even by the Prime Minister.”
The minister also said the CPM had, in the past one year, ousted 1,000 workers. “Only by holding the red flag, one does not become a CPM leader or worker. To be a CPM worker, you need to work for the people. We have analysed the reasons for our loss of votes in the 2009 Parliament elections and have found that it is better that every CPM worker sees himself in a mirror and does not blame Trinamul and the Congress only,” he said.

State urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya was present at the meeting.
AAGSU to hold 'Sit in Demonstration' at Dispur Lastgate
Archana Lwhrwng Rai, KalimNews, Guwahati, Jan 31:The All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU) is holding a ‘Sit in Demonstration’ program at Dispur Lastgate, Guwahati on the1st day of the last winter assembly session of the Assam Legislative Assembly that is on 1st February 2011 Tuesday to press for AAGSU’s fundamental demand formation of the Gorkha Autonomous Council (GAC) on satellite basis in the geographical territory of Assam within the framework of Indian Constitution and various other demands that includes amicable solution of the disturbing border dispute, arrest inflation most importantly sky rocketing price of essential commodities , provide adequate security to lives and security of common man and etc. and other important state issues and in support of the proposed peace talks with all the extremists organization of Assam to restore peace and harmony in the state.
Nanda Kirati Dewan Information and Publicity in a media release informed correspondents and mediapersons at Gorkha Thakurbari that AAGSU's same charter of demand will be placed before the Chief Minister through a memorandum that includes 15 demands besides the basic demand of formation of Gorkha Autonomous Council (GAC) with a copy to Mr. Parfulla Kumar Mahanta Leader of the Opposition and Speaker Mr. Tanka Bahadur Rai. Jagadish Khanal; President AAGSU told reporters that around 500 members of AAGSU will participate from across the state and 16 district units are participating. Shyam Shrestha; Office Secy AAGSU told this correspondent that a huge number of members of AAGSU of Greater Guwahati region is expected to turn up in the program. Being the first day of the last assembly session ahead of Assembly elections AAGSU will have a mileage to press for their demand in the assembly said Keshav Pandey, C-in-C Volunteer Cell.
3 hydel projects get survey nod - Sikkim govt asked to address ecological problems
Bijoy Gurung, TT, Gangtok, Jan. 31: The Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has given the green light to resume the survey and investigation for three hydel power projects proposed on the Lachung river above Chungthang in North Sikkim.
The projects at Lachung (84MW), Bhimkyong (90MW) and Bop (97.5MW) were put on hold after the Centre for Inter-disciplinary Studies of Mountain and Hill Environment (CISMHE) submitted an adverse report in 2008 concerning the schemes’ impact on the environment.
The survey on three other projects — Teesta Stage I (280MW), Teesta Stage II (330MW) and Lachen (120MW) — were also stopped based on the report.
The CISMHE, which is under the central government, had said the six projects should not be allowed to come up considering the ecological sensitivity of North Sikkim and that the eco-system above Chungthang should be left undisturbed.
However, the Sikkim government swung into action and submitted a comprehensive report on its own to the ministry and private power developers lobbied with their own studies to push the projects through.
Sources said the state power department had received a communication from the MoEF at the end of last year, giving a nod for the survey and the investigation to prepare detailed project reports for the hydel schemes at Lachung, Bhimkyong and Bop.
“The nod was given after an expert appraisal committee sent by the ministry visited the sites in September. The survey and investigation is very important in preparing the detailed project reports for each hydel plant,” said a power department official.
However, the detailed project reports have to be approved by the Central Electricity Authority and then sent to the MoEF for environmental clearance, added the official.
All the three plants are on the Lachung river, a tributary of the Teesta, and are contracted out to a private company, the sources said.
Chungthang, located about 85km from here and at 5,600 feet, is the gateway to the upper reaches of the Yumthang Valley in North Sikkim.
Earlier last year, the Teesta I and II projects were also given the permission for the survey.
In the communication, the MoEF has also asked the state government to take into consideration the concerns raised by the CISMHE.
“We will address the impact of construction activities on the habitats of endangered flora and fauna and their conservation, keep provision for fish ladders and prepare an inventory of glacial lakes in the river’s catchment areas and landslide-prone zones. These are some additional points that the MoEF wants us to address,” said another power official.
With its hydro-electric power potential estimated to be around 8,000MW, the Sikkim government has signed agreements with the National Hydel Power Corporation and private parties for projects that would generate over 5,000MW electricity.
Another hydel project proposed on the Rathong Chu at Lethang in South Sikkim has been put on hold following objections from the National Board of Wildlife. “The project is still on hold and we have written to the MoEF to reconsider its viability at the next meeting of the National Board of Wildlife,” said state power secretary Pema Wamgchen.
Cop on patrol attacked
TT, Siliguri, Jan. 31: A constable on patrol lost almost two of his fingers early this morning while trying to fend off a dagger attack from an unidentified man whom police suspect to be Spiderman.
Although the attacker could not be identified by constable Ganesh Burman, police suspect he could be Saroj Thapa alias Spiderman, who is known to scale walls with ease to rob homes and hotels.
The police assumption is based on constable Manoj Sharma’s claim. Sharma, who was with Burman at the time of patrolling, told his bosses that the attacker could be Spiderman. However, Burman said the attacker’s face was not visible in the dark and his jacket was pulled up, almost covering his head.
“While patrolling the Hakimpara area, a policeman was attacked. He was taken to a local nursing home and after considering his injuries, we shifted him to Calcutta this afternoon for further treatment,” said Darjeeling police chief D.P. Singh.
