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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Police dismantled camps of GJM at Shibsu GJM observed Chakka jam in hills-one arrested... Breach of peace threat...Poll observers to visit hills after Left prod

Dismantled camp at Shibsu
KalimNews: Khumani, 8 January: GJM may make an new move from Khumani as Bimal Gurung GJM President has all the supporters of GJM to assemble at Khumani. He might announce a new programme giving the administration a surprise. Milan Gurung arrested yesterday by the police may be produced in the Jalpaiguri court under wild life act, which may lead to a fresh movement  in the Dooars area. 
KalimNews, Kalimpong, 7 February: GJM observed Chakka jam of about four hours in all the three subdivisions and National Highways. It started from 1.30 pm to 5 pm. All vehicles were forced to wait till the jam was opened. 
Dr HB Chhetri 
Chakka Jam in Kalimpong
Yesternight GJYM members of Dooars area had made a few camps near the community hall of Shibsu about 5 km away from Khumani where GJM president Bimal Gurung is presently stationed since 19th January. Hunger strike is being observed in Shibsu since 29th January whic will end tomorrow. Jalpaiguri police warned the GJYM to dismantle them and leave the area as it belongs to the Wild life department and it is against the law to make camps in wild life forest area. There was a little hot discussion and scuffle between the GJYM supporters and police. Police warned either to leave the area or face lathi charge. Later GJYM and GJNM supporters left the area and police dismantled camps of GJYM and arrested Milan Gurung, secretary of Gairibas Zone. There was more scuffle while dismantling the GJYM camps but later all settled after GJM supporters left the area. More police is deputed at Shibsu. In the morning Jalpaiguri police also had stopped GJM supporters of Dooars at Khunia More about 14 km away from Shibsu.
Morcha camps dismantled at Sibchu-Roads blocked after leader arrest
Jalpaiguri/Jaigaon, Feb. 7: Nearly 25 tents pitched by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha at Sibchu that is part of a wildlife sanctuary were dismantled today after the forest department complained to the administration about encroachment.
The arrest of a Morcha leader that followed and the alleged lathicharge on women members of the party who had tried to stop police from taking him away led to protests across the Darjeeling hills where roads were blocked for more than two hours.
While three Nari Morcha supporters were allegedly injured and a constable hurt, police denied having used batons on the women. Instead, the police alleged, their vehicles were attacked and constable Prabir Roy injured by a stone hurled by the protesters. A senior police officer said there were not enough women constables to make more arrests.
According to Jalpaiguri police chief Anand Kumar, the Morcha leaders present at Sibchu, which is in the Chapramari wildlife sanctuary, had been requested to dismantle the tents as they were encroaching illegally on forest land. “We had received a complaint a few days ago from the forest department that tents had been illegally pitched at Sibchu on their land. Today, we requested the Morcha to remove the camps and when they failed to do so, we dismantled them,” the police chief said. He said that one company of the CRPF was present at Sibchu when the tents were dismantled.

A Nari Morcha supporter shouting slogan at Kalimpong on Monday. (Chinlop Fudong Lepcha
The spot is about 100km from Jalpaiguri town and 7km from Kumani where Morcha president Bimal Gurung is camping from January 19, pressing for the demand to be allowed to go on a padayatra to Jaigaon.
At a community hall in Sibchu, the Nari Morcha was, however, allowed to carry on with their relay hunger strike.
Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang who was present at Sibchu said there was no indication that Section 144 was still in place in the area.
“When the administration announced prohibitory orders they had announced it over loudspeakers. But for the past several days there have been no announcements. But today the police attacked our women supporters without provocation and some of them are injured. If this kind of atrocities by the Left Front government’s police continues, north Bengal will burn,” Tamang said.
Kabita Gurung, a central committee member of the Kalimpong Morcha, alleged that Gunjan Gurung, Bulu Pradhan and Gangamaya Pradhan — all Nari Morcha members — were injured in the police baton charge. “We protest this atrocity on our women and we will carry on the agitation till Milan Gurung, our branch committee secretary from Gairibas who was arrested, is released,” she said.
