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Monday, February 21, 2011

GJM to address Press today... Morcha questions CM power ...Sikkim interest in Sangma forum

KalimNews: GJM has called a press conference this morning at Khumani. As announced earlier the ultimatum of GJM to the state for a joint verification committee's demand ends today. With an indication by Buddhadeb Bhattacharya Chief Minister's statement it appears that no such JVC for Gorkha dominated Dooars area may be inducted , at the same time several Board examinations are to be conducted starting from tomorrow. GJM may suspend some of its programmes like general strike but may continue others.
A source said that state government may nod for JVC but it may not want to part with more than a few mouzas of Siliguri Terai but not Dooars. To have a JVC and go for verification on one hand and part with areas on the other hand are quite different things. Its just like to have a talk on the table and agree with proposals.
A company of CRPF has arrived for the Darjeeling hills and four more company may arrive by tomorrow totalling eight companies. A district administration official disclosed that in view of the forthcoming Assembly election these para military forces may replace the state polices in sensitive police stations.
M questions CM power 
TT, Darjeeling, Feb. 21: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today reminded Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee that his political life is going to end “within weeks”, dismissing with derision the chief minister’s rejection of Gorkhaland and questioning his power to do so.“As far as we are concerned what Bhattacharjee said is a non-issue. The statement is coming from a person whose political life is going to end within weeks,” said Morcha spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri. “Once the Election Commission notifies the Assembly election dates, most likely on March 1, he will not be able to take any decision and going by the indications in Bengal we are sure that he won’t be around for long.”
On Sunday, Bhattacharjee had dismissed the Gorkhaland demand as illogical, questioned the sanity of those seeking to widen their territorial reach and ruled out talks until the statehood movement was withdrawn. “Unless they (Morcha) withdraw the movement, we will not hold any discussion with them. We have informed the Centre about our stand,” Bhattacharjee had said in Siliguri.
“It’s time the hill leaders understood that the demand for Gorkhaland is not realistic or logical. The state government will, under no circumstances, accept the demand to divide the state. The Centre, too, is averse to the idea of dividing Bengal,” he had said.
Today, Chhetri said the chief minister’s statement is a “non-issue as only the Parliament is authorised to decide whether a new state should be formed or not”.
“The state has no role in granting statehood and its opinion is not a mandatory criterion for state formation,” the Morcha leader said, maintaining that the chief minister was “psychologically” prepared to part with Darjeeling.
“The chief minister seems to have drawn up a new map. For him, Bengal starts from Calcutta and ends somewhere near Siliguri. All his announcements were related to the plains. He did not have a single announcement for Darjeeling. He seems to be psychologically prepared to part with Darjeeling,” said Chhetri.
Missing and trafficked - Social activists blame political unrest, lack of jobs
VIVEK CHHETRI,TT, Darjeeling, Feb. 21: The number of people missing from north Bengal has increased many times over in the past decade, triggering fears that more persons are being trafficked from the region than earlier.
Social activists have blamed lack of job opportunities and political instability for the rise in the “missing” figures.
According to figures released by the Bengal CID in response to an RTI query filed by a Delhi-based anti-trafficking organisation, Shakti Vahini, the number of “missing” people in the state has gone up to 6,514 from 196 between 2001 and 2010.
The most alarming figure the report has thrown up is not the increase in “missing” people in the whole state but the rise in the number in the six districts of north Bengal (see chart).
While only three missing cases were reported from the six north Bengal districts in 2001, the number was 1089 in 2010. “The situation is alarming in north Bengal and with the political instability, the closure of tea gardens and the abysmal condition of the tourism sector, these figures are bound to rise. It is time that a proactive intervention programme is devised for the region,” said Rishi Kant, a social activist associated with Shakti Vahini.
“Only yesterday, we rescued a minor from Balurghat who had been sold off to a placement agency in Gurgaon. We are in the process of lodging a police complaint in Delhi as the trafficker is based here. The minor is currently lodged in a protection home here in Gurgaon,” Kant said over the phone from Delhi.
