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.

No comments:

Post a Comment