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Sunday, July 31, 2011

बस बिस्फोटले लिँदैछ गम्भीर मोड जॉंचमा आए जलपाइगढ़ी डिभिजनल कमिश्नर ए.के. सिंह .... District move irks Morcha .... Subba son held for stove blast... आफैले तोकेको कार्यक्रममा डा. छेत्री अनुपस्थित... Parishad refuses to lift tea embargo

मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 जुलाई। कालेबुङ बस विस्फोटको घटना दिनोदिन जटील बन्दै गइरहेको छ। यूएलए नामक भूमिगत भनिने सङ्गठनले सार्वभौम राष्ट्रको माग अनि जीटीए सम्झौताले गोर्खाहरूलाई धोका भएको बताउँदै सङ्गठनको प्रमुख एम. थेगिम नामक एक अज्ञात व्यक्तिले बम बिस्फोट काण्ड आफूहरूले गराएको बताएपछि खुफिया विभाग अनि प्रशासनको हाल टाउको दुखाइ भइरहेको छ।
गत मंगलबार राती यहॉंको मोटर स्ट्याण्डमा रहेको उत्तर वङ्गाल परिवहन निगमको बस बिस्फोटको जॉंच कार्य हाल द्रुत गतिमा अघि बढ्दै गइरहेको छ। सीआईडी, जिल्ला पुलिस अधिक्षक, उत्तर बङ्गाल आईजी अनि कलकत्ता फोरेन्सिक जॉंच दलले घटनाको रिपोर्ट लिएपछि आज जलपाइगढ़ी डिभिजनल कमिश्नर ए.के. सिंहले पनि घटनास्थलको निरीक्षण गरी जानकारी लिए। आज डिभिजनल कमिश्नरसँग कालेबुङ महकुमा शासक एल.एन. शेर्पा, थाना प्रभारी प्रसाद प्रधान लगायत व्यापक पुलिस कर्मीहरूको उपस्थिति रहेको थियो। कालेबुङ पुलिस अहिले शङ्‌काको आधारमा विभिन्न व्यक्तिहरूलाई सोधपुछ कार्यमा जुटिरहेको छ।
आफैले तोकेको कार्यक्रममा डा. छेत्री अनुपस्थित
मनोज वोगटी ,कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 जुलाई। कालेबुङले मात्र होइन जिल्ला कै गन्यमान्यले बुद्धिजीवीकोरूपमा मानेका अनि अहिले कालेबुङका विधायक बनेका डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले आफैले समय तोकेर तय गरिएको कार्यक्रममा उपस्थिति नदिएपछि मोठ 32 वटा सङ्घसंस्थाका प्रतिनिधीहरू हेरेको हेरेकै भए। 11 वजीदेखि कार्यक्रम शुरू हुने तय थियो अनि कार्यक्रमको उद्देश्य नै विधायक डा. छेत्रीलाई सम्वर्धना जनाइने थियो। डा. छेत्रीले अनेकौं व्यवस्तता देखाउँदै पनि आयोजक सङ्गठनलाई आजको दिन तोकेका थिए। कार्यक्रम शुरू भयो तर डा. छेत्री आइपुगेनन्‌। 32 वटा संघसंस्थाका प्रतिनिधिहरूले आयोजक सङ्घठनलाई चेपारोमा पार्दै थियो। 1 बज्यो तर पनि डा. छेत्री सम्मान थाप्न आएनन्‌।
विधायक बनेपछि पहिलोपल्ट डा. छेत्रीले कालेबुङका वरिष्ट नागरिकहरूलाई कार्यक्रम तय गर्न लगाएर पनि उपस्थिति नदिएर आहत बनाएपछि उपस्थित समूह छेत्रीसित रुष्ट बनेको देखियो। आज यहॉंको एक अराजनैतिक संस्था गोर्खा दुःख निवारक सम्मेलन कालेबुङले विधायक डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीलाई सम्मानित गर्ने कार्यक्रमको आयोजना गरेको थियो, जहॉं सम्मानित व्यक्तिको अत्तोपत्तो थिएन। शिक्षाविद पी.आर. प्रधान, डा. जीएस योञ्जन अनि 32 वटा सङ्घ-संस्थाका प्रतिनिधिहरू लगायत अन्य गन्यमान्य व्यक्तिहरूले लगभग चार घम्टा पर्खिएपछि अन्तमा सम्मान कार्यक्रम नै हुन सकेन। यस्तो खाले घटना कालेबुङमा पहिलोपल्ट भएको सबैले बताएका छन्‌। सबैले डा. छेत्रीले उपस्थिति दिन सक्तैन थिए भने किन उनैले आजको दिन तोके? भन्ने प्रश्न उठाइरहेका थिए। 
सुन्नमा  के आएको छ भने डा. छेत्री आज नै कुनै महत्त्वपूर्ण बैठकको निम्ति दार्जीलिङ गए। गए पनि तर तिनले आप्नो अनुपस्थितिको सूचना आयोजक संस्थालाई नदिएकोले डा. छेत्री सबैको आलोचनाको शिकार बनेका थिए। यस सन्दर्भमा  आफ्नो अनुपस्थितिको सूचना नदिएको अनि यसको निम्ति माफी समेत नमागेको सङ्गठनका सभापति उदय कुमाईले बताएका छन्‌। तिनले भने, उनी आजको कार्यक्रममा आएनन्‌, ठीकै छ तर हाम्रो शुभकानमना सधैँ उनीसित छ।  डा. छेत्रीको अनुपस्थितिलाई लिएर उपस्थित विभिन्न सङ्घ-संस्थाका प्रतिनिधिहरू अनि सङ्गठनले पनि दुःख व्यक्त गरेका छन्‌। यसै सम्बन्धमा पी.आर. प्रधानले भने, विधायक कतै जानपर्ने थियो भने उनले पहिले नै सूचना दिनपर्ने थियो। तिनी केही राम्रो र गहण विषयको निम्ति कतै गएको हो भने उचित छ तर कार्यक्रमलाई नै महत्व नदिएको हो भने उचित कार्य गरेनन्‌।
District move irks Morcha
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT,Darjeeling, July 31: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has opposed any district reorganisation in areas of the Dooars and the Terai it wants under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration until the report of a committee examining the authority’s territorial jurisdiction is submitted.
The move comes against the backdrop of plans by the Mamata Banerjee government to carve a separate Alipurduar district out of the existing Jalpaiguri. All the 199 mouzas each from the Dooars and the Terai that the Morcha wants under the GTA fall within Jalpaiguri district.
“Unless a final shape is given to the territory of the GTA, we do not think there should be any reorganisation of the districts which involves areas we have demanded within the GTA. Such a move will go against the spirit of the GTA agreement signed recently,” Morcha spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri said here today after a meeting of the party’s “core” committee.
The meeting, presided over by party chief Bimal Gurung, had been called to discuss the stand the Morcha should take at the all-party meeting called by chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday to discuss a new name for West Bengal as well as the planned reorganisation of five districts.
“We discussed the issue of the reorganisation of the districts thoroughly and we believe the issue is of immense importance for us,” Chhetri, also the Morcha MLA from Kalimpong, said.
The party wants Mamata to refrain from taking decisions on reorganisation of the districts covering the Dooars and the Terai, some parts of which fall in Jalpaiguri and the others in Darjeeling.
The hill party is also worried that most pockets dominated by the Nepali-speaking people in the Dooars are closer to Alipurduar, which is proposed to be made a district, than Jalpaiguri town. The pockets come under the Kalchini and Madharihat blocks, now part of Jalpaiguri’s of Alipurduar subdivision. Once Alipurduar is upgraded to a district, Kalchini and Madharihat are likely to fall under it.

Train crash chain reaction
TT, July 31: An express from Guwahati jumped the rails near Malda this evening and veered off to a parallel track to collide with a local train, leaving at least one person dead and over 100 injured and tearing up Bengal’s railway schedule.
The 7.05pm crash between Jamirghata and Gour Malda stations, about 10km from Malda town, halted train traffic and led to the Darjeeling Mail and several other Calcutta-bound trains getting stuck at various north Bengal stations.
Seven north Bengal and Guwahati-bound trains from Calcutta too were cancelled, leaving hundreds of passengers, including a large number of students and tourists, in the lurch.
The engine and some 10-12 bogies of the 24-coach Guwahati-Bangalore Express, headed to Bangalore via Howrah, got derailed and rammed the Malda-bound passenger train from Azimganj, Murshidabad.
Eyewitnesses said both engines were mangled and caught fire, which was doused by local people, and the impact caused the first of the local train’s dozen-odd coaches to mount its engine. Two of the express train’s compartments fell into a trackside swamp.
Divisional railway manager Harish Kumar said a male body had been found near the engine. Some local people claimed having seen several bodies hanging from the mangled coaches but this could not be confirmed. The causes of the derailment remained unclear till late tonight.
The accident revived memories of the May 2010 tragedy in West Midnapore when a goods rain had crashed into the derailed coaches of the Jnaneswari Express, killing 150 passengers.
“The crucial difference today was that the driver of the passenger (local) train was alert and slammed the brakes, which reduced the impact,” said Eastern Railway general manager Varun Bharthuar.
The accident has damaged 500m stretches along both tracks, which need to be repaired before trains can run.
Railway officials said the Sealdah-bound Darjeeling Mail, New Cooch Behar-Sealdah Uttar Banga Express, and the Alipurduar-Sealdah Kanchankanya Express were stranded at various places.
The trains cancelled in Calcutta were the Darjeeling Mail, Padatik Express, Sealdah-Saharsa Hatey Bajarey Express, Kanchankanya Express, Gour Express, Balurghat Fast Passenger and the Guwahati Garib Rath Express.
Calcuttan Ritwik Dutta, 23, was to report for his first day of work with a Malda bank at 9am tomorrow but feared he would lose what was “going to be my first job”. He said: “I called up the bank authorities but they said I must report by 5pm tomorrow.”
In Malda, 340km away, R. Jyoti Pathak, assistant driver of the express, said: “Suddenly, we felt a bump and realised the engine had gone off the tracks. There was a loud bang and I fell unconscious.”
Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi initially said the body that was found was not related to the crash (unconfirmed reports said it had been lying there since earlier) but railway officials later confirmed one death in the collision.
Subba son held for stove blast
RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, July 31: Police today detained Santosh Subba, the 35-year-old son of jailed Gorkha leader Chhatrey Subba, in connection with the kerosene stove blast at Motor Stand here on July 26.
“We have detained one person and are examining him,” said D.P. Singh, the superintendent of police, Darjeeling. Asked if the detained person was Santosh, he replied in the affirmative.
The blast had partially damaged a bus parked at the stand and shattered the ventilator of a ticket counter.
Sources said the police were examining the details of the calls made from Santosh’s cellphone on July 28, the day a person identifying himself as M. Thehgeem called up a vernacular newspaper’s office here and said his Underground Liberation Association had carried out the blast to protest the signing of the GTA agreement.
The police are also understood to have recovered a copy of the newspaper which had carried the ULA’s claim from Santosh’s car.
Sources said Santosh appeared very frustrated over the 10-year-long detention of his father in a Jalpaiguri jail.
The 62-year-old senior Subba was arrested for allegedly masterminding the attack on GNLF president Subash Ghisingh near Kurseong on February 10 in 2001.
Parishad refuses to lift tea embargo
TT, Siliguri/Jaigaon, July 31: The Progressive Tea Workers’ Union today said it would continue to stall the despatch of tea from the gardens in the Terai and the Dooars unless the planters assured them in writing that the demand for an immediate revision of wages would be considered.
The leaders of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad-affiliated union held a meeting in Malbazar today to discuss north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb’s plea to withdraw the agitation and settle the issue through tripartite talks in Calcutta on August 4.
“Earlier, on the basis of a request from the minister, we had withdrawn the one-day strike planned for July 28. He has again appealed to us to withdraw the ongoing agitation and allow the despatch of processed tea from the estates,” said Tezkumar Toppo, a PTWU leader and the general secretary of the Parishad. “We appreciate the minister’s gesture and attempt to look into the issues. We are thankful to him for even taking us to the chief minister last week. At the same time, we need a letter from the planters who have not sent us any written commitment so far. We want them to write to us, assuring that our demand would be met at the earliest.”
The union once again rejected the planters’ contention that they would not be able to pay the labourers wages and disburse rations.
“We are not ready to buy the theory that they cannot pay wages and distribute ration from tomorrow onwards unless we withdraw the agitation. They have earned crores of rupees in the current season and we feel the warning has been issued in a bid to scuttle our movement,” said Toppo.
The planters said although the workers had been paid wages and disbursed rations in the past two days, it would not be possible to make any payment next week.
“We want to reiterate that unless tea is allowed to move out of the gardens, it is not possible for us to pay wages,” said Prabir Bhattacharjee, the secretary of the Dooars Branch of the Indian Tea Association.
Asked about the union’s demand for a written assurance, Bhattacharjee said: “We have time and again insisted on the restoration of normalcy. We, too, want an early solution to the issue and are ready to increase the wages.”
Sources said the planters had talked to the union leaders, who have sought the letter as a face-saver to withdraw the strike. A source in the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations, hinted that it was likely that such a letter might be sent in the next couple of days, thus facilitating the lifting of the embargo

