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Friday, January 21, 2011

Breaking News....Center calls GJM on 25th..,.5 member team ready.. strike to continue ... Last Rites of Late Hira Waiba on 22 nd January... ABAVP is to hold a rally in Kalchini on 23rd January

KalimNews: GJM has been called by the center for a talk on 25th January at New Delhi. Speaking to a press conference GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri said that the 5 member team to leave Delhi on 24 January will consist of President Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri, Trilok Dewan, LB Pariyar and Dr HB Chhetri.
P Chidambaram, Home Minister invited Bimal Gurung and reresentatives of GJM to have a discussion on its demand . In  the meeting representatives of the state is also invited.
However, strike as proposed earlier will continue, he further said. The second round of strike that started from 18th January 2011 will end on 24th January, he clarified. A party source said that Bimal Gurung and LB Pariyar are likely to be replaced by other members. Another source said that Dr Rohit Sharma will attend the meeting instead of Trilok Dewan.
Bimal Gurung with his entire team of GJYM members and other leaders are stationed at Khumani More and the police too is stationed there with barricade. No movement from either side is observed throughout the day. Additional police force were seen in certain parts of western Dooars. It was learnt that a company of CRPF was withdrawn from Darjeeling and brought to Dooars in the morning. The team of GJM supporters of Salbari and other Terai areas were directed to stay at Bagrakote by GJM supremo. No further GJM groups were seen in the Dooars.

KalimNews : Ashok Narayan Bhattacharya, Urban Development Minister, West Bengal an arch rival of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has disclosed in Siliguri that he would represent the state govt in the scheduled tripartite talk to be held with Central and GJM leaders on 25th January, 2011 at North Block New Delhi from 12 noon onwards to end the impasse on the ongoing movement in the hills and Dooars.
Wilson Champramari MLA sat for indefinite hungerstrike in Kalchini from 21st January demanding entry for the Bimal Gurung and his team's padyatra to Jaigaon and against clamping of 144 CrPC in Jalpaiguri  
GJM supporters stopped all the trains at Bagrakote, Dalgaon and Golma. All trains were forced to return and change their route
KalimNews:ABAVP is to hold a rally in Kalchini on 23rd January. Central Committee leaders of the organisation are expected to take part in the same.
KalimNews:The Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee (BOBBBC) has decided to keep distance with the Aamra Bengali in Dooars area as the former has accused it of being politically and communally motivated.
GJM to send 5 member team to Delhi for talks
IE, Kolkata: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will send a five-member delegation to New Delhi for a meeting with the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on January 25.
A letter addressed by Chidambaram was received by GJM president Bimal Gurung and he has accepted the invitation. Apart from the GJM delegation and Union home ministry officials, representatives of the West Bengal government are likely to be present at the meeting.
Roshan Giri, general secretary of the GJM, said that Gurung will attend the meeting along with other Hill leaders. “Our demand is a separate state of Gorkhaland,” said Giri. When asked if it would settle for an Interim Gorkha Hill Council with more areas, Giri said: “Let the proposal come up first then we would see but our ultimate goal is separate Gorkhaland.”
Giri also denied reports that the present agitational programme has been called off in view of the January 25 meeting. He said that Gurung has urged for immediate permission to hold a “padayatra” in Dooars region where people are in favour of Gorkhaland.
On Friday, the GJM president was camping at Kumai - about 25 km from Chalsa - where heavy security arrangements have been made to stop any padayatra in Doors, where tension had been brewing for some time.
Ranveer Kumar, IG North Bengal, said that prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC have been imposed in most parts of Dooars and the administration will not allow Gurung to hold any padayatra. “We are firm on our stand,” said Kumar.
Meanwhile, three companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in sensitive pockets of Dooars. In this round of talks Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may also participate.
The inclusion of two leaders follows reported objection raised by Banerjee about formation of an Interim Gorkha Hill Council. She demanded that a more longstanding solution should be looked at to resolve the Gorkhaland issue, without dividing the state.
PC invites Morcha to Jan 25 talks - Gurung to leave Dooars for Delhi
TT, Jan. 21: The Union home minister has invited the Gorkha Janmutki Morcha and the state government for talks in the capital on January 25, a meeting that was expected in the face of ongoing agitation by the party to mount pressure on the government.
Although the Morcha said the invitation would have no bearing on its 27-day general strike in the hills, speculation is rife that the shutdown may be called off after the meeting.
The talks are also expected to defuse the tension in the Dooars where the party has threatened to enter forcibly if no permission is given for a rally. More than 1,000 Morcha supporters led by party chief Bimal Gurung have dropped anchor on the edge of the Dooars at Kumani More from Tuesday, waiting to enter the region.
