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Thursday, August 4, 2011

GJM delegation rushes to Delhi to meet PM ....Terror outfit’s hill manoeuvres laid bare,,,लामो सङ्घर्षपछि स्थापना भयो जङ्गवीर सापकोटाको सालिग ..... यूजीआरएफ राष्ट्रविरोधी दल होइन - यूजीआरएफलाई यूएलएसँग जोड्नु आफूलाई फँसाउने षडयन्त्र मात्र हो-अजय दाहाल... Staff stop work to get back tax collection right...NARAKAS MEETING DISCUSSED INCREASE USE OF HINDI IN OFFICIAL WORKS... AAGSU appeals ULFA to negotiate the best in lieu of sovereignty....Lockout after garden gherao... Policy for Road Accident Victims

GJM delegation rushes to Delhi to meet PM
Amitava Banerjee, HT, Darjeeling, August 04, 2011: A four member Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) delegation led by president Bimal Gurung rushed to Delhi on Thursday from Kolkata. In Delhi the delegation is expected to meet the Prime Minister. The GJM members were in Kolkata to attend an all party meeting called by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The four member delegation comprises of Bimal Gurung, General Secretary Roshan Giri and Central Committee members Jyoti Rai and Diwakar Gurung.
“We will be meeting the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister in Delhi” stated Giri.< Though Giri abstained from divulging the issues to be discussed in the meeting, sources state that the meeting would focus primarily on the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA- the new administrative mechanism in the formation stage for Darjeeling.) Another important issue that would definitely crop up in the meeting is the inclusion of the Reserve Forests in the GTA. Para 11 of the Annexure A – List of subjects to be transferred to the GTA states “Management of any forest, not being reserved Forest…” The GJM feels that GTA not being able to exercise control over Reserve Forests would create confusion. “Duality of administration in the GTA would create confusion only. To avoid this Reserve forests should come under the GTA” stated Harka Bahadur Chettri, GJM Spokesperson. The GJM had echoed similar sentiments during the meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. Banerjee had remarked that she has sent a note to this effect to the Union Government and is awaiting the Centre’s response.

Terror outfit’s hill manoeuvres laid bare - NIA uncovers Manipur militant group’s real estate investments in Darjeeling & Sikkim
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 4: The National Investigation Agency has found out that the banned Manipur-based terrorist organisation, Kanglei Yaol Kaba Lup, has been using residents of Darjeeling and Sikkim to set up bases in the region.
moaists signed an memorandum of understanding with the PLA in ManipurThe NIA investigated the KYKL activities in the region and submitted a supplementary charge-sheet to the Darjeeling district and session court today. The supplementary charge sheet was filed by Lhari Dorjee Lhatoo, a special superintendent of police and the chief investigation officer of the NIA.
The NIA took up the probe following the arrest of many KYKL members from the region in 2010.
Lhatoo confirmed the submission of the charge sheet, but refused to speak on the probe.
Sources involved in the investigation said the outfit had set up bases in Kurseong, Khaprail and even in Sikkim. “The members of the organisation used to send money from Manipur to their counterparts who had set up a base in the region for investment in real estate. The local people, who were unaware of the militants’ antecedents, were lured into the business. The militants had bought large tracts of lands in Jalpaiguri and Siliguri areas and had already constructed two three-storied buildings in Kurseong and Gangtok,” said a source.
The NIA and Darjeeling police had arrested two local persons, Saraswati Rai and Neera Tamang, from Khaprail area in Siliguri subdivision in March 2010. “Saraswati Rai, however, managed to obtain bail from Calcutta High Court,” said the source.
Some KYKL members in the region had also been picked up by the NIA. “The self-styled army commander-in-chief and finance-in-charge of the outfit, Ningthoujam Tomba, along with Sonokhybam Memcha, Roma Chanu, Sorokhaibhem Menjor Singh and Kangunjam Rabi Kumar Singh, had been arrested from from Khaprail, Siliguri and other places since March 2010,” the source added.
