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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hill team demands bill changes - Morcha leaders meet chief secretary, raise objections to clauses in GTA bill ... Illegal timber glare on gardens ...BRO promises to fast-track highway repair.. Metro call for rock stars - Bangalore & Mumbai on itinerary.. Vacant house raiders caught...Anti-Gorkhaland bodies oppose area inclusion...इन्दिरा गान्धीबाट ताम्र पत्र पाउने लालबहादुर ओझलमा 'हाम्रा बाजेलाई कसैले पनि नभुलिदिउन्‌'....फेरबदल गरिएको जीटीएको खेस्रा मोर्चाको पक्षमा नरहेको स्टडी फोरमको दाबी...कालेबुङमा इद-उल-फितर पालन...नाचेर पालन गरिन्‌ महिलाहरूले तीज

Hill team demands bill changes - Morcha leaders meet chief secretary, raise objections to clauses in GTA bill  
Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri (left) and spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri on their way to meet chief secretary Samar Ghosh at Writers’ on Wednesday. Telegraph picture
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 31: A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha delegation today met the chief secretary at Writers’ Buildings to point out clauses in the Darjeeling hill bill to which it had objections and sought his intervention to get them altered. 
Morcha MLA and spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri, who was part of the delegation that met chief secretary Samar Ghosh, said the preamble of the bill should have mentioned that “ethnic factor” was one of the reasons for the creation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration for the hills. 
He claimed that Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill was “unclear” about the financial independence of the new body and the repeated reference to the new authority as the GTA Sabha, diluted the status of the GTA. 
He also said the bill should not have mentioned “incompetence” as one of the reasons that empowered the state government to supersede the new administrative set-up for the Darjeeling hills. 
Emerging from the meeting with the chief secretary, Chhetri said there was “no question” of getting into a confrontation with the government on these issues and the Morcha was “satisfied” with the interaction with Ghosh. 
“We sit on the treasury benches so there is no question of getting into a confrontation with the government,” Chhetri, the MLA from Kalimpong, said. “The government is ready to bring about amendments to resolve the matter, so everything should work out fine. We will make a written submission regarding our objections to the bill tomorrow.” 
Elaborating on the party’s objections, Chhetri said: “The preamble of the bill states that the objective is to bring about socio-economic and linguistic development of the people. But ethnicity is a major issue and there is no mention of it.” 
The Morcha also believes the bill is not clear about the financial powers of the GTA and does not “adequately reflect” mention of this in the tripartite agreement signed between the Centre, the state and the hill party on July 18. 
“The GTA does not appear to have been given as much financial powers as we had expected. The bill gives an impression that we have to go to Calcutta every time we want a project to be sanctioned. We should be allowed to envisage a project and clear it as well without having to run to Writers’ all the time. 
“Also, the bill clearly states that the GTA has the power to recruit people but is not so clear on the authority to create posts.” 
The Morcha also said the word “incompetent” should not have been mentioned while empowering the government to supersede the new hill set-up. 
“How can the state government judge whether an elected member is incompetent or not? It is the people who will elect the members and only they can say whether a body is incompetent or not,” said Chhetri. 
The Morcha also believes that the bill is self-contradictory in certain aspects. 
“Section 66 states that the GTA can frame rules, but Section 67 says the state government can also frame rules for the GTA. We believe that this section provides for overlapping of powers, which we don’t want as the GTA is supposed to be an autonomous body,” said Chhetri. 
He said the Morcha had serious objections to the quorum for the GTA Sabha. 
“The normally accepted quorum for any body is one third of its members. However, in the GTA they have fixed the quorum at more than 50 per cent. This is not acceptable to us,” Chhetri said. 
The Morcha also objected to the “repeated use” of the word “Sabha” while referring to the GTA. 
“The bill gives the impression that the GTA is only a ‘sabha’ as if it is a local body and not an administrative set-up,” said Chhetri. For the Morcha, the GTA is a stepping stone to statehood. So the frequent use of “sabha” in the bill undermines the status of the GTA, the party feels. 
Chief secretary Ghosh refused comment on the objections. 
“The bill is with the Assembly now. The Morcha did raise some concerns, but it is up to the legislature to address them,” he said. 
Home secretary G. D. Gautama said the option of amendment was open though he wasn’t sure if the government was going to introduce any changes. 
Government chief whip Sobhandev Chattopadhyay said decisions on amendments to the bill were yet to be taken. “If there are any changes that need to be made, they can be made. We will do it in consultation with the Morcha,” said Chattopadhyay.
GTA Bill runs into trouble - Bill deviates from agreement, says GJMM
SNS, KOLKATA/DARJEELING, 31 AUG: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill 2011, which is scheduled to be placed in the Assembly on Friday to pave the way for creation of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), has run into rough weather after the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) leaders raised several questions over the draft of the Bill.
GJMM leaders, including Mr Roshan Giri and Mr Harka Bahadur Chhetri, today met the chief secretary, Mr Samar Ghosh and made known their grievances over the Bill. The GJMM leaders also said they discussed the issue with Mr Partha Chatterjee, the state commerce and industries minister.
After the meeting with the chief secretary at Writers' Buildings, Mr Roshan Giri said there are discrepancies in the Bill when it is compared with the contents of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) which was signed between the GJMM, the state government and the Centre in Sukna near Siliguri in July. "As per the MOA, the GTA was supposed to be delegated financial, administrative and executive power. But, the Bill that has been circulated among the MLAs states that only executive power would be delegated to the GTA, which is a clear shift from the MOA, " said Mr Giri.
He also added that the MOA states that if 17 members of the 50-member GTA attends a meeting, decisions could be taken or approved. "But the Bill states that no decision could be taken by the GTA if less than 26 members attend the meeting. This is also a clear shift from the MOA. This apart, the ethnic identity of the Gorkhas was not mentioned in the Bill," he added.
The GJMM leaders said they have raised all these issues during the meeting with the chief secretary and the chief secretary has assured them that the state would try to rectify these issues.
Meanwhile, senior state government officials said members of the Assembly have every right to oppose any part of the Bill and that is the reason why it is circulated among the MLAs in advance so that they can raise their points during the discussion on the Bill in the Assembly. As the Bill has already been circulated among the members of the Assembly, the final call on the Bill would be taken by the House itself.
They also said after the MOA was signed more than a month ago, it has been translated into the Bill. The Bill has been prepared by the state judicial department in consultation with the state home department. As the language of the MOA and the Bill is different, it might be misinterpreted, said officials.
Mr Samar Ghosh, the chief secretary, said, "The Bill is now the property of the Assembly and I won't be able to comment on that. I had a discussion with the GJMM leaders and they have drawn the state's attention in some areas."
Speaking in Darjeeling, the Kalimpong MLA and GJMM spokesperson, Dr Harkha Bahdur Chettri, said the word “Sabha” is used in the name of the new body in the Bill, of which no mention was made in the MOA. “It is clearly mentioned in the MOA that the autonomous body for the Hills shall be called the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. However in the Bill the nomenclature is given as the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha. There was no need to add the word Sabha. We are not happy over this.”
“Regarding the powers to be transferred in the new body, it has only been vested with executive powers in the Bill on GTA. The words financial and executive has been removed,” said Dr Chettri. The party is also seeking  the views of legal experts in this regard. The other provision in the Bill that has been opposed by the GJMM is nomination of members to the GTA’s executive body “Whereas it is stated in the agreement that the executive body of the council will have a chief executive who will  nominate 14 members as executive members from the 50 elected/nominated GTA members, the Bill says only twelve members will be nominated by the chief executive and the other two will be nominated by the Governor,” added Dr Chettri.

