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Monday, May 23, 2011

Morcha links CPM to Sibchu with aid from Shilda .... Jalpaiguri queues up for secretariat ... Expert panel for development of Hills on the anvil,,,,,,,, GJM awaits Mamata government's approach to Darjeeling issue

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, May 23: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today said that from the discovery of the Insas rifle near a CPM office in West Midnapore yesterday “it looked like the Left party was behind the attack on the Shilda camp” just like it had a role in the Sibchu firing.
By levelling this allegation, the Morcha tried to justify its demand for a CBI inquiry into the police firing in Sibchu on the Dooars border that had killed three of its supporters earlier this year.
The members of the Morcha affiliated ex-servicemen’s association and the party’s voluntary squad of lathi-wielding youths, the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP), too, brought out a rally today with a demand for CBI inquiry into the Sibchu firing.
An Insas rifle snatched from the Shilda camp during the Maoist attack has been dug out by villagers around 500 metres from a deserted CPM office in West Midnapore’s Enayetpur.

Police are probing if the erstwhile ruling party has had any links with the rebels. As many as 24 Eastern Frontier Rifles jawans were killed in the Maoist attack on the Shilda camp on February 15, 2010.
But two standout features — seen as “too perfect” — are making police officers ponder if the cache was planted in Enayetpur.
One, the arms were found along with a CPM flag. Two, the pit was freshly dug.
However Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said: “Our people were killed at Shilda and we want justice. It looks like the CPM was behind the attack on the Shilda camp. No wonder, none of the CPM leaders were present to offer condolences to the bereaved families when the coffins were brought to Siliguri. Neither Ashok Bhattacharya who was then a minister, nor Saman Pathak, the Rajya Sabha member, or CPM ward commissioners were there to receive the bodies.”
Of the 24 personnel killed in the Shilda camp, 19 belonged to the hill community of which 13 people were residents of the Darjeeling hills. The rest of the six Gorkha personnel were from Jalpaiguri and West Midnapore districts. The Morcha said it could not rule out the involvement of CPM cadres in the Sibchu police firing.
“Since police fatigues were also found in a CPM office (in East Midnapore), we believe that cadres might have been involved in the killings in Sibchu also as no police personnel would shoot at point blank range,” said Giri.
The indication was that alleged CPM cadres dressed as policemen had shot at point blank range at the three Morcha supporters at Sibchu on February 8.
The Morcha has requested the Trinamul Congress to conduct a “proper inquiry” into the CPM’s role in the Shilda incident.
“We would also request the new government to initiate a process to hand over the investigation of the Sibchu firing to the CBI,” said Giri.
Members of the Bharatiya Bhutburba Sainik Adra Sainik Morcha and the Gorkhaland Personnel also brought out a rally across the hills to demand a CBI inquiry into the firing. The former jawans also demanded that the report prepared by M.L. Meena, a secretary with the state government, on the lathicharge on ex-servicemen in Siliguri on April 9, 2008, be made public.
