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Monday, October 31, 2011

Relief from centre yet to reach Sikkim...छुट्टैराज्यको निम्ति जोइन्ट एक्सन कमिटी बनाइने 12 नोभेम्बर सर्वदलीय बैठक...हाइपावर कमिटीलाई सजिलो भयो-डा. छेत्री...बिजनबारी काण्ड ‘न्यायिक जॉंच नहुनुमा राजनैतिक षडयन्त्र’...जी एण्ड एटीए पनि आलोचनाको शिकार...आविप र मोर्चाबीचको सम्झौताःशुरू भयो विवाद...Mamata ‘displeased’ with Morcha move - Ploy to step up plains demand...Left drops in on GTA panel on last day...KPP resents focus on Darjeeling...Hill traders’ woes stay...2 matches lined up for Kalimpong - Gurkha Gold Cup to kick-off on November 4...‘State’s refusal led to conciliation with GJMM’

Relief from centre yet to reach Sikkim
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, GANGTOK, October 31: Concerned over the time consuming process of getting the Central earthquake relief package of Rs. 1000 crores, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today expressed a possibility of using the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) options for rebuilding Sikkim.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had announced a financial package of Rs. 1000 crores for rebuilding Sikkim which had been battered by the September 18 earthquake. As things stand today, process involving project reports by the State government to extract the Central funds along with its release by different Ministries would take some more months.
Meanwhile, there is already a widespread belief among the people here that the Rs.1000 crores Central funds have already been received by the State government, a notion which Chamling has been regularly refuting in different public forums. He has been maintaining that the Central relief funds are yet to reach Sikkim and departments here are engaged in preparing detailed project reports to be submitted to different Ministries.
“At this moment, the Sikkimese Janta must understand why I have raised the issue of seeking funds from World Bank and ADB. We want to use technology and help from financial lending institutions of the world for rebuilding Sikkim. This is an opinion which I am placing before the people”, said Chamling today during the Rashitray Sankalp Diwas function organized here at Chintan Bhavan.
The Chief Minister had first mooted such options on October 14 during a meet of the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party subsequently attracting criticism from the opposition political parties who argued that there is no need to approach the global financial institutions as the Centre has already promised a sum of Rs. 1000 crores.
“We should use help from anyone to rebuild Sikkim and this includes World Bank and ADB but such things are taken negatively by certain people. We live in a global village and Sikkim must use the global opportunities and developmental schemes”, said Chamling. He directed the departmental heads to start thinking on how to make maximum use of World Bank, ADB and Central government agencies for rebuilding Sikkim.
Chamling’s proposal of seeking help from global financial agencies apparently stems from his conviction that the Central assistance of Rs. 1000 crores for rebuilding Sikkim would
not be enough. The Sikkim government had submitted a damage assessment report of around Rs. 7000 crores to the Prime Minister when he had visited Sikkim on September 29 but Dr Singh announced only a relief amount of Rs. 1000 crores for immediate restoration of infrastructure in Sikkim.
Officials informed that the Sikkim government has received only Rs. 50 crores so far from the Centre. The remaining balance of Rs. 950 crores will be released only after scrutiny of projects submitted to the Centre by different departments of the Sikkim government.
In his address, the Chief Minister said that the State government will build new houses for those whose houses have been completely damaged by the earthquake. He directed the concerned departments to initiate ground works for constructing new houses within a week. For those who are better-off, we will facilitate soft loans so that they can rebuild or repair their houses, he said.
Directing his remarks to the gathering of school students, Chamling spoke about the misdirected criticism on his government over the shoddy road conditions in Sikkim. “A total of 873 kms of road in Sikkim is under Border Roads Organization. These roads includes the NH 31A, North Sikkim highway and other important roads in Sikkim and all are in bad shape. These roads are not under us and yet our government is blamed for the bad road conditions”, he said urging the students to spread this fact around their friends.
A friendly suggestion was directed to the government employees on proposed Lokpal bill from the Centre in coming months. Once the bill for curbing corruption is passed, it will be implemented in all States including Sikkim.
Introducing the proposed Lokpal Bill in the context of thousands of crores of rupees to be used for rebuilding Sikkim and to fulfill the public demands made during his ‘village to village’ tour, the Chief Minister suggested the State government officials to keep proper accounts of their assets. Once the Lokpal bill is enacted, anyone can file a complaint against you and a case of disproportionate assets will be initiated against us, he said.