Saturday, July 30, 2011

बस बिस्फोट, युएलए र राजनैतिक अशान्तिको संकेत... Hope for NHPC projects after GTA deal... Gangtok Walks for Raising Awareness on Forests...... Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh meets Minister for Development of North East Region.... Mamata announces sops for minorities

बस बिस्फोट, युएलए र राजनैतिक अशान्तिको संकेत
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 जुलाई। गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलनलाई विश्राम दिँदै दार्जीलिङ जिल्लाको विकास गर्न गोर्खाल्याण्ड टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशनमा हस्ताक्षर गरेर पहाड़मा शान्ति वहाली गर्ने निर्णय लिएको ठीक 9 दिनपछि कालेबुङमा बसलाई बमले उड़ाउने चेष्टा गरेपछि पहाड़को राजनैतिक शिविरमा निकै सनसनी फैलिएको छ। उत्तरवङ्गाल राष्ट्रिय परिवहन निगमको सरकारी बसमुनी स्टोभ बम पड्काइएको थियो। पुलिस प्रशासनले बसमा भएको विस्फोटलाई स्टोभ बम हुनसक्ने अनुमान गरेपछि नै बस उड़ाउन गरिएको विस्फोटको उद्देश्य र यसमा सलग्नहरू चिन्हित गर्न अनि बम निरोधक अनि सीआइडीसमेत ल्याएकोले घटनाले गम्भिररूप लिइरहेको छ। 
आन्दोलनलाई विश्राम दिएर तृणमूलका मुख्यमन्त्री ममता ब्यानर्जीको पहाड़लाई स्वीटजरल्याण्ड बनाउने सपना पनि साकार पार्न अनि पहाड़को अर्थनैतिक विकास पनि गर्न आन्दोलनकारी दल गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चालेे एउटा असंवैधानिक व्यवस्थामा सम्झौता गरेपछि केन्द्र सरकार, राज्य सरकार अनि गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले अब पहाड़मा शान्ति वहाली हुने अनि गणतान्त्रिक परिस्थिति निर्माण हुने घोषणा नै गरेको थियो तर कालेबुङको बस बिस्फोट काण्डले केन्द्र, राज्य अनि मोर्चाको दावीलाई शंकाको घेरोमा हालिदिएको छ। बस बिस्फोट काण्डले शान्ति बहाली होइन अशान्तिको माहौल  बन्ने कुराको सङ्‌केत दिइरहेको पुलिस प्रशालनले घटनालाई लिएर देखाइरहेको गम्भीरता अनि अचानक बस विस्फोटलाई केन्द्र गरेर यूएलएले दिएको टिप्पणीले दिइरहेको छ। 
घटनाले आलोच्य रूप त्यतिबेला धारण गर्‍यो जब यूएलए नामक कथित भूमिगत सङ्गठनले बम आफूले पड्काएको स्वीकार गर्दै जीटीएको विरूद्ध अनि सार्वभौम गोर्खा राष्ट्रको पक्षमा वकालती गर्‍यो। 
शान्ति फर्किरहेको पहाड़मा सरकारी बसमा बिस्फोट गराएर कसले के कुराको सन्देश दिनखोजेको हो भन्ने प्रश्न उठिरहेको बेला यूएलएले सार्वभौम गोर्खा राष्ट्रको दावी गर्दै जीटीएको विरूद्ध आवाज उठाएपछि सनसनी मच्चिएको छ। बस बिस्फोट अनि यूएलएको दावीले पुलिस प्रशासनको टाउको दुखाइ शुरू भएको छ भने खुफिया विभाग पनि सक्रिय बनेको छ। दुवै घटनाले दार्जीलिङको राजनीतिमा पनि महत्वपूर्ण हस्तक्षेप गरेको देखिएको छ। बस बिस्फोट अनि यूएलएको प्रकटीकरणले गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा र जीटीएको विरूद्ध अर्को शक्ति चल्मलाईरहेको सङ्‌केत दिएको छ। 
यसैपनि 6 महिना तराई-डुवर्सको सीमाङ्‌कनको समस्या समाधान गर्न हाइपावर कमिटीको सकारात्मक टिप्पणी नआइ जीटीएको चुनाव हुनेवाला छैन। यसैवीच विमल गुरूङ समेतले 6 महिनाको समयलाई अग्निपरिक्षाको संज्ञा दिँदै रक्तपात पनि हुनसक्ने कुराको सङ्‌केत दिइसकेका छन्‌। यस्तो बेला बसमा बिस्फोट अनि यूएलएको क्रान्तिकारी उदयले भविष्यका दिन निक्कै अशान्त हुनसक्ने सङ्‌केत दिइरहेको छ। एम. थेगिम नामक कथित यूएलए नेताले सार्वभौम राष्ट्रको कुरा गरेकोले गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलन र मागलाई ग्रेटर नेपालको आन्दोलनसित जोड्ने अवसर विरोधीहरूको निम्ति दिनसक्ने सम्भावना बढ़ेको छ भने नेपालमा नै पनि एउटा शक्ति लिम्बुवान-को दावीमा कटिवद्द रहेको अनि पौराणिक इतिहासलाई खोतल्दै लिम्बुवानसित दार्जीलिङको भूभाग जोड्ने आशयको आन्दोलन भित्रभित्रै चर्किएको अन्तराष्ट्रिय मीडियाले सङ्‌केत दिइएकोले पनि अबको परिस्थिति जटिल बन्दै गइरहेकोतिरै सङ्‌केत दिइहेको समिक्षकहरूको अनुमान छ। 
दागोपापसित खुशी नभएर छत्र सुब्बाहरूले जीएलओ गठन गरेर त्यसको विरोध गरेको थियो भने गोरामुमोको कालमा नै यूजीआरए नामक जङ्गी सङ्गठनले पनि गोर्खाल्याण्डको मुनीका व्यवस्थामाथि असन्तुष्टि जाहेर गर्दै आन्दोलन मच्चाइसकेको छ। अहिले जीटीएको हस्ताक्षरपछि यूएलए जस्तो भूमिगत सङ्गठनले जीटीए र मोर्चाको विरोध गर्दै सार्वभौम राष्ट्रको कुरा गरेकोले पहाड़को राजनैतिक भविष्यलाई गम्भिर बनाएको छ। पक्ष र विपक्ष दुवैले यूएलएको दावीलाई नकरात्मक र असान्दार्भिक बताउँदै यस्ता  सङ्गठनको कुरामा ध्यान दिन ुनहुने बताएपनि जबसम्म पुलिस प्रशासनले सबै वास्तविकता छर्लङ्ग पार्दैन तबसम्म सनसनी चर्किरहने स्पष्ट देखिएको छ।
Hope for NHPC projects after GTA deal
Amalendu Kundu, TNN, Jul 31:Gangtok: With the signing of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration agreement between the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and West Bengal government, there is now hope for two hydel projects that the National Hydropower Corporation had taken up in Darjeeling district, Teesta Low Dam Project III at Rambhi and Teesta Low Dam Project IV at Kalijhora.
Because of the agitation launched by GJM, leading to frequent bandhs and labour troubles, work in these two projects had been stalled since 2009. Besides, an embankment at the project site had also breached in a flood, washing away heavy machinery. A 100-metre stretch of the national highway near the Rambhi site had subsided. But NHPC executive director for Sikkim and North Bengal Dhiman Pariza says construction work has resumed and the two projects are expected to be completed by 2013.
The two projects together would generate 292 MW, TLDP III would generate 132 MW and TLDP IV 160 MW. Both the projects are in their final stages now. West Bengal would get 12 per cent of this free as its share as the project is coming up on its soil. Pariza says West Bengal is likely to buy the rest of the generation as well and transmit it through the state electricity grid. It is likely to meet the power requirements of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri areas. But power transmission through the SEB grid could be delayed because NHPC has not been able to obtain clearance for erecting 37 poles for transmission tower lines in the forest areas of Kalimpong subdivision.
Pariza says NHPC has initiated community development activities in Darjeeling. A fund of Rs 40 crore has been sanctioned for setting up an engineering college and a Central institute of technology as well as upgrade of hospital. Under a community social responsibility, another Rs 50 crore has been allotted. But NHPC would release the sanctioned fund only after GTA makes available the land required to set up these projects. Some of these projects also figure in the agreement signed between the state government and GTA as the ones that would be set up in Darjeeling district.
Gangtok Walks for Raising Awareness on Forests
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok, 30 July:To mark the year of the International Year of Forests, WWF – India has launched a new campaign aimed at the urban youths called as Cities for Forests Campaign in July, 2011. The campaign is being launched to raise awareness on the importance of forests. WWF has launched a separate website for the campaign at www.citiesforforests.in.
The campaign encourages students and youths to visit nearby forest areas, and to study the biodiversity and threats that can be documented through photographs, stories, paintings, poems, etc. All these can be uploaded at the website that WWF –India has specifically developed, and the information will be compiled at a later stage. The campaign will run for 3 months and culminate during the Wildlife Week, in October.
Gangtok will also take part in this event, and to mark the beginning of the campaign, WWF- India has organized a Walk on August 6, 2011, called as ‘Walk for Forests’. At a meeting was organized at Rachna Bookstore on July 30, with the participation of 11 schools and the media fraternity and different organization wherein the idea for the walk and route to be followed for the walk was discussed.
The walk is also being supported by the media fraternity, who will take active participation in the same. WWF – India and its partners for the event inform that the walk is open for all organizations, and the general public to participate in for raising awareness on the importance of forests. The walk will begin from the Private Taxi Stand near Police (10:30 AM) Headquarters and end at Tashi Namgyal Academy with a brief programme.
Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh meets Minister for Development of North East Region