Asked if the increase in the number of “missing” cases was actually a sign that the people were becoming more aware and were filing complaints in various police stations on the slightest suspicion, the activist replied in the negative. “The figures are only the tip of the iceberg and the numbers of complaints have increased because the number of trafficked people in every place has increased,” said Kant.
Shakti Vahini in a document titled “Missing Children and Women from West Bengal — An Overview”, has said that the number of missing children in the state has also increased from 4,621 to 8,599 between 2008 and 2010. “The state’s share of total industrial output in India was 9.8 per cent in 1980–81, declining to 5 per cent by 1997–98. However, the service sector has grown at a rate higher than the national rate. According to government estimates for 1999-2000, 27 per cent of Bengal's population lived below poverty line,” the document stated hinting that lack of industrialisation has been the bane of the state.
In Bengal, North24-Paraganas and Nadia top the list of districts with the highest number of “missing people”. While only 53 people were shown as missing from North 24 Parganas in 2001, the number rose to 1,945 in 2010. From 13 the number has increased to 1227 for Nadia for the same years.
Although Ranvir Kumar, the inspector-general of police (north Bengal) could not be contacted for an immediate overview of the situation here, Kant said: “We have learnt that every district will be given a fund of Rs 30 lakh to start an anti-human trafficking cell. The fund is being made available from the Union home ministry.” 
Sikkim interest in Sangma forum 
TT, Gangtok, Feb. 21:The ruling Sikkim Democratic Front has showed a “positive” interest in the proposed Northeastern Democratic Front, a common platform of major regional parties of the Northeast and the brain child of P.A. Sangma.
The idea of the regional platform is to portray a united Northeast forum to the Centre where there are few MPs from the region because of the size of the states.< The eight northeastern states together has 25 MPs in the Lok Sabha, of which 14 are from Assam.
SDF president and Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling attended a meeting of the representatives of the regional parties convened by Sangma, a former Lok Sabha speaker, in New Delhi yesterday. Among those present were Assam Gana Parishad and the People’s Party of Arunachal.
Confirming the SDF outlook, Lok Sabha member from Sikkim and spokesperson P.D. Rai said his party is positive towards the idea of a regional front.
“The SDF is positive. We live in this region. The SDF has shown that a regional party is closer to the people and we can articulate the need of our people better to the Centre through a regional plank,” said Rai over the phone from New Delhi.
Asked about the general structure and objectives of the proposed front, Rai: “These are early days and nothing is final. Sangma is trying to bring certain regional parties together for the development of the Northeast. It is basically a development oriented programme. Everyone who attended the meeting agreed to go back to their respective states and think over it. We are trying to find a common ground and there is nothing concrete yet.”
Rai said if the major parties of the Northeast came together, they would be given more importance by the Centre as otherwise most of the Northeastern states are small, sending only one MP to the Lok Sabha.
“The idea is to see that small northeastern states gain more currency at the Centre. Sikkim is a small state with only one MP in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha. Nothing much can be done in Parliament as the House goes by numbers and the idea is how to get (more) numbers together,” said Rai.
One area in which, Rai believes, that a united northeastern forum can help Sikkim is getting a constitutional representative or a Union minister berth. “Sikkim has not got a minister of state or Union minister berth nor has anyone from Sikkim become a governor. Suppose we want this thing to happen, we need to be part of a larger collective. It’s a number game,” he said.