“Based on the other policeman’s (Sharma) version, we suspect that the attacker could have been Spiderman,” he added.
Nearly 18 months ago, Thapa was caught trying to steal cellphones from a hotel on Hill Cart Road. “He is out on bail. But we are trying to track him,” said a police source.
Burman said he had spotted his attacker standing along a bend of the road around 3.45am. “He was alone. When I asked him why he was there at this time of the hour, he suddenly took out a dagger and attacked me. In self-defence I raised my right hand, which received the blow. It almost split my fingers,” Burman said.
Uday Shankar, the doctor who treated Burman in Siliguri before he left for Calcutta, said: “His right thumb was badly cut from the middle and the index finger was hanging by the skin.”

New Stops
TT, Siliguri: The 131447/13148 Uttar Banga Express will stop at Falakata at 8.25am and 3.45pm respectively. The 13149/13150 Kanchan Kanya Express will stop at Hamiltonganj at 11.11am and at 5.13pm and the 115657/115658 Kanchanjunga Express will halt at Kamakhyaguri at 10.17pm and at 3.41am, the Northeast Frontier Railway officials said on Monday. Two other pairs of long-distance trains in north Bengal will also have a new stop each, the officials added.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Police lathi charge GJM supporters at Shibsu to disperse GJM supporters... commotion in hills

Hunger strike in Shibshu, Dooars
KalimNews:  Tension gripped the entire hill when a news spread about the lathi charge by the police at Sibshu. GJNM staged demonstration in all the police stations and traffic was halted for about three hours in all the areas of three hill subdivisions and NH 55, NH 31 C near Bagrakote and NH31A during the afternoon. Later at about 5 pm the blockade was withdrawn. Four GJM supporters were arrested from Rangpo for disrupting the traffic movement in NH 31 A.
Traffic halt in Kalimpong
According to the informations received from local GJM members of Sibshu, police charged with batons to a group of GJM and GJNM members gathered there. On the second day of hunger strike in Sibshu Dooars near Khumani more 7 local GJNM members of Sibshu Forest village had participated in  the verandah of Sibshu Community hall. Violating 144 CrPC GJM supporters were gathered near the premises of a pandal erected for the hunger strike. They were joined by GJM and GJNM supporters from Khumani area by sneaking through a bye lane via a forest.
There was a commotion when police lathicharged to disperse the crowd of GJM supporters without any warning or firing tear gas shells. Atleast 8 people suffered minor injuries while one is seriously injured and rushed to SD Hospital Kalimpong. The group of GJM supporters had entered Sibshu area from Khumani through a bye lane.  Jalpaiguri police has stopped plying of all vehicles through the Khunia more to Jaldhaka via Sibshu. All the vehicles of this route are taking the Matelli Khumani route to reach Jholung, Todey and Gairibas, Rongo.
On the second day of the relay hunger strike in Kalimpong seven members of Janmukti Asthayi Karmachari Sangathan participated.  Meanwhile in the morning GJNM the women's wing of GJM gheraoed residence of Dawa Pakhrin former GNLF councillor and present President of  Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha for speaking against the GJM stand about Gorkhaland. Pakhrin had ridiculed the recent switching over of demand of GJM from GRA to separate statehood. In the afternoon GJNM supporters stopped movement of all two and four wheelers and protested against the police atrocities in Dooars and demanded safe passage to the Long March Padyatra of Bimal Gurung GJM President from Khumani to Jaigaon.
PTI, Jalpaiguri (WB), Jan 30 : Three activists of the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha were injured today when police used canes to disperse a procession in Dooars area for violating prohibitory orders imposed under 144 CrPC, officials said.
The GJM procession in Shpchu block led by senior leaders like Binoy Tamang and R B Bhujel entered the area from Darjeeling violating the prohibitory orders forcing police to use lathis injuring three Morcha workers, they said.
In protest against the lathicharge, GJM blocked roads in different areas of Darjeeling district. The Darjeeling police station was also gheraoed, they added.

Barricade breach foiled- Morcha accuses police of baton charge, administration denies allegation
TT, Jan. 30: Another attempt by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters to move from Kumani to Sibchu in Jalpaiguri was thwarted today by police with the agitators claiming that they were baton-charged, a contention that was denied by the administration.
The Morcha supporters led by party president Bimal Gurung, who has been camping in Kumani in Kalimpong subdivision since January 19, have so far made two unsuccessful attempts to breach the police barricade on the Dooars border.
The first attempt was made on January 25, on the day the Morcha leadership met Union home minister, P. Chidambaram in Delhi.
Matters were peaceful at Kumani today where around 10.30am Morcha supporters led by Gurung observed the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Then around 300 Morcha supporters, including those from the Nari Morcha, suddenly headed towards the police barricade at Sibchu, 5km from Kumani.
A number of Nari Morcha supporters also sat on a relay hunger strike at a community hall in Sibchu, protesting the administration’s refusal to allow their party president to lead a padayatra through the Dooars to Jaigaon for Gorkhaland.
At 2pm, police officers, in the presence of divisional commissioner A.K. Singh, requested the Morcha supporters to disperse from the spot as just beyond the barricade Section 144 was in place.
“The demonstrators refused to budge. As they still continued to demonstrate, we ordered the policemen to chase and disperse them from the area. It was done to maintain law and order and there was no lathi-charge,” said Sukhen Baraik, a deputy magistrate posted at Sibchu.