छुट्टै राज्यको निम्ति जोइन्ट एक्सन कमिटी बनाइने 12 नोभेम्बर सर्वदलीय बैठक
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 31 अक्टोबर। दार्जीलिङ पहाडको राजनीतिमा अहिले निक्कै चहलपहल बढिरहेको भएपनि भारतीय गोर्खा परिसङ्घ भने सबै राजनैतिक दल, सङ्घ-संस्था अनि वरिष्ट नागरिकहरूलाई लिएर गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति साझा मञ्च तयार गर्नपट्टि लागिपरेको छ।
गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति सामुहिक रणनीति बनाउन भागोपले कसरत गरिरहेको छ। 23 अक्टोबरमा भागोपले सिलगडीमा सर्वदलीय बैठक बोलाएको भएपनि बिजनबारीको घटनाले कतिपय राजनैतिक दलहरूले बैठकमा सहभागिता जनाएन। केही राजनैतिक दल अनि सङ्घ-स्थाहरूलाई लिएर बैठक भएपनि बैठक निष्कर्ष बिहिन रह्यो। फलस्वरूप भागोपले फेरि 12 अक्टोबरको दिन कालेबुङमा नै सर्वदलीय बैठक गर्न राजनैतिक दल अनि सङ्घ-संस्थाहरूलाई निमन्त्रणा गरेको छ।
कालेबुङमा हुने बैठकमा नै जोइन्ट एक्सन कमिटी फर गोर्खाल्याण्ड गठन गरिने अनि आगामी रणनीति तय गरिने टास्क फोर्सका राष्ट्रिय अध्यक्ष आर मोक्तानले जनाएका छन्‌। यता गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा विकासको पहलमा लागिपरेको छ अनि मोर्चाले छुट्टैराज्यको सवालमा राजनैतिकरुपले नै हात उठाएपछि भागोपले राजनैतिक अनि गैरराजनीतिक दलहरूलाई लिएर राष्ट्रियस्तरमा नै छुट्टैराज्यको आन्दोलन गर्ने तयारी गरिरहेको छ।
भागोपको यस्तो तयारीपछि नै देखापरेको मोर्चा र आविपबीचको विकासको मुद्दामा राजनैतिक समिकरणले भागोपको पहलमाथि लङि्‌क लगाउने हो कि भन्ने शंका पनि गरिन थालिएको छ। यता ममता व्यानर्जीले नै तराई र पहाडलाई मिलाएर राख्ने बताएकोले कुनै पनि परिस्थितिमा तराई-डुवर्स अनि पहाडमा छुट्टैराज्यको आन्दोलनलाई टाउको उठाउन नदिइने शंका गरिए पनि भागोपले आन्दोलनलाई क्षेत्रीय नबानाएर राष्ट्रिय बनाउने बताइसकेको छ।
यता तराई, डुवर्स र पहाडमा विकासको पहल शुरू भएपछि प्रस्तावित क्षेत्रबाट आन्दोलन हुन सम्भव छैन यसकारण भागोपलाई राष्ट्रिय आन्दोलन गर्न राष्ट्रिय सहमति जुटाएर प्रभावकारी आन्दोलन गर्नुपर्ने दायित्व आइपरेको पनि देखिएकोछ।

हाइपावर कमिटीलाई सजिलो भयो-डा. छेत्री
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 31 अक्टोबर। गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा अनि आदिवासी विकास परिषदबीच जी एण्ड एटीएको निम्ति सहमति बनेपछि जीटीए सीमाङ्‌कनको निम्ति गठित हाइपावर कमिटीको औचित्यमाथि प्रश्न चिन्ह खडा भएकोछ्। किन भने मोर्चाले तराई र डुवर्सका गोर्खा बाहुल क्षेत्र जीटीएमा सामेल हुनुपर्ने कुरा राखिएपछि हाइपावर कमिटी गठन गरिएको थियो जसले तराई र डुवर्सको गोर्खा बाहुल क्षेत्र छुट्याउनको निम्ति कार्य शुरू गरिसकेको थियो। कार्य भइरहेको बेला नै फेरि मोर्चा र आदिवासी विकास परिषद्ले जीटीएमा तराई र डुवर्स सम्पूर्णरुपले अन्तरभुक्तिको दाबी गर्दै तराई, डुवर्स अनि पहाड मिलाएर सञ्चालन हुने प्रशासनको नाम समेत राखिसकेको छ। तराई, डुवर्स र पहाडको निम्ति सञ्चालित हुने प्रशासनको नाम गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन रहेको छ