PR, KalimNews, 29th July, New Delhi: A delegation of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh comprising Parisangh Secretary General Sukman Moktan, Gen Sec CPC Munish Tamang, National Co-ordinator of Gorkhaland Task Force R. Moktan , Central Office Incharge B. M. Pradhan and National Executive Member Navin Subba met the Minister for Development of North East Region (DONEAR) Shri Pawan Singh Ghatowar at his office today at Vigyan Bhawan Annexe in New Delhi.
The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh believes that only full statehood will resolve the problem of identity faced by Gorkhas across India. It is currently meeting ministers and MPs in New Delhi to create awareness about the various dilemmas confronting the Gorkhas of India and to press for the creation of a separate state.
The delegation held detailed discussions with Shri PawanSingh Ghatowar on various issues concerning the Gorkhas in the North East including the problems concerning D-voters in Assam, Displacement of Gorkhas in states such as Manipur and Meghalaya, Land registration, and lack of opportunities in employment and business. The Minister assured that he would look into all of the issues and activate all agencies for the redress of these problems. He also promised to be in constant touch with Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh for inputs on these issues. “My office is open 24 hours to you,” he promised the BGP delegation.
Earlier, a special meeting of the National Federation for New States (NFNS) was held at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by the NFNS Convener P. Niroop. Raja Bundela was also present in the meeting. The meeting analysed the present political situation in Gorkhaland, Telangana, Bundelkhand and Vidharbha and discussed various constitutional aspects of these movements. Convener of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh’s Gorkhaland Task Force R. Moktan made a detailed presentation of the various Constitutional approaches to the question of Gorkhaland.
Mamata announces sops for minorities
ENS, Kolkata, July 31:In her first meeting with minorities after she became the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee on Saturday announced a host of schemes and sops for them and also promised to table a revised draft bill at the Assembly in the next three months for 10 per cent minorities reservation in Government jobs.
The Chief Minister was present at an event held by The West Bengal Minorities Development and Finance Corporation(WBMDFC) under the Minority Affairs Department of the state government at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. Scholarships, stipends and loans worth Rs 21.37 crore were distributed at the event among 54,166 persons while the Corporation also announced distribution of Rs 145 crore under self employment schemes. In the evening, the chief Minister also held consultations with Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee for making special provisions for minorities.
Earlier in the day, addressing a huge gathering, she thanked the minorities for voting her to power and promised to do the maximum for their overall social development.
She announced a special grant of Rs 122 crore for scholarships and stipends and Rs 82 crore as loans to meritorious minority students in the next one year. She also announced a new housing policy for building 37,300 houses under the Indira Abas Yojana for minorities. Another 5,000 shelters for minorities will be built by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Banerjee also announced official recognition to 10000 madrasas and recruitment of 700 teachers for them.
She said the state government is scouting for land and has already identified 9 acres at Sonarpur and Champahati for this housing scheme.
In addition, she also announced 7200 Anganwadis, 39 Urdu medium schools, 717 health centres, 6750 tube-wells, 5000 solar lights and 3 government poly-technic colleges in minority-dominated areas.
The Chief Minister also announced the government plan to set up an expert committee to check legal implications and issues related to minorities reservation in the state. She criticised the earlier Left Front government for a ‘hurried and erroneous ‘ notification regarding 10 per cent reservation for minorities in government jobs and termed it as a ‘politically motivated move’.
In February last year, the left government had announced 10 per cent reservation in government jobs for the 53 backward classes among Muslims. “As far as I know the Governor has not signed it and we would fix it soon for delivering the necessary benefits,” added Banerjee.
She also announced setting up of an employment bank for minorities, Scheduled Castes , Scheduled Tribes and OBC’s in the state.
Later in the day, Banerjee discussed several issues related to minority development with (retd) Justice Rajendra Sachar, who was in the town. “We shared our plans and also took his opinion regarding the overall development of minority communities in the state,” she said.
Raising Children In Changing Times
Dianne Monroe, 29 July, 2011, Carolynbaker.net, KalimNews:
We have received a tremendous gift – to be alive at the edge of these changing times. It’s not an easy gift, if we look open-eyed into possible futures. Yet within this gift lies the tremendous opportunity (and yes, responsibility) of crafting tools to place in the hands of those who come after, to enable them to shape the world in which they live through their own vision.
If you have children in your lives – as parents, grandparents, educators or in any other way – there’s a particular magnitude to this. You have no doubt asked yourself what you can do to enable them to navigate the turbulent times ahead, to build meaningful lives in the midst of crisis and decline, to greet the future with creativity, resilience and joy.
“How can we nurture and raise children so they can grow into adults who are able to survive, thrive and contribute to new ways of being with the Earth and each other? ” This how I pose this question to myself as I look into the hopeful eyes of the children whose lives I have the opportunity to touch through my work. It is perhaps this sense of contributing to new ways of being with the Earth and each other that will make it possible for the youth of today to survive and thrive in a challenging and rapidly changing world.
Carolyn Baker writes in Navigating the Coming Chaos about the upcoming collapse (Great Turning, Great Unraveling, Transition, or by any other name) as “humanity’s next rite of passage, our imminent initiation into adulthood as a species.” In Sacred Demise, she writes of an “odyssey” that “is about the transformation of human consciousness and the emergence of a new paradigm as a result of discovering our purpose in the collapse process and thereby coming home to our ultimate place in the universe.”
Bill Plotkin, in Nature and the Human Soul, writes that, “we must mature into people who are, first and foremost, citizens of Earth and residents of the universe, and our identity and core values must be recast accordingly. This kind of maturation entails a quantum leap beyond the stage of development in which the majority of people live today. And yet we must begin now to engender the future human.”
So how do we prepare our children to take their place in this multi-generational species initiation, to find their way to joyful, meaningful lives in the midst of crisis and difficulties we can only imagine? How can we cultivate the growth of interior structures that can enable the youth of today, the adults of tomorrow, to make their contribution to a transformation perhaps as huge as re-visioning what it means to be human?
This wide-vision of humanity’s future, not turning away from the difficulties and hardships, yet recognizing the potentials that grow within this crisis, has everything to do with an approach I have developed through my work with youth, that I now share with you.

Tools for Shaping Their Future
For over 20 years, part of my work has been with children in difficult circumstances (children in Child Protective Services care, children who have experienced abuse, immigrant and refugee youth and others). Daily I asked myself what I could give them that would really last, that they could hold on to and use as they charted their uncertain futures.
As I considered the future of all children and the juncture we are headed into, I realized that the things I developed for children in difficult circumstances were exactly what all youth needed to find their own way through the difficult times people and our planet are facing, to help shape a new and different future.
I saw that the ways I developed to build internal structures with children who life had dealt a difficult hand also builds those internal structures with all children facing challenging situations. This nurturing of interior structures is perhaps the most important gift we can offer youth today, to enable them to play their full role in these times of human initiation and transformation.
My approach revolves around four qualities and strengths adults can cultivate with the children in their lives, and a wide variety of practices, activities and experiences that can nurture them. They can be brought into a broad range of situations, are adaptable for youth of any age, and can be shaped to fit differing interests and inclinations.

These four qualities and strengths are:
Inner Self
For youth to survive, thrive and make their contribution to this time of transformation, it is essential that they that they learn to know, value, and trust their inner voice, that they become deeply rooted in a sense of self. Beyond this, it is crucial for children (and adults) to understand that they have gifts to bring to this world, something valuable to offer to the times in which they live. I tell children that this is true even if they do not yet know what it is because they are still growing, and it is yet to be discovered – and that discovery can be as joyful as unwrapping a birthday present. This sense of purpose, the soil from which their life’s meaning will take root and flower, is one of the most valuable things we can offer those who are youth today.

Creativity and Imagination
“A healthy imagination is essential to growing up, becoming fully human, encountering our souls, and offering our unique and necessary gifts to the world,” writes Bill Plotkin in Nature and the Human Soul.
Creativity and Imagination are an integral part of what it means to be human, a vital resource we each carry within. By nurturing these qualities with the children in our lives we offer them ways of knowing and growing their inner selves, finding personal meaning and enjoyment in life, and as a way of seeking solutions to, or ways of being with, life’s challenges and difficulties. Through cultivating creativity and imagination, we offer children resources for growing into and through the coming times, and for making their contribution to re-visioning humanity’s future.

Connection with Nature
We are part of the natural world and evolved within its embrace. This understanding is perhaps as ancient as humanity itself. Giving children the gift of knowing nature as their home, feeling themselves as part of the web of life is an invaluable life resource for exploring their inner self and developing their ability to act in this world and on its behalf.
It is perhaps our culture’s break with nature, the viewing of our planet as nothing more than a collection of things to be exploited and discarded, that has brought us to this time of crisis. And perhaps more than anything else, this time of turmoil and transformation calls for a rediscovery of humanity’s place within the earth community. This re-visioning of our relationship with life on earth, rooted in indigenous wisdom and shaped for contemporary times, is perhaps the cornerstone of the human initiation and evolution being called for today.
For youth to discover their place within the natural world, to grow their connection with it, has everything to do with their ability to remain grounded in turbulent times, everything to do with them being able to grow their vision and play their part in this upcoming transition.