पश्चिमका पञ्चायतहरूसित जिल्ला प्रशासनको सम्वयन सभा
प्रबिण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गेजिङ,21 फरवरी। पश्चिम जिल्लाको जिल्ला प्रशासनद्वारा यहाँको सामुदायीक भवनमा एउटा समन्वय सभा आयोजन गरियो। जिल्ला पञ्चायत अनि ग्राम पञ्चायत सदस्य तथा अधिकारीबीच राखिएको यस बैठकमा जिला पञ्चायत अध्यक्ष श्रीमती कर्मा छुकी भोटिया मुख्य अतिथिको रूपमा उपस्थिति थिइन्। सूचना तथा जनसम्पर्क विभाग द्वारा जारी गरिएको प्रेस जनाउ अनुसार बैठकमा विभिन्न विकास कार्यक्रमहरूबारे चर्चा गरियो। कार्यक्रममा अध्यक्ष भोटियाले आफ्नो सम्बोधनमा राज्य सरकारले लक्षित गरेको गरीबी मुक्त राज्य 2013 लाई सफल पार्न पञ्चायत अनि सरकारी अधिकारीहरूले सक्रिय रूपमा कार्य गर्नु पर्ने बताइन।
कार्यक्रमा पश्चिम जिल्ला जिल्लापाल शान्ता प्रधानले आफ्न सम्बोधनमा सरकारी कर्मचारी र जनप्रतिनिधिहरूले इमान्दार भएर जनताको हितमा कार्य गर्नु आफ्नो कर्तव्य मान्नु पर्ने बताए। उनले भने, कुनै पनि समस्यासित छक्क पर्नु भन्दा त्यसको समाधान गर्न सक्नु बुद्धिमत्ता हो। उनले युवाहरूमा व्याप्त बन्दै गएको दुर्व्यसन तथा ड्रग्स सेवनको क्रियाकलापबारे सबैले सतर्क भएर यसको समाधानको निम्ति लागी पर्नुपर्ने बताए। यसैगरि तिनले असामाजिक तत्वहरूसित पनि सामुहिक रूपमा लड्नुपर्ने आह्वान गरे। तिनले एक महिना भित्र ग्राम पञ्चायतहरूले महात्मा गान्धी ग्रामीण रोजगार ग्यारेन्टी ऐन (मनरेगा) बारे ग्राम सभा आयोजन गरेको हुनुपर्ने निर्देश दिए। तिनले रोजगार प्रापकहरूको सूची पनि खण्ड विकास कार्यालयहरूमा बुझाउने निर्देश दिए। यसैगरि तिनले पाठशाला पञ्जिकरणमा भइरहेको ढिलाई तथा ग्राम पञ्चायतहरूले आ-आफ्नो गाँउको जानकारी तयार पर्नुपर्ने निर्देशन दिए। यसका साथै मुख्यमन्त्री सम्पूर्ण स्वस्थ्य जाँच, ग्राम पंचायत कर तथा ग्राम विकास कार्य योजना आदिको बारेमा सम्बवन्धित विभागका अधिकारीहरूले पञ्चायतहरूलाई अवगत गराउँदै कार्यन्वयन गर्ने आग्रह गरे।
अर्कोतिर पञ्चायत सदस्यहरूले पनि आ-आफ्ना गुनासो र समस्याहरू जिल्ला प्रशासन समक्ष राखे।
आरीटार गुम्पाको पाँचदिने पुजा समापन
प्रबिण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, रिनाक,21 फरवरी। पूर्व सिक्किमको रिनाकस्थित आरीटारको पाल्डोर फुन्छोकलिङ बौद्ध गुम्पामा पाँच परम्परागत पुजा आज समापन भयो। हिमाचल प्रदेशको धर्मशालाबाट आएका दुङछे रिम्पोछेले वाङ (आर्शिवाद) प्रदान गरेर पुजाको समापन गरियो। रिनाकबाट विकास भुजेलले दिएको जानकारी अनुसार गत 17 फरवरीदेखि शुरु भएको उक्त पुजामा हजारौंको संख्यामा श्रद्धालुहरूले पुजा अर्चना गरे भने स्थानीय तथा राज्य बाहिरबाट लगभग 60 जना बौद्ध भिक्षुहरूले प्रार्थना गरे। विश्व शान्तिको कामना गर्दै प्रत्येक वर्ष गरिऩे यो पुजाको महत्व निक्कै रहेको छ। तीन सय वर्ष पुरानो यो गुम्पामा बौद्धधर्मावलम्बीहरूको निम्ति श्रद्धाको केन्द्र पनि रहेकोले यसपालीको पुजामा बौद्ध भिक्षुहरूले गुम्पाको परम्परागत छाम (नृत्य) लाई बचाउने उद्देश्यले प्रदर्शन गरिएको थियो। रिम्पोछेको हातवाट वाङ थाप्नको निम्ति स्थानीय तथा राज्यका विभिन्न भागबाट व्यापक संख्यामा भक्तजनहरूको उपस्थित रहेको थियो।
सिक्किम डेमोक्रेटिक फ्रण्ट नर्थइस्टर्न डेमोक्रेटिक फ्रण्टमा जाने !
