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Monday, March 7, 2011

Hill front to avoid common candidates... ABGL to contest polls...

Morning Headlines:
KalimNews: Tea export stopped from today
Adivasi people will have triangular fight among themelves.
PPP a split group of ABAVP  to contest from Kalchini, Nagarkatta, Madarihat, MalBazar 
DTAVP also another split group of ABAVP to file from all seats of Dooars( Kalchini, Nagarkatta, Madarihat, MalBazar in the banner of separate state demand front. Rajesh Lakra od DTAVP is a candidate for the seat of Nagarkatta.
ABAVP too will file nominations from these four seats.
Hill front to avoid common candidates
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, March 6: The Democratic Front will not have candidates under its banner in the coming Assembly elections in the hills, but the conglomeration of the anti-Gorkha Janmukti Morcha parties might support each other’s candidates.
The ABGL, CPRM, GNLF-C and the Sikkim-Darjeeling Ekikaran Manch are the main constituents of the DF.
Dawa Sherpa, the working president of the ABGL and the convener of the DF, said: “The ABGL today held a meeting and we have decided to actively take part in the elections. An 11-member team of the party has been formed to explore the possibilities of tie-ups and to select candidates for the polls.”
He made it clear that the DF would not have common candidates in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong Assembly seats. “The Front is not an electoral alliance but a political alliance formed essentially to restore peace and democracy in the hills. In fact, this was stated clearly when the Front was formed,” said Sherpa.
The ABGL is of the opinion that the identity of each party in the DF must be safeguarded. “We will not have a common candidate but we might talk to other parties to work out a situation where we might support the other party’s nominee and similarly seek their support for our party candidates,” said Sherpa.
The ABGL leader’s announcement is significant as during the last Assembly elections in 2006, the same parties had come under the banner of the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and had fielded three candidates in the three hill seats. All the three candidates came second in the elections, polling together nearly one lakh votes in the hills.
It was largely expected that the DF would field common candidates in the hills this year also. Observers believe that a common candidate could have strengthened the anti-Morcha forum.
“Even if the parties do decide to support each other’s candidates, there will be no united fight to win the elections as the onus will be on the party fielding the candidate in a particular seat to ensure victory. The other parties in the front will only support their partner’s candidate and not actively campaign in the polls,” said an observer.
Road blockade
The Queen of the Hills Tourist Co-ordination Committee has decided to organise a two hour chakka jam in Darjeeling from noon to 2pm on Monday. The decision was taken after a committee member, Seewan Tamang, had been found murdered on Sunday morning.
“Tamang seems to have been murdered last night and his body was dumped at mudrahatti (graveyard) in Darjeeling. He was hit by a heavy object on his head,” a police officer said on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Tamang was a driver and a resident of Kalyan gram in Darjeeling.
Office ransack spurs RSP meet call
TT, Alipurduar, March 6: A red-faced RSP leadership has convened an emergency meeting of its Jalpaiguri district committee tomorrow to discuss the ransacking of the party office here by alleged supporters to protest the candidature of the state PWD minister in Alipurduar.
The meeting will be held at the very office that was vandalised yesterday morning by those who wanted the five-time MLA, Nirmal Das, to contest from Alipurduar in the Assembly polls.
“I am really shocked to see the damage caused to the office. None of our party supporters can resort to such violence, as the party office is sacrosanct to them. We have already found that Paresh Sarkar and Ujjwal Dutta were behind the ransacking. Paresh used to stay in the party office but we had asked him to leave. Ujjwal used to do some work for the MLA. But none of them are party members,” said RSP district president Sunil Banik, who reached the office at Newtown around 10am today.
About a dozen men stormed the office around 11am yesterday and smashed the furniture.
They were shouting slogans against the party leadership for planning to field PWD minister Kshiti Goswami in Alipurduar, instead of Nirmal Das. “They also shouted that ‘outsiders’ would not be allowed to contest here,” said a witness.
Goswami used to contest from Dhakuria in Calcutta, but the seat ceased to exist after the delimitation.
The RSP was annoyed with police for taking no action even 24 hours after an FIR had been filed, naming those who had unleashed the violence.
“We will file another complaint with the Alipurduar police as many important documents and furniture have been damaged. The RSP is ashamed of the incident that has caused a threat to the prestige of the party,” said Banik.
In reply to a question, the RSP leader said the party had also begun an internal investigation. “We have started an inquiry and at tomorrow morning’s meeting, we will discuss the incident in detail and if it is found that any of our members provoked the ransacking, action will be taken against them,” said Banik.
Asked who would contest in Alipurduar, he said a state committee meeting would be held in Calcutta on March 11 to decide on the candidate.
Paresh, who was accused of vandalising the office, said he was an active worker of the RSP and he would oppose the denial of party ticket to Das. “Nirmalda is close to the people of the region. We will not allow any outsider to replace him. If Nirmalda is not fielded, we will campaign against the RSP.”
EC plan
Deputy election commissioner Vinod Zutshi said in Siliguri on Sunday that deployment of security forces across the state during the polls would be planned after identifying the vulnerable points in all districts. He met the civil and police heads and returning officers of the districts of Malda, South Dinajpur and Cooch Behar in Siliguri on Sunday.
Youth shot at near disco - Scuffle over girl

TT, Gangtok, March 6: A 21-year-old youth had a “miraculous escape” last night when he was shot at from a point blank range allegedly by a contractor after an argument over a girl outside a disco at Baluwakhani near here.
Penjore Dorjee Bhutia had been shot at by Temba Lhendup Lachenpa in the neck with a .32mm pistol from a distance of less than a feet.
The bullet that entered the left side of the throat and exited from the right did not damage the wind pipe or any other vital organs.
Penjore, who had just completed an animation course from Bangalore, had gone to the disco last night to celebrate Lhosar, the Tibetan New Year. He is a resident of Tadong here.
“He was with his friends on the dance floor when Lachenpa, 44, entered with a girl. Around 11.15pm, Penjore and Lachenpa had an altercation when the latter found that the girl was trying to be friendly with the former. The duo traded blows on the floor and the disco authorities asked them to leave,” said a police source.
Outside the disco, Lachenpa whipped out a pistol and fired at Penjore. Hearing the gunshot, police from the nearby Vajra outpost rushed to the spot.
“Lachenpa had kept his licensed firearm inside his car. When he saw Penjore leaving the place, he suddenly took it out at fired at him,” said Tshering Sherpa, the inspector in-charge of Gangtok Sadar police station.
Lachenpa, a resident of Burtuk in Gangtok, is a contractor and was drunk at the time of the incident. The police arrested him and recovered the firearm with two bullets and a magazine. The spent cartridge was also seized from the spot.
Penjore was taken to the STNM hospital, 4km away, from where he was referred to the Central Referral Hospital at Tadong.
“It was around midnight when one of my son’s friends rang me up and said he had been shot at. I immediately rushed to the hospital,” said Passang Dorjee Bhutia, the father.
S. Chakraborty, the head of the ENT department at the hospital, said Penjore was out of danger. “The youth had a miraculous escape. The bullet hit the collarbone and moved upward through the left side, before exiting from the other side without damaging his wind pipe or other vital organs. If the bullet had passed through even a millimetre to the right or the left, he could have died. He is out of danger now but we are monitoring him at the ICU,” said Chakraborty.
A case under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC has been registered against Lachenpa.

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