Gurung has agreed to attend the Delhi meeting with his four-member team.
P. Chidambaram has also written to Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to send urban development minister and Siliguri MLA Asok Bhattacharya to the meeting as a state government representative.
The Morcha had been mounting pressure on government make its stand clear on its statehood demand in the aftermath of the Telangana report, with its shutdown in the hills and its “long march for Gorkhaland” in the plains. The entire Dooars is under Section 144 to keep away the marchers whose entry may lead to a law and order situation as anti-Gorkhaland forums there have threatened to oppose them.
In Siliguri, minister Bhattacharya said Chidambaram’s letter arrived this afternoon. “The chief minister got a letter from the Union home minister this afternoon wherein he was requested to send me to Delhi to attend a meeting on Tuesday,” Bhattacharya said.
“I will go to Calcutta by tomorrow evening. The following day we will discuss with the chief minister on what would be the strategy of the state government in the coming meeting. We have come to know that Morcha leaders will also be present as they got similar letter from the Centre as well,” he said.
Besides Gurung, the Morcha team will have party general secretary Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Rohit Sharma and L.B. Pariyar. There are indications that Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh may attend the meeting.
Sources said the decision to call a meeting was taken after the cabinet committee on political affairs met in New Delhi yesterday.
“This is not part of a tripartite meeting. We would want the Centre to clarify its stand on the demand for Gorkhaland in the aftermath of the Telangana report submitted by the Srikrishna Committee. Discussion will be centred only on the statehood demand,” said Giri.
About the general strike, he said: “As of now, the agitation is on.” But in the case of the Dooars agitation, with Gurung and the senior leaders away in Delhi, the marchers may not have enough steam left to make a forcible entry into the region.
The Morcha, however, has not called off its padayatra and is still spewing venom. “We will wait for the three-day deadline. If the administration does not permit us to move ahead, we will somehow reach Jaigaon using different routes and will hold a public meeting there,” said Deepak Sharma, the spokesperson for the Morcha-affiliated Janmukti Asthahi Karmachari Sangathan.
Perishables stuck in strike
Bijoy Gurung, TT, Gangtok, Jan. 21: The transporters’ decision to ferry only essential items along NH31A during the ongoing strike has hit the farmers in Sikkim who deal in perishable items like cut flowers, oranges and condiments like cardamom and ginger.
So far, the Sikkim government and the hauliers have been giving priority to stocking up on essential commodities like food grains, vegetables and petroleum products during the bandh.
“Sikkim’s horticulture export has been affected by the bandh as there are no vehicles to ferry these items to Siliguri from where we forward them to Delhi and Calcutta. The supply has been hampered and the farmers have been affected,” said Simfed managing director Vijendra Swaroop.
Sikkim State Co-operative Supply and Marketing Federation Ltd (Simfed) buys agriculture and horticulture products from multipurpose co-operative societies and individual farmers in the state and sells them in Siliguri, New Delhi and Calcutta.
The Simfed buys 4-5 metric tonnes of oranges on an average a day paying Rs 3300 per 1,000 pieces of A-grade variety and 1,000 cut flowers which costs Rs 70-80 apiece.
Swaroop could not comment on the quantum of losses suffered by the farmers.
“Till now, we have not worked out the losses. Items like ginger have a shelf-life of two-three months and hence, they can be stored. But cut flowers and oranges are highly perishable. In view of the bandh, we have told the farmers to delay their harvest. A lot of oranges have gone to waste,” he said.
Cut flowers of cymbidium, lilium, anthurium and roses, along with ginger and cardamom, are sent daily by the Simfed to Sikkim Organic, an outlet of the state government at New Delhi. The outlet receives almost five quintals of produce from Sikkim everyday.
Although NH31A — the only road link between Sikkim and the rest of the country — has been exempted from the bandh, few transporters in Sikkim are ready to run vehicles. They have agreed to ferry essential commodities from Siliguri, but are refraining from transporting items like cement and horticulture products outside Sikkim.
The Simfed has four utility vans, one truck and two refrigerated vans but these vehicles are grounded because of the bandh since January 12.
“Vehicles are not plying. We don’t have adequate storage facilities and we can’t refuse to buy products from growers,” said Swaroop.
A grower in Sikkim said the inaccessibility to markets outside Sikkim had affected farmers in villages. “If the Simfed is affected, that means, almost every grower in Sikkim is affected. If the situation continues, there is also a possibility that our customers in the metros will sooner or later find another supplier. The clients cannot wait for long,” he said.
“Semi-perishable produces like orchids and cardamom can wait till the crisis is over. But the delivery of cut flowers of Sikkim which are in great demand cannot be delayed. Once a flower is cut, then it must reach the airport at Bagdogra in eight hours,” said the farmer.