Joy, Gratitude, Wonder
We live in a magnificent world. Children express joy and wonder naturally and beautifully. It can be a delightful experience for adults to help children cultivate and deepen this natural way of being with the world. Knowing what brings you joy strengthens sense of self and connection with the world. The ability to find joy, gratitude and wonder in difficult circumstances, in places where it may not be obvious or easy to see can make a big difference in how people experience and respond to times of crisis and change. This capacity is a vital part of finding and making meaning in life, in the fundamental redefining of “a good life” that our times are calling for.

A Note About Resilience
It almost goes without saying that children (and adults) need resilience to meet the future. Resilience is a complex interweaving of many qualities. Core resilience is rooted in two things, the ability to be grounded in self and the ability to respond creatively and flexibly to change. This is fundamentally the same as the qualities of Inner Self, Creativity, and Imagination. By nurturing these qualities you are actually growing resilience.
Knowing one’s place as part of the natural world, feeling this connection, brings a groundedness and flexibility in times of challenge and change. The capacity for joy, gratitude and wonder offers a source connection and replenishment, especially valuable in difficult times. Perhaps the most powerful component of resilience is the deeply rooted knowing that you have something valuable to bring and a part to play in the unfolding drama of these times, an opportunity to touch and shape the unfolding of the future, and something important to pass on to those who come after.

Through Their Own Vision
There are countless activities, practices and experiences that can nurture these qualities and strengths. Many I have developed during my years of working with youth. Many have been developed by others. Many more will undoubtedly be developed in the future. There may be ways you are already nurturing some, or all, of these qualities and strengths with the children in your lives.
Here are a pair of simple yet powerful practices you can easily share with the children in your lives. Notice how they reinforce each other, and how they each nurture several of these four qualities and strengths.

Wandering
Wandering is spending unstructured time in nature, with no plan or agenda, following what draws one’s attention. This common childhood experience not so long ago has become a rarity in today’s urban and suburban environments.
Wandering offers children the gift of falling in love with the world. It builds a connection with nature, opening children (and adults) to feeling themselves as part of the web of life and knowing nature as their home. It also develops the relationship between nature and inner self, cultivates intuition and deepens trust in one’s inner voice.
Adults can create opportunities for children to wander in nature. We can support them in deepening their experience by asking them questions about their adventures and the things they are drawn to. For example: Tell me about what makes that rock (or flower or lizard or weed) special to you? How do you think it feels to be a bird (or the wind, or a caterpillar)? If the tree could talk with the stream what do you think they would say? Children can be encouraged to keep a journal where they write or draw about their experiences, their feelings and responses to the things they encounter.

Freeplay and Free Art – Imagination Running Wild
Just as adults can make space for and encourage external wandering, it is vital that we open space for and encourage exploring internal landscapes. Free play and daydreaming are natural childhood activities that, like wandering, are increasingly rare in today’s overscheduled lives. They foster the development of interior structures and grow the capacity for vision.
Free art is the natural companion to free play. This innate flowing of experiences, feelings, imagination through any art form is very different from “how to” art lessons. Adults can encourage youth to draw, paint, sculpt (with clay, mud or any other substance) sing, dance, write, tell a story about their imaginary experiences. We can ask to be invited into children’s imaginary world and pose questions to extend and deepen their experiences, taking care not to direct or impose. We can also ask questions that encourage the use of imagination. For example: How many things could this stick be? (Hints: a magic wand, an antenna, an insect, Pinocchio’s nose.) Children can be encouraged to use journals or folders to gather their free art, and to return to these creations for further exploration and elaboration.
Through free play, daydreaming and free art, children explore and expand their understanding of their inner selves and discover their unique relationship with the world around them. These activities offer a safe structure for them to explore their emotions, including their fears, and to seek solutions for imaginary-world problems that can carry over into “real world” problem-solving skills. Most importantly, they cultivate the capacity for vision – that necessary quality for discovering and sharing one’s gifts, for finding their place and making their contributions to the future world in which they will live.

Writing Our Horizon
We are entering, perhaps have already entered, a new paradigm, an unknown that has not existed on this scale since perhaps the dawn of what we call civilization. And with this, a possibly unprecedented opportunity to reach out and touch the future. We can see the outline dimly on the horizon, yet the flow of history always evolves a bit differently from what anyone envisioned.
We live at a conjuncture when seemingly small actions can reverberate through time, like widening circles around a pebble tossed into a still pond. The story of this time has not yet been written. Daily, in ways large and small, we are writing the opening lines of that story. Perhaps our most important work will be the developing and passing on of writing tools for these times. The tools, gifts, resources we offer the next generation, the children in our lives today, will ripple outward throughout the length of this journey.
Dianne Monroe is an Expressive Arts Facilitator, mentor, writer and photographer with over 20 years experience creating and leading experiential learning and arts-based programs. She offers workshops, presentations, and individual mentoring on various themes, including Raising Children in Changing Times. Her focus is blending Expressive Arts and creativity with nature for personal, social and planetary transformation. Visit her (www.diannemonroe.com) or contact her (dianne@diannemonroe.com) to learn more.

Friday, July 29, 2011

IG visited Kalimpong... Ex-judge to head hill committee... Corruption rankles Gurung... Gangtok show for Prashant film - India premiere to be in sikkim ...Plan to split five districts - Bidhannagar, Barrackpore on list

IG visited Kalimpong
north bengal ig ranvir kumar with cfsl team at motar stand  in kalimpong.JPG
Mukesh Sharma, KalimNews, Kalimpong, 29 July: A 3 member team from Forensic Science Laboratory of Kolkata visited the blast site at Motor Stand of Kalimpong to investigate the stove blast occured in the early morning of Tuesday the 26 July.  North Bengal IG Ranveer Kumar along with Darjeeling Police SP DP Singh also visited the site and gathered information regarding the blast.  
After the investigation the bus in which the blast occured was handed over to the NBSTC department. The report of the investigation is likely to come within a week. IG denied of any responsibility taken by an underground outfit for the blast.
Forensic team at blast spot

TT, Kalimpong, July 29: A three-member team of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory from Calcutta arrived here today to probe into the kerosene stove blast at Motor Stand on Tuesday.
The floor of a North Bengal State Transport Corporation bus was partially damaged in the explosion caused by the stove apparently kept beneath the vehicle’s rear portion. The blast that occurred at 2.45am also shattered the ventilators of the corporation’s ticket counter at the stand.
The CFSL team studied the bus that bore the brunt of the minor blast. Even as the forensic experts were carrying out their investigation, the inspector general of police, north Bengal, Ranbir Kumar, reached the spot and interacted with them.
“The CFSL team is here and investigating the matter,” was all that Kumar told a team of waiting reporters. He refused comment on a report that appeared in a vernacular daily today, saying an obscure organisation had claimed responsibility for the blast. “We have to verify the report. This is unconfirmed now and we can’t comment on it,” he said.
The newspaper said an organisation calling itself the Underground Liberation Association had claimed responsibility for the blast.
A person identifying himself as M. Thehgeem called up the newspaper’s office and said he was the chief of the ULA and the blast had been carried out to protest the betrayal of the people of the hills and the Dooars and the Terai by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha
Intelligence sources, however, were not willing to give much credence to the obscure organisation or the man claiming to be its chief.
“One person calls up a newspaper and makes a claim, and it becomes big news. Both the man and the organisation appear to be fictitious. This appears to be a work of a mischief monger. We are trying to trace the caller,” said a source.
Corruption rankles Gurung
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, July 29: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung has been campaigning against corruption, reprimanding even his own party leaders, ever since an agreement to set up Gorkhaland Territorial Administration was signed on July 18.
The Morcha chief’s newfound penchant for probity in the administration of the Darjeeling hills is attributed to his purported apprehension about the rerun of events that led to Subash Ghisingh’s exit from the DGHC. Observers say one of the factors that fanned the anti-Ghisingh wave in the region was rampant corruption in the council.
After the agreement was signed, Gurung has addressed at least six public meetings across the hills and in every speech, he highlighted the need to end corrupt practices by the party workers and leaders as well as the officials.
Addressing a meeting at Pintail Village, the very next day after signing the agreement, Gurung told leaders to stop nepotism immediately. “If leaders are only concerned about their family members and relatives, nothing can be achieved. You have to rise above these issues,” he said at Pintail.
In other public meetings at Darjeeling Gymkhana Club (twice), Chungtung near Darjeeling and at Dalgaon in Kalimpong subdivision, Gurung talked about corruption and the need to bring an end to such practices.
“You must stop thinking that everyone can be a contractor. Only those who can work should come forward. My message is also for some members of the Nari Morcha and Yuva Morcha,” Gurung said in Chungtung. He spoke on similar lines at the Gymkhana Club meetings.
In another address, the Morcha chief asked local contractors to be on their guard.
“If they do not work properly, they will be blacklisted. Work properly and you will not have to pay a percentage to the officials in different departments. These practices must stop,” said Gurung.
According to observers, Gurung probably believes that corruption is at an all time high in the hills. Many consider corruption to be the main reason behind the people’s rise against Ghisingh when he was at the helm of the DGHC.
In fact, the council had registered a case against its own officials for embezzling more than Rs 5 crore meant for the construction of primary schools under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.
The observers say the SSA defalcation was just the tip of an iceberg.
“Accountability was at its all time low in the DGHC and Gurung has probably realised that if the new body (GTA) is also steeped in corruption, he will lose the mass support he enjoys at the moment,” said an observer.
There are, however, apprehensions about Gurung’s tirade against corruption. This is largely because of his statement that he would not be involved in the functioning of the GTA but would “only order” to ensure that the body functioned smoothly.
“By not being involved in the GTA, Gurung will not be accountable for any lapses. But given the fact that he is the president of the party, he will take the initiative for a number of projects. This will again provide space for corruption to seep into the new body,” said another observer.

Ex-judge to head hill committee

Shyamal Sen
TT, July 29: Retired high court judge Shyamal Sen was today appointed the chairperson of a 10-member joint verification committee that will examine the demand to bring the Gorkha pockets of the Dooars and the Terai under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
The decision was announced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers’ Buildings this evening.
“Justice Shyamal Sen has been appointed the chairman of the Dooars-Terai committee,” Mamata said while leaving office today.
Sen has had a distinguished career first as an advocate and then as a judge. He has served as a judge of Calcutta High Court and as acting chief justice of both Calcutta High Court as well as Allahabad High Court.
He was also briefly the acting governor of Bengal.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which has been demanding that the territorial jurisdiction of the GTA be extended to the Gorkha dominated areas of the Dooars and the Terai, has welcomed Sen’s appointment as committee chairperson.
Shyamal sen wants to start work from monday.