Hope for Chhatrey release widens
मुकेश शर्मा, कालीम्पोङ्: राज्य मे वामफ्र्ट एव्म पहाड मे गोरमुमो का पतन के बाद १० सालो से बिना किसी गुन्हा के बाबजुद जेल मे बन्द छत्रे सुब्बा को अब न्याय मिल सकता है । एक सप्ता आगे कोलकाता हाई कोर्ट ने इस केस को दो महिनो मे हल करने का निर्देश सुनाया था । वही राज्य कि पहली महिला मुख्यमन्त्री ममता बनेर्जी ने जल्द ही राज्य मे राजनीतिक बन्दी जो हाल फिलाल जेल मै है उन सब के लिए एक बन्दी मुक्ती कमिटी बनाने कि घोषणा करने के बाद छत्रे सुब्बा कि रिहाइ कि उम्मिद फिर से जगने लगी है । सुब्बा के बडे बेटे सन्तोश सुब्बा का कहना है कि हमे उम्मिद है के बिना किसी गुन्हा के १० सालो से सलाखो के पिछे बन्द हमरे पिताजी को जल्द न्याय मिलना चाहिए ।
छत्रे सुब्बा की पत्नी मनिका सुब्बा कहती है की यह किस देश क कानुन है जो एक आदमी को 10 साल बिना किसी गुन्हा से जेल मै बन्द करके रख सकती है. यह सरासर अन्न्याय है . इन 10 सालो मे परिवार ने कितने दुख झेले ये हम और हमारा इस्वर सिर्फ जनता है. छ्त्रे सुब्बा केस की अगली सुनवाइ २ जुलाइ को होनी है । परिवार को उम्मिद है कि हाई कोर्ट के निर्णय के बाद अब केस जल्द हल को जाएगा । छ्त्रे के बेटे का कहना है कि मेरे पितजी कि लिए जितने भी राजनैतिक पार्टिया ने कार्यकम किए परिवार कि तरफ से सुकरिया है पर न्यायलाय के आगे राजनीतिक कार्यकम से कुछ भी फाईदा नही होता ।क्यो किसी भी पार्टी को उनका केस लड्ने को नही सुझा अगर मेरे पितजी के लिए कोइ भी पार्टी केस के लिए पहले ही आगे आती तो आज तक वो जेल मै नही होते  ? छ्त्रे सुब्बा के साथ ही जलपाईगुडी जेल मे सरण देवान , गुन्जे लामा , बिजय छेत्री ,श्याम छेत्री और कुमार छेत्री बन्द है । २००१ साल मे तत्कालिन गोरमुमो प्रमुख सुबास घिसिङ पर कर्सीयाङ के पास हुए जानलेबा हमले के आरोप मे गिरफ्तार छ्त्रे सुब्बा जल्द रिहा होने के बाद अपने घर को वापस आ जाने कि राह मे परिवार के सभी सदस्य आस लगाए बेठे है ।
Only 83 political prisoners across Bengal may be released

SNS, KOLKATA, 23 MAY: If chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee has her way, only 83 political prisoners, including three Maoist sympathisers, would be released.
Jalpaiguri queues up for secretariat
TT, Jalpaiguri, May 23: The scouting for land for a mini secretariat in Siliguri by minister Gautam Deb yesterday has not gone down well with a large section of residents in Jalpaiguri who want the facility to be set up in their town. traders’ bodies, educationists and even the Congress leaders here feel that the secretariat be set up in Jalpaiguri town that has a large number of regional offices of the state and the central government.
According to the newly elected Congress MLA from Alipurduar D.P. Roy, any decision on the location of the secretariat should be taken after consulting the people here.
“We all want all decisions to be arrived at in a democratic manner after considering all the aspects regarding where the mini secretariat should be located. We think Jalpaiguri is the right place,” said Roy, the former MLA from Jalpaiguri. Yesterday north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb hunted for a plot of land in and around Siliguri for the mini secretariat that Mamata Banerjee had announced for the region.
Youth Congress president Saikat Chatterjee said Jalpaiguri was the divisional headquarters for six districts in north Bengal and several government offices are located here.
He said the town can be a favoured location for the mini-secretariat. “We have the offices of several ministers and regional offices of many crucial departments like agriculture, PWD and forests here. Therefore our demand to locate the mini secretariat here is not irrational,” he said.Today around 30 members of the Youth Congress assembled at the Thana More and released 100 balloons with the demand to set up the secretariat in town written on them.
The members said they have also faxed a message to the chief minister with their demand.Gopal Ghosh, a professor of history in the North Bengal University, said the new government under Mamata should seriously consider Jalpaiguri as the new regional secretariat. “Jalpaiguri is an important administrative hub of the state government and the demand for the mini secretariat here is totally justified.”
General secretary of the North Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industries Samarendra Prasad Biswas also echoed Ghosh.
“I have sent a fax to the chief minister in this regard,” he said.
Congress MLA from Alipurduar D. P. Roy said north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb should sit with all MLAs of the anti-Left alliance in the region before arriving at a final decision on setting up the mini secretariat.