The Morcha leadership has condemned the lathi-charge on their supporters. “Five of our supporters have been injured in the lathi-charge. One of them, Prakash Rai, has fractured his ankle and has been admitted to the subdivisional hospital in Kalimpong. Among the others who have suffered injuries is 67-year-old Kaila Rai,” said Binay Tamang, Morcha assistant secretary, over the phone from Kumani.
Tamang said the administration has “detained” them at Kumani for nearly 13 days. “The administration is treating us like terrorists and have been citing the imposition of prohibitory orders but Asok Bhattacharya held meetings in Malbazar a couple of days back,” he said.
From 4.30pm, the Morcha set up road blockades across the hills for two hours and demonstrated in front of police stations to protest the alleged lathicharge.
Jalpaiguri police chief Anand Kumar denied that the Morcha supporters were lathi-charged. “Our men just chased them away from Sibchu as they were repeatedly trying to violate the prohibitory orders. There was no lathi-charge,” Kumar said.
Inspector general of police (north Bengal) Ranvir Kumar said cases have been started against Morcha activists who blocked NH31A today.
“Subsequently, a case could be framed against Bimal Gurung if investigations reveal that he had called for the blockade,” Kumar said. The national highway is Sikkim’s only road link with the rest of the country.
सिब्सुमा लाठीचार्जःविरोधमा राजमार्ग अवरूद्ध
मनोज बोगटि, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ,30 जनवरी।मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङको डुवर्स प्रवेशलाई रोक लगाउन प्रशासनले लगाएको व्यारिकेट र 144 धारालाई कुनै पर्वाह नगरी नगरकट्टा खण्डको सिब्सुमा धेरै शंख्यामा पुगेका मोर्चा समर्थकहरूमाथि आज पुलिसले लाठी चार्ज गर्‍यो। सिब्सुमा मोर्चाको 11 सदस्यीय टोली अनशनमा बसेको छ, जहॉं कुमानीबाट भारी संख्यामा मोर्चा कार्यकर्ताहरू पुगेका थिए। 144 धारा लागू भइरहेको अवस्थामा यसरी मोर्चा कार्यकर्ताहरूको भीड़ पुगेर नारीबाजी गर्दा तैनाथ पुलिस बलले उनीहरूलाई त्यहीँ रोक्यो। पुलिसले त्यही समय कुनै सूचना बिना अनि टियर ग्यास समेत नफ्यॉंकी अचानक लाठी चार्ज गर्न शुरू भयो। जसको कारण वातावरण तनाउपूर्ण भयो। पुलिसले एकैचोटी लाठी चार्ज गरेको कारण मानिसहरूमा भागरेभाग मच्चियो। यसबीच लाठीचार्जमा मोर्चाका केही कार्यकर्ताहरू घाइतेसमेत बनेका छन्‌ भने एकको खुट्टामा निक्कै गम्भीर चोट परेको जानकारी पाइएको छ। मोर्चा अध्यक्ष भने उता कुमानीमा नै बसेका छन्‌ भने कुमानीको व्यारिकेट अघि मोर्चा कार्यकर्ताहरूको धर्ना र जुलूस जारी रहेको छ। सिब्सुमा भएको यो घटना एकै क्षणमा आगो जस्तो फैलियो। कालेबुङमा लाठीचार्ज गरेर मोर्चा कार्यकताहरूलाई घाइते बनाएको खबर आइपुग्ने वित्तिकै नारी कार्यकर्ताहरू थानामा पुगेर धर्ना र जुलूसबाजी शुरू गरे। टिस्टा शाखा मोर्चा कार्यकर्ताहरूले भने राष्ट्रिय राजमार्ग लगभग चार घण्टा ठप्प पारे। राजमार्ग ठप्प पारे पनि डुुवर्स र सिलगढ़ी जाने मार्ग भने खुल्लै राखिएको थियो। बाघपुलदेखि उभो मात्र पथावरोध गरिएकोले केवल पहाड़का यात्रीहरू मात्र असुविधामा परेको देखियो भने यो पथावरोधले तराई र डुवर्सलाई भने कुनै फरक परेको देखिएन।
सन्दर्भ-प्राधिकरण: मोर्चालाई अझ पनि विपक्षले गरेको छैन विश्वास
मनोज बोगटि, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ,30 जनवरी। गोजमुमोले सेटअप खारेज गरेपनि विपक्षले भने पटक्क विश्वास नै गरेको छैन। विश्वास नगर्नुको कारण मोर्चाले घरिघरि मुद्दा फेर्ने र जनतालाई घरि गोर्खाल्याण्ड, घरि प्राधिकरण, घरि गोर्खा-आदिवासी प्रदेशको कुरा गरेको नै प्रमुख रहेको विपक्षका नेताहरूले जनाएका छन्‌। प्राधिकरण खारेज गरेपछि सामुहिक नेतृत्वको कुरा उठिरहेको थियो तर मोर्चाले प्राधिकरण नै खारेज गरेकोले अनि दश फरवरीसम्ममा हस्ताक्षर गर्ने समय रहेकोले कुनै दलले पनि मोर्चाको यो अड़ानलाई विश्वास नगरेकैले सामुहिक नेतृत्वको परिस्थिति बनिन नसकेको पनि विपक्षद्वारा थाहा लागेको छ।