“We welcome the development but the more important thing is for the committee to place its report within six months,” said Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri. “We hope that the team will start assessing the ground realities as early as possible.”
The Morcha, which along with the Centre and the state, is a signatory to the agreement for the formation of the GTA, has demanded that 199 mouzas each from the Dooars and the Terai be brought under the new hill set-up.

The party has proposed four names to represent it on the territory committee. They are: former principal secretary of the DGHC L.B. Pariyar, Morcha’s Terai convener Shankar Adhikari and Nepali writers Kitab Singh Rai and Shankar Nath Pradhan.
The district magistrates of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri along with an official of the home department will represent the state government on the committee.
The Centre will be represented by the director of census operations.
Anil Verma, administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, will be the convener of the committee responsible for organising the meetings.
Once the committee becomes functional, the members will visit the areas that the Morcha wants to be included under the GTA, speak to the major stakeholders and consult political parties.
The panel is expected to submit its report within six months.

Training for tourism
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok,29 July:Capacity Building Training for the Tourism Stake Holders of North East Region is being organized by the Travel Agents Association of Sikkim (TAAS) which is sponsored by the North Eastern Council (NEC), Ministry of DONER, Government of India further supported by the Government of Sikkim.
Training dates have been finalized from the 22nd August 2011 and shall continue till the month of December 2011. Theoretical and practical trainings will be conducted in Sikkim entirely.
Trainee has to undergo theoretical, practical trainings, they will be taken to all the tourist destination of Sikkim for eco-tourism and lastly they have to work with Tour Operators for a week to practically experience the ground realities of the tourism industry.
The organizer will be bearing the cost for food, accommodation for the participants in Sikkim. Internal transfers will be provided during the trainings where as all out station trainees will have to report at Gangtok at their own cost.
Each state have been allocated 3 seats each of which one seat is reserved for the female candidate.
Tour operators and Managerial, Secretarial and Hospitality training will begin from 22nd August. Marketing, Promotion, Publicity & Advertising course will start on 9th September where as Air Ticketing, Foreign Exchange, Ecommerce, Banking will kick off on 1st September. Tour, Trekking & Specialized guide Training will start on 10th October. Technical team for Mountain Biking will begin from 9th November . Home stat service Providers and Ecotourism Service Providers training will begin on 1st and 19th December. Trekking cooks training will starts on 15th December. Date for the German Language course will be announced shortly. Last date of submission application form will be be 7 days before each course. If any state fails to provide participants, vacant seats will be given to any state desirous of sending extra candidates. Form can be submitted through post or online. Day to day activities and other details have been given in www.taasfoundation.org and www.taasfoundation.com.
Umpteenth number of letter have been dispatched to various tourism stake holders of the North East Region as well to the Directors of the government tourism departments including Sikkim for further dissemination of information to the general public specially tourism stake holders.
Any tourism stake holders of North East Region that of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are eligible for the participation. One must provide the organizer the identification proof of the state.

IAS officer promoted
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok,29 July:Mr. Karma Gyatso, IAS of the 1997 batch has been promoted as Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim w.e.f. 1st of August 2011. He will also hold the additional charge of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department. Mr. K. Gyatso started his career with the State Government in 1975 and held many key portfolios such as Department of Tourism, Department of Planning, Economic Reforms and North Eastern Council Affairs, Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department, Animal Husbandry Livestock and Veterinary Services Department, Land Revenue Department and Department of Personnel, Administrative Reforms, Training, Public Greivances, Career options and Employment, Skill Development & Chief Minister’s Self Employment Scheme. An experienced administrator, he is widely travelled both within and outside the country and has done a stint on Economic Reforms in Sydney, Australia and Auckland Newzealand. He was also a signatory of the MoU for the Nathula Trade and was instrumental in the opening of the Boarder Trade at Nathula during his tenure as Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries.

EVENING HEADLINES
KalimNews:Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran of Sikkim High Court submitted his resignation letter to the President of India as he was facing impeachment charges of corruption since a long time.
Sikkim judge quits
TT, New Delhi, July 29 (PTI): Sikkim High Court chief justice P.D. Dinakaran resigned from the post today. The resignation comes a day ahead of the hearing of the three-member inquiry committee appointed by Rajya Sabha chairman to probe into charges of land grabbing and acquiring of assets disproportionate to his income.
The 61-year-old Dinakaran is understood to have sent his resignation to President Pratibha Patil, sources said. Dinakaran, who failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court after various attempts to stymie the committee proceedings did not succeed, does not have faith in the impartiality of the panel, the sources said adding that was one of the reasons for his resignation.
Farmer shot
TT.Malda: A 39-year-old farmer was shot dead while he was sleeping on the veranda of his house at Ratua on Thursday night. Santosh Mondal’s wife Gita, who was beside him, was woken up by a huge thud. Santosh was bleeding and crying for help. Neighbours took Santosh to the local primary health centre where the doctors pronounced him dead. The police said a bullet had hit Santosh on the ribs and exited the body from the other side. Santosh’s cousins Moti and Bikash, who had an altercation with him few days back, have been picked up.
Jumbo carcass
TT,Siliguri: The carcass of an elephant was found in a village in Nepal and another elephant with bullet injuries was spotted near the Indo-Nepal border on Thursday night. Foresters suspect the animal died around eight days ago because of a bullet injury. Two elephants had been shot at in Nepal’s Bamandangi on July 13. While one elephant remained there, the other returned to India.
Mishaps
TT,Balurghat/Gangtok: Three children died in separate mishaps on Friday. Bikram Pahan, 2, drowned in a pond at Ishwarpara in Balurghat. Biswajit Tirkey, 4, died when he was hit by an autorickshaw at Pransagar near Balurghat. In South Sikkim, a 14-year-old girl drowned in a stream. Binita Gurung, a Class VI student, was a resident of Sumsi.

Four SDF leaders Neema Theing, Kiran Chhetri, Sonam Bhutia and Sonam Sherpa quit the party today.
Gangtok show for Prashant film - India premiere to be in sikkim

TT, Gangtok, July 29: Prashant Tamang’s third Nepali film Kina Maya Ma will premiere in India with a screening in Gangtok on August 27.
Gangtok-based filmmaker Chunnilal Ghimire said the premiere would be at Vajra cinema hall. “After the movie runs in Gangtok for some time, we will take it to Darjeeling and Kalimpong for screening,” said Ghimire. This is the first feature film of Channel Ace Productions run by Ghimire.
Although a love story, the film has references to the Gorkhaland movement in Darjeeling, the hometown of Indian Idol 3 winner Prashant, who plays the lead role.
If Sony’s talent hunt through the music reality show launched Prashant as a singer four years ago, it also sowed the seeds of a new party that now controls the Darjeeling hills.
In 2007, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha was born after its president Bimal Gurung cashed in on the strong anti-Subash Ghisingh sentiment that swept through the hills during the campaign to help Prashant win the contest.
The GNLF chief had refused to publicly back Prashant even as the entire Gorkha community in Bengal and across the country put its collective might behind the singer.
Prashant won the September 2007 contest and bagged a Rs 1-crore music contract with Sony.
In Kina Maya Ma (why in love), Prashant is a singer from Nepal who falls in love with a girl from Sikkim. According to the director, in the film, Prashant gets stranded in Sikkim while returning to Nepal because of a “strike” in the neighbouring hills, a reference to Darjeeling and the statehood agitation there.
A dialogue then follows: “The people from Darjeeling and the Indian Gorkha community should get justice as it is a century-year old demand.”
Prashant has two more Nepali feature films to his credit Gorkha Paltan and Angalo Yo Mayo Ko.
But the Kina Maya Ma director feels that Prashant has a long way to go before the audience accepts him as an actor rather than a singer.
“He is a singer in real life and plays the singer in the film. But he has not sung in the film as he was out in Europe during the recording. This is his third film and his acting skills have matured. He can act but people still see him as a singer,” Ghimire said.
He said Kina Maya had attracted good response in Nepal. “We expect even better response from Sikkim and Darjeeling,” he said.
The filmmaker argued that people here should not compare the Nepali films produced in Sikkim or elsewhere with those of Bollywood.
“Our films are made on a humble budget. Kina Maya had a budget of Rs 58 lakh. If the Nepali-speaking community doesn’t want their movies then who will watch the Nepali language movies? Just coming to the movie hall will encourage the local artistes and technicians,” he said.
Plan to split five districts - Bidhannagar, Barrackpore on list


wbMEGHDEEP BHATTACHARYYA, TT, Calcutta, July 29: The Mamata Banerjee government is giving finishing touches to a proposal to split at least five populous districts of Bengal to make their administration more manageable.
Sources said the proposal involves the division of North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, West Midnapore, Burdwan and Jalpaiguri. The population in each of these districts ranges from 59 lakh to 1 crore, barring that in Jalpaiguri.
If the next cabinet meeting scheduled on August 3 clears the plan, the number of districts in the state will go up from 19 to 24.
“The decision is likely to receive sanction by the cabinet on August 3 and the chief minister wants to make the announcement that evening,” said a Writers’ Buildings source.
Although the division of Hooghly is also being considered, a decision on the district has not been taken yet.
If approved by the cabinet, the proposal will be sent to the Union home ministry for statutory sanction. The process is likely to take between six months and a year for completion.
The last time the number of districts went up was in 2002, when Midnapore gave way to the East and West twins. In 1987, 24-Parganas had been divided, and four years later, Dinajpur became the North and South siblings.
The Trinamul Congress, then the principal Opposition party, had opposed the plan to divide Midnapore, citing the importance of regional integrity when the process began in 2001.
“We are now in administration and we have to take some tough decisions to deliver development,” said a minister in Mamata’s cabinet.
The areas that will be separated from the existing districts have been earmarked.
“We will separate the Alipurduar subdivision from Jalpaiguri, the Barrackpore and Bidhannagar subdivisions from North 24-Parganas, the Diamond Harbour subdivision from South 24-Parganas, the Jhargram police district and the Jungle Mahal areas from West Midnapore and the Asansol and Durgapur subdivisions from Burdwan,” the source said.
“If Hooghly is divided, the industrial belt of Serampore and Sadar subdivisions will be taken out to form the new district,” he added.
The number of blocks in Bengal is expected to go up by around 100 from the current 341 and that of subdivisions is likely to rise by 10 to 12.
Administrative buildings have to be set up in the new districts and superintendents of police and district magistrates have to be appointed.
“They are among the most populous districts in the state and are difficult to administer. The division would help the administration reach the people and assist in providing better healthcare and educational facilities. Splitting them into smaller districts makes administrative common sense,” an official said.
Bengal at present ranks 17th among the 28 states on district count. Less populous states like Bihar (38 districts), Orissa (30), Jharkhand (24) and Andhra Pradesh (23) have more districts.
According to a member of Mamata’s cabinet, more districts will also help get more central aid. “At the national level, the number of districts a state has matters, more often than it should, when decisions on financial support are considered. It’s more psychological than practical but the number does make a difference,” said the minister.
“That is one of the reasons why the chief minister wants to split the districts,” he added.
The idea had first come up three years ago. The administrative reforms committee —headed by then chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb — had examined the possibility and submitted detailed proposals, identifying the same areas for division in December 2008.
A senior official said the Left Front government had considered implementing the proposals eventually. But the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls of 2009 discouraged the government from taking such a big initiative.
The names of the new districts are yet to be finalised. The district that will be carved out of Jalpaiguri is likely to be called Alipurduar.
Chief secretary Samar Ghosh, who is also brainstorming to find a new name for the state, will be asked to come up with suggestions on the names of the other new districts, the source said.
Provisional data of Census 2011 show that the five districts have recorded a population growth of 12-18 per cent in 10 years. North 24-Parganas, with a headcount of over 1 crore, and South 24-Parganas, with 81.53 lakhs, are the most populous districts in Bengal. West Midnapore has a population of 59.43 lakhs, Burdwan has 77.23 lakhs and Jalpaiguri 38.70 lakhs.
Except Jalpaiguri, all of them are more populous than Calcutta that has over 44 lakh people.