Morcha unhappy with clauses in GTA Bill
TNN , Sep 1, 2011: KOLKATA: Unhappy with the way the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill 2011 has been framed, a delegation of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called on chief secretary Samar Ghosh at Writers' Buildings on Wednesday and told him about their objections. The Bill has already been circulated in the assembly and will be placed for discussion on Friday.
The GJM said that there are several discrepancies between the Bill and the memorandum of agreement signed on July 18, and asked for amendments before the Bill comes up for discussion.
The GJM team - comprising Roshan Giri and MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri - that met Ghosh and parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee was advised to place their demands and objections in writing. Chhetri said that the objections will be placed on Thursday.
The Bill will pave the way for the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) in Darjeeling, but there are at least four to five key areas which GJM is objecting to. While the Bill mentions socio-economic and linguistic development of the Hills, there is no mention of the ethnicity of the Gorkhas, which is a very sensitive and perhaps the main issue for the people in the Hills.
The Bill also mentions that the state government can supersede the GTA if it feels it is not functioning properly and this is where the GJM thinks the autonomous nature of the GTA will be compromised.
Also, the agreement mentioned transfer of financial, administrative and executive power to the GTA, but the Bill only mentions of executive power, he said. "Even there, it is not too definitive," he said. According to the Bill, the GTA will only be able to appoint people, but won't be allowed to create posts, said Chhetri. Even the financial power is not specified which leads to the impression that they have to rush to Kolkata every time they need a clearance.
The Bill mentions that the state along with the GTA will have the power to make rules and regulations, which, the GJM feels, is "unnecessary overlapping".
There is also trouble over the nomination of members. While the agreement mentions 14 persons will be nominated by the chief executive of the GTA and one by the governor, the Bill mentions the figures as 12 and two.
According to Roshan Giri, the word "sabha" has been used to indicate the GTA, and the Morcha has objection to that as well. Chhetri said the mention of the word 'sabha' belittles the GTA and does not give it due importance.
Chhetri had earlier said that the state government has introduced a number of controls through the backdoor which had hampered the notion of the autonomy.
The state government though, lobbed the ball in the court of the assembly. The chief secretary Samar Ghosh said: "The GJM has drawn my attention to some issues they have objections to. However, I have nothing to do in this regard. The assembly will decide." Home secretary G D Gautama, who also handles the hills affairs department, said: "The Bill has been circulated among MLAs and the GJM has some objections.
They feel that the language of the Bill does not correctly reflect the agreement and the assembly will take the call.
Chhetri made it clear that GJM was not in a hurry to get the Bill passed in the assembly in its current form. "We have on our shoulder the burden to fulfil the aspirations of the people of the hills."
According to government chief whip Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, GJM can move amendments to the bill during discussion on September 2, the government may adopt them if these are acceptable. Or else, the government can move the amendments, but in that case there must be a prior understanding between the government and GJM on the changes. In case the Bill is not passed on September 2, or else referred to the standing committee, its passage could be delayed till the next winter session as Friday is the last day of the current session.
इन्दिरा गान्धीबाट ताम्र पत्र पाउने लालबहादुर ओझलमा
'हाम्रा बाजेलाई कसैले पनि नभुलिदिउन्‌'
हे वीर बालक हो, जातिलाई सुधार
हिम्मत गरी अघि बढ़ी बैरीलाई लघार
मौका हेरी लाभ उठाई देशको गर उद्धार
तब होला हाम्रो जातिको सुधार
हे वीर बालक हो, अब हिम्मत नहार
सबै मिली अघि बढ़ी जय हिन्द पुकार, जय हिन्द पुकार.....
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 29 अगस्त: देशमा भित्रिएर देशवासीलाई शासन र शोषण गर्ने अङ्‌ग्रेजी शासनको विरूद्ध नेताजी आजाद हिन्द फौजमा रामसिंह ठकुरीको यो गीत लामबद्ध भई गाउने अनि देशलाई स्वाधीन पार्न योगदान गर्ने सिन्देबुङका स्वाधीनता सेनानी लालबहादुर बस्नेतलाई आफ्नैहरूबाट ओझेल हुन्छु भन्ने कुरा थाहा थिएन। आज स्वाधीनता सेनानी लालबहादुर बस्नेतको दुइ नाती अनि एक बुहारीले बाजे अनि ससुरालाई कसैले पनि अहिलेसम्म सम्झना नगरेकोमा आफूहरू दुःखी रहेको बताएपछि स्वाधीनता सेनानीलाई पुज्नेहरूबीच एक महत प्रश्न खड़ा भएको छ। स्वाधीनता सेनानीको रूपमा केवल जङ्गबीर सापकोटा, दलबहादुर गिरी, दुर्गा मल्ललाई मात्र चिन्ने अनि पूजा गर्ने तर अन्य सेनानीहरूलाई भने ओझेलमा पार्ने परम्परा कालेबुङ भित्रभित्रै बॉंचिरहेको सत्य आज अघि आएको छ।
कोही सेनानीलाई काख, कोही सेनानीलाई पाखा पार्ने परम्परा हुर्काउनेहरूबीच अब गम्भीर प्रश्न खड़ा भएको छ, के स्वाधीनता सेनानी पनि साना र ठूला हुन्छन्‌ र? के सेनानीहरूको योगदान बराबर होइन र? त्यसो हो भने किन अन्य सेनानीहरूलाई भने कालेबुङमा जहिल्यै पनि भूल्ने गरिएको हो त? यस्तो प्रश्न उठेको छ लालबहादुर बस्नेतलाई अहिलेसम्म ओझेलमा राखिएको तिनको परिवारको गुनासोले।
परिवार अनुसार कालेबुङमा 15 अगस्तको दिन स्वाधीनता सेनानीहरूलाई सम्झना गर्ने गरिन्छ। तर लालबहादुर बस्नेत बितेपछि तिनलाई सबैले चटक्क बिर्सिदिएका छन्‌। यसरी बिर्सिदिँदा परिवारलाई लालबहादुर बस्नेत स्वाधीनता सेनानी हो कि होइनन्‌ भन्ने कुराले सधैँ पिरलो पार्ने गरेको छ।
शुरूमा अङ्‌ग्रेज पल्टनमा भर्ना भएका लालबहादुर बस्नेत अङ्‌ग्रेजकै विरूद्ध नेताजी सुवासचन्द्र बोसको आजाद हिन्द फौजमा भर्ना भएका थिए। त्यसबेला भारतीय राष्ट्रिय सैनिकमा दार्जीलिङ खरसाङ अनि कालेबुङका एघाह्र जना गोर्खाहरू पनि थिए। उनीहरूमा कृष्णबहादुर सुनुवार, तेजबहादुर सुब्बा, लाखमान लिम्बू, तारसिंह लेप्चा, भीमबहादुर खड्का, सित्तल छेत्री, भैरवसिंह लामा, डिकबीर लामा, भीमबहादुर छेत्री, भक्तबहादुर छेत्री अनि लालबहादुर बस्नेत रहेका थिए। नेताजी बोसले आजाद हिन्द फौज गठन गरिसकेका थिए जसले गुञ्जाएको इन्क्लाब जिन्दावादको नाराले तानेर लालबहादुर बस्नेतलाई पनि देशको निम्ति लड्ने योद्धाको रूपमा निर्माण गरेको थियो। 1943 मा सिङ्गापूरलाई जापानले कब्जा गरेपछि लालबहादुर बस्नेतले अङ्‌ग्रेजी पल्टन त्यागेर आजाद हिन्द फौजमा स्वयं सेवकको रूपमा भर्ना लिएका थिए। ताकतले भ्याइञ्जेल तिनी यसै फौजमा रहे अनि 15 अगस्त 1947 को दिन भारत स्वाधीन भयो। भारत स्वाधीन गर्नमा लालबहादुर बस्नेतको पसिनाको पनि योगदान थियो। अहिले स्वाधीन भएको 65औं वर्ष बित्यो। देश स्वाधीन भएको जति वर्ष बित्दै गयो त्यसरी नै बिर्सँदै गयो लालबहादुर बस्नेतलाई पनि। तिनको परिवारले बाजे जिउँदो हुँदा मात्र सबैले कदर गरेको तिनको मृत्युपछि भने सबैले बेवास्ता गरेको गुनासो गरेको छ।
लालबहादुर बस्नेतले देशको निम्ति दिएको योगदानको कदर गर्दै 15 अगस्त 1972 को दिन इन्दिरा गान्धीले ताम्रपत्र प्रदान गरेकी थिइन्‌। ताम्रपत्र प्रापक तिनै सेनानीलाई भने कालेबुङको हरेक 15 अगस्तमा बिर्सिदिएको गुनासो परिवारको रहेको छ। लालबहादुरका नाती सन्दिप बस्नेतले सरकारले पनि बाजेको योगदानको कदर नगरेको अनि कालेबुङवासीले पनि बिर्सिदिएको गुनासो गरे। सन्दिपले भने, बाजेका दुइ छोराहरू छन्‌ एकजना भोटाङमा छन्‌ भने एकजना लापत्ता छन्‌।
लापत्ता रहेका लालबहादुर बस्नेतका छोराकै आफू छोरा रहेको बताउँदै सन्दिपले भने, मेरो बाबा समाजले बाजेको कदर नगरेको कारण नै डिप्रेसनले भौतारिएको हो कि भन्ने हामीलाई लागेको छ। तिनले आफ्नो पिता 2000 सालदेखि नै कालेबुङबाट हराएको बताए। अर्का नाती शङ्‌कर बस्नेतले पनि भने, स्वाधीनता सेनानीको परिवारले पाउन पर्ने सहुलियत हामीले पाएनौं तर यसमा हामीलाई दुःख लागेको छैन, दुःख लागेको छ भने अरू स्वाधीनता सेनानी सम्झना हुँदा हाम्रो बाजेलाई किन सबैले बिर्सिदिन्छन्‌ भन्ने कुरामा लागेको छ। सेनानी बस्नेतको बुहारी चन्द्रकला बस्नेतले भनिन्‌, बाबा जिउँदो हुँदा सबैले उनको कदर गर्थे। उनी बितेपछि सबैले चटक्क बिर्सिदिँदा हामी छक्क परिरहेका छौं। हामी चाहन्छौं अरू सेनानीको सम्झना गर्दा स्वाधीनता सेनानी लालबहादुर बस्नेतको पनि सम्झना गरियोस्‌।
फेरबदल गरिएको जीटीएको खेस्रा मोर्चाको पक्षमा नरहेको स्टडी फोरमको दाबी
नोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 29 अगस्त: हस्ताक्षरित जीटीएको खेस्रामा केन्द्रिय कानून मन्त्रालयबाट फर्किएपछि धेरै कुरा यताउता भएकोमा मोर्चा सन्तुष्ट छैन। हस्ताक्षर गरिएको खेस्रा अनि कानून मन्त्रालयबाट फर्किएर राज्य सरकारकोमा आइपुगेको खेस्रामा आकास पातालको फरक रहेको शंका मोर्चाको स्टडी फोरमले गरेको आशय आज कालेबुङ आइपुगेका स्टडी फोरमका सदस्य अमर राईले बताएका छन्‌। तिनले भने, के के फेरबदल भएको छ, हामीले विस्तृतरूपमा हेर्न पाएका छैनौं, तर फरबदल भने भएको कुरा हामीले थाहा पाएका छौं। हामीले ठानेका थियौं कि जुन सम्झौता भयो त्यसमा राज्य अनि केन्द्र सरकार राजी छ तर अहिले बील पारित हुनमा धेरै बाधा गर्ने विषय खेस्रामा रहेको कुरा अघि आएको छ। हामीले थाहा पाएसम्म अहिले विधायकहरूको हातमा आएको खेस्रामा सरकारी नियन्त्रण राखिएको छ जो हाम्रो पक्षमा छैन। तिनले अझ के भनेका छन्‌ भने जीटीएलाई अटोनमी दिएको छ तर त्यसमा सरकारी नियन्त्रण रहने हो भने अटोनमीको अर्थ रहँदैन। तिनले भने, अहिले विधायकहरूको दौडधुप चलिरहेको छ।
कानून विशेषज्ञहरूसित भेटेर व्यापक छानबिन गर्ने काम भइरहेको छ। तिनले बताए अनुसार दुइदिन अघि मात्र विधायकहरूको हातमा खेस्रा दिएकोले मोर्चाको स्टडी फोरमले त्यसमाथि छलफल गर्न पाएको छैन। तिनले भने, निक्कै विवादास्पद कुरा अघि आइरहेको छ, बीललाई लिएर पार्टीको स्ट्याण्ड के हुन्छ भन्न साह्रो छ। फोरमका सदस्य राईले के पनि शंका गरेका छन्‌ भने विधानसभाको ग्रीष्मकालीन सत्रको अन्तिम दिन फेरबदल गरिएको बील ल्याएर ममताको सरकारले हतार गरेर पारित गराउने सोंचेको हुनसक्छ। किन भने हतारसाथ विधायकहरूको हातमा खेस्रा दिइएको छ अनि अहिले विधायकहरूले कानून विशेषज्ञहरू लगाएर त्यसलाई अध्ययन गर्ने काम गरिरहेका छन्‌। मोर्चासित हातमा समय छैन। यता पेरबदल गरिएका विषयहरू मोर्चाको पक्ष वा त जनताको पक्षमा छैन। यसकारण विधायकहरूले हातमा नै छ कि बील पारित गराइनुपर्ने हो अथवा होइन। तिनले महिनादिन अघि नै सम्झौता भइसकेको जीटीएको खेस्रालाई सदनको अन्तिम दिन आपातकालीन अवस्थामा फेरबदलसहित बीलकोरूपमा ल्याइनु शंकास्पद रहेको आफूहरूले ठानेको पनि बताएका छन्‌। यसरी ढिलो अनि फेरबदल गरि सदनमा जीटीएको बील ल्याइनुलाई तृणमूल पार्टीको राजनैतिक इच्छाशक्ति रहेको पनि राईले बताए।
अर्कोतिर स्टडी फोरम कै सदस्य विनोद प्रकाश शर्माले जीटीए मोर्चाले मागेको विषय नरहेको कुरा बताए। तिनले भने, हामीले त देश, काल र परिस्थिति अनुसार सरकारले दिएको सुझाउलाई मानिलिएका मात्र हौं। तिनले सम्झौता भइसकेपछि फेरि बील पारित गर्ने बेला खेस्रामा धेरै विषयहरू छुटेकोले असमाञ्जस्यता उपार्जन गरेको पनि बताए। तिनले भने, अहिले विधायकहरू लागिपरेका छन्‌, यसलाई स्टडी फोरमले कसरी निर्क्यौल गर्ने हो त्यसबारे मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङसित बैठक गरेर निर्णय लिइनेछ। स्मरणीय कुरा के छ भने गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले छुट्टै राज्यको आन्दोलन गर्दा गर्दै राज्य र केन्द्र सरकारका शीर्षस्थ नेताहरूले दिएको सुझाव मान्दै पहिले विकास गर्ने अनि त्यसपछि राज्य माग्ने कुरामा सहमति दिएको थियो। मोर्चा, राज्य सरकार अनि केन्द्र सरकारको सहमतिपछि नै जीटीएको बीलमा हस्ताक्षर गर्ने काम भएको थियो। अहिले सम्झौता गरिएको खेस्रा र बीलकोरूपमा आएको जीटीएको खेस्रामा व्यापक हेरफेर भएकोले मोर्चा नै असमञ्जमा परेको छ।
कालेबुङमा इद-उल-फितर पालन
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 29 अगस्त: कालेबुङमा मुश्लिम समुदायले आज इद-उल-फितर पालन गरे। अन्जुमन इस्लामियाको आयोजनामा ठाकुरबाडीस्थित मस्जिदमा कालेबुङ, पेदोङ, अलगढा, लाभा अनि टिस्टा मल्लीका मुश्लिम समुदायहरू भेला भएर एकार्कामा अंगालो मारेर प्रेम अनि भाइचाराको सन्देश आदान प्रदान गरे। इद-उल फितरलाई मुश्लिम समुदायले मात्र होइन अन्य धर्मावलम्बीहरूले पनि पर्वकोरुपमा पालन गर्ने गरेका छन्‌। आज पनि मुश्लिम समुदायहरूसित नै अन्य धर्मावलम्बीहरूले पनि इद-उल फितर पालन गरेका थिए। एक महिनादेखि नै रमजानको परिवेश कालेबुङमा छाएको थियो। रमजानको महिनालाई मुश्लिम समुदायका मानिसहरूले पवित्र महिनाको रूपमा मान्ने गरेका छन्‌ भने उनीहरू अनुसार हजरत मुहम्मद अल्लाहले आकाशबाट वाणी गरेर कुरानको जन्म भएको मान्ने गरेका छन्‌। यसै महिनादेखि नै उनीहरूले रोजा अथवा वर्त एक महिनासम्म पालन गर्ने गरेका छन्‌।
आज एक महिनादेखि गरेको व्रत खोल्दै मुश्लिम समदायले आकापासमा भाइचाराको सन्देश बॉंडे। आज मस्जिदमा सबै मिलेर नामाज पाठ पनि गरे जसको शुरूवात हापिस मञ्जरुल आलमले गरेका थिए। यसै अवसरमा मौलाना सिजगले इदबारे सबैलाई अवगत गराए। अन्जुमन स्लामियाका सचिव अमन चिस्तीले यस पर्वमा सामेल भएर प्रेम र भाइचाराको निम्ति सहभागी हुने सबैलाई कामना पनि व्यक्त गरे।
नाचेर पालन गरिन्‌ महिलाहरूले तीज
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 29 अगस्त: नेपालमा झैं नेपाली भाषी गोर्खाहरूले भारतमा हर्षोल्लासपूर्ण तीज पालन गरेको प्रायः नदेखिए पनि विस्तारै तीज पर्व घरबाट निस्केर आगनमा आइपुगेको छ। अघि अघि तीज त पालन गरिन्थ्यो तर यसरी सबै भेला भएर रमाइलो हुने गरी पालन गरिएको थिएन-ठाकुरवाडी मन्दिरमा भेला भएकी स्थानीय एक महिलाले यसो भनिन्‌। लगभग तीस चालिस जना महिलाहरू भेला भएर नाचगान गर्दै रमाइलो गरिरहेकी एक महिलाले अझ भनिन्‌, तीनवर्षमा माइत घर आएकी हुँ सिक्किमबाट। साथीभाईहरूसित यसरी भेटेर खुशी लागेको छ। तीज पर्व चेलीहरूको जीवनमा महत्वपूर्ण रहेको छ। चेली माइतीबीचको प्रगाड माया, लोग्नेको निम्ति कामना अनि सुख शान्तिको निम्ति हामीले व्रत गरेका हौं। अर्की एउटीले पनि भनिन्‌, केही वर्षदेखि यसरी कालेबुङमा महिलाहरू बेला भएर यो पर्व पालन गर्ने परम्पराको विकास भइरहेको छ। हामीलाई आशा छ यसले विशालरूप लिने छ। ठाकुरबाडी मन्दिरमा विहानदेखि नै पुजापाठ गर्ने महिलाहरूको भीड देखिएको थियो भने स्थानीय गणेश मन्दिरमा पनि महिलाहरूले पुजापाठ गरे। अर्कोतिर कालेबुङको हाटबजार व्यापारी सङ्गठनले पनि गणेश मन्दिरमा तीज पर्व पालन गरेको थियो।
Illegal timber glare on gardens 
TT, Alipurduar, Aug. 31: Forest minister Hiten Barman has ordered his department to file complaints against directors of tea gardens if illegal timber was seized from their plantations. It is not clear if the directive has already come into effect as till date complaints have been lodged only against individuals in whose homes the timber was found. In the past 15 days illegal timber worth more than Rs 5 lakh was seized from Chinchula, Bhatpara, Atiabari, Haldibari and Bhatkhawa gardens in the Buxa Tiger Reserve. 
Eight persons accused of smuggling the timber have fled the area. According to officials, if timber is seized from an individual, then a complaint is filed against that person. But most often, foresters recover illegal wood from near tea bushes. In these cases, no complaints can be lodged. 
“I have instructed the divisional forest officials to start cases against the directors of the gardens from where illegal timber is seized. 
We will invite the owners of the Dooars gardens for a meeting soon where we make our decision clear,” Barman said. Samir Majumdar, an assistant prosecutor in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Alipurduar, said the garden management could be booked on two aspects: physical possession and conscious possession. 
“In physical possession, the smuggled wood might be found in a person’s home. In conscious possession, it has to be seen if the garden owner or the management was aware of the existence of the smuggled goods on its grounds,” said Majumdar. Rajendra Jakhar, the deputy field director of the Buxa reserve, confirmed that he had received the new directive. 
“The forest minister has asked us to file complaints against the directors of the companies of the tea gardens from where timber is seized. We will act on it as soon as possible.” Amitangshu Chakroborty, the adviser to the Indian Tea Planters’ Association (ITPA), Jalpaiguri, said the garden directors had nothing to do with timber smuggling and complaints should not be filed against them. “If illegal timber is seized from a garden, the company can do nothing. 
The managers are busy with their own work and it is not possible for them to keep track of illegal timbers. If anybody is found guilty then the foresters should take action against that particular person instead of lodging a case against the garden directors,” he said. Sajal Biswas, the manager of Tashati tea estate, said: “Legal proceedings against garden directors is meaningless. The foresters should file complaints against individuals from whom timber is seized. The owners have nothing to do with it.” 
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KalimNews: Civic strike in Darjeeling withdrawn.
An unidentified body is recovered by Rangpo police.
BRO promises to fast-track highway repair
RAJEEV RAVIDAS,TT, Kalimpong, Aug. 31: Permanent work on potholed stretches of NH31A damaged in the rains will start this weekend and a smooth ride is expected by the end of September, the Border Roads Organisation has said. Officials of the BRO said they would also speed up the widening work on the highway that is already going on A source in the BRO, which maintains the road linking Siliguri to Kalimpong and Gangtok, said there are plans to create three diversions on NH31A so that vehicles can avoid stretches that are prone to landslides and sink zones and populated areas.