प्राधिकरण खारेज प्रकरण अनि सामुहिक नेतृत्वको औचित्य सम्बन्धी कालेबुङका विभिन्न दलका प्रतिनिधिहरूसँग सम्पर्क गर्दा प्राय सबैले मोर्चाको घरिघरिको भाका फेराईको कारण नै मोर्चालाई विश्वास गर्न नसकिरहेको जनाएका छन्‌। यस सम्बन्धमा क्रामाकपा उपाध्यक्ष जेबी राईसँग जान्न चॉंहदा तिनले भने-यो 38-39 महिनाको आन्दोलनमा मोर्चाले गोर्खाल्याण्डको विकल्प हुँदैन भन्दाभन्दै पनि दागोपापको नाममा कतिचोटि वार्ता गरे, अहिले प्राधिकरण खारेज  गरेर फेरि गोर्खाल्याण्ड भन्दैछ। बाघ सॉंच्चीनै आएको हो भने त्यो स्वागतयोग्य छ यदि होइन भने हामी अहिलेनै गोजमुमोको यो अड़ानलाई विश्वास गरिहाल्ने पक्षमा छैनौं। 
जुन किसिमको परिस्थितिभित्र गोजमुमो प्रवक्ता डा. हर्कवहादुर छेत्रीले यदि कुनै व्यक्तिले एकैपल्टमा गोर्खाल्याण्ड ल्याउँछु भन्छ भने त्यो मानिस धुर्त बाहेक केही पनि होइन भनेर गोजमुमोले गरेको आन्दोलनमा एकैचोटी गोर्खाल्याण्ड ल्याउँदैन भन्ने संकेत त यहॉं दिइहाल्यो र गोर्खाल्याण्ड अघाड़ीपट्टि केही ल्याउँदैछ भन्ने कुरामा हामी शंका गरिरहेका छौं र योमाथि हामी विश्वास गर्न चॉंही सक्तैनौं। 
अर्कोतिर गोर्खालिग नेता प्रताप खातीले पनि मोर्चाको कुरा फेर्ने बानीको कारण प्राधिकरण फिर्ता गरेको कुरालाई विश्वास गर्न नसकेको बताएका छन्‌। उनले भने-हामीले जसरी अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको खेस्रा जलायौं, त्यसरीनै उनीहरूले पनि जलाउन्‌ अनि आधिकारिक रूपमा लेखेर, जनताअघि कसम खाएर, अबदेखि हामी गोर्खाल्याण्डबाहेक केही थाप्दैनौ भनेर भनुन्‌ तब मात्र हामी पत्याउँछौं। अहिले गोजमुमो दुई फ्याक भएर दिशाहीन भयो। दिल्ली जानेहरू अनि आफ्नो मात्र फाइदा हेर्नेहरू सेटअपपट्टि छ भने यता बस्ने जनताहरू जो दिलोज्यानले माटोप्रति समर्पित छन्‌ उनीहरू गोर्खाल्याण्ड भन्दैछन्‌। तिनले मोर्चाका नेताहरूको नाम मदन तामाङ हत्याकाण्डसित जोड़िएकोले उनीहरूमा लागेको दाग मेटिए मात्र सामुहिक नेतृत्वको कुरा मोर्चासित गर्न सकिने जनाएका छन्‌। यता माकपा नेता तारा सुन्दाससँग जान्न चॉंहदा उनले भने, आन्दोलन गर्ने अधिकार सबैलाई छ, त्यसमा कसले के गर्दैछ भन्ने कुनै प्रकारको आलोचना गर्ने मेरो अधिकार छैन। 
अहिलेको परिस्थितिमा भारतवर्षको सम्पूर्ण राजनीतिलाई बुझेर काम गर्न आवश्यक छ। राजनीति भनेको मनले गर्दैन, दिमागले गर्छ यदि मन दुखीहाले बौह्रिएर उठ्‌न चॉंही मिल्दैन। प्राधिकरण हुनु नहुनु राज्यको दोष नरहेको जनाउँदै केन्द्रले नै अहिलेको परिस्थिति निम्त्याएको सुन्दासले जनाएका छन्‌। अर्कोतिर हिल कांग्रेसका दिलिप प्रधानसँग जान्न चॉंहदा उनले भने, मोर्चाले पहिले बुझ्नुपर्ने थियो। अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणभन्दा युटी नै राम्रो थियो, यदि उनीहरूले पहिलेनै अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको साटो युटीको माग गरेको भए पहिलेको झै समर्थन आज पनि मोर्चालाई मिल्नेथियो। उनीहरूले अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको साटो युटीको माग किन गरेनन्‌ यो हामी जान्दैनौं। तर मोर्चाले अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको कुरा गर्नको साटो युटीको कुरा गरेको उचित रहेको जनाउँदै कांग्रेस युटीकै पक्षमा रहेको जनाएका छन्‌।
दावा पाखरिनको घर घेराउ: यो घटनाले मेरो मनोबल बढ्यो-पाखरिन
मनोज बोगटि, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 जनवरी। गोजमुमो केन्द्रिय सिमितिको आन्तरिक बैठकपछि गोजमुमोले अन्तरिम प्राधिकरण खारेज गरिदिएको छ भने यता कालेबुङमा केही विपक्षी दलका नेताहरूले भने अन्तरिम प्राधिकरण यदि सॉंच्चै खारेज गरेको हो भने आधिकारिक रूपमा केन्द्रलाई लेखेर दिनुपर्ने कुरा दोहोर्‍याइरहेका छन्‌। 
यसै सन्दर्भमा गत 28 जनवरिको दिन नवगठित पार्टी गोरानिमोका अध्यक्ष दावा पाख्रिनले पनि आफ्नो निजी वासस्थानमा एक पत्रकार सम्मेलनको आयोजना गर्दै वर्तमान आन्दोलन विषयमा आफ्नो वक्तव्य दिएका थिए। उनले घरिघरि मोर्चा विरूद्ध दिएको वक्तव्यको घोर विरोध गर्दै आज कालेबुङका नारी कार्यकर्ताहरूले उनको घर घेराउ घरे। लगभग 400 जति नारी कार्यकर्ताहरू भेला भई यहॉंको हिलटपस्थित निजी वासस्थानमा गई उनीहरूले विभिन्न नारावाजीको साथ धेरै बेरसम्म घेराउ गरे। ननिता गौतम, लतिका सिन्हा, तारा लोहार लेप्चा, कल्पना तामाङ आदिको अगुवाईमा गएका नारी कार्यकर्ताहरूले  पाख्रिनले पत्र-पत्रिकातिर यस किसिमको वक्तव्य दिएर आन्दोलन विथोल्ने कार्य गरिरहेको आरोप लगाएका छन्‌। 
अहिले मोर्चाले शान्तिप्रिय ढङ्गमा आन्दोलन गरिरहेको बेला यस्तो किसिमको वक्तव्य दिएर जनतालाई भ्रममा पारिरहेको आरोप लगाउँदै आगामी दिनमा फेरि यसरी जनतालाई भ्रममा पार्ने कोशिश गर्नु नहुने चेतावनी दिएका छन्‌। केही बेरसम्मको घेराउपश्चात नारी मोर्चा प्रतिनिधिहरूले स्थानिय नारी कार्यकर्ताहरूसँग एक बैठक पनि गरे।