यो नयॉं नाम आउने वित्तिकै हाइपावर कमिटीको औचित्यमाथि स्वतः नै प्रश्न चिन्ह खडा भएको छ। तराई र डुवर्स मिलाएर नै क्षेत्रीय प्रशासनको दाबी गरिने हो भने हाइपावर कमिटी किन चाहिन्छ? यस्तो प्रश्न उठिरहेको भए पनि मोर्चा प्रवक्ता डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले हाइपावर कमिटीको काम अझ सहज भएको बताए। तिनले भने, पहिले जीटीएमा गोर्खाहरूले मात्र अन्तरभुक्ति हुने निवेदन हाइपावर कमिटीलाई गरेको थियो तर हिजो नै आदिवासी समुदायले पनि मोर्चालाई जीटीएमा सामेल हुने कुरामा समर्थन गरेका छन्‌। आदिवासी पनि जीटीएमा आउने भएकोले नै हाइपावर कमिटीको काम सहज बनेको छ। जलपाइगढी जिल्लापालको कार्यालयमा आदिवासीहरूले जीटीएमा नपस्ने भनेर दिएको ज्ञापन पनि फिर्ता गरिएको डा.छेत्रीले बताएका छन्‌। यता आविपको राज्य समितिले मोर्चा र क्षेत्रीय आविपको सहमतिलाई मान्य नगरेको केही राष्ट्रिय मीडियामा आएको सामाचारको खण्डन गर्दै तिनले हिजो भएको सम्झौता हुन अघि आविपसित धेरैपल्ट वार्तामा बसेको अनि वार्तामा आविपको राज्य समितिबाट नै जीएण्ड एटीएको नामको प्रस्ताव आएकोले आविपको सम्पूर्ण नेतृत्वको सम्झौतामा सहमति रहेको तिनले जनाए।

बिजनबारी काण्ड ‘न्यायिक जॉंच नहुनुमा राजनैतिक षडयन्त्र’
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 31 अक्टोबर। बिजनबारी घटनास्थलमा क्रामाकपाले स्थलगत भ्रमण गरेपछि आज एक पत्रकार सम्मेलन डाकेर घटना भएको यतिदिनपछिसम्म पनि न्यायिक जॉंच नहुनुमा राजनैतिक षडयन्त्र रहेको दाबी गरेको छ। क्रामाकपा उपाध्यक्ष जेबी राईले स्थलगत भ्रमण गरेपछि धेरैवटा तथ्यहरू अघि आएको बताउँदै घटनाको कारण त्यहॉं आयोजित राजनैतिक जनसभा अनि मेला रहेको स्पष्ट पारे।
यस कुरालाई ममता व्यानर्जी बिजनबारी नपुग्नुले पनि पुष्टि गर्ने बताउँदै तिनले भने, पुल भत्किएको अनि अनि मानिसहरूको मत्यु भएको कुरा राज्यपाललाई थाहा थियो, जुन कुरा ममता व्यानर्जीलाई बताइएको कारण नै दिल्लीबाट कोलकाता भर्खर आइपुगेकी मुख्यमन्त्री बिजनबारीको खबर पाएर रातारात दार्जीलिङ आइपुगे पनि बिजनबारी झरिनन्‌। यसको कारण के हो? तिनले पुलसित बिजुलीको तार चुँडिएको, प्रशासनिक अनुमति बिना नै मेला अनि राजनैतिक जनसभा गरेको कुरा जिल्लापाललाई थाहा रहेको अनि मुख्यमन्त्रीलाई सबैकुरा बताएकोले मुख्यमन्त्रीले पीडितहरूको सामना गर्ने आँट नगरेर दार्जीलिङबाट नै क्षतिपूर्ति राशिको घोषणा गर्नु परेको पनि राईले जनाए। 
तिनले भने, घटनाबारे कुनै पनि पक्षको सही विवृति आएको छैन। 