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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Musician Brian Moktan died...All’s well till election code is in force Ghisingh’s stay in hills ‘extended’ ... Parishad scan on Terai leader ...Repoll in 2 booths today...

KalimNews, Kalimpong, 19 April: Renowned singer and music artist Brian Moktan has been missing after he jumped into the river Teesta while returning to Kalimpong after performing his assigned election duty under 24 Kurseong Assembly constituency.
According to sources, Moktan was travelling in a bus Sikkim Beauty and coming back from Kurseong via Siliguri this morning of 19th April. His bus had to slow down at National Highway 31A in between Loha Pul and Rambi at 18th Mile due to heavy traffic movement. At around 10 am all of a sudden, he jumped from the bus into the hill and could not be traced. 
Immediately, the bus driver informed the Riyang Police station at Rambi and the police later saw him sitting idle near river Teesta on a hillock . The local police with his close friends tried to persuade him from jumping into the river.But at about 3 pm he yelled at them and jumped into the river and was swept away by the river Teesta. Police and the rafting troop of Teesta have already started navigating into deep river to recover the body but it was not found. 
Brian Moktan was an energetic artist since his young age. He has performed in most of the parts of Nepali dominating areas of India, Bhutan and Nepal. He is popularly known by the song 'Jaage Saara Raat...' Seer Seer seeri riri '  etc. and was founder of the band Filungo 2. He had composed 'Jati maya Garen Pani', composed music of 'Timi Malai' sung by Adrian Pradhan, 'Sambodhan' sung by Thupden, compiled 'Dhanu basko murali' sung by Sharmila Pakhrin and several others. He was a staff of Indo-Tibetan Primary School, Kalimpong. 58 yr old Moktan was a resident of Saat Dobatey near 66 KVA station in the B.L.Dixit Road and has survived by two married daughters, wife and mother.
प्रशिद्ध संगीतकार ब्राइन मोक्तान निखोज
मनोज वोगटी, कालिम्न्यूज, 
कालेबुङ, 19 अप्रेल नेपाली सङ्गीत जगतमा प्रशिद्ध रहेका गायक एवं संगीतकार ब्राइन मोक्तान टिस्टा नदीमा निखोज भएका छन्‌। इलेक्सन ड्युटी निभाउन खरसाङ गएका मोक्तान चुनाउ सकेर आज कालेबुङ फर्किरहेका थिए। मोक्तान साथीभाइहरूसितै एउटा बसमा कालेबुङ फर्किरहेका थिए। सिलगढ़ी भएर कालेबुङ आइरहेको बस 18 माइलमा आइपुग्दा जाममा पर्‍यो। जाम अनि चर्किएको गर्मीको कारण यात्रीहरू वाहनबाट उत्रिरहेका थिए। यसैबेला बसबाट उत्रिएका संगीतकार ब्राइन मोक्तान निखोज हुन्छन्‌ भनेर कसैले सोंचेका थिएनन्‌। 
मोक्तान धेरैबेरसम्म हराएपछि खुल्दुली हुनथाल्यो। त्यसैबेलादेखि मोक्तानले टिस्टामा हाम फालेर आत्महत्या गर्‍यो भन्ने हल्ला चारैतिर फैलिएको थियो। जानकारी पाइए अनुसार मोक्तान बसबाट उत्रिएपछि धेरैबेरसम्म तिनलाई भेटिएन। त्यसपछि तिनको खोजी शुरू भयो। वरिपरि हल्लाखल्ला बढ्यो। 18 माइल वरिपरिका मानिसहरू, रम्बी थानाका पुलिस बल अनि छेवैको हनुमान मन्दिरमा भइरहेको पूजामा आएका मानिसहरू मोक्तानलाई खोज्नमा जुटे। त्यसैबेला मोक्तानलाई 18 माइलको भीरमा लगभग 60 फुट तल अप्ठ्यारो ठाउँमा बसेको सबैले देखे। तिनको उद्धार गर्न वरिपरिबाट मानिसहरू तिनी भएठाउँतिर बढ़िरहेका थिए कि अचानक मोक्तानले छलाङ हाने। हेर्दैहेर्दै तिनी टिस्टाको धमिलो पानीमा विलिन भए- यस्तो थियो प्रत्यक्षदर्शीहरूको भनाइ। 
मोक्तानले आत्महत्या गरेका हुन्‌ वा तिनी कुनै रोगले ग्रस्त थिए, घटनाले विभिन्न जिज्ञासाहरू उपार्जन गरेको छ। मोक्तान इण्डो टिवेटन प्राथमिक पाठशालाका शिक्षक हुन्‌। तिनी विद्यार्थीहरूलाई अंग्रेजी, भूगोल र विज्ञान पढ़ाउँथे। मोक्तान नेपाली संगीत क्षेत्रका एक वरिष्ट संगीतकार हुन्‌। तिनको ख्याती नेपाल पनि रहेको छ। धेरै प्रशिद्ध गायकहरूले तिनको गीत गाएका छन्‌ । तिनी हिजो चुनाउको ड्युटी परेर खरसाङ गएका थिए भने आज तिनी साथीहरूसित नै बसमा फर्किरहेका थिए। तिनी टिस्टा नदीमा निखोज भएपछि टिस्टाको र्‍याफ्टिङ टिमले चारैतिक खोजी कार्य जारी राखेको छ। समाचार लेखिञ्जेल तिनको शव भेटिएको छैन।
TT, Kalimpong, April 19: A noted musician in the hills, Brian Moktan, was feared to have drowned when he flung himself from about 20 feet into the Teesta river near Rambi today in an apparent case of suicide.