उनको घरमा घेराउ गरिएको विषयमा गोरानिमो अध्यक्षसँग सम्पर्क गर्दा उनले भने, आजको यो घटना लज्जास्पद हो। गणतन्त्रमा बोल्ने अधिकार सबैलाई छ। उनीहरू यसरी आएर घेराउ गर्नु भनेको मेरो परिवारसमेतलाई यातना दिनु हो। आज एक हूल नारी कार्यकर्ताहरू आएर के कारणले मेरो घर घेराउ गरे मलाई थाहा छैन। म गोर्खाल्याण्ड माग्ने मान्छे हुँ। मैले न्याशनल पेन्थर पार्टी र तेलेङ्गना राष्ट्रिय समितिसँग मिलेर गोर्खाल्याण्डको पक्षमा जन्तर मन्तमा धरना दिएँ। भारतका शीर्ष नेतृत्वहरूसँग गोर्खाल्याण्डको पक्षमा कुरा गरें। गोर्खाल्याण्ड  माग्दा यसरी घराउ गर्नु कहॉंसम्मको न्यायसङ्गत कुरा हो? 
उक्त घेराउबारे मलाई गोजमुमोको प्रवक्ता भएको नाताले डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले जवाब दिनुपर्छ। उनले भने, सायद मैले अन्तरिम प्राधिकरणको कुरा गर्दा उनीहरू रिसाएका होलान्‌। मेलै सत्य बोल्न पाउनुपर्छ। यसरी आएर मेरो घर घेराउ गर्दा मलाई नोक्सान केही भएन बरू मलाई थप यस घटनाले उर्जा प्रदान गरेको छ। हाम्रो आपसी द्वेशको कारणले नै केन्द्रमा नकरात्मक प्रभाव पर्ने अनि यस्तै प्रकारको घटना दोहोरिरहे लक्ष्य कहिले पनि प्राप्त गर्न नसकिने उनले बताएका छन्‌। 
United Sikkim on I-League doorstep
TT, Gangtok, Jan. 30: The United Sikkim Football Club, whose chief patron is Bhaichung Bhutia, is set to be the second team in the state after Denzong Boys to take part in the second division of the I-League.
The management of the club has expressed confidence that the team will be included in this season scheduled to commence in the first week of March.
An application by the United Sikkim for inclusion in the I-League second division has been scrutinised and the clubs selected for this season will be announced by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in February.
“One of the most important criteria to play in the I-League is the availability of long-term sponsor, and the United Sikkim has fulfilled it. So, I am confident that we will certainly get the nod from the AFC,” said Bhaichung.
The AFC norms stipulate that a team should have a sponsor for at least five years to qualify for the I-League.
During a brief interaction with the media here yesterday, the Indian captain said he had always dreamed about the United Sikkim becoming one of the best professional soccer outfits in the country.
“Oversees sponsors have expressed interest in financing the United Sikkim.I am aiming to take the United Sikkim to the I-League first division in three years and to make the club the best in India in five years. Once we qualify for the I-League, at least five-six members of the national squad will be ready to play for us,” said Bhaichung.
He added that Stanley Rozario, the former assistant coach of the national football team, had already been signed as a coach of the United Sikkim.
The chief patron along with key associates of the United Sikkim scouted a few locations in and around Gangtok yesterday to set up football grounds and a hostel for the club. He also met a bunch of local players being groomed by the club for future challenges.
Bhaichung said Rennedy Singh, the vice-captain of the national team, was likely to play for the United Sikkim in the second division this year along with him.
“Since there is not much time left for the second division I-League to start, I find it difficult to find top players for my club. But talks are on with members of other first and second division teams and foreigners to play for the team,” said Bhaichung.
The team, which was earlier known as the United Sikkim Sporting Club, has already started preparations for the second division matches.
Six local players of the club today left Gangtok for Calcutta where they will be training with other team members. The six are Tenzin Tshepel Bhutia, Pawan Chhetri, Sagar Rai, Bhupendra Khewa, Issac Dok Lepcha and Mayal Dok Lepcha.Bhaichung, who is nursing an injury, said he would be ready to play for his club by May.
Complaint against posters
TT, Siliguri, Jan. 30: The Trinamul Congress today filed a police complaint against six CPM leaders, accusing them of maligning the party by linking it to Maoists through posters and banners.