“We will construct a 490 metre-long viaduct near Lohapool,” said the source. Once the bridge is built, vehicles can avoid the Lohapool village, a congested area that is prone to sinking.
The viaduct and a proposal to construct a new road from Reang to Ravi Jhora are awaiting clearance from the union ministry of forest and environment, officials said.

“The Reang-Ravi Jhora diversion will be about 16-18km long and it would be on a higher but (a more) stable gradient. Which means the distance between the two points will increase by about 10km since the length of the existing alignment is 8km,” said the source.

Although the route will be longer, but the new stretch will avoid the two major landslide-prone zones at 27 Mile and Likhubhir.
Officials said vehicles would also ply the existing stretch after the new road is constructed.
“There is also a proposal for a 1.4km diversion to avoid the narrow stretch at Melli Bazar, which is a very busy area,” the BRO official added.
Sources said all craters along the highway will be filled up in about three weeks.
“We will fill up all the potholes along the highway between Teesta and Rangpo from September 3 to 10 and cover the stretch between the Coronation bridge and Teesta from September 10 to 20,” said the source.
The BRO had taken up patchwork in many parts of the highway during the monsoons.
But no major repair started during the rainy season.
“Once the potholes are filled up, dense bitumen macadam (blacktopping) work will be carried out on the Reang-Teesta stretch sometime in October. The work will be undertaken by a private firm to whom we have outsourced the job,” said the source.
The BRO has already started widening the highway to ensure two-way movement of vehicles throughout the stretch that runs from the Coronation Bridge to Gangtok.
“We have started road widening work at three-four points on the highway. The work will have to be carried out at 13 different places totalling about a 3-3.5km (stretch),” said the source.
Most of the places where such work would be carried out are between Melli and Rangpo.
“We have already sounded the police on the road widening work and have sought their help in managing the traffic as and when required. While widening the road, some traffic disruption will take place and it is always wise to put a plan in place to regulate vehicles,” said the source. 
Metro call for rock stars - Bangalore & Mumbai on itinerary
TT, Gangtok, Aug. 31:Sikkim rock band Girish N The Chronicles (GnC) is set to scorch the night clubs in Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune from tomorrow during a month-long tour. < 
The band is headed by Girish Pradhan, who emerged as the champion of the Indian leg of Yamaha Asian Beat 2011 in Bangalore on Saturday. He will be touring the metros with other members of the band — Yogesh Pradhan (bass guitar), Suraz Karki (lead guitar) and Nagen Mongrati (drums). 
Girish and the team will perform at Hard Rock Café outlets in Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai. They will also stage a performance at Blue Frog in Mumbai. 
“All the band members have reached Bangalore and their programme will start tomorrow. The GnC will be taking a three-day break and come back to Sikkim to headline the final of Pang Lhabsol festival at Rabongla in South Sikkim on September 12,” said band manager Shyam Pradhan. 
“The tour is being managed by a Bangalore-based event management company. We usually believe that rock music is dominant in the Northeast only. But in southern and western parts also, rock music is popular and has a bigger platform. 
The GnC is the only band from Sikkim to have been invited to play in these areas. It will be a platform to showcase their talents to a bigger audience and it means bigger opportunities in future,” said Pradhan. The Gangtok-based rock outfit has already performed all over India and won an award in the 2010 Summer Music Fest at Montenegro, Europe. The GnC was the only Indian band that took part in this international music festival. 
“Having won the Indian leg of Yamaha Asian Beat 2011 in the final at Kyra amphitheatre in Bangalore on August 27, Girish is now eligible to participate in the continental level final in Seoul on November 14,” said band bassist-cum-sound engineer Yogesh Pradhan. The 25-year-old Girish said reaching the continental final was not his final aim. 
“It is just the beginning of a world tour, which I used to dream about when I was introduced to rock music in my childhood days. The hills are full of talents and we can prove ourselves at international levels,” he said over phone from Bangalore. Girish was in Class VII when he staged his first solo performance. 
“Undoubtedly, my hard work and passion for music brought me to this level and credit also goes to my parents, friends and fans for their blessings and support,” added Girish. The GnC lead vocalist participated in the final of Yamaha Asian Beat with his side band Silver Tears, based in Guwahati. Girish will play in Seoul with the same band. 
“The GnC did not participate in the qualifying round as the other band members were busy preparing for their debut full-length album,” said Yogesh. Tomorrow’s Bangalore event will be the 50th performance of the band this year. 
Vacant house raiders caught
Items recovered from gang members in Siliguri on Wednesday. (Kundan Yolmo
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 31: Police today claimed that they had busted a gang which used to break into vacant houses in and around Champasari in Siliguri and take away home appliances and other articles.
Four persons were arrested and a number of items, ranging from utensils to LCD televisions, were recovered from them in raids conducted by the Pradhannagar police in the past three days. They had allegedly targeted at least 10 houses in the past one month. Amit P.Javalgi, the additional superintendent of police, Siliguri, said today Nandu Rangchand, Gangey Kisku, Sunil Dubey and Raju Roy had been picked up three days back.  
“Acting on a tip-off, we picked up the gang members from different areas of Pradhannagar. Nandu and Gangey are residents of Salbari, while the other two are from Pokaijote and Samarnagar near Champasari. We have recovered four television sets, two DVD players, two water pumps, several brass articles, sanitary fittings, other utensils and four bicycles, all stolen from different houses,” said Javalgi.
He said the seized items were worth around Rs 3 lakh. The police are probing if more members are involved in the racket. “The quartet could be tracked after we conducted raids in a number of locations and collected information from various people. The four men seem to be a part an organised criminal racket and we are trying to find out whether more people are involved in the robberies.” 
Elaborating on the modus operandi of the gang members, the ASP said they would target houses which were found locked from outside. “The members used to survey localities during day time and spot houses which are locked from outside. They would break open these houses at night and steal electronic items and utensils. Among the arrested, Gangey is known to have expertise in breaking locks,” said Javalgi.  
The police are trying to trace the people who had bought the stolen items from the robbers. “There are some people who would keep the items with themselves and sell them later. Our men are now trying to find them,” said the ASP. “As the Durga Puja is only a month away, we have plans to carry out more raids to arrest miscreants to curb thefts and snatching.” The police will also form special teams to keep a watch in busy commercial areas during the festival season. 
Anti-Gorkhaland bodies oppose area inclusion
SNS, SILIGURI, 31 AUG: The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad and eight other anti-Gorkhaland groups would jointly resist the proposed survey in the Terai and Dooars over the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha’s territorial demand.
The leaders of the newly-formed forum, the Dooars-Terai United Movement Committee, are now busy formulating strategies to counter the state government’s move to identify areas in the region vis-à-vis the GJMM claim. The first meeting of the joint land survey committee was held in Kolkata yesterday.
Notably, the GJMM leaders have submitted a list of 196 moujas in the Terai and 196 moujas in the Dooars to the state government, demanding their inclusion under the GTA jurisdiction.
Sources said the panel would publish notification in the newspapers, inviting applications in favour of the proposed transfer of the additional areas and also objections against the proposal. The locals would have to send their views on the matter to the committee’s office in Kolkata or to the district magistrate’s offices in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri or to the Siliguri SDO office within a stipulated time following the publication of the notification.
The committee would conduct hearing on the subject after receiving the locals’ views, the sources said. The committee has asked the director of the Census Board to furnish data-based details of the demographic positions in the region as based on the Census 2011 report.
The ABAVP state general secretary, Mr Tej Kumar Toppo, said: “We would oppose any move that would be based on the Census report, 2011. We would demand that the 1951 Census report should be taken as the base for the identification of the areas spread across the Terai-Dooars. It is well-known that taking advantage of certain clauses in the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty, the Nepali-speaking migrants have swamped the demographic equations in their favour in a number of areas across the region.”
The Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee president, Dr Mukunda Majumder, said they would paralyse life in the Terai-Dooars if the panel would go ahead with any survey on the ethnically sensitive matter. The Terai-Dooars Nagarik Mancha convenor, Mr Larry Bose, said  they would move to Calcutta High Court soon to stall the proceedings regarding the matter. “Any attempt to transfer tribal land is against the law of the land and unconstitutional,” he said.  
Plea to army to wall off water tanks- Management to be booked if smuggled wood is found on tea estates

TT, Siliguri, Aug. 31: Environmentalists have urged the forest department and the army to take joint measures to prevent the recurrence of elephants falling into water reservoirs near the field ordinance depot at Bengdubi.  
The nature lovers said the army should erect fences or build walls around the reservoirs to stop the elephants from falling into water.Three elephants fell into the water tanks in August and it required massive mobilisation of manpower and machines to rescue the animals.  
The Siliguri-based Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF) cited the positive role played by the army in forest protection while urging them to take steps to save the lives of elephants.“The Indian Army has contributed to a large extent to the conservation of wildlife and natural resources in north Bengal. 
It is because of the presence of the military personnel that the Bengdubi forest remains pristine and undisturbed even today. Besides, the army has played a lead role in the creation of a small colony of white-backed vultures at Bengdubi,” said Animesh Bose, the programme co-ordinator of the HNAF.  
The army had built around 30 reservoirs at Bengdubi to deal with any accidental fire at the ordinance depot. “The army requires the water tanks to extinguish fire at the depot. They can in consultation with the forest department erect a fence around all the reservoirs so that elephants and other animals do not slip into water,” said Bose. The foresters said they had got extensive help from the army to pull the elephants out of the reservoirs.  
“The army had engaged their fire engines (to pump water out of the tanks) and excavators to dismantle a portion of the structures to help the elephants climb out of the reservoirs. However, considering the frequency of incidents, we feel it is high time that certain measures are taken to stop the animals from falling into the water tanks,” said an officer with Kurseong forest division. A six-year-old elephant had fallen into a tank yesterday. 
The fire brigade was called in to draw water out of the tank and an excavator pressed into service to help the animal crawl out of the reservoir. Similar measures had to be taken when two elephants fell into the tanks on August 8 and 28. R. Krishnamurthy, the chief conservator of forests (wildlife), north Bengal, said he had taken up the matter with the chief wildlife warden of the state. “We have talked to the chief wildlife warden in Calcutta. We requested him to talk to the army’s Eastern Command headquarters at Fort William in Calcutta and ask them to take measures to protect the elephants,” said Krishnamurthy.

Opinion, TT : Nepal’s new prime minister, Baburam Bhattarai, has the reputation of being a moderate Maoist. That may make him better suited to the job than his comrade and party boss, Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The two most important tasks before any government in Kathmandu — the drafting of the new constitution and the conclusion of the peace process — require the prime minister to avoid confrontational strategies. Mr Dahal, better known as “Prachanda”, had done the opposite during his stint as prime minister. He was involved in avoidable conflicts with both the president and the army chief.
His tenure raised disturbing questions about his commitment to the peace process and to democracy. Not just other political parties but also large sections of the people started questioning the Maoists’ ability to run a democratic government. Mr Bhattarai needs to prove that he has a more inclusive approach to political and administrative issues. The support he received for his election to the post, especially from the ethnic groups, suggests that he enjoys the confidence of a wide cross- section of the people. His tasks are not easy, but he has better chances of succeeding than Mr Dahal ever had.
Mr Bhattarai’s election as the prime minister should be good news for New Delhi for several reasons. His moderate views on important issues, including India’s relations with Nepal, have always been welcomed in New Delhi. An alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University in the Indian capital, his politics has been familiar stuff to policymakers in New Delhi. Above all, he has been the key Maoist interlocutor during the peace negotiations that ended the 10-year-long insurgency in Nepal. Mr Bhattarai’s long associations with political leaders and officials in India could help strengthen relations between the two countries. But he should also guard against a possible danger. His adversaries could use his rapport with Indian leaders in order to obstruct his policies. Nepal’s domestic politics always had plenty of room for India-baiters. Mr Bhattarai should be wary of stepping into their trap. New Delhi should also take care to avoid giving the impression that it is using Mr Bhattarai to further its interests in Nepal. Instead, the new prime minister can try to use the mutual trust between him and New Delhi to open up new frontiers of bilateral co-operation and understanding.