Over a thousand Morcha supporters had gathered at Sibchu around 2pm, when the police dismantled the tents and arrested Milan Gurung. Not all of them have come from the hills.
Most of them are local people who go back to their homes after participating in daylong agitations.
The subdivisional police officer of Malbazar, Arindam Sarkar, said Nari Morcha supporters sat on the road and refused to allow the police van with Milan to move. They also threw stones shattering the windowpanes of the police vehicle and deflated two tyres of another vehicle.
“The block development officer of Nagrakata, A. Bhutia, gave the squatters 30 minutes to clear the road, but they refused and we had to remove them physically. There was no lathi-charge,” Sarkar said.
Kalyan Das, the divisional forest officer of Jalpaiguri, said trespassing in a protected forest was against the Indian Forests Act, 1927. Milan who has been booked under the act could be jailed for one year or fined Rs 1,000 or both.
“It is a cognisable and non-bailable offence under the forest laws. We checked the circumstances and assessed that we would not be able to handle the situation and that is why we intimated the police,” Das said.
Police razes GJM camps
TNN, KOLKATA: A joint team of the state police and CRPF dismantled a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) camp at Sibchu in Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district on Monday.
Sibchu is located on the border of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling and the GJM had set up the camp there about a week ago to house their activists who apparently wanted to cross into Jalpaiguri as part of their programme to enter the Dooars and march up to Jaigaon.
Since the region had witnessed a series of communal violence over the past couple of years as pro- and anti-Gorkhaland activists clashed with each other, the administration did not allow GJM to hold their rally in the Dooars. The party activists, along with their president Bimal Gurung, were stopped from entering Dooars where the administration imposed Section 144 CrPC for an indefinite period after the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parshad threatened to retaliate if the GJM team entered Dooars.
While Gurung camped in Khumani, other GJM supporters were housed in this camp at Sibchu. The joint team dismantled the camp on Monday after it was alleged from different sections that the GJM men were slowly sneaking into Jalpaiguri district.
The team first asked the GJM activists to evacuate. But they allegedly did not pay heed. After waiting for half an hour, the securitymen razed the camp and also arrested a GJM activist who resisted.
When the team was heading back, Nari Morcha activists blocked the road demanding his release. The security personnel allegedly resorted to a mild lathi-charge. GJM staged roadblocks in the Hills against this, paralyzing traffic for hours. "The government should not test our patience," said GJM spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri.
In Kolkata, state urban affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya held a meeting with home secretary G D Gautama and decided to apprise the Centre about the GJM's agitations. Bhattacharya said GJM had assured at the tripartite meeting in Delhi on January 25 that they would help resume normality in the Hills. Instead, they have started an agitation. 

Breach of peace threat
TT, Jaigaon, Feb. 7: The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad has warned the Jalpaiguri administration that it will not be responsible for any breach of peace arising out of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s plans to hold agitation in the Dooars.
The tribal outfit was referring to the Morcha announcement that an “intensified agitation” for Gorkhaland starting February 9 would cover the Darjeeling hills and the Gorkha-dominated areas of the Dooars and the Terai.
Today, the Parishad in faxed messages to the Jalpaiguri divisional commissioner, the district magistrate and the police chief stated its strong objection to the Morcha demand to include the Terai and the Dooars in the proposed Gorkhaland.
“We have appealed to the administration to preserve peace in the area, or else we will have to intervene. We will in no way allow the Morcha to penetrate into the Dooars, there is no question of parting with even an inch of land for their so called state,” said John Barla, the president of the Parishad’s Dooars-Terai regional committee.
Barla said in the communication to the administration, the Parishad had requested that Morcha programmes should not be allowed to be held in the Dooars.
“If the movement in the hills is allowed to be brought down to the plains and the peace prevailing here is vitiated, we will not be sitting idle. We will ensure that the entire area, business, schools, markets, tea gardens — everything is shut down,” Barla said.