32 जनाको ज्यान गएको बताइए पनि हामी भ्रमणमा जॉंदा 42 जनाको ज्यान गएको, 50 भन्दा धेरै घाइते रहेको अनि धेरै संख्यामा अपङ्ग रहेको पत्तो लागेको छ। ममता व्यानर्जीले एक मान्छेलाई गाडीले कुल्चिँदा न्यायको निम्ति राजनैतिक ताण्डव गर्थिन, नन्दीग्रामको निम्ति यसरी नै लडिन्‌, टाटा न्यानो हटाउने लडाईँ गरिन्‌, तिनै ममता व्यानर्जीले बिजनबारी काण्डमाथि न्यायिक जॉंच नगराउनुको पछि के रहस्य छ? तिनले घटना हुनुमा जो संलग्न थिए उनीहरूलाईे बचाउनको निम्ति, गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलनलाई  विकाससित सम्झौता गर्ने जुन दल छ, आन्दोलनबारे विभ्रान्ति ल्याउने दल छ उसलाई अप्ठ्यारो नपरोस्‌ भनेर ममता व्यानर्जी बिजनबारी नजाने निर्णय लिएको बताउँदै घटनामाथि न्यायिक जॉंच हुनुपर्ने बताएका छन्‌। तिनले कलेजको शिलान्यास अथवा कलेजको निम्ति रहेको जमीनबारे पनि जॉंच हुनुपर्ने पनि जनाएका छन्‌। गोर्खाल्याण्डको अधिकारबाट बञ्चित गराउने षडयन्त्र त छँदैछ देशको कानूनबाट पनि मान्छेले जिउने अधिकार, सुरक्षा र सहुलियतबाट पनि बञ्चित गराउने कार्य भइरहेको छ, जसको विरोध क्रामाकपाले गर्नेछ-तिनले भने।
जी एण्ड एटीए पनि आलोचनाको शिकार
मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 31 अक्टोबर। एकार्काको राजनैतिक क्रिया कलापहरूमा सधैँ एकार्काको वाधा बनिरहने आविप र मोर्चाबीच जुन दलीय समिकरण देखापरेको छ, त्यसमाथि पनि पहाडका राजनैतिक दलहरूले आलोचना शुरू गरेको छ। आविप-मोर्चाको राजनैतिक मिलनले पहाडको राजनैतिक शिविरमा निक्कै उथुलपुथुल मच्चाएको छ भने जनतामा पनि व्यापक अन्योलता छाएको छ। गोर्खाल्याण्ड भन्दा भन्दै मोर्चाले जीटीए भन्ने आदत बसालेको भए पनि अब फेरि जनतालाई जी एण्ड ए टीए भन्न पर्ने स्थिति आइपरेको छ। यस्तोमा पहाडको सक्रिय विपक्ष दलकोरुपमा रहेको क्रान्तिकारी मार्क्सवादी कम्युनिष्ट पार्टीले आविप र मोर्चाबीचको सम्झौता र सहमति शंकास्पद र रहस्यमय रहेको बताएको छ। एक पत्रकार सम्मेलनलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै क्रामाकपा उपाध्यक्ष जेबी राईले मोर्चाले घरिघरि मुद्दा फेर्ने जुन कार्य गरिरहेको छ, त्यसैलाई हेर्दा पनि आविप र मोर्चाबीचको सम्झौतामा शंका गर्ने ठॉंउ रहेको बताउँदै राईले भने, गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति गठन भएको दलले, गोर्खाल्याण्ड बाहेक एकइञ्च पनि पछि सर्दैनौं भन्नेले पहिले जीटीएमा हस्ताक्षर गर्‍यो। 

गोर्खाल्याण्डको नाममा आन्दोलन गर्दागर्दै अन्तरिम प्राधिकरण भन्यो। प्रधिकरणलाई आविपले विरोध गर्‍यो। विरोध साम्य गराउन दार्जीलिङबाट गोर्खा-आदिवासी विकास प्रदेश-को घोषणा गर्‍यो। यसको पनि विरोध भयो। भूतपूर्व सैनिकहरूले सिलगढीमा पिटाइ खाए। नारीहरूले लात खाए। अनशन बसेर धेरैले बिमार निम्ताए। सबै भइसकेर फेरि लङमार्च फर गोर्खाल्याण्ड भन्दै दार्जीलिङदेखि डुवर्ससम्मको यात्रा निकालियो। धेरैले यसलाई महात्मा गान्धीको दण्डीमार्चसित तुलना गरे तर  सिब्सुमा धेरैको ज्यान लिइयो। गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलनको कारण मदन तामङको हत्या भयो। बिजनबारी काण्ड भयो। जतिले पनि ज्यान गुमाए गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति भएको हो भन्दै मोर्चाले जीटीएमा हस्ताक्षर गरेर फेरि जी एण्ड एटीएसम्म आइपुग्दा गोर्खाल्याण्डको मुद्दा कहॉं पुग्यो सबैले स्पष्टरुपमा बुझ्न सक्नेछन्‌। 