The complaint was filed by Gautam Deb, the president of Trinamul’s Darjeeling district committee, against CPM Siliguri zonal secretary Mukul Sengupta and five other local leaders.
“The Trinamul Congress is a registered political organisation in the country. But unfortunately, the CPM leaders here are trying to malign the image of the party by tagging our name with Maoist outfits, which are banned by the Union government,” Deb told journalists here today.
He said the banners and posters were planted at Burdwan Road, Siliguri Court More and Punjabipara area, where the CPM appealed to the people to unite against Trinamul and Maoists and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
“The hoardings also say Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee offers support whenever violence breaks out — from Lalgarh to Darjeeling,” said Deb.
In the complaint, Deb asked the police to take action against the CPM leaders under Sections 500 (punishment for defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
Sengupta said: “We are not worried about such allegations as they (Trinamul leaders) often use phrases like khuni mukhhyamantri and harmad bahini against the chief minister and the CPM. They should first change their political culture before pointing finger at us.”

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Web Info Solution in Trouble ... 24 hr Relay hunger strike of GJM

KalimNews, Kalimpong, 29 January: About 500 subscribers of Web Info solution a sms sending finance agency are in a dilemma as its Kalimpong Officers are absconding since yesterday. It is alleged that Hemant Adhikari, Manager and Prakash Subba, Director of the agency fled from their Kalimpong head Office located at B.L.Dixit Road near previous location of Maria Montessori School.
Subscribing members have invested an amount ranging from Rupees 8 thousand to 25 lakh and the number of members investing Rupees 1.5 lakh is large. This agency has been operating the sms sending business from an internet sms sending site 160 by 2 sms for the last 1.5 year. Its office is in a building leased for one year and been running a restaurant and employed 35 workers.
Subscribers in the office of WIS
Office of the Manger, WIS
On enquiry the office staff told KalimNews that they too are astonished to find the Manager and Director missing since yesterday Prakash Subba, the Director who hails from Lolay had left the office on a plea to collect the salary of the staff and the matured amount of the subscribers from the Siliguri Office but was found that he had left for Darjeeling instead of Siliguri. After that their attempt to contact him was futile. Today about 300 members of this agency gathered in the office premises to enquire about the whereabouts of the two Officers but no one could answer about their whereabouts. Subscribes have informed the local Police about the situation and handed over the key of the office to the police station.

24 hr Relay hunger strike of GJM started from 29 January -  Tension prevails in Dooars
KalimNews: Indefinite relay hunger strike for 24 hr was started in all the three hill districts and Dooars. On the first day of the hunger strike 7 members of Parvatiya Apanga Kalyan Sangathan participated. In other areas  members of different frontal wings of GJM participated. In Shibsu of Nagarkatta Dooars located near Khumani, local GJM supporters participated in relay hunger strike. IG of North Bengal Police prohibited GJYM members to assemble there and dismantled the other camps of GJYM though the hunger strike is continuing.  
Tension prevailed in Khumani where police force had shifted  the barricade about 50 mt towards Darjeeling district. Later the police agreed to shift the barricade to  Jalpaiguri area from tomorrow. Hundreds of GJM supporters  gathered in the spot protested against the police. Additional force is deputed in Khumani. Everyday  50 supporters from each unit is deputed at Khumani to demonstrate near the police barricade. Youths from other areas are also swarming in the camps of GJM at Khumani. Police halted the traffic in NH31C near Bagrakote Mina more for about 2 hr and checked vehicle to stop the GJYM supporters heading towards Dooars from hills. Traffic in NH 31A was also halted by GJM Teesta Unit  for about 3 hr when the news of Bagrakote reached the Highway