“During the investigation, it has also been established that Chirom Robert Meitei, Kongkham Tomba Singh, Asem Naoba Singh, Ch. Leishemba, along with the arrested man Ningthoujam Tomba, had entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the state,” the source added.
Chirom Robert Meitei was the information and publicity secretary of the outfit.
While Asem, Leishemba and Meitei are absconding, the police had arrested Kongkham, who, however, is currently out on bail. “The local people need to remain vigilant so that they are not lured by such people into business deals,” the source said.
A good amount of funds sent to the Darjeeling-Sikkim region would be later funnelled to KYKL agents in Nepal. The money would then be routed to Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore to procure arms.
With the NIA having submitted the charge sheet, trial against the nine accused is likely to start soon. “After the charge sheet is filed, a separate court will be set up for the purpose for the trial,” said a lawyer. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup, meaning “the organisation to save the revolutionary movement in Manipur” is a Meitei terrorist group formed in January 1994 following the merger of the Oken faction of the United National Liberation Front, the Meiraba faction of the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, and the Ibo Pishak faction of the Kangleipak Communist Party.
The NIA says the KYLP has been declared a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
लामो सङ्घर्षपछि स्थापना भयो जङ्गवीर सापकोटाको सालिग
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 4 अगस्त। लगभग 5 वर्षसम्म विवादमा रहेपछि अन्तमा यहॉंको नोभेल्टी हल परिसरमा स्वतन्त्रता सेनानी जङ्गवीर सापकोटाको सालिग स्थापना गरियो। सापटोटाको सालिग निर्माण गर्ने पहल सालिग निर्माण समितिको अहिलेदेखिको थिएन। सालिग स्थललाई लिएर भएको धेरै सङ्घर्षपछि प्रशासनले पनि समितिको साथ दिँदै उक्त स्थानमा रहेको रामाशंकर प्रसादको घर अवैद्य ठहर गरेर तोड़िदिएपछि समितिको निम्ति सालिग स्थापना गर्न मार्ग खुल्ला भएको थियो। फलस्वरूप आज नोभेल्टी हल परिसरमा रहेको उक्त स्थलमा जङ्गवीर सापकोटाको सालिग स्थापना गरियो। सालिग निर्माण समितिका पदाधिकारीहरू नोर्देन लामा, पी.बी.घतानी, विजय सुन्दास, नेपाली अनुसूचित जाति सङ्घको पक्षबाट विनोद दियाली, विभिन्न सङ्घ-संस्था अनि केही राजनैतिक दलका प्रतिनिधिहरूको उपस्थितिवीच सालिग स्थापना गरियो।
समितिका सभापति नोर्देन लामाले कतिपय असामाजिक तत्वहरूको कारणले सालिग आजसम्म स्थापना हुन विलम्ब भएको बताए। तिनले बताएनुसार आगामी 15 अगस्त स्वतन्त्रता दिवसको उपलक्ष्यमा सालिगको विधिवत्‌ अनावरण गरिने भएको छ। सालिग निर्माण त भयो तर नगरमा रहेको अन्य सालिगहरूको झैं यसको पनि जीर्ण अवस्था भए सापकोटाको सालिगको कुनै महत्त्व नरहने सम्बन्धमा लामाले भने, अहिलेसम्म कतै पनि स्थापना नभएको सापकोटाको सालिग निर्माण गर्न हामी सफल भएका छौं। यो गोर्खाहरूको निम्ति गौरवको विषय हो। यसैले सालिग निर्माण भइसकेपछि सालिग संरक्षण समिति बनिनेछ अनि सोही समितिले नै यसको देखरेख गर्नेछ। महकुमा अधिकारी, पुलिस प्रशासन, संङ्घ-संस्था, राजनैतिक दल लगायत आर्थिक सहयोग पुर्‍याउने सबैको सहयोगमा नै सालिग निर्माण हुनसकेको समितिले थप जनाएको छ।