Witnesses said Moktan had taken the plunge into the river from a hillock before his friends and police who had come to dissuade him from taking any drastic step.
The 58-year-old singer-composer was a teacher and he was returning home after election duty when he got off a running bus at 18th Mile.
“After getting down from the bus, he somehow managed to reach the hillock overlooking the Teesta. For close to an hour, we hid ourselves behind bushes and inched up closer to him. When we were barely 70 yards short of where he was sitting, Brian got up, yelled something at us and jumped into the river,” said a close friend of Moktan.
The friend said he had rushed to the spot along with some others, hearing that Moktan had committed suicide at 18th Mile
“But when we reached the spot, Brian was sitting on a hillock, which was impossible to reach. By this time, a police team had also arrived. As we feared that he may resort to some drastic step, like the one he eventually did, if he saw us, we treaded very carefully. For close to an hour, we desperately tried to reach him without being noticed. In the end, all our effort came to naught. I am really shattered,” said the friend, who preferred to remain anonymous.
The police said Moktan had been posted in Kurseong for election duty. “Moktan and other polling personnel were returning to Kalimpong when he jumped from the running bus at 18th Mile, which is between Kalijohra and Rambi. When our outpost (at Rambi, about 30km from Kalimpong) was alerted, we rushed to the spot and started looking for him. We eventually found him on the hillock,” said a police source.
Although the police had carried out a search in the river with the help of rafting crew from the nearby Teesta bazaar, Moktan was not traced till late in the evening.
Moktan teaches at the primary section of the Indo-Tibetan High School here. “Jage Jage sahra raath”, “Sambodan” and “Seer seer seer hawa le” are among his hits. He is survived by his wife and daughter, who is married.
The musical fraternity in the hills and his family members are still hoping against hope that Moktan will be found alive. “We are praying for Brian jojo (elder brother),” said Manoj Tamang, a budding musician.
All’s well till election code is in force  Ghisingh’s stay in hills ‘extended’
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, April 19: Subash Ghisingh’s Darjeeling “visa” appears to have been extended with Bimal Gurung indicating that agitation plans have been shelved for the time being so as not to flout the model code of conduct still in force in the hills.
The first phase of the Assembly elections were held peacefully across north Bengal yesterday and by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha indications, the hills are expected to remain so till at least the counting of votes takes place on May 13.
District officials maintain that the model code of conduct for political parties and candidates will be in place till the counting day. Any attempt to force Ghisingh to leave the hills will be considered a violation of the model code of conduct.
“There have been certain changes in our agitation programmes that were to start from April 21 because of the model code of conduct,” Gurung has said.
The Morcha was supposed to start its agitation, demanding a CBI inquiry into the police firing at Sibchu on February 8. The firing had killed three Morcha activists.
Earlier, there had been much apprehension in the hills after Morcha chief Gurung told a rally at Mirik on April 10 that Ghisingh’s “visa” to the hills would expire on April 18, the day of elections in the region. He had said that hundreds of people would converge on his residence to ensure that he left the hills.
The threat was repeated on April 13 in Kalimpong despite the GNLF filing a police complaint against Gurung.
The back-to-back threats brought back to many the memories of 2008 when many GNLF leaders were hounded out of the hills after a Morcha supporter was killed in Darjeeling by a bullet fired allegedly from the house of a GNLF branch committee president.
The GNLF chief Ghisingh came back to Darjeeling after three years on April 8 amid heavy police protection. For sometime, few GNLF leaders had been coming up to the hills in twos and threes helped by the administration.
After Gurung’s first threat, the district administration had booked the Morcha chief under Section 171C for voluntarily interfering or attempting to interfere with the free exercise of any electoral right. If one is found guilty under this section, he can be jailed for one year and fined.
Darjeeling district magistrate M.K. Gandhi had made it clear then that contrary to the Morcha chief’s claims, all parties and their frontal organisations and leaders were under the ambit of the poll code.
“The administration has taken up the issue suo motu. Police have also started going through the video recordings of the speech,” Gandhi, who is also the election officer of the district, had said last week.
Since then, the Morcha president appears to have mellowed down.
The hills were apprehensive especially when Ghisingh, too, had indicated that he was in no mood to leave.
Addressing his first public meeting after three years in Mirik on April 9, the GNLF leader had said: “I am not the one to be chased away. I had gone out of the hills only to ensure that there was no bloodbath in the area. I have come to ensure the future of the hills. It is now being turned into a graveyard.”
Ghisingh had made an oblique reference to the Darjeeling police during his public speech here on April 15. “Darjeeling police have to uphold its tradition of being a strong force. The name, ‘Darjeeling Police’, was revered in the past but they were not doing their duty properly. It is time they pull up their socks,” Ghisingh had said. The indication, sources in his party had said, was that he wanted more security for his house on Zakir Hussain Road in Darjeeling.
In fact, Ghisingh even went to the extent of saying: “If proper security cannot be provided to the hill people, then the hariyo jhanda (green flag of the GNLF party) will have to ensure its own security. The village committees (which have been formed by the GNLF recently) will have no option but to guard itself and the people.”