1 hurt in Bhutan blast
TT, Jaigaon, May 23: A resident of Jaigaon was injured in a blast at the Tashi Commercial Complex in Bhutan’s Phuentsholing around 8pm yesterday.
The police chief of Chukha district in Bhutan N. Wangdi said the injured youth, Bikash Subba, 21, is a daily labourer. He has been admitted to the Phuentsholing General Hospital with burn injuries. Wangdi said the bomb exploded in a garbage bin close to where Subba was sitting with other labourers. Wangdi said investigations were on to determine the nature of the bomb. Subdivisional police officer of Alipurduar David Lepcha said security has been tightened in the border areas.
Career fair
TT, Siliguri: The Career Fair, organised by Sape Events and Media Private Limited in association with The Telegraph and Ananda Bazar Patrika, concluded on Monday. Sanjay Thapa, the founder and managing director of the group, said more than 3,000 students and their parents visited the three-day fair.
Tiger dead
TT, Alipurduar: A Royal Bengal Tiger died at the South Khayerbari Tiger Rehabilitation Centre on Monday. The 12-year-old animal was brought to the centre from a circus in 2005.
Three killed
TT,Islampur/Balurghat: Three persons were killed in two accidents at Chopra and Balurghat in the past 24 hours. Lolin Singha, 42, and Md Mahsin, 45, of Sufalgach and Buxabari near Chopra, were killed when they were hit by a pick-up van on NH31 at Sufalgach on Sunday night. Uttam Haldar, 28, of Khadimpur in Balurghat died when he was knocked down by a pick-up van at Mahinagar on Monday.
Trio held
TT, Jalpaiguri: Three persons, who snatched away a bag carrying over Rs 2 lakh from a liquor shop owner, were caught and beaten up by local people near Teesta Bridge on Monday. Raju Sen was on his way to Jalpaiguri on a motorcycle with an employee when three youths stopped them. The trio snatched the bag carrying Rs 2.5 lakh from Sen and started fleeing. Sen immediately chased them on the two-wheeler while his employee raised the alarm. The trio were caught by the local people and handed over to the police.

Lightning kills 3 kids in orchard- 250 malda houses razed in storm
TT, Malda, May 23: A thunderstorm ripped through Malda district early this morning, with lightning killing three children and scalding five persons and the wind flattening nearly 250 houses.
Police said lightning struck the children, one of them an eight-year-old girl, while they were collecting mangoes that fell off the trees during the storm in orchards spread across Manikchak, Englishbazar and Baishnabnagar.
Additional district magistrate Tarun Sinha Roy said two vegetable traders were also injured by lightening at the regulated market — a vast plot of vacant land along NH34 — in Englishbazar.
“The storm was accompanied by continuous lightning that killed three children today and injured two vegetable traders, Ashok Saha and Lakshman Mullick. They have been admitted to the district hospital,” the additional district magistrate said.
He said there were reports of three other persons being injured by lightning at Hussainpur in Gajole, 15km from Malda town.
“They have also been admitted to the district hospital here,” Sinha Roy said.
Saptami Mondol of Manikchak’s Mathurapur, 35km from Malda town, is among the children killed. The other two are boys: Neel Kumar Mondol of Narhatta in Englishbazar and Matiur Rehman from Pardewanpur, Baishnabnagar.
The two 12-year-olds lived in villages 15km and 50km from here respectively.
Sinha Roy said in the past one week seven persons have been killed by lightning in the district. “In 2010 we had records of 16 such deaths. We are worried about frequent deaths from lightning in our district,” Sinha Roy said.
Today’s storm, accompanied by rain that lasted for about 30 minutes from 5.30am, also damaged more than 500 huts.
The additional district magistrate said he had reports that nearly 250 huts have been completely damaged in Kaliachak II block.
On May 15, a severe storm had hit the gram panchayat areas of Alal and Karkach in Gajole.
“We had sent a list of 534 persons who lost their homes completely and a list of 250 whose houses were partially damaged to the state relief department. Twelve villages were affected by the storm on May 15,” Sinha Roy said.