यूजीआरएफ राष्ट्रविरोधी दल होइन - यूजीआरएफलाई यूएलएसँग जोड्नु आफूलाई फँसाउने षडयन्त्र मात्र हो-अजय दाहाल
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 4 अगस्त। 'यूजीआरएफ नाम फेरेर यूएलए भएको शंका'-भनी एक दैनिकमा सामाचार प्रकाशित भएपछि यूजीआरएफ प्रमुख अजय दाहालले उक्त कुराको घोर आपत्ति जनाएका छन्‌। तिनले आज एक पत्रकार सम्मेलनको आयोजना गर्दै यो आफूलाई फँसाउने षड्यन्त्र मात्र रहेको बताएका छन्‌। कसैको स्वार्थको निम्ति यूएलएजस्तो अपरिपक्क राष्ट्रविरोधी दलसँग आफूलाई मुछ्‌ने प्रयास गरेकोमा घोर आपत्ति जनाउँदै भने, यहॉं मलाई फँसाउने षड्यन्त्र हुँदैछ। यूजीआरएफ राष्ट्रविरोधी दल होइन, हामी क्रान्तिकारी दिशामा कार्य गरेर छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड माग्ने दल हौं।
क्रान्तिकारीहरूले बसमा बम राख्ने कुरा सोंच्न पनि सक्तैनन्‌ अनि साधारण जनतालाई दुःख दिने कार्य क्रान्तिकारीहरूले कदापि गर्दैनन्‌। उक्त समाचार प्रकाशित गर्ने दैनिकको माध्यमबाट कसैको स्वार्थको निम्ति छुट्टै राज्य माग्ने दलहरूप्रति षड्‌यन्त्र भइरहेको बताउँदै तिनले भने, कसको स्वार्थको निम्ति यूजीआरएफलाई वम बिस्फोट अनि यूएलएसँग जोड्दैछ? कसको स्वार्थमा, कसको भनाईमा, कसको निर्देशनमा, कसको प्रभावमा आफूलाई फँसाउन यस्तो कार्य गरिँदैछ? एकपल्ट होइन तर लगातार तीन दिनसम्म यस समाचारलाई स्थापित गर्नुको अर्थ के हो? तिनले प्रश्न गरे। तिनले अझ बताए अनुसार जनताले जीटीएलाई पूर्ण रूपले समर्थन जनाएको छैन अनि मोर्चा भित्रमै पनि दुइ पक्ष देखिन थालेको छ।
यस्तो अवस्थामा छुट्टै राज्य माग्ने दलहरूलाई दमन गर्ने षड्यन्त्र पनि हुनसक्ने तिनले अनुमान लगाएका छन्‌। तिनले अझ भने-2006 सालमा एक दैनिकले म पल्टनमा छँदा पनि कन्धाहार प्लेन हाइजेकमा जोड़ेर गोरामुमोको आयु लम्बाउने प्रयास गरेको थियो भने आज भारतीय संविधानको आधारमा छुट्टै राज्य माग्ने क्रान्तिकारीलाई, बाबाको किरिया बारेर भर्खरै निस्केको अजय दाहाललाई पत्रिकाको माध्यमबाट सत्ताको सेवा गर्न अनापसनाप लेखेर बङ्गाल सरकार अनि पुलिसलाई वातावरण बनाइदिने कार्य गर्दैछन्‌। यस पूर्वाग्रहित पित पत्रकारिता अनि सम्पादकको गैर जिम्मेवारीपूर्ण कार्यको विरोधमा प्रेस गिल्ड, प्रेस क्लब कालेबुङमा पनि गुनासो दर्ता गर्ने अनि पत्रिकाको विरोधमा मानहानी मुद्दा पनि दर्ता गर्ने बताएका छन्‌। तिनले पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा बम बिस्फोट गराइनुको केही सम्भावनाहरू पनि व्यक्त गरेका छन्‌। प्रथम यो स्टोभ बम नभएर ड्रग दुर्व्यसनी या साधारण नागरीकहरूद्वारा भएको दुर्घटना हो।
यूएलए नामक कुनै सङ्गठन छ जसले स्टोभ बम पड्काएर जीटीएको विरोध जनायो अनि 86 सालको आन्दोलनलाई 88 मा बेचेपछि जनविद्रोहलाई दमन गर्न जसरी सुवास घिसिङले विभिन्न मुद्दाहरूमा फँसाएर जेल हाल्ने कार्य गरे त्यसरी नै अहिले पनि जनतामा आतङ्‌क फैलाउन अनि इमान्दार आन्दोलनकारीहरूलाई थन्को लगाउन यो सम्पूर्ण नाटक सत्ता र व्यवस्थाकै उपज हो। थेगिम नाम भएको मानिसको कुनै अस्तित्व छैन। यो विस्फोट पनि आजको सत्ता र व्यवस्थाको मिलिभगतमा भएको पुरानै इतिहासको पुनरावृत्ति हो, गोर्खा जातिको सङ्घर्षलाई दमन गर्ने तेस्रो अध्याय हो भन्ने सम्भावनाहरू व्यक्त गरेका छन्‌। कम भाड़ामा यात्रीहरूलाई सेवा पुर्‍याउने एनबीएसटीसी बसमा मात्र स्टोफ बम पड्काइनुमा तिनले व्यवसाय होड़बाजीको निम्ति यस्तो कार्य हुनसक्ने पनि सम्भावना व्यक्त गरेका छन्‌।
Staff stop work to get back tax collection right

VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Aug. 4: The employees of Darjeeling municipality started an indefinite pen-down strike from this afternoon to protest against the civic body’s decision to allow people to pay property tax at banks, instead of the municipal office.