Confirming the “Z” category security that Ghisingh enjoys, Darjeeling police chief D.P. Singh said: “We are closely monitoring the situation. And even though the forces are less now because of the elections (they have been moved to other regions), it is enough to take care of the situation.”
The police chief said two pilot escorts with 10-12 armed personnel accompany Ghisingh wherever he goes. He also has 24-hour armed house guards.
Repoll in 2 booths today
TT, Raiganj/Cooch Behar, April 19:The Election Commission has ordered repolling in one booth each in the Karandighi Assembly constituency in North Dinajpur and in Natabari in Cooch Behar tomorrow.
North Dinajpur district magistrate Sunil Dandapat said the repolling had become necessary as the votes recorded manually by election officials did not match the number of votes recorded in the single EVM at Booth 63 at Gurihan in Karandighi.
The same reason has been attributed to the repolling at Booth 159A at Balarampur in Natabari.
Officials in both the districts said announcements were being made through loudspeakers about the repoll at Gurihan and Balarampur. The voting will begin at 7am tomorrow.
Sources said when polling officials and agents had tallied the number of votes in the EVM at Booth 159A, it had showed a figure of 596.However, at the end of the voting, the EVM showed a figure of 536.
Dandapat said in Gurihan, there was a “huge” difference in the number of people who had cast their votes at the booth and the figure showed by the EVM.
“It could be possible that polling personnel had not erased the votes cast during the mock election before the polling began,” said Dandapat.

Parishad scan on Terai leader
TT, Siliguri, April 19: The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad is planning to take disciplinary action against a Terai leader for declaring support to the Congress in the Matigara-Naxalbari Assembly constituency against the decision of the state leadership to back the Kamtapur Progressive Party in the seat.
Sukhdeo Bhagat, a state committee member of the Parishad, had on Friday announced that the tribal outfit would back Congress candidate Sankar Malakar in the seat reserved for Scheduled Castes.
The state general secretary of the Parishad, Tezkumar Toppo, today said action would be taken against Bhagat after the Assembly election results were declared in May
“Parishad-backed Independents contested from Kumargram, Kalchini, Birpara-Madarihat, Malbazar and Nagrakata — five Assembly seats in Jalpaiguri district. We have extended support to the Congress in Phansidewa and the KPP in Matigara-Naxalbari. But Bhagat went against the state leadership’s decision and declared support to the Congress in Matigara-Naxalbari,” said Toppo.
Bhagat is also the secretary of the Naxalbari block unit of the Parishad.
“Once the results of the Assembly polls are out, we will first serve Bhagat a showcause notice and if he fails to give a satisfactory reply, strong action will be taken against him. We may even expel him from the Parishad,” said Toppo.
He added that the Parishad would find out if any leader had worked against the organisation’s interests in the Dooars and action would be taken if anybody was found guilty.
राष्ट्रिय अनुसूचित जनजाति आयोगका अध्य़क्षको सिक्किम भ्रमण
लिम्बु-तामाङको सीट आरक्षणबारे आयोगमा सिफारिश पठाइएको छैनः डॉ उराँव