अनलाइन एसएमएस सेण्डिङ जब अचानक बन्द : सैकड़ौं विचल्नीः करोड़ौको हिनामिना 
मनोज बोगटि, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 29 जनवरी। गत वर्षको सेप्टेम्बर महिनादेखि चलिरहेको वेब इन्फो सल्युसन नामक कम्पनीको अनलाइन एसएमएस सेण्डिङ जब अचानक बन्द भएको छ। कम्पनीका मालिकहरू तीनदिन अघि नै कालेबुङबाट चम्पट हानेको कुरा यो कम्पनीमा नै कार्य गरिरहेका कर्मचारीहरूले पत्तो पाएपछि सबैले नै कम्पनी उड़ेको अनि करोड़ौ रुपियॉं हड़पेर यसका मालिकहरू सुइकुच्चा ठोकेको थाहा पाए।
घटना अनुसार कालेबुङको बीएल दिक्षित रोडस्थित यसको कार्यालयमा नियुक्त कर्मचारीहरूलाई यस कम्पनीका एक मालिकले सिलगढ़ीमा बैठक रहेको बताउँदै कालेबुङबाट तीनदिन अधि नै हराए। तिनदिनसम्म पनि कम्पनीका मालिकहरू कोही पनि कार्यालयमा नआएपछि कर्मचारीहरूले सिलगढ़ी पुगेर सोधखोज गरे तर मालिकहरूको कुनै पत्तो लागेन। त्यसपछि नै कर्मचारीहरूमा पैसा असुलेर मालिकहरू चम्पट कसेको शंका शुरू भयो।
शंका कसरी शुरू भयो भने यसमा पैसा लगानी गरेर एसएमएस गर्नेहरूले काम गरेपछि पाउने कमिशन वा वेतन दिसम्बर महिनादेखि नै पाएका थिएनन्‌। उता यस कम्पनीको कार्यालयमा 26 सय मासिक वेतनमा कार्य गर्ने 35 जना कर्मचारीहरूले पनि डिसम्बरदेखि नै वेतन पाएका थिएनन्‌। कर्मचारीहरू अनुसार यस कम्पनीका मालिक वा निर्देशक प्रकाश सुब्बा, बुद्ध तामङ, प्रवन्धक हेमन्त अधिकारी अनि सहप्रवन्धक विजय प्रधान सिलगढ़ीमा बैठक गर्न गएको भन्दै रवाना भएका थिए। तर उनीहरू फर्किएनन्‌। सिलगढ़ीमा सबैतिर सोधखोज गर्दा पनि उनीहरूको पत्तो लागेन।
कुनै उपाय नपाएर फर्किएका कर्मचारीहरूद्वारा नै विस्तारै कम्पनी डुबेको अनि मानिसहरूको करोड़ौंको लगानी डुबेको हल्ला फैलियो। यो खबर पाउने वित्तिकै कम्पनीमा पैसा लगाएर कार्य गर्नेहरूको भीड़ एकाएक यसको कार्यालयमा जम्मा भए। कार्यालय अघि उभिएर पुर्पुरोमा हात राख्न बाहेक उनीहरूसित केही उपाय रहेको छैन। कार्यालयमा कर्मचारीहरू पनि छन्‌, सरसमानहरू छन्‌ तर यसका निर्देशक र प्रवन्धकहरू कोही छैनन्‌। उनीहरू सबैको फोन पनि स्वीचअफ रहेको छ।
साइबर जब भन्दै यसमा पैसा लगाउनेहरूको करोड़ौ डुबेको पत्तो पाइएको छ। जानकारी अनुसार इन्टरनेटको माध्यमबाट 160 वाई टू नामक साइटबाट जुन नि:शुल्करूपमा एसएमएस गर्ने प्रावधान छ, यसैलाई यो कम्पनीले साइबर जबको निम्ति प्रयोगमा ल्याएको थियो। निम्नतम 6 हजारदेखि उभो लाखौं रुपिँया लगानी गरेर एसएमएस गर्नुपर्ने अनि महीना मरेपछि लगानी गरे अनुसारको कमिशन पाउने यो कम्पनीको पोलिशी रहेको थियो। इन्टरनेटबाट केवल एसएमएस गर्दैमा सजिलै पैसा कमाउन पाइने भन्दै यस कम्पनीबारे र उनीहरूले एसएमएस गरे वापद दिने वेतनबारे कुनै सोध खोज नगरि मानिसहरूले लाखौं रुपियॉं लगानी गरेका थिए।
जानकारी पाइए अनुसार एक व्यक्तिले पच्चीस लाखसम्मको लगानी गरेका थिए । पॉंच लाख रुपियॉं लगानी गर्नेहरूको संख्या धेरै रहेको देखिएको छ भने 6 हजारदेखि पैसा लगानी गर्नेहरूको संख्या अधिक रहेको थाहा लागेको छ। लगभग पॉंचसय मानिसहरूले साइबर जब गरिरहेका थिए भने धेरैले नै पैसा पनि पाइरहेका थिए। विभिन्न प्लानहरू छुट्याएर लाखौं रुपिया लगानी गर्न सकिने यो साइबर जबमा करोड़ौको हिनामिना भएको अनुमान लगाइएको छ। एकदिनमा लगभग पॉंच लाखसम्मको कारोबार लागेको थाहा लागेको छ। निर्देशकहरूको अहिलेसम्म कुनै अत्तोपत्तो छैन भने पैसा लगानी गर्नेहरू विचल्नीमा परेका छन्‌।

जनता डुवर्स पस्योःसिब्सुमा केही क्षण तनाउः राजमार्गमा तीनघण्टा पथावरोध - यो हाम्रो राजनैतिक विजय हो:विनय तामङ
कालेबुङ,28 जनवरी।आजदेखि गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति मोर्चाले घोषणा गरे अनुसार प्रस्तावित गोर्खाल्याण्ड क्षेत्रभरि नै ऋङ्‌खलाबद्ध भोकहड़ताल शुरू भयो। यसै कार्यक्रम अन्तर्गत सिब्सुमा पनि सात सदस्यीय मोर्चा टोलीले अनशन शुरू गरेको छ। आज केहि मोर्चा समर्थकहरू डुवर्स छिरेर सिब्सुमा क्याम्प लगाउदा पुलिससँग केहि भनावैरि भयो अन्तमा पुलिसले उक्त क्याम्पहरु उठाउन लगायो।पुलिसले मोर्चाको अनशन उठाउनको निम्ति दुइवटा वाहन लिएर सिब्सु पुगेको अनि अनशन उठाउने र पदयात्रीहरूलाई रोक्ने प्रयास गर्दा एकैक्षणमा निक्कै तनाउपूर्ण वातावरण बनिएको थियो। डुवर्समा 144 धारा लगाइएको छ भने यस्तो अवस्थामा मोर्चाको युवा सद्स्यहरु सिब्सु पुगेको थियो।
28 न. समष्टी लगायत विभिन्न क्षेत्रबाट आएका मोर्चा समर्थकहरूले कुमानीमा नै आजदेखि क्याम्प हालेर बसेका छन्‌ भने मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङको शान्ति पदयात्रालाई डुवर्स प्रवेश गराउन आज समर्थकहरूको झुण्ड एक एक गर्दै नगरकट्टा खण्डको सिब्सु पुगेको थियो।सिब्सुमा तैनाथ पुलिसले 144 धारा चलिरहेको अवस्थामा यसरी धेरै संख्यामा समर्थकहरूलाई बस्न दिएन। सिब्सुमा अनशनकारीहरू बाहेक पनि मोर्चाका युवा समर्थकहरूले क्याम्प हालेर बसेको थियो जसलाई पुलिसले उठाउन खोज्दा वातावरण तनाउपूर्ण बनेको थियो। बेलुकीसम्ममा पुलिसले क्याम्प उठाएरै छोड़ेको छ भने पुलिसबलले सिब्सुमा निगरानी कड़ा गरेको छ।