He said the people of the Terai and the Dooars were angry at the manner in which the Morcha was trying to create trouble in the region.
Reacting to the Parishad threat and allegation, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said: “Our peaceful and democratic movement will continue as planned from February 9.” Giri said there was no question of backing down. “What the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad wants to do is their internal affair, we have nothing to comment on that,” he added.
CPRM’s ‘sincerity’ poser on agitation
Morcha supporters block NH55 at Darjeeling’s Chowk Bazaar on Monday. Picture by Suman Taman
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Feb. 7: The CPRM, considered to have the second largest support base in the Darjeeling hills, today said it was willing to accept the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s leadership in the agitation for a separate state if the latter showed “sincerity” on the issue.
“We are ready to accept the leadership of the Morcha in the statehood demand provided the party shows sincerity towards the demand. The agitation must be peaceful and democratic in nature and the party must be transparent in its agitation,” said R.B. Rai, the president of the CPRM.
The CPRM said there were areas where the Morcha could be suspected. “On one hand, the party says it has rejected the proposal for the interim set-up, but on the other hand, they have not stated the same in black and white to the Centre or even the state government. There is enough space for the public to suspect their sincerity on the Gorkhaland agitation,” said Rai.
The Morcha had said the party’s central committee had decided to reject the interim set-up and announced a fresh round of agitation from February 9.
The party will close down government offices, organise padayatras, demonstrations in front of police stations, indefinite hunger strike and rail roko in the Dooars as part of the agitation.
Told about the CPRM’s stand, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the spokesperson for the Morcha, said over the phone from Kumani: “The condition they have set is meaningless as our party has publicly stated its stand on the interim set-up. This is not the time to talk about sincerity when we are organising so many agitations for Gorkhaland.”
The Morcha, on the other hand, questioned the sincerity of the CPRM in the Gorkhaland agitation.
“Instead of coming forward to support the agitation, they are trying to raise the sincerity issue to keep the movement out of track. If they are sincere about the movement, they should support us wholeheartedly instead of raising unwarranted issues,” said Chhetri.
Trinmul Plea
Avijit Sinha, TT, Siliguri, Feb. 7: The Trinamul Congress today for the first time urged Bimal Gurung’s party to refrain from agitation and wait till the “new government” was formed after the Assembly polls.
“Our party chief Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly made it clear that we want to see Darjeeling hills continue to be a part of Bengal. We would like to urge the Morcha leadership to refrain from strikes, blockades and other forms of agitation till the Assembly polls,” said Gautam Deb, the Darjeeling district Trinamul president.
Trinamul had always been silent on the agitation being spearheaded by the Morcha for three years and targeted the government for trouble in the Darjeeling hills.
“We are confident that the new government will be formed by our party after the polls. Our leaders will immediately take up the hill issue with a different approach as the CPM has done nothing for the hills. The issue will be handled by us with utmost care and we request the Morcha to stop the agitation and wait for a few months,” said Deb.
The appeal came on a day when the Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee and the Amra Bangalee said they would scuttle the Morcha’s proposed march to Siliguri on Wednesday.
While the Bhasha Committee plans to start a counter march to Darjeeling on February 9, the Amra Bangalee will take out rallies if Morcha supporters enter Siliguri.
Poll observers to visit hills after Left prod
Meghdeep Bhattacharya, TT, Calcutta, Feb. 7: An Election Commission team, prompted by a Left Front memorandum, will visit Darjeeling during their three-phase tour of the state starting Wednesday, sources at Nirvachan Sadan said.
The same team that visited Bengal last month is being sent for another recce of the state’s law-and-order situation.
One page of the Left’s seven-page memorandum submitted to the poll panel top brass in Delhi this afternoon is dedicated to Darjeeling where the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has “unleashed a rein of terror in the name of agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state”.