प्रविण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक,19 अप्रेल। राज्यको लिम्बु अनि तामाङ (एलटी)-लाई विधानसभामा आसन आरक्षणको निम्ति राज्य सरकारबाट राष्ट्रिय अनुसूचित जनजाति आयोगलाई अहिलेसम्म कुनै सिफारिश पठाएको छैन। तर यहाँ आएर यसबारेमा थाहापाएपछि राज्य सरकारद्वारा माग गरिएको 32 आसनलाई 40 बनाउऩे प्रस्तावलाई नै केन्द्र सरकार समक्ष सिफारिश गर्नेछौं। यसप्रकारको मन्तव्य राष्ट्रिय अनुसूचित जनजाति आयोगका अध्यक्ष डॉ. रामेश्वर उराँवले यहाँको टासिलिङ सचिवालयको सम्मेलन कक्षमा आयोजित पत्रकार सम्मेलनलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै व्यक्त गरे।
Dr Rameshwar Oraon
सिक्किममा एलटीले 2002 मै केन्द्रिय अनुसूचित जनजातिको दर्जा पाएको भए पनि दुइ-दुईवटा विधानसभा चुनाउ वितेर गइसक्दा पनि संविधान प्रदत्ता राजनैतिक अधिकार विधानसभामा आसन आरक्षण पाउन सकेको छैन्। अर्कोतिर राज्यका सत्तारूढ एसडीएफ सरकार द्वारा दुइपटक विधानसभामा एलटीको आसन आरक्षण गर्ने माग गर्दै प्रस्ताव पनि ग्रहण गरि केन्द्र सरकारलाई मागको औचित्य बुझाउने प्रयास गरिसकेको छ। तर यसप्रकारको पहलबारे राष्ट्रिय अऩुसूचित जनजाति आयोग अनभिज्ञ भएको थाहा लागेपछि राज्य सरकारको कार्यप्रति प्रश्न चिन्ह उठेको छ। यद्यपी एसडीएफ सरकारले एलटीको आसन आरक्षणप्रति प्रतिबद्ध रहेको ठोकुवा गर्दै गत 4 र 5 अप्रेलको दिन डाकेको 48 घण्टे सिक्किम बन्दको समयमा प्रमुखताको साथमा यो मु्ददालाई माथिल्लो पंक्ति स्थान दिएर 31 बुँदे मागमध्ये प्रमुख मागको रूपमा राखेको घटना ताजा पहलको रूपमा सर्वविदित छ। Ÿउक्त वन्दको समय एसडीएफ पार्टीले झट्टै विधानसभामा एलटीको आसन आरक्षण गरिनुपर्ने माग गर्दै राज्यव्यापि पोस्टरिङ गरेको थियो। तर आज अध्यक्ष उराँवले दिएको वयानले राष्ट्रियस्तरमा यो मुद्दाबारे काम हुन नसकिरहेको प्रष्ट भएको छ भने सरकार प्रति प्रश्न उठेको छ।
अर्कोतिर उराँवले भने, आयोगलाई यसबारेमा राज्य सरकारद्वारा पठाइएको मागहरू प्राप्त भएको छैन, अहिलेसम्म यो मागबारे मैले जानकारी पाएको छुइन्। उनले स्पष्टरूपमा भने, यो मामिलालाई अध्ययन गर्नेछु अनि मुख्यमन्त्रीसित भेटको समयमा यसलाई चर्चा गर्नेछु। अर्कोतिर विधानसभाको वर्तमान आसन 32 वाट वृद्धि गरेर 40 गर्ने प्रोफेसर बीके रोय वर्मन आयोगले तयार पारेको प्रतिवेदन पनि आफूले नपाएको तर त्यसै फरमूलालाई भने केन्द्र सरकार समक्ष पेश गरेर आयोगको पक्षबाट उक्त मागलाई अनुमोदन गर्ने बताए।
उनले भने विधानसभाको आसन वृद्धि गरेरै भावि ट्राइबल र वर्तमान ट्राईबलको निम्ति आसन सुरक्षीत राखिने बताए। अर्कोतिर उनले भारतमा 2026 सालसम्म आसन वृद्धि गर्नेबारे पावन्दि रहेको हुनाले यसलाई उलंघन पनि गर्न नमिल्ने अथवा प्रक्रिया शुरु नभएसम्म आसनको निम्ति प्रतिक्षा गर्नुपर्ने बताए।यसैगरि राज्य सरकार द्वारा गठीत रोय वर्मन आयोगले सिफारिश गरेको अतिपछौटे वर्गमा पर्ने समुदायलाई पनि ट्राइबल बनाएर सिक्किमलाई नै ट्राइबल स्टेट घोषणा गर्नुपर्ने परामर्शको पनि खण्डन गर्दै उनले भने, यसको निम्ति पनि आयोगलाई कुनै जानकारी छैन्, हुनसक्छ ट्राईबल बनाउने माग केन्द्रिय अनुसूचित जनजाचि मंत्रालयमा प्रस्ताव पठाइएको होला तर त्यहाँबाट पनि रेजिस्ट्रा जनरल अफ् इण्डियामार्फत आय़ोगमा अनुमोदनको निम्ति पठाउनु पर्ने हुन्छ तर त्यस्तो कुनै माग आयोगमा आएको छैन्।
उनले ट्राइबल स्टेटको परिभाषालाई पनि प्रस्ट पार्दै भने, कुनै पनि ट्राईबल स्टेट घोषणा गर्न सकिन्दैन जुन राज्य छैटौं अनुसूचीमा पर्दैन भने किनभने त्यहाँ अन्य गैर ट्राइबल समुदाय पनि बस्ने गर्छन् त्यहाँको केही क्षेत्र भने ट्राईबल क्षेत्रको रूपमा चिन्हित गर्न सकिन्छ। तर सिक्किममा छोडिएका समुदायलाई ट्राइबल बनाउने मागहरू पनि आयोगसमक्ष नपुगेको उनले बताए। यद्यपी अध्यक्ष उराँवले आयोगद्वारा प्रति दुइ महिनामा बोलाईऩे पाँच सदस्यीय समितिको बैठकमा सिक्किमका यी समस्या र मागहरूलाई उठान गरेर गम्भीर चर्चा गर्ने बताए।
अर्कोतिर सिक्किमेली अनुसूचित जनजातिको अवस्थाबारे अध्ययन गर्न उद्देश्यले आइपुगेका उराँवले य़हाँको कूल ट्राइबल जनसंख्यामा 70 प्रतिशत शिक्षित रहेकोमा हर्ष व्यक्त गर्दै सराहना गरे। उनले भने, रहल 30 प्रतिशत जतिलाई पनि चार-पाँच वर्षमा शिक्षित तुल्याउने मुख्यमन्त्रीसितको भेटघाटमा म अनुरोध गर्नेछु। यसैगरि उऩले राज्यको विकासदरलाई पनि प्रशंसा गरे। अर्कोतिर उनले अनुसूचित जनजातिको निम्ति प्राप्त हुने विभिन्न साहुलियतको बारेमा पनि जानकारी दिए। उनले भने, आदिम जनजातिको निम्ति सरकार द्वारा खाद्य अनि आवासको विशेष व्यवस्था गरिने प्रावधान रहेको छ। 