पूर्वोत्तर राज्यमा जिम्मेवार राजनीति गरिनुपर्छः पवन चाम लिङ
प्रबिण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक,21 फरवरी। सिक्किमा राष्ट्रिय राजनैतिक दलहरू कडा विपक्षीको रूपमा स्थापित बन्दै सत्तारूढ सिक्किम डेमोक्रेटिक फ्रण्ड  (एसडीएफ) को निम्ति संघर्षको मार्ग कठीन बनाइरहेको स्थितिमा पूर्वोत्तर राज्यहरूलाई लिएर यहाँका क्षेत्रिय दलहरूमा दलीय एकता स्थापित गर्दै राष्ट्रिय दलहरूलाई चुनौति दिने प्रयासमा पूर्व लोकसभा अध्यक्ष तथा राष्ट्रवादी कंग्रेसका नेता पीए साङ्गमाको तत्परतामा पूर्वोत्तर राज्यका ठूला क्षेत्रिय दलहरूलाई लिएर गरिएको नर्थइस्टर्न डेमोक्रेटिक फ्रन्ट (एनडीएफ)-को पहिलो बैठकमा सिक्किमको मुख्यमन्त्री पवन चामलिङले पनि भाग लिएपछि राज्यमा राजनैतिक वातावरण उकुसमुकुस बनेको छ।
हिजो आइतबार नयाँ दिल्लीको औरङ्गजेब रोडस्थित साङ्गमाको घरमा आयोजित बैठकले एनडीएफको प्रारम्भीक चरणको प्रक्रिया सकरात्मक रहेको एसडीएफका प्रवक्ता तथा सिक्किमका लोकसभा सांसद पीडी राईले फोनमा बताएका छन्।
हिजोको बैठकमा मुख्यमन्त्री चामलिङ लगायत असम गण परिषदका अध्यक्ष चन्द्र मोहन पटवरी, विपक्षी नेता प्रफुल्ल कुमार महन्तो, अगपका नेता कुमार दिपक दास, पिरेन बाइलिया, नागाल्याण्डका मुख्यमन्त्री एन रीयो तथा अरूणाचल पिपल्स पार्टी, मणिपूर पिपल्स पार्टी , तृणमूल कंग्रेस तथा मिजो नेशनल फ्रन्ट समेत अन्य विभिन्न क्षेत्रिय दलका प्रतिनिधिहरू रहेको असम ट्रिव्युन समाचार पत्रले पीएस साङ्गमाद्वारा बताइएको भने समाचार प्रकाशित गरेको छ।
अर्कोतिर एसडीएफ प्रवक्ता तथा लोक सभा सांसद पीडी राईले मुख्यमन्त्री पवन चामलिङले उक्त बैठकमा भाग लिएको पुष्टि गरेका छन्। उनले भने, क्षेत्रिय मोर्चाको निम्ति एसडीएफ सकरात्मक छ। उनले भने, एसडीएफले यो मोर्चाकतो निम्ति तत्पर छ किन भने हाम्रो पार्टी यसै क्षेत्रको हो । उनले अझ भने, क्षेत्रिय पार्टीले जनताको सबै आवश्यकता पुरा गर्न सक्छ यसको उदाहरण हाम्रो एसडीएफ पार्टी हो। क्षेत्रिय पार्टीले जनताको तृणमूलस्तरसम्म पुगेर कार्यगर्न सक्छ भने केन्द्र सरकारसित पनि सम्पर्क राख्न सक्छ। उनले मोर्चाको ढाँचाबारे गरिएको प्रश्नको जवाफमा भने, अहिले यो प्रारम्भीक चरणमा छ, यो मोर्चा स्थापित गर्न साङ्पाम प्रयासरत छन् जसले पूर्वोत्तर राज्यका क्षेत्रिय दलहरूलाई संगठीत गर्ने प्रयास गरिरहेका छन्। उनले यो सबै प्रयास विकास आधारित रहेको बताउँदै हिजोको बैठकमा जति दलहरूले भागलिए ती सबै दलहरूले यसलाई आफ्नो राज्यमा फर्किएर विचार गर्ने निधो गरेको बताए। उनले अझ भने हामी कमन प्लेटफर्मको खोजीमा छौ त्यो अहिलेसम्म तयार भएको छैन।
सांसद राईले बताएअनुसार मुख्यमन्त्री चामलिङलाई उक्त बैठकको निम्ति आधिकारी निम्तो आएको थियो। त्यैसको आधारमा उनी बैठकमा हुने चर्चा सुन्न गएका थिए। जहाँ मुख्यमन्त्री चामलिङले मोर्चा गठनको सन्दर्भमा भने,पूर्वोत्तर राज्यको हात बलियो पार्न यो क्षेत्रमा जिम्मेवार राजनीति हुनु आवश्यक छ।