KPP man held for pay-up calls to doc
TT, Alipurduar, May 23: The KPP-backed independent candidate in Alipurduar in the recent Assembly elections was arrested along with a KLO linkman last night for allegedly making extortion calls to a doctor.

Police have picked up Parimal Roy and Krishna Roy after tracing the calls on the cellphones the two had used to demand Rs 30,000 from Chandan Das who works at the Alipurduar Junction Railway Hospital.
Parimal, a resident of Bairaguri village near here, had polled 1,396 votes in the elections. Before the polls, he and Krishna made several calls to the doctor’s mobile phone, demanding Rs 30,000 from him.
“The duo also threatened the doctor that he would be killed if the money was not paid. But the doctor was not intimidated by the extortionists and refused to pay the amount. They also sent a letter to Das’s residence on KPP’s letter pad and repeated the threat,” said Anup Jaiswal, the additional superintendent of police, Alipurduar.
On March 13, Das filed a complaint with Alipurduar police and submitted the telephone numbers used by the extortionists to issue the threat. The police started a probe and found that the phones were being used by Parimal and Krishna.
“The calls were made from a PCO and cellphones. Last night, we conducted raids on the duo’s houses and took both of them into custody,” said Jaiswal.
Parimal and Krishna were today produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Alipurduar and remanded in seven days’ police custody.
Krishna hails from Banchukamari, 4km from here.
The police are also checking if the arrested persons had any role in the extortion calls received by the chief manager of the State Bank of India’s Alipurduar branch last week. The caller told the manager that a bomb would go off in the bank if Rs 50 lakh was not paid.
The police were informed about the threat and a sniffer dog was brought to check the bank. Although no explosives were found, operations were disrupted in the branch for more than three hours.
“We have to find out if Parimal and Krishna were behind the threat calls to the SBI branch and similar incidents here,” said a police source.
Jaiswal said Krishna used to work as a KLO linkman and was arrested in 2002. “We hope to receive many valuable information from them once we start interrogating them.”
Nikhil Roy, the president of the KPP, said the arrest of Parimal was part of a conspiracy by the police to malign the party. “Parimal was our candidate in Alipurduar and he can never do such things. This is a clear-cut conspiracy by the police to tarnish the party’s image.”
Police sources said Banchukamari and Bairaguri were once the breeding grounds of the KLO. “A lot of youths in these areas were involved in the activities like extortion and ransom demands. After Indian and Bhutan armies launched a joint operation in the neighbouring country in December 2003 to flush out the militants holed up there, no KLO activities have been noticed around Alipurduar. We will probe if the KLO has raised its ugly head again,” said a police officer.
One in net for girl sale
TT, Cooch Behar, May 23: A woman has turned over her husband to police after beating him up for allegedly selling her minor sister to a brothel.
The officer in charge of Ghoksadanga police station, Biswasroy Sarkar, said Azad Miyan’s wife had filed a complaint against him on May 19. She had alleged that Azad, who works as a carpenter in Jaigaon near the Bhutan border, had trafficked her 16-year-old sister and has sold her either in Mumbai or in Kerala.
Based on her suspicions, the woman had asked her husband to come with her to her parents’ house in Mukuldanga, 50km from here, on Friday. When he arrived, the family members and the villagers beat him up. After he confessed to the crime, he was handed over to the police.
The father of the missing girl, who runs a paan shop, said she had disappeared from their Mukuldanga home since May 7. “Initially we had thought that she had gone to visit her sister at Jaigaon (more than 100km away). But when my eldest daughter told me on the phone that she had not gone there, I knew something was wrong,” the father said.
The woman said her father’s phone call had made her suspicious. “On the very day, she disappeared, my husband too had left home very early and did not return home. He came back to Jaigaon on May 18 and said he had been delayed by important work. He hardly works on other days and I know he is not a good person. When I asked him about my sister, he gave unconvincing replies. That is when I decided to take Azad to Mukuldanga and get my parents to grill him thoroughly. I want my sister back,” the woman said.