Rabi Magar, the general secretary of the Darjeeling Municipality Employee’s Union, said the Darjeeling subdivisional officer had taken the decision without even consulting the employees.
“The move has caused a lot of inconvenience to the people as tax details do not match at times and they have to constantly shuttle between the bank and the office. Moreover, around 16 of our employees are left with little work,” said Magar.
The SDO is also the chairperson of the board of administrators of the municipality. The new system was introduced on June 6.
The union showed copies of letters written by various associations like the Ganesh Gram Sewa Samity, Koseli Sangh and Gurkha Sudhar Samity, citing the inconveniences people had been facing ever since the Darjeeling municipality had stopped the collection of property tax.
“We started the pen-down strike from 1pm today and will carry on with the agitation till the decision is reversed. We will also hold a gate meeting on August 6 and all employees will take casual leave en masse on a later date,” said Magar.
The staff members alleged that the SDO had refused to listen to their grievances. “That is why we started the agitation,” said Magar.
The SDO, Tamal Das, said the banks had been given the task of tax collection to keep pace with time.
“Such a system is being introduced everywhere as we need to move forward. In this manner, we can slowly introduce net banking facilities to enable the people to make payments even from their homes. No individual has made any complaint against the payment of property tax through banks. Nevertheless, we are ready to address the grievances of tax payers,” he said.
Das ruled out the possibility of the municipality reverting to the earlier system.
“I have found out that no individual has to stand in queues for more than 15 minutes to pay the property tax in the bank. We have talked to the bank authorities and requested them to open more counters on days when there is a rush,” said Das.
The SDO added that the civic body would gradually hand over to the banks the task of collecting water bills, trade licence taxes and mutation fees.
“We have to move with time,” said Das.
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok 4th August:A meeting of the Nagar Raj Bhasha Karyaven Samity (NARAKAS) was held in Gangtok on Thursday in an effort to increase use of Hindi in the official works in Central Government offices, undertakings and banks located in Gangtok. Presiding over the meeting, Accountant General, AG office Gangtok Shri Dinesh Bhakta who is also the Chairman of NARAKAS stressed the need to accelerate use of Hindi in official works so as to fulfill the target set by the government for its implementation. Shri Amit Prasad, Deputy Inspector General ITBP has said Hindi played an important role in the nation building process and stressed the need to simply its usage in official works as the language evolves itself over a period of time.