अर्कोतिर कुनै जनजातिको हत्या भएको खण्डमा सरकारले 2 लाख रूपियाँ मृतकको परिवारलाई क्षतिपुर्ती दिनुप्रर्ने कानुन छ। यतिमात्र होईन कुनै अऩुसूचित जनजातिका महिलामाथि यौनशोषण भएको भएमा पिडितालाई क्षतिपूर्ति प्रदान गरिनुपर्छ। समाजको कमजोर वर्गमा पर्ने यी जनजातिको उत्थानको निम्ति सरकारले हरसम्भव सहयोग गर्नुपर्ने बताउँदै आयोगले जनजातिमाथि अत्याचार भएको खण्डमा कार्वाही गर्न सक्ने अधिकार पाएको बताए। यसैगरि सिक्किमको सन्दर्भमा जनजातिको उत्थानामा सरकारबाट प्रशस्त कार्य भइरहेको थाहा लागेको बताए। यसैगरि उनले सिक्किमेली जनजातिमाथि अत्याचार पनि नभएको थाहा पाएर सराहना गर्दै राज्यको सामजिक न्याय प्रणालीमाथि खुशी व्यक्त गरे।
अर्कोतिर आज साँझ 6 बजी अध्यक्ष उराँवले मुख्यमन्त्री पवन चामलिङसित भेट गर्ने निधों भएको पनि जानकारी दिए। यसैगरि राज्यका सम्बन्धित निकायबाट सिक्किमका ट्राइबलहरूको बारेमा जानकारी प्राप्त गरेको बताए।
नाथुला व्यापार 2 मईदेखि शुरु हुने
प्रविण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक,19 अप्रेल। भारत-चीनको माझमा नाथुला भञ्जाङ भएर चल्ने सीमा व्यापार 1 मईको साटो 2 मईदेखि शुरु हुने भएको छ। उद्योग तथा वाणिज्य विभागले दिएको जानकारी अऩुसार 14 हजार फिटको उच्चाईमा स्थित भारत-चीन सिमाबाट हुने यो अन्तराष्ट्रिय सीमा व्यापार 1 मईको दिन देखि सधैं शुरु हुने भए पनि यसपाली उक्त दिन आइतबार परेकोले गर्दा व्यापार नहुने भएकोले 2 मईलाई शुरूआती दिनको रूपमा लिऩे निर्णय गरिएको बताइएको छ। भारत-चीन बीच मई महिनामा शुरु भएर 30 नोभेम्बरसम्म चल्ने यो सीमा व्यापार हप्तामा चारदिन सोमबार देखि बिहिबारसम्म खुल्ला रहने गर्छ। जसमा भारतीय व्यापारीहरूले 29 वटा सामान निर्यात गर्ने अवसर पाएका छन् भने चिनीयाँ व्यापारीहरूले 15 वटा सामान भारतीय व्यापारीहरूलाई निर्यात गर्ने गर्छन्।
व्यापारीहरूले यो सामान सूची संसोधन गरेर समय सापेक्ष सामान आयत निर्यातको निम्ति अनुमोदन गर्नुपर्ने माग गर्दै आइरहेका छन्। यद्यापी भारत सरकारबाट यसको स्वीकृति भने प्राप्त भएको छैन्। सिक्किमको पर्यपर्यटन नीति जुलाईमा तयार हुने सम्भावना गान्तोक,19 मार्च। सिक्किममा पर्यपर्यटन नीतिलाई आगामी जुलाईसम्ममा अन्तिम रूपमा तयार गरिने सम्भावना रहेको छ। यस नीतिको खेस्राको तयारीमाथि यहाँको वन विभागको प्रेक्षागृहमा कार्याशाला सम्पन्न भयो। जामानीज इऩ्टरनेशनल कोअपरेटिभ एजेन्सी (जाइका) द्वारा सिक्किम वायोडाइभरसिटी कन्जरभेसन एण्ड फरेष्ट म्यानेजमेन्ट प्रोजेक्ट (एसबीएफपी)को सहयोगमा आयोजित कार्याशालामा नीति निर्धारणबारे चर्चा गरियो।
जाइकाद्वारा एसबीएफपीलाई 330.57 करोड रूपियाँको परियोजना सुम्पिएको छ। दश सालको निम्ति पर्यपर्यटन नीति तयार पार्ने तथा वनरोपणको निम्ति यो धनऱाशी प्रदान गरिएको हो। जसबाट स्थानीय मानिसहरूलाई आर्थिक लाभ पुऱ्याउने लक्ष्य राखिएको छ।जसमा एसबीएफपीले 25 प्रतिशत धनराशी पर्यपर्यटन विकासको निम्ति खर्चिने छ।
राज्यको वन पर्यावरम तथा वन्य प्राणी प्रबन्धन मन्त्री भीम ढुंगेलले कार्याशालाको समापनपछि पत्रकारहरूसित कुराकानी ग्रदै भने, अन्तरराष्ट्रिय परामर्शदाताहरूद्वारा पर्यपर्यटनको निम्ति जुन नीति बनाएको छ त्यो सन्तोषजनक छ। उनले भने, यसको निम्ति स्थानीय हितधारकहरूसित गैर सरकारी संगठन, राष्ट्रिय अऩि अन्तरराष्ट्रिय विशेषज्ञहरूको सुझाव लिइएको छ। उक्त सुझाउलाई नीतिको अन्तिम रूपमा सरकारद्वारा अनुमोदन गररे अन्तरभुक्त गरिने बताए। उनले यो नीति निर्धारण पछि पर्यपर्यटनमा व्यापक फरक देखा पर्ने बताए। केन्द्रिय पर्यटन मन्त्रालय द्वारा गतवर्ष नै सिक्किमलाई पर्य पर्यटन गन्तव्यको रूपमा घोषणा गरिसकेको छ। अब पर्यपर्यटन सेवा अनि मार्केटिङको दरलाई सरल पारेर अझ विस्तृत पारिने बताए।