She said after bringing Azad to Ghoksadanga, she beat him up with the help of neighbours. “He confessed that he had taken my sister at first to Mumbai and then to Kerala. He claimed that he had come back with her to Howrah station from where she went missing,” she said.
The police said Azad had been sent to judicial custody by the assistant chief judicial magistrate of Mathabhanga. “He had been injured in the thrashing. We will pray for his remand once his condition improves,” an investigating officer said.
`North Bengal ministry has a lot to do`
Pinak Priya Bhattacharya, TNN | May 23, 2011, JALPAIGURI: Mere announcements from the new government won`t be enough to please the people of North Bengal. They had heard plenty from the previous one too. What they want to see now is actual `development`, which the name of the new ministry announced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee promises. But then, so did the Uttar Banga Unnayan Parshad, formed by the Left Front government in the Nineties. It simply failed to live up to the people`s expectations.
"Mamata Banerjee seems a bit more methodical," said economist Manas Dasgupta. "Unlike the previous government, she has already appointed Goutam Deb as the minister. But without the proper infrastructure and genuine intention, this ministry might turn into another Uttar Banga Unnayan Parshad. Let`s hope the new CM is serious about the ministry," he added.
The Parshad, formed in 1999 after a series of movements, had brought a lot of hope to people of the six north Bengal districts — Malda, North and South Dinajpur, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar.
But it didn`t take them too long to realize that the Parshad, under the chairmanship of then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, was an organization without teeth, having no infrastructure for itself.
The Jalpaiguri divisional commissioner, the supervisor of the Parshad, had sent several proposals to the state government, asking it to constitute a 49-member working cell to help the organization function properly. But all his pleas fell on deaf ears.
So now, though the announcement of the new ministry for North Bengal has obviously rekindled people`s hopes, they are also wary that it does not go the way of the Parshad.
"Agriculture, horticulture and irrigation — these are the three sectors that need to be taken care of with utmost priority. For that, the government will have to ensure that the Teesta Barrage Project gets completed. Farmers should be provided with marketing and food processing facilities. You cannot expect a change in the socio-economic situation unless farmers are benefited," pointed out Alipurduar MLA Deba Prasad Roy.
Following an instruction from Delhi, the Congress had done extensive study on the possibilities in North Bengal under Roy`s supervision and under the chairmanship of Jalpaiguri MLA Sukhbilas Burma. The report was submitted to the Congress leadership in February for the consideration of the Union government.
"We can now submit the report to Mamata Banerjee as well. The report highlights all those aspects of North Bengal that can be utilized to develop the socio-economic condition of the region. It also mentions the ways to build North Bengal," said Burma.
"Apart from agriculture and horticulture, bamboo is another material which can spell wonder for North Bengal. There is a special central scheme for this, which states like Tripura and Assam have utilised. But the West Bengal government did nothing. Hopefully the new government will take that into account," he added.
Expert panel for development of Hills on the anvil
SNS, SILIGURI, 22 MAY: The state government under the leadership of the new chief minister, Miss Mamata Banerjee, would form an expert committee soon for the development of the Hills.
The state North Bengal development minister, Mr Gautam Deb, today said that he had discussed the matter with Miss Banerjee for the development of the Hills and a way out to resolve the Hills problem.
“We would form an expert committee very soon seeking suggestions for the development the Hills,” Mr Deb told reporters here today.
Hundreds of Trinamul leaders and workers greeted Mr Deb when he arrived in New Jalpaiguri station this morning. He met the leaders in Dabgram-Fulbari Assembly constituency where hundreds of Trinamul supporters took out a victory rally. Mr Deb was felicitated at many places, including Siliguri.
The state North Bengal development minister, Mr Gautam Deb, also said that he would hold a meeting shortly with the officials of the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority and chalk out plan for the development of Siliguri.
Mr Deb today visited an abandoned railway land near Air View in Siliguri. Sources said that the state might set up separate secretariat for north Bengal here.
When asked Mr Gautam Deb said that the state would set up ‘mini Writers’ Buildings and start functioning very soon but he refused to disclose in detail regarding setting up of the mini secretariat at present.