“We have decided to send the same team. They have just toured the state (between January 17 and 20) and submitted a report on January 22. They are in a better position to make a new assessment visiting areas where supporters of the Left are the alleged victims,” election commissioner H.S. Brahma told The Telegraph.
In its memorandum, the Left Front said about the Morcha: “They are forcing blockades, illegal bandhs and the democratic atmosphere is in complete jeopardy. No non-GJM organisation or political party is allowed to carry out legitimate activity…. The most blatant example was the murder of late Shri Madan Tamang — president, All Bengal Gorkha League — a respected leader in broad daylight.”
Three of the five member team — B. Shivdhar Reddy, the deputy inspector-general of Andhra Pradesh intelligence bureau, P.S. Ranpise, the deputy inspector general of Orissa’s armed police and Zaki Ahmed, deputy director of the National Crime Records Bureau — are expected in Calcutta on Wednesday.
Team leader Sudhir Kumar Rakesh, Bihar’s chief electoral officer, will arrive on Thursday.
The remaining members, D.K. Pandey, the additional director-general (law and order) of Jharkhand, and P.R.K. Naidu, joint director of the NCRB, are slated to arrive next Monday.
A senior commission official from the capital said the team will stay more than a week this time.
“They will, in groups, visit the areas mentioned in the memorandum and file their assessment by February 20,” said the official.
The Left alleged that during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, which saw the victory of the BJP’s Jaswant Singh from Darjeeling with support of the Morcha, polling in the three hill subdivisions had “degenerated into a farce”.
“Most of the booths were physically captured by the GJM workers with all EVMs being taken under the virtual control of local GJM/BJP election machinery… more than 90 per cent of the polled votes was secured by the BJP candidate while no others were allowed to campaign,” said the Left.
Mob ransacks Uttarayon ‘in revenge’- Attack follows scuffle between goons & guards
TT, Matigara (Siliguri), Feb. 7: The office of the Uttarayon Township was ransacked by a mob of 50 people this evening, apparently a sequel to a scuffle between security guards and local people at the complex yesterday.
Shards of glass and flowerpots were strewn at the entrance to the township following the attack on the office.
The management said complaints had been lodged with police in the past, as there were frequent incidents of local hooligans abusing the residents and employees of the township.
Sources said a woman guard had been injured during an altercation between the private security personnel and some local youths at the complex yesterday.
“A group of hoodlums yesterday forcibly tried to use a non-commissioned elevator at the City Centre which is under construction. When a guard on duty tried to confront the outsiders, a quarrel ensued. Punnya Khawas, a woman security guard, tried to intervene and disperse both the groups. But the goons roughed her up and she was admitted to a nursing home with injuries,” P.K.Sinha, the general manager (marketing) of Ambuja Realty Development Limited, said today.
The company is a subsidiary of the Calcutta-based Ambuja Group.
Following the assault, the management filed a complaint with Matigara police.
Around 5.30pm today, more than 50 people reached the locality and started abusing the security men and staff members.
“Soon, some of them picked flowerpots kept outside the building and hurled them at glass walls. The office, a customer care centre and a kiosk used by security guards right at the entrance to the township were damaged,” said a company official.
The employees seated at the office, though taken aback initially by the attack, called up Matigara police and informed them about the incident. The mob dispersed as residents of the township started rushing to the spot.
Sinha alleged that hooligans were often creating problems at the township. “We have reports that these miscreants often cause disturbances to the residents of the township and the staff by indecent activities. As they bashed our security guard yesterday and a police complaint was lodged, we suspect that they retaliated today by resorting to vandalism.”
The township, located 3km from here along NH31, is being developed jointly by the Bengal Ambuja Group and Laxmi Township Limited.
Gaurav Sharma, the additional superintendent of police, visited the township along with senior officers to probe the ransack.
“There has been an attack on Uttarayon. We have visited the spot and posted a police picket to prevent further attacks,” said Sharma. “We have received complaints and are investigating the case. Raids are on to nab the attackers,” he added.

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