                                       
                                         TODAY’s WEATHER REPORT OF KALIMPONG



              (Source: Science Center, Kalimpong)
                                                                            Rain: 31.3mm

Maximum Temperature

Minimum Temperature

Relative Humidity

220C

190C

95%

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Underground outfit claims of having blasted the bus.... Developmental project for Gorubathan announced.... गोरुबथानमा विकासको मूल फुटाउन - विमल गुरूङको आधिकारिक भ्रमण ... गान्तोकको घिर्लिङ कर्मचारी आन्दोलित- वेतन वृद्धिको माग लिएर अनिश्चितकालीन हड्‌ताल शुरु .. मानहानीको आरोपबाट एडी सुब्बा मुक्त - राज्यपाललाई चडाएको ज्ञापन पत्र मानहानी हुनसक्दैनः न्यायालय.... दुइवटा शौचालय मरम्मत गर्न 18.53 लाख खर्च - जनताको पैसामा रजाईं गर्ने विरूद्ध कार्वाही हुनपर्छः किरण... Planters warn of halt in pay - Parishad tea union to continue embargo... Assault spurs garden closure

Underground outfit  claims of having blasted the bus
KalimNews, July 29: A little known organisation called Underground Liberation Association (ULA) has reportedly claimed responsibility of trying to blast the NBSTC bus at Kalimpong Motor Stand in the wee hours of 26th July. According to a media report M. Theegim, self styled supreme commander of the outfit contacted the Kalimpong local bureau of a Nepali daily at 6.30 PM on 28th July and claimed the above statement. As per the report, the outfit was not happy with the formation of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) on 18th July. Theegim also reported to have said that the blast was only a trailor of the organisation's future course of actions.
It may be recalled that during the last week of December 2010, Theegim had issued a press release and warned the Gorkha Janmukti leaders to face consequences if they try to negotiate the demand of Gorkhaland.
The local police have already started its vigil and making efforts to find out the gravity of the situation, it is said.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_CrWmbffJc0w/TRNYKJjpxJI/AAAAAAAADk4/OSZcvUDryrU/s1600/Image0461.jpg
Thegim's earlier letter: KalimNews
Developmental project for Gorubathan announced
KalimNews: For the devlopment of the area of Gorubathan, Bimal Gurung President of GJM visited the area with the Delhi based architect. Several developmental projects were proposed during the visit. Gurung said that the construction of the proposed IB Rai Degree College will be started soon under his personal supervision. It is recalled that Gurung himself is the President of the College Committee. He further said that projects like construction of a 80 bed Hospital, a multipurpose community hall and two motor stands were proposed during the visit.
गोरुबथानमा विकासको मूल फुटाउन - विमल गुरूङको आधिकारिक भ्रमण
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 28 जुलाई। गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा अहिले दार्जीलिङ जिल्लाको तीनवटा महकुमा कालेबुङ, दार्जीलिङ अनि खरसाङको विकास कार्यमा जुटिसकेको छ। जीटीएमा हस्ताक्षर गरेर मोर्चाले आन्दोलनकारी जनतालाई स्पष्ट पारिसकेको छ कि मोर्चा केही समय बिसाउन चहान्छ अनि यो अवधी पहाड़भरि विकास गर्न चहान्छ। 6 महिनापछि जीटीए सञ्चालित हुनेछ तर मोर्चाले अहिलेदेखि नै विकासको निम्ति शिलान्यास गर्ने अनि कहॉं कहॉं के के बनाइनुपर्ने हो त्यो बुझ्न परिभ्र्रमण गर्ने कार्य जारी राखेको छ। जीटीएको कुनै पनि आसनमा आफू  नरहने घोषणा गरिसकेका मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङले विकासको पहिलो लक्ष्यकेन्द्र गोरूबथानलाई बनाएका छन्‌। 

मोर्चाको 48 महिने आन्दोलनमा आन्दोलनको केन्द्रस्थल नै गोरूबथान रहेको थियो। विमल गुरूङ अनुसार गोजमुमोको आन्दोलनलाई जीटीएसम्म ल्याउनमा गोरूबथानको महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका छ। यसकारण जीटीएले विकास कार्य नै गोरूबथानबाट शुरू गर्नेछ। केही दिन अघि तीनले गोरूबथानमा इन्द्रबहादुर राई डिग्री कलेजको शिलान्यास गरेका थिए। आज विमल गुरूङ कलेज निर्माण सम्बन्धमा कुराकानी गर्न अनि गोरूबथानको सर्वाङ्गिन विकास गर्न दिल्लीबाट एकजना आर्किटेक्ट झिकाएर  गोरूबथान पुगेका थिए। तिनले आज गोरूबथानमा विकासका आधा दर्जन भन्दा धेर योजनाहरूको घोषणा गरे। तिनी अनुसार गोरूबथानमा दुइवटा उच्च तक्निकीय मोटर स्ट्याण्ड बनाइने छ। यसको निम्ति तिनले आर्किटेक्टलाई जमीन पनि देखाए। सोमबारे बजारको पूर्व र पश्चिममा मोटर स्ट्याण्ड निर्माण गरेर गोरूबथानको ट्राफिकलाई सुदृड गरिने छ। 
यसै गरी तिनले दुइवटा मार्केटिङ कम्प्लेक्स बनाउने घोषणा गर्दै जमीनको निरीक्षण गरे। सोमबारेमा निर्माणाधिन मार्केटिङ कम्प्लेक्स सानो भएकोले त्यसलाई पनि बनाउने अनि फरक र ठूलो कम्प्लेक्स भने चेलखोलाको पश्चिममा रहेको खाली ठाउँमा बनाइने भएको छ। निरीक्षण कै क्रममा तिनले कम्युनिटी हलको पनि निरीक्षण गरे। हल सानो रहेकोले बहुमुखी हल बनाउने पनि तिनले आज नै घोषणा गरे। गुरूङले आज कम्युनिटी हलको निम्ति बाबरी प्राथमिक पाठशाला संलग्न खाली ठाउँको निरीक्षण गरे। यसैगरी गोरूबथान खण्ड अस्पतालको पनि तिनले निरीक्षण गरे। 27 अनि 28 नम्बर समष्टी मात्र होइन डुवर्सको निम्ति पनि केन्द्र रहेकोले गोरूबथानमा खण्ड अस्पतालले जनाकांक्षा पुरा नगर्ने भएपछि गुरूङले यहॉं जिल्ला स्तरीय उच्च तक्निकीय अस्पताल बनाइने बताएका छन्‌।  
तिनी अनुसार कम्तीमा पनि 70,80 वटा बेड भएको अस्पताल बनाइने छ। गुरूङले आज कलेज कमिटीसित पनि बैठक गरे। तिनले कमिटीलाई केही दिनपछि केही समयको निम्ति आफू गोरूबथान नै बस्ने अनि आफ्नै देखरेखमा कलेज निर्माण शुरू गर्ने जनाएका छन्‌। गुरूङ अनुसार कलेजको निम्ति अहिले 50 देखि 60 लाख रुपियॉंको योजना बनाइएको छ। आन्दोलनको क्रममा गुरूङले गोरूबथानलाई हेडक्वार्टरकोरूपमा प्रयोग गरेका थिए भने तिनी यही बसेर धेरै महिना डुवर्सका कार्यकर्ताहरूसित विभिन्न कार्यक्रममा संलग्न बनेका थिए। जीएलपीको मुख्य हेडक्वार्टर पनि यही राखिएको थियो। गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति लङमार्च गर्दै गोरूबथान पुगेका गुरुङले गोरूबथानलाई राजनैतिकरूपले कसरी शोषण गरिएको थियो भन्ने कुरा बुझेका थिए भने गोर्खाल्याण्ड नै नभए पनि जीटीए  थापेपछि व्यवस्था वहाली हुन अघि नै गोरूबथानमा विभिन्न योजनाहरू तयार पारेर विकास गर्ने घोषणा गरेपछि क्षेत्रका समर्थकहरू गुरूङसित खुसी बनेका छन्‌।
गान्तोकको घिर्लिङ कर्मचारी आन्दोलित- वेतन वृद्धिको माग लिएर अनिश्चितकालीन हड्‌ताल शुरु