In his key note address, Shri A.K.Mishra, Assistant Director, Department of Official Language in the Ministry of Home Affairs - North Eastern Region, Guwahati urged all central government offices, undertakings and banks to fulfill the 50% target set for use of Hindi in official works for preparation of reports and 20 to 30% in official noting in the region. Describing Hindi as the link language, he said it is compulsory for all central government offices and establishments to set up a language implementation committee to promote use of Hindi in all offices. Assuring full help for promotion of the official language, Shri Mishra said government is providing financial incentives for its effective use and assured that a Hindi typing training would be organized soon for government offices in Gangtok.
Executive Engineer, CPWD Mr. Chandra Paul who is the Secretary of the NARAKAS also addressed the gathering. A large number of officers from central government offices, undertakings and Banks located in Gangtok took part in discussions on implementation of the Hindi in their offices in the day long meeting held at the CPWD complex in Gangtok.
AAGSU appeals ULFA to negotiate the best in lieu of sovereignty
PR, KalimNews: The All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU) apex organization Gorkha youths and students of Assam which is one of the 126 member organization of Sanmillata Jatiya Parishad have wished the protalk United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) to negotiate the best in lieu of sovereignty. The ULFA and Ministry of Home Affairs is stated to meet in the national capital New Delhi to discuss the ULFA’s charter of demand on 5th Aug 2011. This message have been conveyed to ULFA leadership over phone by its Information and Publicity Secretary Nanda Kirati Dewan.
‘Being a part of the Sanmillata Jatiya Parishad, AAGSU have always been in favour of ULFA and Government of India talks to resolve all the issues raised by the ULFA and organization supporting the peace process. The thirty year old demand for sovereignty raised by ULFA must be respected and ULFA must be accorded with the best possible negotiation deal in the dialogue process. We appeal the ULFA leadership to negotiate the best in lieu of the sovereignty and wish them best of luck.’ said Nanda Kirati Dewan, Information and Publicity Secy. AAGSU in a press statement here in Guwahati.
Recalling AAGSU-ULFA leadership talks after ULFA leaders were released for public mandate, the AAGSU leader added in the statement that total regional autonomy with a lower and upper house in place of Bidhan Sabha with a new set up was one of suggestion conceptualized and supported by AAGSU in a meeting with the ULFA leadership. AAGSU favours a peaceful and amicable solution to the three decade old conflict between India the nation and state of Assam.
AAGSU have reposed its faith in the largest parliamentary democratic nation of the world that would take all necessary step to usher peace in trouble torn region respecting the separatist feelings and emotion that lead to the birth of an armed organization like ULFA some 30 years back. This peace parleys with ULFA in a conducive atmosphere will be a very important step of the union government to arrest the violence path taken by section of Northeastern India youths. The AAGSU is committed to the proposed peace process with the Gorkha population of Assam actively participating in all democratic strategy making process successful.
Lockout after garden gherao

TT, Alipurduar, Aug. 4: The manager of the Bharnobari Tea Garden was confined to his office for more than three hours and made to walk two kilometres to the Hasimara police outpost to protest against his alleged highhandedness in the estate’s day-to-day affairs.
The labourers’ misbehaviour with Nand Kishor Singh has forced the management to declare a lockout in the garden.
Singh filed an FIR against the workers for harassing and assaulting him at the outpost which is under the Jaigaon police station.
The Dooars Terai Darjeeling Tea Workers’ Union alleged that the manager had set a rule that money would be deducted from the labourers’ wages, if each of them failed to pluck at least 25kg tea leaves a day.
“The union has been holding gate meetings in every garden in the Dooars and the Terai since July 22 to demand the revision in wages. But our manager announced today that Re 1 would be deducted from the salary for every 1kg of tea leaves below 25kg that a worker plucks. We heard of this decision and went to him to seek an explanation. But he remained adamant and called the police. It was then that the workers made him walk to the police outpost,” said Asram Sharma, a leader of the union, affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
The labourers told the police at the outpost that they did not want to work under Singh.
The manager had been confined to his office by the workers since 12.30pm and it was around 4pm when he was made to walk with the workers and a number of policemen to the outpost at Hasimara.