अर्कोतिर जाइकाका परामर्शदाता कुजुसी वाटावीले नीतिको खेस्रामाति आफ्नो प्रस्तुति दिँदै यसको कार्यन्वयनले स्थानीय मानिसहरूले पुग्ने फाइदा बारे बताए। यो नीति निर्धारण पछि प्राकृतिक संरक्षणसितै अतिरिक्त आयश्रोत वृद्धि हुने तथा पर्यपर्यटन व्यावस्थापनबारे पनि स्थानीय मानिसहरूले मौका पाउने बताए। परामर्शदाता वाटावीले भने, यो नीतिले सिक्किमलाई पर्यपर्यटनको क्षेत्रमा विकास गरेर पर्यटकहरूलाई खुसी पारिने छ भने यो नीतिले पर्यपर्यटनको नकरात्मक प्रभावलाई पनि हटाइऩे छ।
यस नीतिको खेस्रामा दश सूत्रीयो योजना रहेको छ। जसमा क्षमता विकासको निम्ति स्थानीय मानिसहरूलाई प्रशिक्षित तुल्याइने छ। जसमा होमस्टे जस्ता योजनाहरूमा आवश्यक तकनीकिय सहयोग प्रदान गरिनेछ। यसैगरि वन विभागका कर्मचारीहरूलाई वन प्रबन्धबारे सिपालु बनाउने योजना पनि रहेको छ। यसैगरि संरक्षीत वन्य क्षेत्रमा पर्यपर्यटनलाई प्रोत्साहित गरेर निश्चित क्षेत्रको रूपमा चिन्हित गरिने छ। यस्ता चयनीत क्षेत्रमा पंक्षी अवलोकन, ट्रेकिङ, फ्लावर फोटोग्राफी आदि आकर्षण रहनेछ। यसैगरि शुक्ष्मवित्तिय सहोयगद्वारा स्थानीय मानिसहरूलाई पर्यपर्यटनमाथि सिक्किमको छवीलाई ब्राण्डको रूपमा विकास गराउने दिशामा सहयोगी बनाउने लक्ष्य पनि रहेको छ। यसै प्रकारले नयाँ वर्ड वाचिङ ट्रायल, फौना एण्ड फ्लोरा फोट हन्टिङ ट्रायल, मोडिसिनल टुरिज्म, सर्ट हाइक्स टु वेटल्याण्ड अफ सिक्किम तथा केही नयाँ सम्भावित पर्यटकीय केन्द्रहरूको विकास गर्ने नीतिमा मुख्य लक्ष्य राखिएको छ।
कार्यशालामा योजना निदेशक तथा मुख्य वन संरक्षक अनिल माइराले भने, एसएमएफपीद्वारा विभिन्न परियोजनामाथि कार्य गरिन्दैछ। यसमा प्रमुख पर्यपर्यटनको कार्य रहेको छ जसले स्थानीय मानिसलाई लाभ हुनेछ भने वन संरक्षण पनि हुनेछ। जाइकाका भारत कार्यालय विकास विशेषज्ञ विनित सारिनले भने, एसबीएफपीको अभियानद्वारा गरीबमुखी कार्यक्रम संचालन गरिन्दैछ। जसको माध्यमबाट गरीबको आर्थिक विकास हुनेछ। उनले भने, यसको निम्ति कूल परियोजनाको 25 प्रतिशत धनराशी पर्यपर्यटनमाथि खर्च गरिनेछ जसले देशमै सिक्किमलाई राम्रो पर्यपर्यटनको गनतव्यको रूपमा विकास गर्नेछ।
Charges dropped, US fliers free
TT, Gangtok, April 19: The two American professional paragliders arrested for illegal entry into Sikkim were released by a court on Saturday after it was convinced that there was no deliberate intent to violate the law.
According to a defence lawyer, the court of the chief judicial magistrate in Namchi dropped the charges against Eric Dillon Reed and Bradley Alan Sander after being convinced that a “miscommunication” had led to their illegal entry. Reed and Sander left Sikkim on Sunday.
The CJM’s court in Namchi in South district is also in charge of West district, where they were arrested on March 16.
Even in the chargesheet filed by police in court it was clear that there was a miscommunication between the organisers of a rhododendron festival — to which the two Americans had been invited — and the cops in Uttarey, the lawyer said. This eventually led to the two Americans entering Sikkim without either an inner line permit (ILP) mandatory for foreigners visiting the state or immigration clearance.
According to the chargesheet, the Americans had first contacted the Paragliding Association of India for legal assistance for crossing into Sikkim from Nepal. The association, in turn, got in touch with a local contact, Ganesh Kumar Rai, one of the organisers of the rhododendron festival.
Rai had called up the officer in charge of Uttarey police station, Sar Man Chhetri, informing him that Reed and Sander wanted to come to Uttarey from Changthapu in Nepal through the Indo-Nepal border.
The chargesheet mentions that as the police officer was travelling in a car he could not hear Rai clearly and mistakenly heard that two Nepali nationals wanted to enter Sikkim and gave the go-ahead provided they had permission from the Nepal police.