“I would leave for Kolkata tonight and hold a meeting with the CM. I would return on Friday and hold another meeting at SJDA and Siliguri Municipal Corporation,” he said.
Mr Deb also hinted that the Trinamul would officially make an alliance with the Congress to run the Siliguri municipal corporation. He has sought cooperation from the SMC for the development of Siliguri.
Meanwhile, all schools in the Hills will remain closed tomorrow, this will include all government-aided primary and higher secondary schools and other schools of ICSE and CBSE background. The Gorkha Primary Teachers Organisation, a Morcha-affiliated body, has taken this decision keeping in view its eleven-point charter of demands, the organisation has also demanded the removal of Mr PT Sherpa from the post of the education secretary of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC). “We will meet the District Magistrate of Darjeeling, Mr MK Gandhi, and DGHC administrator Mr Anil Verma and put forward our eleven-point charter of demands including ouster of Mr PT Sherpa, thereafter we will decide on the future course of our organisation's agitation, stated Mr Benedict Gurung, president of GPTO. Previously the organisation had decided on keeping all schools across the Hills closed on 23 May and 24 May, however, after the Central Committee, GPTO meeting with the members of Janmukti Secondary Teachers Organisation (JSTO) today, the organisation has decided on keeping the schools closed for just one day keeping in view the admission going on in schools and colleges.
“Schools across the hills will remain closed for just a day as the result of ICSE, ISC and Madhyamik exams are just out and admissions are on,” said Mr Gurung. The organisation had met the DGHC administrator on 10 May. “Though the meeting with Mr Verma was fruitful and he has assured us that our demands will be looked seriously into, no concrete step has been taken till now, this is the reason why we have decided on meeting him and the DM tomorrow,” said Mr Gurung.
GJM awaits Mamata government's approach to Darjeeling issue
No compromise on our demand for a separate State: Chettri , It is not a question of development but it is one of identity- Demand for setting up of a joint verification team
Marcus Dam, TH, KOLKATA: The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leadership has welcomed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's assurance that the problems of the Darjeeling hills will be addressed within three months but has reiterated that there can be no compromise on its demand for a separate State. Simply engaging with matters relating to development will not do, it said.
“If the government has the political will the issues involved can be solved within three months but it will be wrong to assume that the question at hand is only one of development,”senior member of the GJM's central committee and recently-elected MLA, Harka Bahadur Chettri told The Hindu over telephone from Kalimpong on Sunday.
One of the tasks ahead of the Chief Minister, who has kept the Hill Affairs portfolio for herself, will be to talk the GJM leadership out of its demand for separate Statehood in view of her recent assertions that she will not allow any division of the State if elected to power.
How this can be reconciled to the GJM's viewing of its runaway success in the Assembly elections in the three hill seats as a public endorsement of its demand for separation from West Bengal is the key question, “We will eagerly wait for the first steps she takes towards addressing the issues concerning the region within three months. But it is not a question of development; it is one of identity. This should be recognised,” Dr. Chettri said. Dr. Chettri along with GJM general secretary Roshan Giri were among the party leaders who met Ms. Banerjee shortly after she was sworn-in at Raj Bhavan here on May 20. She reportedly told them that she will be going to Darjeeling soon to discuss the outstanding issues with the GJM leadership.
The GJM expects that the new government takes with seriousness its demand for the setting up of a joint verification team comprising it, the GJM and the Centre to identify the Gorkha-dominated areas in the Dooars. It has been seeking the inclusion of these areas into the “Gorkhaland” State it has been demanding.
“Identification of these Gorkha-dominated areas in the Dooars will be a critical step forward in the ultimate demarcation of the region from the State,” Dr. Chettri pointed out.
“The new Chief Minister is well aware issue of territorial jurisdiction”, he added
The GJM leadership has dismissed the feasibility of an interim regional authority that it had earlier perceived as a step towards the creation of a separate State. “We are no longer amenable to the setting up of any administrative body with greater powers and a development agenda; it would amount to just being one with slightly more powers than Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council,” he added.

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