Bharnobari has had its share of problems in the past also. The garden had been closed from December 29, 2005 till April 27, 2008. There are 2,034 workers in the garden.
Sharma said the manager had been telling the police that he had been abused and manhandled by the workers. “But the fact is that no one even touched him,” he said.
Singh, however, said no final decision had been taken on the deduction of money from the wages.” “We have to increase production as we have to pay the wages to the workers on August 8. I tried to tell them that I would implement the decision after discussing the matter with our head office in Calcutta. The trade union leaders misguided the workers. They forced me to walk to the outpost and they even pushed and shoved me from behind,” Singh said.
Policy for Road Accident Victims

Uh ohPIB, KalimNews: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, under the scheme “National Highways Accident Relief Service Scheme (NHARSS)” provides 10-ton cranes and small medium cranes for hilly areas and ambulances to States/ UTs for relief and rescue measures in the aftermath of accidents by way of evacuating road accident victim to nearest medical aid centre and for clearing the accident site. Their deployment is done by the respective State Governments/ UTs on National Highways on accident prone stretches, having a distance of 50 Kms. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also provides ambulances at an average of 50km stretch of National Highways entrusted to them and cranes are deployed at every Toll Plaza which is normally at about 60 Km intervals.
The list of locations where ambulances and cranes are parked is available on the website of NHAI. Display boards giving such information are already in place at every 5 km. on either side of National Highways. This information was given by the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways , Dr. Tushar A. Chaudhary in a written reply in Lok Sabha yesterday.
Tea meet yields no results
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 4: A tripartite meeting held in Calcutta today to discuss the revision of the wages of the workers in the Dooars and the Terai tea gardens yielded no results.
Talks, however, would resume tomorrow. Planters and the representatives of trade unions are hopeful that the wage issue would be resolved soon. Earlier, most of the trade unions had demanded a daily wage of Rs 165 while the Progressive Tea Workers’ Union had demanded Rs 250 per day. Today, the PTWU said they can settle for Rs 130 per day. Representatives of the Dooars Branch of the Indian Tea Association have asked the PTWU to reduce the wage demand to below Rs 130.
Road mishap
TT, Balurghat: One person died and two others were injured when the motorcycle they were riding was hit by a truck on state highway 10 at Bahicha near here on Wednesday. Police said the three were travelling towards Balurghat. The deceased has been identified as Musharaff Ali Sarkara, 23, of Tiroil.
Elephant raid
TT, Jaigaon: A tusker damaged 12 huts on Totopara tea estate near Banarhat on Thursday. Members of the Progressive Tea Workers’ Union have distributed 10kg rice to each of the affected families. Foresters said the tusker had come from the nearby Moraghat forest.
Tiger dead
TT, Alipurduar: A 19-year-old tiger died at the South Khairbari Tiger Rehabilitation Centre on Thursday. Omprakash, the divisional forest officer of wildlife-III said the animal had been suffering from renal problems since July 9.
Bail for rebels
TT, Alipurduar: Madhab Mondol, alias Malkhan Singh, a KLO member who was in the Alipurduar Special Correctional Home, was released after the court granted him bail on Thursday night. Six other KLO members were also released from the prison after they were granted bail on Thursday.
Municipal and Panchayat elections to be held in the Darjeeling Hills soon
Amitava Banerjee, HT,Darjeeling, August 03: Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) along with delimitation formed the main focal point of discussion between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a GJM delegation led by President Bimal Gurung in a meeting in Kolkata on Wednesday. The meeting also decided that Municipal and Panchayat elections would be held in the Darjeeling Hills soon.
After an all party meeting at the State Secretariat to discuss the proposed name change of the State and reorganization of certain districts of West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met the GJM delegation.
“Only population cannot be the criteria for reorganization. Topography, backwardness of the area, available infrastructure has to be taken into consideration also” added Roshan Giri, GJM General Secretary.