The chargesheet states: “Hence, he (Chhetri) told Ganesh Kumar Rai that they can come to Sikkim if the Nepal police permits them and also told him to obtain a valid permit from the authority of the government of Sikkim as well.”
Accordingly, the association instructed the Americans to enter Sikkim, stating that they would be provided the ILP once they arrived.
The chargesheet said the Americans then obtained police permission from Changthapu in Nepal and arrived in Sikkim on March 14. They met Rai and his companion who took the duo to the Uttarey police station to complete the legal formalities. They were asked by the police to get their ILPs from the tourism department.
However, when they got the permits, it said they had come from Siliguri and entered Sikkim through Rangpo which was not true. So they were arrested two days later.
“Since the chargesheet makes it clear that there was no malafide intention on the part of the Americans and this was clearly a case of miscommunication, the charges were dropped and the Americans allowed to leave,” the defence lawyer said.
“We argued that the two Americans had tried every legal measure available before entering Sikkim and the whole thing had happened because of a miscommunication,” the lawyer said.
“The investigations also could not establish any intend (sic) to cause harm to the public and any person by entering into India/Sikkim. Hence the issue of Inner Line Permit is just a procedural lapse. It was to be obtained before entering into Sikkim,” the chargesheet said.
Higher turnout in Darjeeling Hills this time
SNS, SILIGURI, 19 APRIL: The percentage of poll has remarkably increased in the Darjeeling Hills compared to last Assembly election. The average poll percentage in Darjeeling district was recorded at 79.68 per cent. It was 78.50 per cent in 2006.  
Though the rate of votes in the plains is higher than the three Assembly segments in the Hills, the percentage of polling in Kurseong Assembly segment is 79.17 per cent, at least 14 per cent more than the last Assembly election, according to government records.  
A section of political leaders claimed that the new voters had increased the polling rate in this election and they might be decisive factor to determine the fate of the contesting candidates in north Bengal amid the change of wave and question of the return of the 8th Left Front government. The percentage of polling in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong Assembly constituencies was recorded at 72.09 per cent, 75.19 per cent and 79.17 per cent, respectively. The rate was on an average 70, 68 and 70 per cent respectively, in 2006, according to the information and cultural affairs department. 
Out of the three Assembly segments, Matigara-Naxalbari, Siliguri and Phansidewa in the plains, the third one has been recorded at the highest percentage of votes, 87.20 per cent compared to other three Assembly segments. The polling rate in Phansidewa was 84.44 per cent in 2006.  
The polling rate was recorded at 80.75 per cent and 84.94 per cent in Siliguri and Matigara-Naxalbari Assembly segment respectively.   The CPI-M state committee leader, Mr Jibesh Sarkar, said: “The poll percentage has not increased abnormally in north Bengal. The average polling rate in the state was 82 per cent in 2006. The rate of polling is usually higher in north Bengal than south Bengal.” Mr Sarkar claimed: “The polling rate of Siliguri Assembly constituency was .05 per cent less yesterday than the rate recorded in 2006. We are confident that the CPI-M candidate, Mr Asok Bhattacharya, would win by a decent margin.” 

Bison dead
TT, Jalpaiguri, April 19:A bison was found dead along the rail tracks in the Champramari wildlife sanctuary this morning, but the railways have denied that the animal was killed by a passing train.
Chulsa range officer Subhasis Chatterjee said the carcass found between railway pillars 17/1 and 17/2 in the Hillajhora forest had the marks of grease used in train wheels. On September 22, seven elephants were mowed down by a goods train near Moraghat, 40km from today’s spot.
The stationmaster of Nagrakata, Dipak Dey, said there were no reports of any train colliding with a wild animal this morning.
WB polls-Phase I: Turnout 83.75 p.c.Two officials die of heart attack
PTI: Two polling officers have died of heart attack in separate booths in Jalpaiguri district during the first phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal.
Pramod Roy, a school teacher, and Maneswar Roy, an inspector with the food and supplies department died yesterday, State’s Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta said.
While the former suffered a heart attack at the time of submitting voting materials after the poll, the latter complained of chest pain at the time of polling, Mr. Gupta said.
Polling team trekking down after finishing the first phase of polling on Monday from Sirikhola, the highest polling booth located at 9200 feet in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
Polling team trekking down after finishing the first phase of
polling on Monday from Sirikhola, the highest polling booth
located at 9200 feet in Darjeeling district of West Bengal.
Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
He said the EC office would pay an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh to the next of kin of the two.
Meanwhile, a re-poll was likely in a booth in Karandighi in North Dinajpur district as the mock poll data was not cleared before the start of the actual poll.
“We have intimated the EC about this. If a re-poll was allowed, then it will take place tomorrow”, Mr. Gupta said.
The voter turnout touched 83.75 per cent in the first phase held in all the six districts of north Bengal.
Mr. Gupta said Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi will come to the city for a three-day visit to discuss poll preparedness for the third and fourth phases.
He said CPI(M) had lodged a complaint with the CEO’s office alleging use of black money by Trinamool Congress in campaigning. “We referred the matter to the EC”, he said.
74.27 per cent polling in West Bengal
First phase of Assembly elections in six north Bengal districts by and large peaceful
Raktima Bose, TH, Kolkata: The first phase of West Bengal Assembly elections in 54 constituencies passed off peacefully on Monday. The north Bengal districts of Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda went to the polls.