मोर्चा प्रवक्ता डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले मोर्चा कार्यकर्ताहरूलाई अघि बढ्न नदिन तैनाथ पुलिसबलमाथि टिप्पणी गर्दै पुलिस कर्मचारीहरू यहॉं बसेर अवकाश नै लिए पनि मोर्चाले आफ्नो कार्यक्रम नछोड्ने तथा डुवर्स पसेर नै देखाउने बताएका छन्‌।
अर्कोतिर बाग्राकोट को मिनामोड्मा पनि पुलिसले राष्ट्रिय राजमार्ग 31 सि 2 घण्टा सम्म रोकेर तलासि लिएको थियो। पुलिसी हस्तक्षेपको खबर आगो जस्तो सल्किएको थियो भने यता मोर्चाको पदयात्रा अनि अनशनलाई पुलिसले बाधा पुर्‍याएको विरोधमा 31 ए राजमार्गमा मोर्चाको टिस्टा शाखाले लगभग तीनघण्टा पथावरोध पनि गर्‍यो। पथावरोध हटाइदिने प्रशासनिक अनुरोधपछि मोर्चा कार्यकर्ताहरूले पथावरोध हटाएको टिस्टा शाखा मोर्चा प्रचारप्रसार सचिव विशाल राईले जनाएका छन्‌।
तिनले जनाए अनुसार सिब्सुको खबर पाउने वित्तिकै टिस्टावरिपरिका जनता उर्लिएर आफैआफ पथावरोध गरेका थिए। तिनघण्टाको पथावरोधले राजमार्गमा निक्कै जाम सृष्टि पनि गरेको थियो। यता कुमानीमा रहेका मोर्चा सहसचिव विनय तामङले जनता आफै पदयात्रा गर्दै डुवर्सको नगरकट्टा खण्ड अन्तर्गत पर्ने सिब्सुमा पुग्नु मोर्चाको राजनैतिक विजय रहेको जनाएका छन्‌। कुमानीमा राखेको व्यारिकेड्देखि लगभग 15 किलोमिटर पर सिब्सुमा पुगेका जनताले त्यहीँबसेर आज दिनभरि नै धर्ना र जुलूस जारी राखे। राष्ट्रिय राजमार्ग 31 देखि केवल 6 किलोमिटर पर रहेको सिब्सुमा रहेका पथयात्रीहरूले आफ्नो यात्रा जारी राख्ने सम्भावना रहेको छ भने उनीहरूलाई रोक्नको निम्ति पुलिस बल पनि प्रसासनले तैनाथ नै राखेको छ। यता कालेबुङमा पनि आज महकुमा अधिकारीको कार्यालय परिसरमा मोर्चाको सात सदस्यीय टोलीले अनशन शुरू गरेको छ।

Didi woos N Bengal with trains - Mamata: No ‘us-they’ in development
Arnab Ganguly, TT, Jan. 29: Mamata Banerjee today flagged off several trains in north Bengal and announced some railway projects, reminding people across the 54 Assembly constituencies in the region that “there is noaamra-ora (us-they) in development”.
The Trinamul Congress now holds two seats in the six north Bengal districts.
“My heart weeps for north Bengal. All the seats we had won (in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections) were from south Bengal. We had not won a single seat in north Bengal. Yet I have announced new trains and projects for you. In development, there is no aamra-ora (usthey),” the railway minister said at a programme in Cooch Behar to lay the foundation of a rail electronics signal component factory.
Mamata announced a railway service connecting Bihar’s Jogbani with Nepal’s Biratnagar. A railway link between north Bengal and Bangladesh is also in the offing. She flagged off three trains from New Jalpaiguri to Chennai, Amritsar and Darbhanga.
At another event in Siliguri later in the day, Mamata accused the CPM of taking the help of “secessionist forces” to win elections. “The CPM rakes up the Kamtapur and Darjeeling (statehood) issues before every election. The party tries to create a divide between the people of the hills and the plains,” she said.
“Trust a dog or a cat not the CPM. In the past 10 years, north Bengal didn’t get a single train. We will show that north Bengal can be turned into Switzerland,” she said.
Mamata also made it clear that she would not mind if her electoral gains came at the cost of the Congress, which has some presence in north Bengal. Siliguri mayor Gangotri Dutta, of the Congress, was not invited to the railway programmes today.
Relations between the two parties had strained after the Congress formed the board of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation with Left backing in 2008. But the allies patched up recently with Trinamul supporting the Congress when it passed the civic body’s budget.
Of late, Mamata has been trying to woo north Bengal, visiting the region five times since becoming railway minister and announcing a slew of projects. She had gone to Siliguri days after Rahul Gandhi visited the region in September. Without naming the Congress leader, she had referred to him as a “seasonal cuckoo”.
Trinamul sources said Mamata was desperate to increase the party’s presence in north Bengal, where it only holds the Rajganj and Dinhata Assembly seats. The Congress has seven.
A section of the Congress leadership in north Bengal, including Deepa Das Munshi, has on several occasions publicly criticised Mamata.