“We proposed that Darjeeling district be bifurcated into two districts – one comprising of Darjeeling, Kurseong and the mouzas that will be added from the Terai region (Siliguri sub division) and the other comprising of Kalimpong and the new mouzas to be incorporated from Dooars region (Jalpaiguri district.) We even requested that delimitation wherever necessary including the Panchayat and Municipality levels should be initiated immediately” stated Harka Bahadur Chettri, GJM Spokesperson.
Chettri stated that the CM’s response was positive and she in turn enquired about Hill Municipal and Panchayat elections. “We told her that we were ready for Municipal and Panchayat elections but it would have to be the State Government that needs to initiate the process” remarked Chettri.
With elections long overdue in the Darjeeling Hill Municipalities and the Panchayats, administrative boards are running both.
As the GJM has demanded that Gorkha dominated mouzas of Terai be included in the GTA, the proposal of bifurcation of the existing Darjeeling district is a clear indicator that the GJM has no objection to the formation of a new district comprising of non-Gorkha areas of Siliguri sub division presently under the Darjeeling district.
Gurung made it clear that the Chief Minister had assured that all electricity arrears along with various State Government taxes (land, motor vehicle, sales, VAT) would be waved off for the Darjeeling Hills. “We will pay only from August 2011 onwards” added Chettri.
In the meeting the Chief Minister stressed on development. “The CM told us that the people of Darjeeling have been starved of development and that it is time that full fledged developmental activities take place despite the financial crunch that the State is facing. We however informed her that freedom is required for us to ensure full fledged development. At times we are throttled by economical and executive constraints. She assured us that she would look into this” stated Chettri.
The GJM has also apprised the Chief Minister that unnecessary police cases have allegedly been initiated against GJM leaders and supporters during the agitation. “She has taken note of this and instructed a thorough probe. Except for murder charges and other grave offences, other charges would be dropped” stated Chettri.
The GJM raised the issues of a new University for the GTA; drinking water, modern parking facilities for the Hill towns. “The CM stated that all these issues already feature in the project proposal under the GTA and will definitely be implemented” stated Chettri.
The GJM delegation enquired about the administrative fate of Reserve Forests under the GTA. “We cannot have dual administrations controlling areas (read Reserve Forests) under the GTA. It will cause unnecessary confusion. The CM stated that she has already taken up the matter with the Union Government and is awaiting a response” remarked the GJM Spokesperson.
“I have invited Mamata didi to visit the Hills. She has decided to visit sometimes around Durga puja” stated Gurung. The GJM Chief declared Wednesday’s meeting as “fruitful.”
Divide Darjeeling into two districts: GJM
IANS, Kolkata, August 03, 2011: The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) on Wednesday demanded the bifurcation of Darjeeling district due to its “uneven development” and demography. A two-member GJM delegation placed the demand at an all-party meet convened by the West Bengal government at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings here.
“We have placed our demand regarding the bifurcation of Darjeeling… considering the uneven development in the district, the terrain, backwardness, and topography. We want Darjeeling to be bifurcated but that should be done after the formation of the GTA (Gorkha Territorial Administration),” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said after coming out of the meeting.
The meeting dwelt on renaming of the state and reorganisation of larger districts.
A tripartite agreement on the trouble-torn Darjeeling hills in northern West Bengal was signed July 18 between the GJM and the state and central governments, triggering euphoria in the hills, but protests and a shutdown in the plains.
At the core of the accord is the formation of a new autonomous elected hill council, the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), which is armed with more powers as compared to its predecessor, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC), formed in the late 1980s.
An expert committee has been set up for the purpose of the survey of the Gorkha-dominated parts of Siliguri, Terai (plains of Darjeeling) and Dooars (foothills of the eastern Himalyas) to examine if areas from these places can be brought under the GTA.
The committee is expected to give its report in six months.
Giri, however, demanded that there should be no division of Jalpaiguri district.
“We don’t want division of Jalpaiguri district and Alipurduar area as of now before the report of the high power committee,” said Giri.
The GJM has been spearheading the agitation for a new state of Gorkhaland to be carved out of Darjeeling and some parts of Jalpaiguri districts for the last three years after sidelining the Subash Ghising-led Gorkha National Liberation Front, which was in the forefront of the movement since the 1980s.