He said an attempt had been made to send his plants on Sikkim Nationalised Transport buses, which are plying NH31A during the bandhs. “But the buses are crowded and there is hardly any space to keep my products. I also tried to send them in taxis but drivers don’t want to carry them as they fear attacks from bandh supporters,” said the grower.
Marathon runner in Kalimpong
KalimNews, 21 January: Amar Subba marathon runner arrived at about 8.00pm in Kalimpong town. He was received by Veteran footballer Urgen Lama (Mini), Kalimpong Police Officials and other citizens. Subba a resident of Darap of West Sikkim started his run from 17th January to make a record for making an entry in the Limca book of world records. 41 year old Subba arrived herein the night from Siliguri. His route was Darap - Peling - Teesta - Darjeelng - Kurseong - Siliguri - Kalimpong. He will leave Kalimpong tomorrow for Gangtok via Pedong and Rhenock Sikkim. 
Last Rites of  Late Hira Waiba on 22 nd January in Siliguri
KalimNews, 21 January: Last rites of late Hira Devi Waiba, Nepali folk singer could not be held today. Her son Satya arrived this afternoon but her daughter Navnit couldnot arrive today and is expecting to arrive by noon of 22 January. Family sources said that it will be held on 22 January within 1-2 pm in Balasun river, Siliguri.  
Sukna realtor denies cash deal
Avijit Sinha, TT, Siliguri, Jan. 21: Siliguri-based realtor Dilip Agarwal has claimed that no financial transaction was involved in the Sukna land case, which today led to a lieutenant general being convicted by a general court martial.
Agarwal said that Lt Gen P.K. Rath, who was the commander of the 33 Trishakti Corps in north Bengal, had facilitated the issuance of the no-objection certificate and signing of the MoU in accordance with state government instructions.
Rath had done this to allow the Dilip Agarwal Geetanjali Educational Trust to build an educational institute on a 70-acre plot close to the Sukna military station.
“The land is with us but is still lying vacant because of the ongoing issue. We cannot move ahead with the project unless instructed by the state. We have apprised the state government and are waiting for further correspondence,” Agarwal said.
“There was no financial transaction and the MoU was signed in accordance with an instruction from the state government. Certain points had been incorporated into the agreement but none of those were of a nature to provide any post to any army official in the educational institution.”
Agarwal had made the same claim on December 30, 2009, in a media release issued in Siliguri.
The realtor said a tea tourism project had initially been planned on the plot, which had earlier been with the Chumta Tea Estate. “Considering that the land is unsuitable for tea cultivation, the state government leased it out to four companies,” Agarwal said.
“However, because of the plot’s proximity to army installations, the army raised objections. So, the companies concerned, in consultation with the state government, decided to use it for educational purposes.”
A meeting was held with the additional chief secretary of the state land and land reforms department on February 6, 2009, in Calcutta. A senior army officer representing the 33 Corps, who attended the meeting, said the army had no objection to it, Agarwal claimed.

Siliguri track mixers open first DJ school
TT,Siliguri, Jan. 21: Siliguri has got its first full-fledged DJ institute, thanks to two youths who want to cash in on the new generation’s penchant for performance.
The North Bengal DJ Institute was opened on January 16 to train youths in the art of deejaying.
Ten candidates, most of whom are from Siliguri, Darjeeling and neighbouring Sikkim, have already enrolled in the institute run by DJs Max and Niraj.
The trainers said the growing interest among youngsters to pursue discjockeying as a career had prompted them to start the institute.
“Ten years ago, there was virtually no scope for deejaying in Siliguri where hardly any night club or pubs were open. The general notion at the time was that deejaying was not a feasible career and anyone interested in the art had to go to metros to get trained,” said DJ Max or Sanjeet Gupta, who has been in the profession for eight years.
According to him, the mindset has changed in the past couple of years. “The crowd in Siliguri has become more trendy and a lot of corporate events, parties and weddings are being organised which cannot do without a DJ. A number of nightclubs, pubs and FM channels have sprung up and they are ready to offer jobs to budding talents. With such scope and opportunities, the interest among the youngsters to take up deejaying as a career too has increased,” said DJ Max.
The owners claimed that the institute at Mahananda Park was the first-of-its kind in Siliguri.
“We have opened a first-of-its kind institute with sophisticated equipment brought from Calcutta to give the best training to the students. Currently, we have a turntable, the main instrument on which a DJ plays, a mixer to mix the tracks, and two LCDs for editing. The students will be taught to produce, re-mix and edit music,” said DJ Max.
The trainers said reputed disc jockeys from Mumbai and Calcutta would be called to hold classes for the students during the three-month course.