जीटीए नै गोर्खाल्याण्ड अथवा युटी पुग्ने अन्तिम खड्‌किलो हो भन्ने मोर्चाले तराई डुवर्सको सीमानाहरूको अन्तरभुक्ति नभइ चुनाउ नमान्ने भनेर घोषणा गर्ने मोर्चाले आफैले गरेको सम्झौतालाई खारेज गरेर चुनाउ हुँदै गर्छ, सीमाङ्‌कन हुँदैगर्छ भन्नेसम्म पुगेको राईले बताए। तिनले आदिवासीहरूको मुद्दा विकासको रहेको अनि गोर्खाहरूको मुद्दा चिन्हारीको रहेको भन्दै छुट्टैराज्य माग्नेहरूसित मिलेर आविपलाई फाइदा हुने भए पनि गोर्खाहरूलाई भने फाइदा नरहेको पनि बताए। तिनले भने, यस्तो सम्झौता हुनुमा कस्तो रहस्य छ? जब कि सीमाङ्‌कनको काम भइरहेको छ, हाइपावर कमिटीले काम गरिरहेको छ। जुन सम्झौता भयो त्यो मोर्चाको राजनैतिक दुर्वलता र आर्थिक प्रलोभनको कारण भएको हो। 
मोर्चाले यसैकारण नै गोर्खाहरूको चिन्हारीको मुद्दालाई विकाससित सम्झौता गरिरहेको छ। एकातिर तेलङ्गना हुने अवस्था छ अनि यस्तोमा गोर्खाल्याण्डको आवाज नउठोस्‌ भनेर केन्द्र र राज्यले गरेको षडयन्त्रलाई मोर्चाले सहयोग गरिरहेको छ। अर्कोतिर भागोपको गोर्खाल्याण्ड टास्क फोर्सका राष्ट्रिय कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष आर मोक्तानले पनि आविप र मोर्चाबीचको सम्झौता मोर्चाको नितान्त राजनैतिक बाध्यता रहेको बताए। यो मोर्चाको नीतिगत कुरा भएकोले भागोपले यसबारे कुनै पनि टिप्पणी गरिरहन अनिवार्य नमान्ने पनि तिनले जनाए।यद्धपि तिनले मोर्चा र आविपको कसरत विकासको निम्ति रहेको अनि विकास भागोपको निम्ति सेकेण्डरी विषय रहेको बताउँदै तिनले भने, भागोपको सातवटा प्रमुख मुद्दाहरूमध्ये छुट्टैराज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड प्रथम हो। बङ्गालबाट छुट्टिएर गोर्खाहरूको छुट्टैराज्य गठन गर्नु भागोपको मुख्य लक्ष्य हो। 
अहिले मोर्चा र आविपमाझ जुन सॉंठगॉंठ भयो, त्यो केवल विकासको निम्ति मात्र भएका अनि यसले गोर्खाहरूको राष्ट्रिय चिन्हारी नबन्ने पनि तिनले जनाए। अर्कोतिर पिपल्स फोरमले पनि आविप र मोर्चाको मिलन एक महिनाको निम्ति मात्र रहेको बताएको छ। जीटीएको सम्झौतामा नाम परिवर्तन गर्ने कुरा भए पनि जीटीए पुरा क्षमतामा आइसकेपछि मात्र त्यसो गर्न सम्भव हुने छ। फोरमका सचिव प्रवीण गुरूङले मोर्चाले नगरपालिका चुनाउको निम्ति मुद्दा निकाल्न मात्र आविपसित मित्रता गॉंसेको बताउँदै भने, जीटीएलाई पूर्णरूपले खारेज नगरी जी एण्ड एटीएको कुरा गर्नु हॉंस्यास्पद कुरा हो। जीटीए गठन भएको छैन यसमा रहेको प्रावधानको कुरा आएन। तराई र डुवर्स हाल्नको निम्ति बील ल्याइनुपर्छ। किन भने जीटीएको निम्ति हस्ताक्षर भइसकेको छ। अघि मोर्चाले गोर्खा आदिवासी प्रदेशको जस्तै अवस्था यसको पनि हुने छ। वामफ्रण्ट्ले मिल्न दिएन भन्ने आविप र मोर्चाका नेताहरूलाई फेरि ममताले मिल्न लगाएको देखिएको छ। उनीहरूलाई राज्य र केन्द्रले खेलाइरहेको पनि स्पष्ट छ। गुरूङले मोर्चाले आफ्नो स्वार्थ पुरा गरिसकेपछि आविपलाई धोका दिने निश्चित रहेको समेत जनाएका छन्‌।
आविप र मोर्चाबीचको सम्झौताःशुरू भयो विवाद