The three-decade long anti-government protests have witnessed killings, police crackdowns and long shutdowns which severely impacted the hills’ economic mainstays — tea, timber and tourism.
TNN, KOLKATA: At the all-party meeting held in Kolkata on Wednesday to discuss the reorganization of districts of West Bengal, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) suggested the bifurcation of Darjeeling.
The GJM also recorded its objection against the proposal of the state government to bifurcate Jalpaiguri district till the formation of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), with the apparent aim to bring the areas in Dooars the GJM wants to be included in GTA under the administrative jurisdiction of a new district.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said later that he had suggested at the meeting that the population of Darjeeling district had grown much and it would help in better administration if the district was bifurcated. Being a hill area, districts of smaller size were preferable, he argued. The GJM delegates, including Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri, wanted one district to comprise Darjeeling and Kurseong subdivisions on the western part of the Teesta and the Terai areas included in the present Darjeeling district and the second district to comprise the Kalimpong subdivision on the eastern part of the Teesta and parts of Dooars. Both the districts should be placed under GTA, Giri argued. He did not mention anything about the parts of Siliguri subdivision not strictly under Terai.
Giri said Jalpaiguri should not be bifurcated and Alipurduar be constituted into a new district, as suggested by the state government, till the survey of Dooars was completed to finalize the territorial reorganization and GTA was constituted. “Among the 196 mouzas we have demanded in Dooars for inclusion in GTA, some are in Alipurduar subdivision,” Giri said. Three other moujas are in the Rajganj area, adjoining Siliguri town.
GJM president Bimal Gurung did not attend the meeting, but met chief minister Mamata Banerjee later in the day. He said he had discussed with her the issue of reserve forests. GJM wants reserve forests to be brought under the control of GTA. In the memorandum of agreement signed between GJM and the state government, “it was agreed that the state government will make a reference to the Centre on the issue of reserve forests as the power delegated to the state government under the central statute cannot be delegated to any other authority straightaway”.
Gurung also took up with the chief minister the issue of waivers in taxes and tariffs, which was also a part of the MoA. The question of formation of GTA after territorial reorganization also figured in the talks between the two. “The high power committee has been formed and it will give its report in six months. After that election for formation of GTA will take place,” Gurung said.
The GJM chief appeared happy with the approach of the Mamata Banerjee government. “In the past 34 years, the Left Front government has done nothing for the development of the Hills, it has done only politics. Mamata Banerjee’s government has given us a lot. It is developing roads, helping in tourism. The state government and GTA will work together,” Gurung said.
The chief minister had a closed-door meeting with opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra during the day to discuss the Darjeeling situation. Mishra had earlier expressed his reservations about the way the new government had signed an agreement with GJM.
Mishra appeared satisfied after the meeting, but did not disclose anything about it. “Whatever was discussed in the meeting is between me and the chief minister,” he said.
GJM discusses inclusion of reserve forests in GTA
PTI: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Wednesday discussed inclusion of reserve forests in the jurisdiction of the newly-formed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in Darjeeling, with the West Bengal government.
GJM leaders would meet Union Home minister P Chidambaram in Delhi on August 5 and discuss the issue of including reserve forests, GJM President Bimal Gurung said after a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here.
Also discussed were taxation and development of tourism projects, he told reporters during the meeting which took place 16 days after the signing of the Darjeeling tripartite agreement.
Mr. Gurung said that a high-powered committee was working to decide on which areas would be included in the jurisdiction of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the new hill council in Darjeeling.
Stating that the GJM in collaboration with the state government would work for development of Darjeeling, he said “For the last 34 years, we got nothing. Now we will work jointly to develop ourselves.
“I am satisfied at our meeting with the chief minister whom I have invited to visit Darjeeling,” Mr. Gurung, who was accompanied by GJM general secretary Roshan Giri and party MLA Harkabahadur Chhetri, said.
The Chief Minister, when asked about the meeting, described it as a courtesy call.

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