IMG_3107प्रविण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक,28 जुलाई। यहॉंको देउरालीदेखि टासिलिङ सचिवालय नजिकसम्म चल्ने चर्चित घिर्लिङका कर्मचारीहरूले वेतन वृद्धिको माग गर्दै विहिबारदेखि अनिश्चितकालीन हड़ताल शुरु गरेका छन्‌। 2003 सालमा स्थापित यो घिर्लिङ कोलकत्ताको दामोदर रोप वे कम्पनीले संचालन गरिरहेको छ। पर्यटकहरूको निम्ति गान्तोकको रमणीय दृश्यावलोकनको निम्ति चर्चित रहेको छ भने राजस्व उत्पादनको हिसाबमा राम्रो उत्पादकको रूपमा रहेको छ। तर यहॉं कार्यरत 21 जना विभिन्न वर्गका कर्मचारीहरूको वेतन भने वर्तमान महंगीसित जुझ्न सक्ने नभएको हुनाले कर्मचारीहरूले कम्पनीलाई यो सालदेखि समयानुकूल वेतन वृद्धि (इऩक्रिमेन्ट) गर्नुपर्ने माग राख्दै आजदेखि घिर्लिङ चलाचल थप्प पारेका छन्‌। कर्मचारीको पक्षमा बोल्दै फोरमेन माणिक सिलले भने, हामी यहॉं 2003 सालदेखि काम गरिरहेका छौ तर हाम्रो अधिकार र मागबारे कहिले सुनुवाई भएको छैन्‌, गत वर्षसम्म सन्तोषजनक इन्क्रिमेन्ट भएको भए पनि यसपालीदेखि हाम्रो घऱ चलाउऩ समेत नसक्ने रकम प्रदान गरेर अन्याय गरेको छ।
यसकारण हामीले आज कम्पनीलाई माग पत्र चडाएका छौं जबसम्म हाम्रो माग पुरा हुँदैन तबसम्म घिर्लिङ चल्ने छैन्‌,तिनले भने। कर्मचारीहरूले सबैतहका निम्ति 2 हजार रूपियॉंको दरले बराबर इऩक्रिमेन्ट बढाउनु पर्ने माग राखेको तिनले बताए। यसैगरि घिर्लिङ संचानलमा अहिले जम्मा 21 जना कर्मचारी रहेको छन्‌ भने ती मध्ये 7 जना स्थानीय कर्मचारी अनि 14 जना गैर सिक्किमे कर्मचारी कार्यरत छन्‌। कर्मचारीहरूले भने, हाम्रो वेतन कम्तीमा पनि पॉंच हजार हुनुपर्छ तर यहॉं तीन हजार रूपियॉंमा महिनाभरि खटाउँदैछ, हामीले दशैं तिहार र चॉंडबॉंड समेत नभनी यहॉं दिन रात काम गरिरहेका छौं तर हामीलाई भात खान पुग्ने समेत मजदुरी दिइएको छैन्‌। यसैगरि कर्मचारीहरूको पक्षमा शिलले भने, गैर सिक्किमेहरूको निम्ति मासिक घरभाडा 5 सय 50 रूपियॉं र खोराकी भनेर 750 रूपियॉं दिने गरेको भए पनि स्थानीयहरूलाई त्यो समेत दिइन्दैन्‌। यसले गर्दा स्थानीयहरू पनि अन्यायको चपेटमा सबैभऩ्दा धेरै परेका छन्‌। तिनले भने, दैनिक सिजनको समयमा हामी तीनवटा स्टेशनबाट 1 लाख 50 हजार भन्दा धेरै रूपियॉं कमाएर कम्पनीलाई दिँदैछौं भने अफसिजमा पनि दैनिक 20 हजार रूपियॉं कमाइ हुन्छ, अहिले त झन सिक्किममा अफ सिजन हुन छाडेकोले गर्दा कम्पनीको कमाई राम्रो छ तर हाम्रो अवस्था भने हेरिनसक्नु भइसकेको छ।
तिनले मजदुरहरूको पक्षमा आज माग पेश गरिएको बताए भने त्यो मागमा इन्क्रिमेन्टलाई लिएर कोलकत्ताको मुख्यालयले फसेला नगरेसम्म काम नगर्ने निर्णय लिएको बताए। अर्कोतिर राज्य सरकार द्वारा अनुमोदित न्यूनतम मजदूरीको दरलाई समेत कम्पनीले अदेखा गरेको बताउँदै तिनले भने, हामीलाई ओभऱ टाइम पनि काममा लगाइन्छ तर हामीलाई एक धण्टा काम लगाएर दुइघण्टाको मजदुर दिनु पर्ने भए पनि एकै घण्टाको मात्र दाम दिन्छन्‌। अर्कोतिर दामोदर रोपवे कम्पनी का साइट इनचार्ज डीबी चौधरीले आन्दोलनकारीहरूको माग र कार्वाही प्रति कुनै प्रतिक्रिया व्यक्त गर्न नचाहँदै भने, यो विषयमा म केही भन्न सक्दिन तर आज कर्मचारीहरूले आफ्नो माग पत्र चढाए त्यो मैले कोलकत्ता मुख्यालयमा पठाइ दिएको छु त्यसबारे निर्णय गर्ने काम मुख्यालयको हो। 

तिनले भने, यस्ता मागहरू उठ्‌ने गर्छन्‌ त्यसको सबै रेखदेख मुख्यालयबाटै हुने गर्दछ साइट इन्चार्जको यसमा कुनै उत्तरदायित्व छैन्‌। 2000 सालको मार्च 1 तारिकदेखि निर्माण कार्य शुरु गरेर 31 मार्च 2003 समा निर्माण कार्य पुरा भएको यो घिर्लिङ पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्रिय विकास परिषद् (डोनर) द्वारा 11.520 करोड रूपियॉंको लागनीमा निर्माण गरिएको हो। जसको तीनवटा स्टेशन देउराली, नामनाङ अनि टासिलिङमा रहेको छ। 
दुइवटा शौचालय मरम्मत गर्न 18.53 लाख खर्च - जनताको पैसामा रजाईं गर्ने विरूद्ध कार्वाही हुनपर्छः किरण
प्रविण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज,गान्तोक,28 जुलाई। अखिल सिक्किम शिक्षित स्वरोजगार एंव बेरोजगार एसोसिएशनले मानव संसाधन विकास विभागले शौचालय मरम्मतीको काम सरकारी पैसाको दुरुपयोग गरेको आरोप लगाएको छ। संगठनका अध्यक्ष नवीन किरणले यहॉंको एक होटलमा आयोजित पत्रकार सम्मेलनलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै भने, विभागका केही गैरजिम्मेवार अनि स्वार्थी अधिकारीहरूले विभिन्न सरकारी निकायहरूमार्फत व्यापक रूपमा सरकारी धनको दूरूपयोग गरिरहेका छन्‌। उनले ताजा उदाहरण र प्रमाण पेश गर्दै भने, हालै मानव संसाधन विकास विभागको सचिवालयमा शौचालय मरम्मती गर्दा मात्र लाखौं रूपियॉं हिनामिना गर्दै सरकारी धनको दूरूपयोग गरेको सूचनाको अधिकार ऐन (आरटीआई) मार्फत जानकारी प्राप्त भएकोछ। तिनले भने, उक्त मरम्मतीको काम अरविन्द इन्टरप्राइजलाई कुनै निविदा जारी नगरि हतारको काम भने विभागले नै काम दिइएको छ। तिनले भने, यो कामको निम्ति विभागले 18 लाख 53 हजार रूपियॉं पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्रिय विकास (डोनर) मार्फत भुक्तान गरिएको छ तर उक्त रकम यहॉंको लुम्सेमा स्टोर बनाएर किताब र स्टेशनरीका समान राख्न छुट्टाइएको भए पनि शौचालय मरम्मत गरेर फिजुल खर्च गरिएको छ।
संगठनका प्रतिनिधिहरूले थपे, शौचालय मरम्मत गर्नु राम्रो हो तर त्यो भन्दा पनि आवश्य कुराहरू शिक्षाको निम्ति रहेका छन्‌ त्यसलाई पुरा गर्नु अनिवार्य थियो। आरटीआईको जवाफमा श्रमिकलाई मात्र 5 लाख 48 हजार 550 रूपियॉं खर्च गरिएको तथा सामान 13 लाख 4 हजार 129 रूपियॉं खर्च गरिएको देखाइएको छ। जसमा दुइवटा शौचालय मरम्मत गरिएको छ। अध्यक्ष किरणले भने, सिक्किमको कुना काप्चामा यस्ता स्कूलहरू धेरै छन्‌ जुन रकमले मरम्मत गरेर चुहुने छानोबाट विद्यार्थीहरूले मुक्ति पाउन सक्ने थिए त्यो दुइवटा शौचालय भन्दा धेरै आवश्यक र महत्वपूर्णथियो। अर्कोतिर पाठ्य पुस्तकै पनि समयमा पुर्‍याउने कार्य भएको छैन्‌ , तर 18 लाख 52 हजार 679 रूपियॉंको लागनीमा शौचालय मरम्मत मात्रै गरेर जनताको धनलाई खुल्ला दूरूपयोग गरेका छन्‌। यस मामिलालाई लिएर सरकार द्वारा हस्तक्षेप गरिनु पर्ने माग गर्दै संगठनले मुख्यमन्त्री कार्यालय (सीएमओ) मा ज्ञापन पेश गरेको छ।
यसैगरि जन लेखा समिति अनि केंद्रिय सतर्कता आयोग, नयॉं दिल्ली, राज्य सतर्कता पुलिसलाई तथा डोनर मंत्रालयलाई पनि धनराशी दूरूपयोग को बारेमा ज्ञापन पठाइएको अध्यक्ष किरणले बताए।
मानहानीको आरोपबाट एडी सुब्बा मुक्त - राज्यपाललाई चडाएको ज्ञापन पत्र मानहानी हुनसक्दैनः न्यायालय
प्रविण खालिंग, कालिमन्युज, गान्तोक,28 जुलाई। अन्ततः सिक्किम हिमाली राज्य परिषद पार्टी (सिहिराप) डॉ. एडी सुब्बा अनि पार्टीका दुइ अन्य वरिष्ठ नेतालाई चीफ जुडिशियल म्याजिस्टेड (उत्तर अनि पूर्व),गान्तोकले सत्तारूढ एसडीएफ पार्टीद्वारा 2007 सालमा दर्ता गरिएको मानहानीको मुद्दाबाट मुक्त गरेको छ। यसैगरि तीनै नेताले बेल बोण्डबाट पनि राहत पाएका छऩ्‌। न्यायाधीश प्रज्वल खतिवडाले फसेला सुनाउँदै सिक्किम हिमाली राज्य परिषद पार्टी (एसएचआरपी) का अध्यक्ष डॉ. एडी सुब्बा, महाचिव तारा श्रेष्ठ अनि टीबी ठटाललाई नाम्चेबुङ निर्वाचन क्षेत्रका विधायक बेगबहादुर राई अऩि टी स्टेट वोर्डका अध्यक्ष गगन राईको मानहानी गरेको आरोप लगाउँदै ठोकिएको मुद्दाबाट दोषरहित पाएपछि मुक्त गरेका छन्‌। सीजेएमले सुनवाई सकेपछि डॉ. सुब्बा अऩि उनको पार्टीका नेताहरूलाई लगाइएको आरोप पुष्टि गर्न नसकेको बताउँदै न्यायलयले उनीहरूले गरेको कार्यमा कुनै मानहानी गर्ने उद्देश्य नरहेको बताए। न्यायालयले भनेको छ, राज्यपाललाई चढाइएको ज्ञापनपत्रले कसैको मानहानी हुनसक्दैन। 2007 सालमा सिहिराप पार्टीले राज्यपाललाई सिक्किमको हित र राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षालाई ध्यानमा आवश्यक कार्वाहीको माग गर्दै एउटा ज्ञापन सुम्पेको थियो। उक्त ज्ञापनमा आरोपकर्ताले 2007 को फरवरी अऩि मार्च भित्रमा 25 लाख रूपियॉंको गैरकानुनी हतियार अऩि गोला बारूद आयत गरेर नाम्चीको देबोभको मन्दीर घरमा लुकाएर राखेको उल्लेख गिरएको थियो। ज्ञापनमा 150 वटा बाकसमा एके 47 राइफल, माउसर अऩि साइलेन्सर, ग्रिनेड, इलेक्ट्रोनिक डिटोनेटर, रिभल्वर, पिस्तोल तिस्ता रंगीतको दोभान त्रिवेणीबाट र्‍याफ्टिङमा पार गराएर नाम्ची पुर्‍याइएको उल्लेख गरिएको छ। यसको निम्ति र्‍याफ्टिङ गर्नेहरूलाई 50 हजार रूपियॉं भुक्तान गरिएको बताइएको छ। यसैगरि ज्ञापनमा उक्त आयत गरिएको हात हतियार प्रयोग गर्न सार्प सुटरहरूको पनि व्यवस्था गरिएको जसको प्रयोगमा सिहिराप, सिक्किम प्रदेश कंग्रेस कमिटि, भाजपा सिक्किम एकाई अऩि माकपा सिक्किम राज्य समितिका बरिष्ठ नेताहरूको कुनै पनि समय हत्या हुन सक्ने बताउँदै सार्प सुटर राज्य बाहिरबाट बोलाइएको उल्लेख गरिएको छ। न्यायालयले आफ्नो फसेलामा भनेको छ, आरोप भनेर स्पष्ट रूपमा लेखिएको कुरोलाई भारतीय दंड संहिता 1980 को धारा 499 अन्तर्गत मानहानीको भीत्र पर्दैन।
Planters warn of halt in pay - Parishad tea union to continue embargo