Announcement for Marathon runners.. Leadership training at Pedong

Announcement for Marathon runners
KalimNews: Interested 20 runners above 18 from Darjeeling and Sikkim are invited to run Thane Half Marathon (21 KM) in February 2012. All expenditures of travelling by train and lodging during their stay for the run will be borne by people supporting this run. Roshni Rai will arrange, sponsor and support those interested runners of Darjeelin hills and Sikkim. Total expenditure per runner to come and run the Thane marathon will be around Rupees 10,000/- (ten thousand only) and she is arranging to get the sponsorship.
Interested runners should register their names to Roshni and fill up the official form.
It is recalled that Roshni from is from Pedong and an ace runner who lives running by her heart and running is her only passion. She had also participated in the Rambi-Pedong Friendly Group Long Run  held on 1st May 2011. Infact she had arranged to bring the 5 national marathon runners to this run. 
She had bagged the Mumbai Runner's Best Runner Award on 22 January 2011 in Mumbai for adjudging best female runner in the Mumbai Marathon (42 km). She was honoured with this award in a function held at Juhu-Ville Parle Gymkhana Club. She also received another award Hall of Fame for coming within 5th position in different events. Roshni Rai had stood first in two I-races (10km), 3rd in Ultra Marathon (50km) held in Bangalore on 14th Nov, 2010, 3rd in Boriveli National Park Half Marathon (21km) and was the only Indian to take part in Prague international marathon on 9th May, 2010.
She had run10 in 2010 and 7 marathons this year.
Roshni is a legal executive of Colgate Palmolive in Mumbai.
Announcement for leadership training at Pedong
KalimNews: A Landmark Education workshop is arranged at Pedong on 7th September to help the people live a powerful life. The programme to be held in St.George’s H.S School hall will start at 1pm and of 3hours duration. One of the very senior Landmark Education Coach Mr. Vivek Behl from Delhi is invited as a resource person along with runner Roshni Rai.
Roshni will share her experience as a Landmark Education trainee and also about her project of helping runners from Darjeeling-Sikkim.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Public opinion before survey on territory... Morcha against ‘supitory... Morcha against ‘supersede’ persede’ power.. Highway chokers face jail for long...Chhatrey verdict wait extended ...Bill return on Chamling lips...जीटीएको हस्ताक्षरित अधिकार छॉंटकॉंट?...Morcha against ‘supersede’ power.. Highway chokers face jail for long...Chhatrey verdict wait extended ...Bill return on Chamling lips...छत्र सुब्बाहरूले पाएनन्‌ मुक्ति - सुनवाई 9 सितम्बरमा हुने

Public opinion before survey on territory
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The panel formed to look into the demand to include the Gorkha-majority areas under the new hill administration unit will seek public opinion before a field survey.
The submissions can be made to the district magistrates of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri and the subdivisional officers of Malbazar, Alipurduar and Siliguri till October 31.
The decision was taken in Calcutta today at a meeting of the joint verification committee constituted to look into the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s demand to include the plains area in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration that will be set up for the hills.
L.B. Pariyar, one of the four representatives of the Morcha on the committee, said: “The committee has decided to seek public representation till October 31, 2011. In the meantime the director of census has been asked to provide a mouza-wise break-up of the population in terms of the mother tongue.”
The state government has appointed retired high court judge Shyamal Sen as chairperson of the 10-member committee, which was of the opinion that field visits could be made only after public representation. “There could be politically motivated representations and to nullify such moves we will pay a visit after going through the representations,” said Pariyar, a former principal secretary of the DGHC.
During a tripartite agreement between the Centre, the state and the Morcha on July 18, it was agreed that the committee would look into the Morcha’s demand to bring 199 mouzas each from the Terai and the Dooars under the hill body.
The Morcha’s Terai convener Shankar Adhikari and its Dooars leaders Kitab Singh Rai and Shankar Nath Pradhan are the other members of the panel. The Centre is represented by the director of census, while Anil Verma, the administrator of the DGHC, is the convener, who is responsible for conducting the meetings and co-ordinating with the members of the committee. The state is represented by the district magistrates of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling and an official of the home department.
The committee is expected to submit its report by February.
SNS, SILIGURI/KOLKATA, 30 AUG: The state government appointed high-powered committee to look into the matter related to identification and inclusion of the additional areas spread over the Terai-Dooars region into the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) jurisdiction met for the first time in Kolkata today. In the meantime, the leaders representing eight organisations, including Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP), met at Nagrakata in the Dooars today to chalk out strategy to oppose the move initiated by the state government.
Meanwhile, the state Cabinet meeting will be held a day earlier, on 1 September as the GTA Bill requires its clearance before being placed on the Assembly on 2 September.
KalimNews:John Barla is elected chairman to head a forum formed by nine bodies of plains and Dooars opposing inclusion of regions od Dooars and plains in GTA.The forum named Dooars Terai United Movement Committee comprises of nine bodies, Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikash Parishad,Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao samity, Dooars Terai Nagarik Mancha,Jan Jagaran Mal, Proutist Manch, Senior Citizen Forum Mal,Janchetna Siliguri,Paschim Bangal Boro People's Forum and Kalchini Vyavasayi Samity.The committee formed with 31 members has rejected to include 196 proposed mouzas of Dooars and Terai for inclusion and demande to make 1950 cut off year for identifying foreigners living in this area.
The meeting held at Nagrakatta also resolved to oppose the Sankosh to Ellenbari march of PPP and to demand for special package and special administrative body for the development of the area of Terai and Dooars.
Morcha against ‘supersede’ power
- Party fears state may misuse clause in GTA legislation
VIVEK CHHETRI,TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has raised “serious” objections to some sections of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Bill three days ahead of it being tabled in the Assembly.
Section 64, which gives the state government the power to supersede the GTA Sabha (an elected body to administer the hills) if it is found to be incompetent or fails to perform, has riled the Morcha leadership the most.
“If in the opinion of the government, the GTA Sabha has shown its incompetence to perform, or has made default in the performance of the duties imposed on it by or under the Act or any other law or has exceeded or abused its powers…the government may supersede the GTA Sabha,” Section 64 reads.
The section also states that the GTA Sabha would have to be reconstituted within six months and a notice would have to be served to the body before being superseded so that it gets a chance to reply.
The DGHC, also constituted by a state act like the GTA, had a similar provision but the then hill leadership headed by the GNLF’s Subash Ghisingh had not objected to it.
Today, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the spokesperson for the Morcha and the party’s Kalimpong MLA, said: “We are minutely looking into the provisions of the bill and have noted this particular provision (section 64). We have serious objections to it. The state government cannot treat us like the earlier political dispensation that headed the DGHC and we will definitely be raising our objections.”
Till late tonight Chhetri along with party general secretary Roshan Giri and Morcha MLAs were huddled together in a meeting in Calcutta to draft the party’s response to some of the provisions in the bill.
“We have objections to some other provisions in the bill as well, but I will not disclose them now,” Chhetri told The Telegraph. “We shall be preparing our response to them.”
Constitutional law expert Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said the state was within its legal rights to include such a provision in the bill.
“Like the DGCA, the GTA will be a local body. So under certain circumstances, the state government can supersede it,” Bhattacharya said.
“Similarly, the state can supersede any municipality as well in special cases.”
Some Morcha leaders in Darjeeling said they were “uneasy” with this provision as the government could misuse it if it suited its purpose and found that the GTA Sabha was charting a course not to its liking.
Many legal experts in the Darjeeling hills said the government could supersede the GTA Sabha even on corruption charges as the word “abused its powers” can be interpreted in many forms.
“Words like ‘incompetence’, ‘default in the performance of duties’, or ‘abused its powers’ can be interpreted in various forms by the government,” said a legal expert.
अन्तोदयका 3,525, अन्नपूर्णका 608 अनि बीपीएलका 22,305 ले राशिन नपाएको माकपाको आरोप
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 अगस्त : माकपा नेता तारा सुन्दासले कालेबुङमा अन्तोदय योजनाबाट 3,525 जनाले अन्नपूर्ण योजनाबाट 608 जनाले अनि 22,305  बीपीएल कार्ड धारकहरूले राशिन नपाएको आरोप लगाएका छन्‌। बङ्गालमा सरकार परिवर्तन हुने वित्तिकै पहाडका मानिसहरूको निम्ति डबल राशिन प्रदान गर्न 1 लाख 22 हजार टन खाद्यान्न पहाड पठाएको भए पनि त्यसको उपभोग कालेबुङ महकुमाबासीहरूले गर्न नपाएको बताउँदै तारा सुन्दासले भने, सुप्रिम कोर्टको न्यायधीश दलबीर भण्डारी अनि दीपक बर्माको बेञ्चले 10 मई 2011को दिन 150 गरीब जिल्लाहरूमा 50 लाख टन खाद्यान्न वितरण गर्नुपर्ने निर्देश गरेको छ। ती गरीब जिल्लाहरूमा दार्जीलिङ पनि पर्छ। यो अधिकारबाट पनि पहाडबासीलाई बञ्चित गरिएको छ। डबल राशिन अनि त्यो पनि सस्तो दाममा पाउनुपर्ने तर कालेबुङमा काडर्र्धारकहरूले यसको सुविधा पनि पाइरहेका छैनन्‌। गरीबहरूमाथि यसरी खेलवाड किन गरिन्छ? तिनले जनाए अनुसार सबैलाई समानन्तर राशिन वितरण गरिनुपर्ने भए पनि अधिकारीहरूले आ-आफ्नो खण्डको रिपोर्ट कालेबुङ खाद्य विभागमा नपठाएको बताउँदै तिनले भने, मोर्चाको युवा सङ्गठन अनि माकपाले राशिन वितरण प्रणालीलाई व्यवस्थित गर्नको निम्ति खाद्य विभागमा ज्ञापन चढाएको थियो, खण्ड 1, 2 अनि नगरपालिकाले रिपोर्ट बुझाए पनि खण्ड तीनले बुझाएको छैन। जबसम्म सबैबाट रिपोर्ट आउँदैन तबसम्म समानन्तर राशिन वितरण गर्नमा कठिनाई आइपरेको विभागीय स्पष्टिकरण छ। तिनले यसरी अधिकारीहरूको ढिल्याईँको कारण राशिन नपाइरहेको आरोप लगाएका छन्‌।
तिनले खाद्य विभागले कुन कुन खण्डमा कति मानिसहरूले राशिन पाएका छैनन्‌ अनि कतिले पाउनुपर्ने हो यसको विस्तृत रिपोर्ट मागेको थियो। रिपोर्टको आधारमा नै विभागले राशिन वितरण गर्न सक्ने पनि बताए। सुन्दासले भने, मसित रहेको डाटालाई मान्य गर्न नसक्ने भएकोले नै अधिकारीहरूलाई सही तथ्य विभागले मागेको थियो तर खण्ड तीनका खण्ड विकास अधिकारीले कुनै रिपोर्ट नबुझाउँदा जम्मैले राशिन पाउन सकिरहेका छैनन्‌। तिनले जनाए अनुसार दुइ महिनाअघिदेखि नै राशिन बॉंडिनुपर्ने हो किन भने 1 लाख 22 हजार टन आएको खाद्यान्न बॉंडिसक्ने अन्तिम मिति 31 मार्च 2012 सम्म मात्र रहेको छ। तिनले भने, बॉंडिनुपर्ने समयदेखि नबॉंडिएको राशिन कता लान्छ त? अन्तोदय योजना अनुसार प्रतिव्यक्ति 2 रुपियॉं किलो चामल अनि गहूँ 15 दिनमा बॉंड्‌ने गरिन्छ भने अन्नपूर्ण योजना मार्फत निशुल्करूपमा 1530 जनाले राशिन पाउनुपर्ने हो तर अहिले केवल 822 जनाले मात्र पाउँदैछन्‌। सुन्दासले अरू बॉंकीले राशिन कहिले पाउने? भन्ने प्रश्न उठाउँदै अन्तोदय, अन्नपूर्ण अनि बीपीएल तिनै क्षेत्रमा व्यापक नाम छुटिएको पनि बताएका छन्‌।