सांसद राईले भने, यो नयाँ सोच हो जसको अहिले पनि प्रारम्भीक चरणमा कार्य भइरहेको छ तर यो मोर्चा गठन भएपछि भने पूर्वोत्तर भारतमा यो बलियो दलको रूपमा स्थापित हुनेछ। यसले राष्ट्रिय तथा क्षेत्रिय राजनीतिमा आफ्नो गह्रौ वर्चस्व स्थापित गर्न सक्ने उनले आशा व्यक्त गरे। अहिलेसम्म राष्ट्रिय राजनीतिमा पूर्वोत्तरको गन्ती नगण्य प्रायः हुने गरेको मुख्य कारण पूर्वोत्तर राज्यहरूमा लोकसभा सांसदहरूको संख्यामा कमीरहेकोले गर्दा हो भन्ने सर्वविदित छ। यस्तो स्थितिमा दलीय एकता र क्षेत्रिय गठबन्धनले राष्ट्रिय राजनीतिमा पूर्वोत्तर राज्यको स्थिति बलियो पार्न सकिने देखिएको छ। उनले भने,स-साना राज्यहरूको य़ो मोर्चा गठन भएपछि केन्द्र सरकारको ध्यान आकर्षण गराउन कारगार सिद्ध हुनेछ भने पूर्वोत्तर राज्यको विकासको निम्ति धनराशी पनि बड्ने छ। उनले अझ भने, यो गठन भएपछि पूर्वोत्तर राज्यका समस्याहरूलाई संयुक्तरूपमा एक मुष्ठ आवाज बनाएर संसदमा पेश गर्न सक्छौं। जसले सदनमा पूर्वोत्तर राज्यको बलियो स्वर गुञ्जाउन सक्छौं। उनले भने एनडीएफको पहल मात्र शुरु गरिएको छ यसबारेमा पूर्वोत्तर राज्यका सबै मुख्यमन्त्रीहरूले पनि सोचेर विचार विमर्श गरेका छन्। यसका साथै उनले पूर्वोत्तर राज्यका अन्य सदस्यहरूले सिक्किमको मुख्यमन्त्रीबाट जिम्मेवार राजनीतिको शिक्षा लिनुपर्ने बताए। उनले जिम्मेवार राजनीतिकै कारण सिक्किमा पूर्वोत्तरको अन्य राज्य भन्दा राम्रो विकास भएको बताए।
अर्कोतिर मोर्चा तयार भएपछि सिक्किमबाट पनि केन्द्रिय मन्त्री हुने सम्भावनालाई उनले स्वीकार गर्दै भने, सिक्किमबाट अहिलेसम्म कुनै केन्द्रिय मन्त्री हुन सकेको छैन न त राज्यपाल नै मनोनित भएका छन्। तर यो अभियानले सामुहिक हितमा कार्य गर्छ किन भने यो नम्बरको खेल हो, उनले भने। उल्लेखनीय छ पूर्वोत्तर राज्यहरूमा जम्मा 25 जना सांसद रहेको छ जसमा केवल असमबाट मात्र 14 जना रहेका छन् भने अन्य राज्यहरूमा न्यून संख्यामा रहेको छ। जसले गर्दा राष्ट्रिय दलहरूको झुकाउ यो क्षेत्रमा त्यती नहुने हुनाले पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र उपेक्षीत जस्तो देखिएको छ। अर्कोतिर सिक्किमको प्रसंगमा हेर्दा मुख्यमन्त्री चामलिङद्वारा मोर्चाप्रिति सकरात्मक सोच राखेको कारणले स्थानीय राजनीतिमा पनि यसको सोझो सम्बन्ध हुने देखिएको छ।
जसले राज्यमा विपक्षीको रूपमा रहेको राष्ट्रिय दलहरूको अस्तित्वलाई पुनः दह्रिलो चुनौती हुने छ। अर्कोतिर पीए सांग्माले यो भन्दा अघि पनि यस प्रकारको मोर्चाको परिकल्पना शुरु गरेका थिए। उनले यसभन्दा अघि तीनचोटी क्षेत्रीय दलीय एकतालाई लिएर राष्ट्रिय दलहरूसित चुनौती दिने प्रयास गरिसकेका छन्।

600 more for rail security