TT, Siliguri, July 28: All 208 tea gardens in the Terai and the Dooars today put up notices, saying it would be difficult for them to disburse wages and rations in the coming weeks if the embargo on the despatch of tea continued.
The Progressive Tea Workers’ Union, the labour wing of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, has been stalling the despatch of tea from gardens since Tuesday to demand a hike in the workers’ daily wage from Rs 67 to Rs 250.
The decision to warn the labourers about a halt in the disbursal of the wages and rations was taken at a meeting convened by the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations — the apex body of garden owners’ forums — in Calcutta today.
“The blockade on tea despatches during the pendency of conciliation proceedings is highly irregular and not in conformity with industrial relations practices. The alarming situation has forced constituent tea gardens of the CCPA to issue notices at the garden level, clearly communicating that unless there is immediate resumption of despatches, the gardens will not be in a position to meet the wages and rations obligations when they are next due,” reads a press release issued by the CCPA in Calcutta today.
Monojit Dasgupta, the secretary general of the association, said the garden owners had sought the intervention of the state government to end the impasse. “The association wrote to the labour commissioner, saying the embargo on the despatch of tea is an infringement on the right of the gardens to function. If the agitation continues, there would be accumulation of processed tea in the gardens and ultimately, the working capital flow to the estates will be choked,” he said over the phone.
Observers say it is yet to see how the warning will influence the course of the agitation. “The workers can well understand that they will not receive wages and rations if the agitation continues. So, the notice might prompt them to mount pressure on the union to lift the embargo. On the contrary, there can be an intensive agitation and law and order problems if the union succeeds in convincing the workers that the agitation is needed to clinch a hike in the wages,” said an observer.
The Parishad union was adamant. “We will not withdraw the agitation unless a decision is reached on the wage demand. If the government wants, it can advance the date of meeting scheduled for August 4 for an early settlement,” said PTWU chairperson Shukra Munda. “The planters’ claim that there will be no money to pay workers does not stand as the wages are given even during the lean season.” 

Assault spurs garden closure

TT, July 28: The Debpara Tea Estate in the Dooars has been closed following a chain of incidents in which managers were allegedly assaulted and paraded with slippers around neck by women workers on Monday.
A notice announcing the suspension of work in the garden from today was issued after some managerial staff members quit their posts yesterday for want of security. The estate has 1,176 permanent labourers
According to estate sources, a group of women workers assaulted the chief manager and assistant manager on July 25 when they asked a homeless woman to vacate the garden crèche.
“Patengi Nayak, a worker, had been staying in the crèche with her children for the past one year after her hut withered away because of lack of maintenance by the management. On Monday, assistant manager Piyush Jha asked Patengi to vacate the crèche immediately,” said a garden official.
Jha told Patengi that she was occupying the crèche illegally and it was meant to keep the babies of women who were engaged in work in the garden. The woman refused to vacate the crèche and told the assistant manger that she had no other place to go. Patengi went to other women workers in the garden and told them about Jha’s instruction.
“The women workers were furious and went to Jha’s office. They assaulted Jha and chief manager Subrata Saha who tried to interfere. Saha told the workers that it was at his insistence that Jha had asked Patengi to vacate the crèche. Later, they put a chain of shoes around Saha’s neck and made him walk till Binnaguri market, located a few kilometres away,” said the official.
After the incident, a section of workers locked two main gates of the garden and confined the management staff to the estate throughout the day.
Yesterday, some managerial staff members tendered their resignations and vacated their houses, saying they were not feeling safe in the garden. This prompted the management to suspend work from today.
Debpara, 50km from Jalpaiguri, is the second garden to be closed in the Dooars. The Dheklapara tea estate has been shut for a few years.
Representatives of the Indian Tea Planters’ Association, of which Debpara is a member, said the management could not resume normal operations after the incident. “After the assault on the two officials and confinement of others, the employees felt insecure and they had no other option but to leave the estate,” said Amitangshu Chakroborty, the secretary of the Dooars branch of the ITPA.
Trade unions, however, blamed the management for the entire episode.
“The management did not arrange any alternative shelter for the worker, whose hut was damaged last year. So, she was forced to stay in the crèche,” said Kanchan Chettri, the garden unit secretary of the Dooars Cha Bagan Workers Union affiliated to the UTUC. “A number of huts in the labour lines are in pitiable condition. There are also pending dues of provident fund and rations.”
The Progressive Tea Workers’ Union, the labour wing of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, spoke on similar lines.
“The management has overlooked several problems faced by labourers. The closure of the estate cannot solve any problem,” said Shukra Munda, the chairperson of the Progressive Union.
“We have written to the district labour department, seeking their intervention to see that the garden is reopened immediately and the problems are taken care of on an emergency basis.”
Green coat for NBSTC buses
TT, Cooch Behar, July 28: The North Bengal State Transport Corporation is set to shed its “old dilapidated look” and go green with a fresh coat of paint on all its buses from next month. Women conductors would also be seen on the buses from August 1.
At a meeting held at the NBSTC headquarters here yesterday, a host of decisions (see chart) were taken to revive the corporation that has been incurring losses in the past few years.
“We have decided that all NBSTC buses would be painted green. A number of such green buses have already been introduced and the remaining (vehicles) would soon be painted to render a fresh look,” said Rabindranath Ghosh, the chairperson of the NBSTC, today.
Asked if the change of colour of the NBSTC vehicles from red to green was because of the Trinamul Congress’s victory in the elections, Ghosh said: “Not for that. Green is good for the eyes. If you look at green colour for a long time, your eyesight will improve.”
According to Ghosh, the corporation had recruited 71 women conductors during the Left Front regime.
“None of them, however, were put on duty in the buses and were kept for official work. We feel that they should be put in the buses to perform the task for which they were recruited,” he said.
At yesterday’s meeting, in which officials from all the depots and offices of the NBSTC were present, it was decided that buses would be introduced on the Siliguri-Dhaka and Cooch Behar-Dhaka routes via Changrabandha.
“Four buses would be pressed into service with one bus leaving everyday for Dhaka from Siliguri and Cooch Behar and vice-versa. NBSTC buses used to ply on 79 routes in Assam, we will reintroduce them shortly. Also buses, in phases, will start running in all other old routes of the state where the services had closed down during the CPM rule,” Ghosh said.
He added that the corporation would buy 200 new vehicles by October and the “city bus” service would be introduced in Cooch Behar from August 1.
From October all employees would receive their salaries on the first day of the month. “We have around 5,000 employees of whom 3,737 are permanent. We need Rs 11 crore every month to pay them. Till now there was no fixed date for the disbursement of the salaries but we have taken this decision. It has also been decided that we would offer voluntary retirement schemes to 350 drivers who are unfit to deliver their duties but are drawing salaries. A proposal in this regard has been sent to the state government,” Ghosh said.
The chairperson said NBSTC would open 10 training schools for driving across north Bengal to generate revenue. “Our drivers would train people thus making an avenue for regular income. The rates of advertisements put on the buses will be revised,” Ghosh said.
Ghosh is hopeful that the corporation will be able to reduce its losses in three years.
“The state pays a subsidy of Rs 6.50 crore every month. We expect that in the first year we can reduce the losses by 20 per cent and by 40 per cent in the next two years,” he said.
Forest raids
TT, Alipurduar: Foresters of Buxa Tiger Reserve raided two houses in Alipurduar and seized illegal timber on Thursday. Rajendra Jakhar, the deputy field director of BTR (west), said the seized timber is worth around Rs 5 lakh. No one was present in the houses when the raids were conducted. Officials said they have collected the details of the house owners and they would soon be arrested.
Mauled
TT, Alipurduar: A garden worker was injured when a leopard attacked her while she was plucking tealeaves in Chuapara estate near Kalchini on Thursday. Namita Oraon was taken to the garden hospital from where she was shifted to Alipurduar subdivisional hospital.
Elephant raid
TT, Alipurduar: Four huts were damaged when a tusker raided Patkapara on Wednesday night. The elephant had entered the village from the nearby Nimati forest.
Fake papers
TT, Alipurduar: The SDO of Alipurduar conducted a raid at Totopara and seized 10 forged backward classes certificates on Wednesday. Amal Kanti Roy, the BDO, said Indrajit Roy of Totopara was issuing the fake certificates against money. Police are looking for Roy.