किनारीकृत कृषकहरूको अधिकारको हनन्‌ - आवाज उठायो कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सङ्गठनले
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 अगस्त : कालेबुङ कृषक कल्याण सङ्गठनले दार्जीलिङ जिल्लाका किनारीकृत कृषकहरूको अधिकारको हनन्‌ भएको आरोप लगाएको छ। दार्जीलिङ जिल्लाको ग्रामीण विकासको निम्ति आउने महात्म गान्धी राष्ट्रिय ग्रामीण स्वरोजगार अधिनियमको राशि प्रयोग गरेर फर्किएर गएको अनि यसो भएकोले किनारीकृत कृषकहरू अधिकारबाट बञ्चित बन्न परेको सङ्गठनले फेरि पनि दाबी गरेको छ। सङ्गठन अनुसार दार्जीलिङ जिल्लाको निम्ति वर्षेनी दुइसय करोड़ रुपियॉं अधिनियम मार्फत आउने गरेको छ। जुन रकम पहाड़को मोठ जनसंख्याबीच सातवटा मुख्य आधारभूत आवश्यकताका विकास कार्यमा खर्च गर्नुपर्छ। यसरी खर्च गर्दा एउटामा लगभग अट्ठाइस्‌ करोड़ पर्छ। राशिलाई प्रयोग गर्नुपर्ने प्रयोग क्षेत्रमा जलसंरक्षण र भण्डारण, सिञ्चाई, जमीन विकास र व्यवस्थापन, ग्रामीण सड़क, पारम्परिक जलस्रोतको संरक्षण र विकास, खड़ेरी र पैह्रो रोकथाम अनि किनारीकृत कृषकहरूको व्यक्तिगत लाभ रहेको छ। सातवटामा एउटा किनारीकृत कृषकहरूको व्यक्तिगत लाभ योजनामा वर्षभरिमा मोठ रकमलाई बराबर भाग गरेर प्रयोग गर्नुपर्छ। तर यसो गरिएको छैन। पहाड़को मोठ जनसंख्यामा 68 प्रतिशत जनसंख्या किनारीकृत तथा यसको समकक्षका वर्गका कृषकहरू पर्छन्‌।
सङ्गठनका महासचिव विष्णु छेत्रीले यस सम्बन्धमा भने,उनीहरूको निम्ति तयार पारिएको व्यक्तिगत लाभ योजनाको निम्ति आएको करोडौ रुपियालाई किन कार्यान्वयनमा ल्याइएन, यही चाखको विषय बनेको छ। तिनले अधिनियमलाई 2007 देखि 2010 सम्म पूर्णरूपले लागू गरिएको छैन। छेत्रीले भने, 2007 देखि केवल 40 प्रतिशत काम भएकोछ अनि त्यसको लाभ निम्नवर्गले पाएका छैनन्‌। चारवर्षमा 8 सय करोड़ पहाडमा आइसक्यो तर राशिलाई कार्यान्वयन गरिएन। 

यस सम्बन्धमा दागोपाप प्रशासक अनि अतिरिक्त जिल्लापाललाई जानकारी गराइएको छ। उनीहरूलाई सातवटा मद्ये केवल बाटो बनाउने योजना मात्र भइरहेको अनि अन्य चारवटामा काम नै नभएको जनाइएको छ।छेत्रीले जानकारी दिए अनुसार प्रयोग नभएको राशि फक्रिएर गइरहेको छ। तिनले भने, फक्रिएर जानु भन्दा यसको पर्योग गरिएको भए पहाडको कृषि विकास हजार गुणा बढेर जानेथ्यो तर यसो गरिएन। जानीबुझि नगरिएको हो कि? हामी यस्तो शंका पनि गरिरहेका छौं। सङ्गठनका महासचिव विष्णु छेत्रीले लगाएको आरोप अनुसार योजना शुरू भएको चारवर्षसम्म पनि निकायले यसको प्रचारप्रसार गर्ने काम गरेको छैन। प्रचार प्रसार नगरेकोले नै मानिसहरूले योजनाको फाइदा उठाउन पाएनन्‌। यता योजनाको निम्ति राशि भने आइरह्यो। आएको राशि फर्कियो कि काम नै नगरी पैसा पचाउने काम गरियो? यसबारे आधिकारिक कुनै जानकारी पाइएको छैन। योजना कार्यान्वयन नगरिएकोले किनारीकृत अनि यसैवर्गका अन्य कृषकहरूले कुनै पनि फाइदा नपाएको छेत्रीको दाबी छ। छेत्रीले कृषकहरूको निम्ति वर्षेेनी पाउने आन्तरिक लाभ योजनासमेतलाई कार्यान्वयन नगरेर प्रशासनले जुन अधिकारको हनन गरेको छ, यसको निम्ति कृषकहरू सङ्गठित बनेर आवाज उठाउनुपर्ने बताएका छन्‌।तिनी अनुसार 28 करोड़ त कृषकहरूले व्यक्तिगत लाभ योजना मार्फत नै पाउँछन्‌,त्यस राशिले सुन्तला मात्र रोप्यो भने 3 लाख सुन्तला 25 सय ऐकरमा प्रतिवर्ष रोप्न सकिन्छ भने अनि ठूलो अलैंचीको 18 लाख विरुवा 4 हजार ऐकर  प्रतिवर्ष रोप्न सकिन्छ। यसको उत्पादनले त्यस क्षेत्रका कृषकहरूले भरपुर आर्थिक लाभ गर्न सक्छन्‌। त्यसमाथि पनि पहाड़को मोठ जनसंख्याको ठूलो हिस्सा ती नै कृषकवर्ग रहेकाले उनीहरूले मोठ 200 करोडकै फाइदा पाउन पर्छ। अहिलेसम्म 8 करोड़को फाइदा पाइसकेको हुनुपर्ने हो। छेत्रीले मोठ बाह्रवटा खण्डमा 200 करोड बॉंड्‌दा पनि 16 करोड 66 लाख एउटा खण्डमा पर्ने पनि बताएका छन्‌। तिनले निकायले प्रचार प्रसार नगरेकोले कृषकहरूलाई आफ्नो जमीनमा त्यस राशि र योजनाले काम गर्न सकिन्छ भन्ने कुरा नै थाहा नरहेको बताए।
छेत्रीले भने, ग्राम पञ्चायत नभए पनि कमसेकम ग्राम सभा गरेर योजनाबारे कृषक वा नागरिकहरूलाई जानकारी गराइन सकिन्छ। यसो पनि गरिएको छैन। अधिनियम गरीब कृषकहरूको हितमा छ तर लागू नगरेर विभागीय पक्ष नै कृषकहरूको हीतमा नरहेको देखिएको छ। शीघ्र्र नै अधिनियमका जम्मै योजनालाई कार्यान्वयनमा ल्याइनुपर्ने माग हामीले बारम्बार गरिरहेका छौं।
जीटीएको हस्ताक्षरित अधिकार छॉंटकॉंट?
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 अगस्त :छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलनलाई शिथिल पार्दै विकासको प्याकेज थाप्नुपर्ने बाध्यता उत्पन्न भएपछि सम्झौता गरिएको जीटीएको खेस्रामा व्यापक फेरबदल भएको कुरा खुले पनि गोजमुमोपक्षले यसमाथि खुलेर केही बताइरहेको छैन। अहिले जीटीएको खेस्रा फेरबदल हुनु अनि मोर्चाले पनि यसबारे खुलेर केही नबताएर 2 सितम्बर फेरबदल गरिएको जीटीएको बील पारित गराउने सोंचमा रहेको छनक पाउनेहरूले व्यापक चर्चा गरिरहेका छन्‌। कुरा के चलिरहेको छ भने जीटीएको खेस्रा राज्यले अघिबाट नै केन्द्रलाई पठाएको थियो अनि केन्द्रले खेस्राभित्र रहेका कानूनी अडचन जॉंच्न कानून मन्त्रालयमा पनि पठाएको थियो। केन्द्रले जॉंचबुझ गरेर राज्य सरकारलाई पठाएपछि नै यसमा त्रिपक्षीय हस्ताक्षर गर्ने निर्णय गरिएको थियो। सबै भइसकेर पनि फेरि किन कानून मन्त्रालयमा खेस्रा पठाइयो?त्यस्तो के विषय थियो जसको कारण हस्ताक्षरपछि पनि फेरि केन्द्रिय कानूनी मन्त्रालयमा खेस्रा पठाइयो।अघिल्लोतिर गोर्खाल्याण्ड शब्द राखिएको टेरिटोरियल एडि्‌मनिष्ट्रेशन नितान्तै अस्थायी समाधान भएकोले तृणमूल अनि कंग्रेसभित्र ममताको निर्णयलाई लिएर निक्कै चर्चा चलिरहेको छ। यता राज्यको विपक्ष माकपाले पनि जीटीएको निर्णय पश्चिम बङ्गालको भविष्यको निम्ति उत्तम निर्णय नरहेको भन्दै व्यापक विरोध गरिरहेको छ। राज्यकै अन्य दलसित नै तृणमूलको हाइकमाण्डमा पनि पहाडको समस्याको समाधान स्थायी नरहेकोले फेरि पनि कुनै न कुनै परिस्थितिको निम्ति बाटो राखिनु रहेको अनि यसो गरिनु राज्यविकासको पथमा जानीजानी अवरोध राखिनु रहेको चर्चा चलिरहेको सूत्रको भनाइ छ।
तीन महिनामा नै पहाडको समस्या समाधान गछु भनेर डेटलाइन दिएकोले नै मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीले पहाडको तीनवटा महकुमा लगायत तराई र डुवर्सको केही क्षेत्रको समस्या समाधान गर्न हतार गरेको आरोप पनि तिनलाई लागिरहेको छ। यता हर्षोल्लाससित नै हस्ताक्षर गरिएको जीटीए फेरि कानून मन्त्रालयको टेबलमा पुगेर छॉंटकॉंटको परिस्थिति आउनुमा राज्य सरकारकै कुटनीति त होइन भन्ने कुरा पनि चलिरहेको छ। जुन जुन कुरा पाइन्छ भनेर हस्ताक्षर भयो अहिले कानूनी अडचनको बहानामा त्यही कुरामा छॉंटकॉंट हुनुले खेस्रा निर्माता र यसका अध्येताहरुको निम्ति ठूलो खिल्लीको कुरा भएको छ। सरकारको यो रबैयादेखि मोर्चा पनि खुशी छैन तर मोर्चाले सरकारको रबैयाको विरोध पनि गरेको छैन। मोर्चा जतिसक्दो 2 सितम्बरको दिन जीटीएको बील पास होस्‌ भन्ने पक्षमा छ। मोर्चाको शिविरले शंसोधित जीटीएको बील पास हुने आशा पनि गरेको छ।
अहिलेसम्म कुनकुन कुरा शंसोधन गरिएकोछ भन्ने कुरा खुलिएको छैन। मोर्चाका विधायकहरूको हातमा शंसोधित जीटीएको खेस्रा पुगिसकेको छ तर उनीहरूले पनि मुख खोलेका छैनन्‌। जीटीएको खेस्रा उल्टापुल्टा त छन्‌ तर के उल्टापुल्टा छन्‌? त्यो भने न त मोर्चाले बताएको छ न त राज्य सरकारले। कुन प्रारूपको बील आखिर सदनमा राखिने हो? यदि संशोधित खेस्रा पुरानै दागोपापको प्रशासनिक क्षमतातिर मुखरित हुने बाध्यता आइपर्‍यो भने के त्यसको विरोध मार्चाबाट हुन्छ? के मोर्चालाई असुविदा पार्ने कुराहरू त उल्टापुल्टा पारिएको खेस्रामा छैनन? त्यो त 2 सितम्बरको दिन जीटीएको बील पारित भएपछि नै खुल्नेछ। हजारौं जिज्ञासा र शंकाहरू उपार्जन गरिरहेको जीटीएभित्र के के समेटिएको छ, त्यो पनि त्यसैबेला नै खुल्ने देखिएको छ।
छत्र सुब्बाहरूले पाएनन्‌ मुक्ति  - सुनवाई 9 सितम्बरमा हुने
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 अगस्त :  आज छत्रे सुब्बा अनि तिनका साथीहरूको सुनवाई हुन सकेन। जलपाइगुढी एडिसनल कोर्टका न्यायधिश सञ्जिता सरकारले प्राविधिक असुविधाको कारण सुनवाई गर्न नसकेको अनि अब 9 सितम्बरको दिन सुनवाई गरिने जनाएका छन्‌।  छत्र सुब्बाहरू 11 वर्षदेखि जेलमा थिए। आज उनीहरूको सुनवाई हुने अनि उनीहरूलाई जेलमुक्त गरिने सम्भावना रहेको भए पनि उनीहरूको मुद्दामाथि सुनवाई नै भएन। छत्रे सुब्बाहरूको सुनवाई प्राविधिक कारणले हुन नसकेको कुरामा क्रामाकपाले विश्वास नगरेको क्रामाकपा युवा मोर्चाका महासचिव अरूण घतानीले बताएका छन्‌। शुरूदेखि नै क्रामाकपाले छत्र सुब्बाहरूको निम्ति लडिरहेको छ। ममता व्यानर्जीले बनाएको बन्दीमुक्ति कमिटीलाई पनि क्रामाकपाले छत्र सुब्बाहरूको मुद्दाको इतिहास पठाइसकेको छ। 
घतानीले भने, दोष विना नै जेल बसेर जब मुक्तिको दिन आयो तब आरोपीहरूलाई न्यायपालिकाले प्राविधिक असुविधाको बहाना गरेर सुनवाईको तारिक टार्नुभित्र हामीले राजनैतिक हस्तक्षेपलाई अनुभव गरिरहेका छौं। सुबास घिसिङलाई प्राणघातक आक्रमण गरेको आरोपमा पक्रा परेका छत्र सुब्बा अनि उनका साथीहरूको सुनवाईको तारिक टर्दै आजको दिनमा आइपुगेको थियो। जलपाइगुढी जेलबाट 2 बजी निकालेर छत्र सुब्बा अनि साथीहरूलाई न्यायलयमा उभ्याइएको थियो। सुनवाई नभएकोले उनीहरूलाई पुन जेलमा पटाइएको छ। अब उनीहरूको सुनवाई 9 सितम्बरको दिन हुने भएको छ। यता धतानीले भने, वास्तवमा छत्र सुब्बाहरूको मुद्दाको छानबिनको निम्ति गरिनुपर्ने न्यायपालिकाको सबै प्रक्रिया सकिएको छ। 
अहिलेसम्म उनीहरूको कुनै पनि दोष पाइएको छैन। घतानीले छत्र सुब्बाहरूलाई रोकेर राख्नुपर्ने अब कुनै कारण न्यापालिकासित नरहेको किटान गर्दै अझ भने, न्याधीशले जुन प्रकारले सुनवाईको तारिक सरेको गोषणा गरिन्‌ यसलाई हामीले विचारको नाममा प्रहसन मानेका छौं। न्यायलयले यसरी सानो कारण देखाएर सुनवाई टार्नु न्यायपालिकामाथिको व्यङ्‌ग्य रहेको समेत बताउँदै तिनले अझ भने, राजनैतिक षडयन्त्रहरूबाट पर राखेर छत्रे सुब्बाहरूको सुनवाई र उन्मुक्ति 9 सितम्बरको दिन हुने आशा गरेका छौं। हामीले ममता व्यानर्जीको गणतान्त्रिक कानून र न्यापालिकामाथि विश्वास गरेका छौं। तिनले न्यायपालिकाको बहाना जुन आज देखापर्‍यो यसले राजनैतिक हस्तक्षेपतिर नै इङ्गित गरिरहेको पनि बताए। तिनले भने, राजनैतिक खेलवाड भइरहेको छ, यस्तो 9 सितम्बरको दिन हुने छैन भन्ने आशा गरिएको छ।
Chhatrey verdict wait extended