There was no report of any major disruption of the polling process.
The average voter turnout till 6 p.m., according to Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta, was 74.27 per cent. This is few notches lower than the turnout in 2006 — 82.91 per cent.
Mr. Gupta, however, said the turnout could rise further as “the Election Commission has been receiving information of long queues in front of several booths where the voting process was continuing even after 6 p.m.”.
Dakshin Dinajpur district topped the list of turnout (78.17 per cent), followed by Cooch Behar (77.10) and Malda (75.10). Darjeeling recorded the lowest turnout at 71 per cent.
10 preventive arrests
“Polling was by and large peaceful with no report of any major incident of disruption or violence or natural calamity received so far. We have not received any demand from any party for re-polling yet. The police have made 10 preventive arrests in three districts,” Mr. Gupta said.
Pointing out that the first phase was held under an unprecedented security cover, he said adequate Central police personnel were deployed in all the 12,131 booths for the conduct of free and peaceful elections. The State is to face five more phases of polling.
The fate of 364 candidates, including 102 independents, was decided by 97.42 lakh electors. Eleven Ministers, including Minister for Urban Development Ashok Bhattacharya from Siliguri, Minister for Public Works Department Kshiti Goswami from Alipurduar and Minister for Forest and Wildlife Ananta Roy from Mathabhanga (SC) are in the fray.
Significant among the voters in the first phase were Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung, whose party is contesting in the elections for the first time, and Gorkha National Liberation Front chief Subhas Ghisingh, who recently returned to Darjeeling after being virtually forced out of the hills in the wake of attacks on supporters of his party more than two-and-half years ago.
While 92 electronic voting machines had to be replaced during the day, electors in eight booths (six in Malda and two in Dakshin Dinajpur) boycotted the polls protesting against “absence of development” in their areas.

Mr. Gupta said presiding officers of two booths in Dakshin Dinajpur district were replaced after receiving two separate complaints from the Trinamool Congress that accused the two officers of talking to members of the ruling party well after the elections had started.
Farmer deaths put CPM on back foot
INDRANIL SARKAR, TT, Burdwan, April 19: When two farmers entangled in a web of poverty and debt chose to end their lives, they created a pre-election quagmire that the CPM had hardly anticipated.
The alleged suicides by the two farmers over lack of water for irrigation and mounting debts has given the Trinamul Congress added teeth to fight in the CPM dens of Galsi and Ketugram in Burdwan.
Ketugram goes to the polls on May 3 and Galsi on May 7.
Quick on the trigger, district Trinamul leaders blamed the suicides on the Left Front government and the local panchayat for their alleged failure to provide adequate water for irrigation.
Ramchandra Murmu of Bhepur village in Galsi died at the Burdwan Medical College Hospital on Saturday night. Ganesh Majhi of Nirol village in Ketugram passed away early yesterday at the same hospital. Both had allegedly consumed pesticides.
A senior district police officer said: “We are awaiting the post-mortem report to ascertain the real cause behind the deaths.”
Ramchandra’s son, Somnath, said his father, who cultivated paddy on a five-bigha plot, committed suicide because he feared a failed crop given the lack of rain.
“My father thought he would manage to irrigate his land with water from a shallow tube well. Other farmers also had faced water shortage but they dug their tube wells deeper and got water. My father also tried but he did not get water.
“He was scared that his crop would be destroyed. That is why we think he drank pesticide,” said Somnath.
Ganesh Majhi, a 23-year-old sharecropper, drank pesticide on Sunday night. Elder brother Mahadeb said Ganesh had bought fertilisers and pesticides worth Rs 10,000 on credit to cultivate paddy on a three and a half bigha plot.
“But the shallow tube well he was sharing with a few other farmers was not being able to draw enough water. So, he committed suicide fearing his crop would be destroyed,” said Mahadeb.
“The suicides show the situation a large number of farmers face in these areas. We have decided to use this as an election campaign plank,” Arup Das, the Burdwan Trinamul general secretary, said.
Trinamul has fielded candidates in both Galsi and Ketugram. An agriculture department official said most of the district got water for irrigation from the reservoirs of the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) in Maithon, Panchet and Durgapur. “But this year there is not much water in the reservoir to supply for irrigation for the boro crop,” said the official.
A DVC official in Burdwan admitted the problem.
“We have informed the state government that we will not be able to supply water for irrigation of boro crops because of lack of adequate water in the reservoirs,” the official said.
Trinamul leaders said the government as well as the CPM-run panchayats in Galsi and Ketugram should have taken steps for construction of new tube wells and repaired those that have become defunct.
“The government did not take any step. It should have become alert after three farmers committed suicides in Ausgram in September last year,” Das said.
Trinamul leaders began their campaign yesterday evening with the suicides as the main issue at Ketugram.
“We held street-corner meetings and will be putting up posters and distributing leaflets depicting the plight of the farmers here,” Bikash Majumdar, a Ketugram-based Trinamul leader, said.
Trinamul began campaigning in Galsi today. “We will make the suicide of a farmer in Galsi an issue in our campaigns in this area,” Joydeb Saha, the Trinamul candidate from Galsi, said.
Local CPM leader Durjodhan Sar, however, said the suicides were not because of a lack of water.

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