TT, Siliguri, Feb. 21: The state government has decided to recruit around 600 people for different ranks of the GRP to strengthen railway security in the six districts of north Bengal — right from Farakka in Malda to the Sankosh in Jalpaiguri on the Bengal-Assam border.
M.S. Poonia, the deputy inspector general of the GRP and chairman of the Darjeeling range of the West Bengal Police Recruitment Board, said: “The existing strength of the GRP in Siliguri division is around 350. It is not adequate to take care of the huge jurisdiction and thus the state government has sanctioned 594 new posts for the division. The posts comprise different ranks, ranging from deputy superintendent of railway police to constables. We expect the recruitment process to be complete in the next 12 months.”
The state has also decided to add two more trained canines to the dog squad run by GRP in New Jalpaiguri (under Siliguri division). Currently there are two dogs each in the four divisions of the GRP across the state, including Siliguri which covers 1,167km of railway track. Eight GRP stations function under the Siliguri division.
“We have got an approval from the state government for two more dogs for the NJP squad under Siliguri division. The Malda squad (also under Siliguri) has two trained dogs,” he said. “Three other GRP divisions — Kharagpur, Sealdah and Howrah — have similar squads.”
Poonia, who was in Dabgram this morning to oversee the recruitment drive of police constables, said 4,766 vacant posts would be filled up.
“The recruitment process for 4,766 vacant posts of constables started across the state in December. We had received 3.88 lakh applications from all the seven ranges of the WBPRB. From the Darjeeling range, which has under it the Darjeeling district, we received around 11, 000 applications. The recruitment tests will continue till March 2,” Poonia said.
Initially the last date for the test was February 28 but it was extended as many candidates did not get their call letters in time because of the strikes in Darjeeling.
Tea deaths
TT, Jaigaon: Two persons were killed in separate incidents in Jaigaon in the past 24 hours. Police said Bikash Santal of Torsa Tea Estate was beaten to death by his brother Anil at his home on Sunday. Since then Anil is missing. In Gopimohan Tea Estate, Rumali Singh died after she was hit on the head with bricks by some youths. Rumali is from a nomadic tribe that had come from Uttar Pradesh and had been camping in the garden.

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