Chhatrey Subba (right) comes out of the court in Jalpaiguri on Tuesday.
Picture by Biplab Basak
TT, Jalpaiguri, Aug. 30: The verdict in the Subash Ghisingh assassination attempt case has been deferred till September 9 because of “technical reasons”.
Prime accused Chhatrey Subba’s lawyer Nripen Das told journalists that “a defective computer” was the reason for the delayed judgement. “The computer and the printer are not working and the verdict could not have been recorded,” said Das.
Chhatrey has been accused of masterminding an attack on GNLF chief and then Darjeeling DGHC chairperson Ghisingh on February 10, 2001.
On March 26, 2002, Chhatrey and 11 others were arrested and produced before the district court in Darjeeling. But the case was transferred to Jalpaiguri in 2003 after Chhatrey pleaded that he feared for his life in the hills.
The hearing began in 2004. Since then Dimpal Dewan, Omraj Kotowal, Bamal Giri, Amar Lama were exempted from the case after the charge sheet was filed.
Two others — Northen Lama and Mohan Sharma —obtained bail from Calcutta High Court. But the remaining six, including Chhatrey, have been languishing in Jalpaiguri central jail.
When Subba, Saran Dewan, Gunge Lama, Shyam Bahadur Karki, Kumar Chhetri and Vijay Chhetri were brought to the court compound from the Jalpaiguri correctional home this morning, thousands had gathered there.
Around 2pm, the additional judge of fast track third court, Sanchita Sarkar, announced that the judgment was being deferred and would be delivered on September 9 because of “technical reasons.”
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had asked the Mamata Banerjee government for Chhatrey’s unconditional release. A government-appointed committee that had drawn up a list of 78 political prisoners who would be released had recommended freedom for Chhatrey also. However, the final list of 50 prisoners did not contain Chhatrey’s name.
Monika Chhetri, Chhatrey’s wife sobbed as she said: “We had come with much expectation that the verdict would be given today. My husband has been languishing in jail for the past nine years.”
The secretary of the Democratic Revolutionary Youth Front, Arun Ghatani, said the judgment had been awaited for a long time. “It had been delayed during the Left Front regime. And now, it was held over for a flimsy reason,” Ghatani said.
Civic teachers skip classes - Strike by Darjeeling conservancy staff deferred to Thursday for Id

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 30: Around 800 students of two schools run by the civic body here idled their time away today as teachers took leave en mass in response to a call by the Darjeeling Municipality Employees’ Union.
All civic employees took a mass casual leave today along with the teachers to press for their demand to revert to the old system of paying property tax at the municipality office, instead of the bank. The union has called a strike in the conservancy department for three days from Thursday and in the water-works department for an indefinite period from September 5.
The strike in the conservancy department was to begin tomorrow, but was postponed for a day because of Id. The Darjeeling subdivisional officer has called a meeting with union leaders tomorrow to discuss the demand.
The 30-odd teachers of Municipal Girls’ High School and Municipal Boys’ High School came to the institutions today but they neither signed the attendance registers nor took a roll call of the students.
The Group D staff members were present at the schools. Although bells were rung, no classes were conducted. The teachers refused comment on their absence from classes and requested that the union leaders be contacted.
Alan Chhetri, the president of the union, said: “We have not received any response from the authorities regarding our demand so far. The students came to school today and if there is any untoward incident, the district authorities will be held responsible.”
All employees in the municipality office have been on a pen-down strike since August 4 to protest against the SDO’s decision to entrust the collection of property tax to the Union Bank of India. The SDO is the chairman of the board of administrators in charge of the civic administration in the absence of an elected body.
The union is planning to intensify the agitation by extending the strike to the conservancy department. “We will launch a strike in the water-works department also for an indefinite period from September 5 until our demand is met,” said Chhetri.
The strike by the conservancy staff is set to affect the disposal of garbage. Sources said about 40 metric tonnes of waste were generated in the 32 wards of the municipality a day. During the peak tourism season, the amount of garbage piled up in the town a day could reach even 60 metric tonnes.
The civic authorities said they had started the new system to keep pace with time and slowly, the citizens would be able to make all payments at the bank trough Internet.