“There will be 36 classes spread over three months and the course fee is Rs 15,000. The classes will be held thrice a month for two hours each. Once a month, well-known DJs like DJ Mansur and DJ Ronit from Calcutta and DJ Suketu from Mumbai will give lessons. The students will also be given a chance to play at parties and events here,” said DJ Niraj, who has four years’ experience.
He said youths in Siliguri had vast knowledge of music and most of them were deft in playing guitar, keyboard, drums and other musical instruments. “These are the qualities required to become a DJ, along with energy and enthusiasm,” said DJ Niraj (Niraj Chowdhury).
Manjeet Singh was one of the students who joined the institute.“I have always enjoyed dancing to music played by the DJs and often wondered how it would be like to be one myself. After the completion of the course, I plan to move to Bangalore or New Delhi to play at nightclubs and pubs,” he said.
Priyanka Sarkar dreams of starting her own discotheque once she learns the art. “For now, I plan to work as a freelancer but in future I wish to open a discotheque.”
Pranab meeting today, focus on elections
TT, Siliguri, Jan. 21: Pranab Mukherjee’s proposed public meeting here tomorrow is expected to stimulate Congress supporters ahead of the ensuing Assembly polls in north Bengal, where the party is the principal opponent of the Left.
Congress leaders here hope that the Union finance minister will drive home the point that the party is the larger player compared to the Trinamul Congress in the region and the ally will have to part with a large number of seats in the elections.
“At a time when Trinamul appears taller than the Congress in the state, Pranab Mukherjee’s speech will galvanise party workers across north Bengal,” Debprasad Roy, the Congress MLA from Jalpaiguri, said today. “The cadres are looking forward to hearing from Mukherjee about what they need to do to ensure victory for Congress candidates in the polls.”
Political observers have said Pranab’s visit to Siliguri is significant as Trinamul has already said it will demand more seats in north Bengal.
“Elections to Lok Sabha and civic and panchayat bodies proved that the Congress has an upper hand in the region. The party has three MPs and is in majority in a number of civic bodies. The representation of the Congress in the three-tier panchayats is also higher than Trinamul. Since these factors will be the basis of talks with Trinamul before the polls, the Congress will press for a majority of the 54 seats in north Bengal,” said an observer.
“As Trinamul is a bigger force in south Bengal, except Murshidabad, the Congress will bargain for more seats in six northern districts. The visit of Pranab Mukherjee is significant as right from leaders to grassroot workers, everybody will be eager to hear his opinion, which understandably is that of the party high command, on the alliance and seat sharing,” he added.
The Jalpaiguri district Congress committee hopes that around 50,000 people will attend the meeting at Baghajatin Park. PCC chief Manas Bhunia and leaders from across north Bengal will be present on the dais.
Dipa Das Munshi, the Congress MP from Raiganj, said the meeting would showcase the party’s support base.
“Although discussions (with Trinamul) have not yet begun, we expect some instructions and guidance from him (Pranab Mukherjee),” she said on phone from Purulia.
Mukherjee will inaugurate a land customs station at Fulbari, around 10km from Siliguri, which is expected to boost trade between India and Bangladesh.
SC upholds life sentence to Dara Singh
IANS, Bhubaneswar, 21 January:The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the life sentence of Dara Singh in the killing of missionary Graham Staines and his sons, exactly 12 years after they were burnt by a Hindu rightwing mob in Orissa's Keonjhar district. A timeline of the case: Jan 22, 1999: Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons Philip (10) and Timothy (6) burnt to death by a mob while they were sleeping in their station wagon in front of a church at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar.
Jan 29, 1999: The central government sets up judicial commission led by Supreme Court Justice D.P. Wadhwa to investigate the crime.
Feb 24, 1999: The Orissa government decides to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
June 21, 1999: The Wadhwa Commission submits 150-page report to the union home ministry holding Dara Singh guilty of the crime.
June 22, 1999: CBI submits chargesheet against 18 people, including Dara Singh.
Jan 31, 2000: Dara Singh arrested by CBI from a forest in Mayurbhanj district adjoining Keonjhar.
March 1, 2001: Trial in the case begins in a special CBI designated court at Bhubaneswar.
Sep 15, 2003: Court convicts Dara Singh and 12 others.
Sep 22, 2003: Court pronounces quantum of punishment and awards death sentence to Dara Singh and life imprisonment to 12 others.
May 19, 2005: Orissa High Court sets aside death sentence to Dara Singh and commutes it to life imprisonment in an 106-page judgment. It, however, retains life imprisonment awarded to Mahendra Hembram, another accused, while acquitting all others.
Jan 21, 2011: The Supreme Court upholds life imprisonment for Dara Singh and his accomplice Mahender Hambram.

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