Highway chokers face jail for long

MEHEDI HEDAYTULLAH,TT, slampur, Aug. 30: Blocking a national highway anywhere in Bengal will now bring non-bailable charges, carrying a jail term of up to five years, as a follow-up on Mamata Banerjee’s appeal against bandhs.
State director-general of police Naparajit Mukherjee has asked all police stations to enforce Section 8B of the National Highways Act, 1956, on those setting up blockades, using video cameras if necessary to nail the violators.
The 55-year-old law has so far existed largely on paper in a state known for disruptive protests, but a political change of heart was apparent recently when Mamata appealed to all parties not to enforce bandhs.
It is not clear what will happen to those blocking roads other than national highways — such as thoroughfares in Calcutta, where a crackdown would require a separate circular from city police headquarters.
The political reaction to the police order has been mixed. A Trinamul minister welcomed the move, a Congress civic chief said road blockades were a last resort to protest administrative apathy and generally did not last long, and a CPM official said the police must be impartial in enforcing the order.
The instruction has already come in handy for the police in North Dinajpur district, which has witnessed more than 10 blockades of the busy NH31 in the past one month by political parties and student outfits.
Sources said a case had been started against supporters of Congress student wing Chhatra Parishad for blocking NH31 in front of Islampur police station on Friday afternoon. Around 100 youths blocked the highway in Islampur tonight again to protest frequent power cuts.
The serial NH31 blockades have harassed commuters and taken a toll on cargo movement along the highway, which connects Bihar with the Northeast.
North Dinajpur police chief Dipankar Bhattacharya said the state police headquarters had “wanted to know the extent of harassment suffered by passengers and whether ambulances were affected and people prevented from attending important interviews”.
Chowdhury Abdul Karim of Trinamul, Islampur MLA and state minister for mass education and library services, said the police should have enforced the law long ago.
“Mamata Banerjee has been telling all political parties repeatedly not to disrupt the normal life of people. I welcome this move,” he said.
Congress leader and Islampur municipality chairperson Kanhaialal Agarwal said political parties were compelled to block roads when other ways of protest failed.
“They are held when the administration remains mum on crucial issues. They are held for at most an hour and are lifted after the administration gives assurances.”
The CPM blamed the Congress and Trinamul for the frequent NH31 blockades.
“This can be avoided only if the police act impartially,” Islampur zonal committee secretary Swapan Guha Neogy said.
Bill return on Chamling lips

BIJOY GURUNG, TT, Gangtok, Aug. 30: Chief minister Pawan Chamling today defended the Public Order Bill and said he would reintroduce it in the Assembly with “the consent of the people”. The announcement came four days after the government withdrew the Sikkim Prevention and Control of Disturbance of Public Order Bill from the Assembly following protest from Opposition parties and citizen forums.
The Opposition parties took out rallies and burnt the chief minister’s effigy to protest against the “black bill”.
Chamling had tabled the bill in the Assembly in his capacity as home minister on August 11.
The bill had sought, among other things, to restrict demonstrations, hunger strikes and waving of black flags to “preserve public order”.
Today, the chief minister told the Assembly that the bill had been withdrawn so that the people got enough time to understand it.
“We will go to the people, take permission from them and reintroduce it in the Assembly later,” Chamling said while proposing a vote of thanks in the valedictory session of the Assembly.
Although Chamling did not explain how his government planned to get the “consent of the people”, sources in the Sikkim Democratic Front said pamphlets listing the virtues of the bill had already been distributed across the state.
The party also wants to use its frontal organisations to “convince” the people about the merits of the bill, said the sources.
All 32 members in the Assembly belong to the SDF.
Chamling took a dig at the opposition for resisting the bill and accused them of misleading the people.
“The bill was in favour of the people and there were attempts to mislead them. The bill sought to prevent hatred among different communities and religions and protect peace. The bill does not seek to prevent freedom of expression granted by the Indian Constitution but seeks to support it. The bill does not say that people cannot protest against the government, it merely states that people cannot spread hatred among communities,” he said.
The chief minister also said the people could not enjoy their fundamental rights if there was anarchy and disharmony in the state.
“One of the purposes of the bill was to launch a crackdown on drug peddlers to make Sikkim a drug-free state. What do they (Opposition) want? Drug abuse, disharmony and disturbance? They oppose anything just for the sake of being in Opposition,” he said.
The chief minister’s statement in the Assembly invited angry responses from the SDF’s rivals.
“What he said today proves that he is an unreliable person. We will approach the governor and seek his intervention to block the reintroduction of the bill,” said Nima Lepcha, the acting president of the Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee.
Governor Balmiki Prasad Singh had advised the state government to drop the bill. The governor’s advice followed Opposition parties’ boycott of a tea party hosted by him at Raj Bhavan on Independence Day.
The state BJP president, Padam Chhetri, said the SDF was distributing pamphlets extolling the virtues of the bill “without the contents that had been met with strong opposition”.

Boy’s body fished out, disaster cell in pipeline
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 30: The body of a 10-year-old boy who had drowned in the Mahananda was found 25km downstream from the spot of the mishap this morning, almost 24 hours after the tragedy.
The Siliguri mayor today announced that the civic body would set up its own disaster management cell to carry out rescue operations on land and in water.
The absence of a proper mechanism to carry out rescue operations in Siliguri came to the fore after Sanjit Roy went missing in the Mahananda at Sheetalapara yesterday morning. It took more than four hours for a civil defence team to reach the spot from Phansidewa and launch the operation to search for the boy.
The body was fished out of the river by police at Liucipakhri near Phansidewa this morning. The local people spotted the boy floating on water and informed the police. The body was sent to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for post-mortem.
The decision to form the disaster management was taken at the monthly meeting of the civic board today. “We have decided to set up a full-fledged disaster management cell at the SMC. The cell will assist people caught in all sorts of mishaps, be it on land or in water. The matter will be discussed with ex-servicemen and NGOs which have volunteered to help the victims of accidents and natural calamities,” mayor Gangotri Datta told journalists after the meeting.
Although the Siliguri subdivisional administration has a civil defence force, it doesn’t have a dedicated team to carry out searches in rivers and other water bodies. The civil defence department here is at most engaged in evacuation and rehabilitation of people marooned in floods.
The civic board also decided to start road repairs in all 47 wards ahead of Durga Puja.
“We are also planning to build six foot bridges at major junctions in town. They will come up at Airview More, Junction More, Sevoke More, Venus More, S.F. Road and Panitanki More,” said the mayor.
MLA pleads for 24X7 pill shops

TT, Siliguri, Aug. 30: Siliguri MLA Rudranath Bhattacharya today asked chemists to work out a timetable and hand over to him the list of medicine shops that will be open at night by turns.
The chemists, while agreeing to the proposal, have appealed for police security for the shops against attacks from criminals after the cash box and irate relatives of patients.
Nearly 600 medicine shops dot Siliguri and its surrounding areas but they remain open only till 11.30pm. Only medicine outlets of some nursing homes remain open throughout the night.
Bhattacharya’s directive comes after the death of Kalyan Dutta, a heart patient at Siliguri District Hospital on August 25.
The hospital had prescribed a life-saving drug for Datta at the time of his admission at 5am but relatives failed to get it as shops were closed, leading to his death.
Government hospitals are supposed to provide medicines to admitted patients, but sometimes they run out of stock. S. Dutta Chowdhury, the director of health services, said: “The norm is to keep life saving drugs in tertiary care hospitals like a medical college. But at times the stock of a particular drug might get exhausted.”
Bhattacharya, who held a meeting with the Darjeeling district committee members of the Bengal Chemist and Druggist Association, said medicine shops in Siliguri used to remain open earlier.
“But now it has stopped. This is causing inconveniences to relatives of patients, especially in emergency cases like accidents or when a patient’s condition is critical. Last week, Kalyan Dutta was admitted with cardiac arrest to the district hospital here around 5am. The doctor had prescribed an emergency medicine but his relatives could not get it as all medicine shops were closed,” said Bhattacharya.
“I have asked shopkeepers to work out a timetable so that all outlets are open at night by turns. I will talk to police about providing them security,” said the MLA, who is also the chairperson of the Assembly standing committee on health.
Bhattacharya has asked the chemists to prepare the list of shops according to the zones in which they are located like Hospital More, Hill Cart Road, Vidhan Market and Burdwan Road.
“Although nursing homes do have chemist shops, they don’t always sell medicines to patients admitted to other hospitals. We request the authorities to strictly enforce this rule in town soon,” said Somnath Chatterjee, the Siliguri unit convener of the West Bengal Voluntary Blood Donors’ Forum.
Chemists said they were willing to open shops at night if adequate security was provided.
“We used to keep shops open at nights but that has been stopped for the past one year as we do not get adequate police security. We faced a lot of problems from drug addicts who come asking for cough syrups and sedatives to relatives of patients who turn violent when medicines are not available,” said Bijay Gupta, Darjeeling district secretary of the chemists’ association.
SLP accuses Sikkim govt
KalimNews: Sikkim Liberation Party in a press statement has stated that it has become obvious that the ruling SDF party is gradually losing its grip over the party and its workers. Legislator PS Tamang, who had won as a candidate of SDF party from Burtuk-Ranka constituency has not attended a single session of the Assembly after the election. This clearly violates the fundamental principle of democracy, which the ruling SDF claims of having reinstated and reinforced.
The report further states that the party which claims to be the champion of democratic values and that it has strong control over its party workers; has utterly failed in instilling the fundamental duties of an elected representative. Forget about infusing the basic principle of parliamentary dignity, it has failed to initiate action against its violation too. By such an act of non participation and cooperation, the legislator from Upper Burtuk constituency Prem Singh Tamang has openly challenged the leadership, which the ruling SDF seems has failed to reciprocate. The brunt of internal rife and power struggle in the party with thumping majority in the Assembly is now being faced by the people. The vertical crack between Chamling and Goley affecting the party and the government is leading to the suffering of the Sikkimese people.
The party which is in helm of power for the fourth consecutive time, it seems has now started disintegration leading to possibility of the common mass becoming the scapegoat.
The followers of SDF legislator PS Tamang are openly sloganeering that Sikkim is the most corrupt State of India; however, the party which made him the representative for fourth time has failed to initiate any action against him. Its own MLA has openly challenged the party, its leader and the government which thumbs down the absence of any opposition in Sikkim clearly seems helpless and stupefied.
Disgruntled legislator PS Tamang had openly supported the rally on 24th of August.
Many who participated in the rally had come without prejudice to the effect that Tamang is a SDF leader. As such the people of Sikkim have every right to know that in which term the statement and stand taken by Mr Tamang/Goley should be interpreted? The division right from the government office to Panchayat level between Chamling and Goley has reached such a level that the common people have become the ultimate sufferrer.
People are being tormented by the either side if they are found to appreciate the opposite. As such the people have right to know as to whether Chamling or Goley is the leader of SDF? Further, Sikkim Liberation Party demands that this issue should be made crystal clear and the people should not be tormented or made to suffer due to internal rife and conflict in the SDF party.