मनोज बोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 31 अक्टोबर। बुद्धदेव भट्टाचार्यको सरकार होस्‌ अथवा ममता व्यानर्जीको सरकार, दुवैले बङ्गाल विभाजन हुँदैन भनेको छ। छुट्टैराज्यको माग त्यागेर विकासको निम्ति हो भने राज्य सरकार धेरै सहयोग गर्न चहान्छ। दुवै सरकारले नै छुट्टैराज्यको आन्दोलनको विरोध गरेको छ अनि दुवै सरकारले नै पहाडको विकासको कुरा गरेको छ। वामफ्रण्टको सरकारको बेला आन्दोलन छुट्टैराज्यको थियो यसकारण गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाका अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङले भनेका थिए, सुबास घिसिङलाई हटाएर मलाई दागोपापको क्षमता विकास गरेर बस्ने अफर गरेको थियो। मैले ठाडो विरोध गरें, किन भने म विकासको निम्ति आएको होइन, छुट्टैराज्यको निम्ति आएको हुँ।
आज तिनै विमल गुरूङ विकासको निम्ति राज्य सरकारअघि विभिन्न प्रस्तावहरू लिएर गइरहेका छन्‌। तिनलाई राज्य र केन्द्र सरकारले छुट्टैराज्य हुन नसक्ने कुरा बुझाएपछि तिनी छुट्टैराज्यको मुद्दा छोडेर विकासको मुद्दमा लागेका छन्‌ अनि अहिलेसम्म पनि विकासकै मुद्दामा वकालती गरिरहेका छन्‌। आदिवासी विकास परिषदसितको मोर्चाको मित्रता पनि विकासको निम्ति नै रहेको तिनले बताइसकेका छन्‌। तराई, डुवर्स र पहाड एकैसाथ बसेर उन्नति गर्न चहान्छ। 

तराई र डुवर्स मिलाएर एटीए हुन सक्यो भने तराई र डुवर्सका सम्पूर्ण समुदायले त्यसबाट फाइदा पाउन सक्छ जसरी जीटीए हुँदा पहाडका सम्पूर्ण समुदायले त्यसको फाइदा पाइने बताइएको थियो। आदिवासी विकास परिषद्ले एटीएको माग गरेपछि अनि ममता व्यानर्जीले यसमा हरियो झण्डा देखाएपछि अचानक मोर्चा र आविपबीच गोप्य बैठक भयो जीटीए र एटीए अलगअलग नमागेर एकैठाउँ गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन माग्ने घोषणा त्यसबेला गरियो जुन दिनदेखि नै जीटीएमा सामेल हुन गरिएका आवेदनहरू फर्काइन थालिएको थियो अनि आवेदनको मीति सकिएको थियो। स्पष्ट थियो कि मोर्चाले दाबी गरेको मौजाहरू जीटीएमा सामेल हुँदैन। ठीक हाइपावर कमिटीको मुख्य कार्य शुरू हुन अघि नै आविपसित मोर्चाको सहमति हुनुले धेरैवटा शंकाहरूको उपार्जन गरिदिएको छ।
जी एण्ड एटीए हुने हो भने अब हाइपावर कमिटीको औचित्य रहन्छ त? प्रबल रूपमा यो प्रश्न अहिले उठेको छ। जीटीएको सीमाङ्‌कनको निम्ति गठन गरिएको हाइपावर कमिटीले काम थालिसकेको छ तर अहिले आविपसित मिलेर त्यही मोर्चा जुन मोर्चाले जीटीएको निम्ति हस्ताक्षर गरिसकेको छ-ले अब जी एण्ड एटीएमा सबै तराई र डुवर्स पस्न पर्ने नयॉं माग शुरू गरेको छ। यदि तराई, डुवर्स र पहाड एउटै प्रशासनिक क्षेत्रमा गॉंठो पर्ने हो भने हाइपावर कमिटीको कुनै औचित्य रहेन। आविप र मोर्चाले हिजोको पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा हाइपावर कमिटीबारे प्रश्न गर्दा आविपसित भएको सम्झौताबारे हाइपावर कमिटीलाई बुझाइने उत्तर दिइएको थियो। यति मात्र होइन एक मोर्चाका केन्द्रिय समितिका सदस्यसित कुराकानी गर्दा तिनले हाइपावर कमिटीको काम अब सजिलो भएको उत्तर दिएका थिए। जसले जे नै उत्तर दिए पनि अब हाइपावर कमिटी विघटन हुने हो त? विघटन नहुने हो भने यसै विषय नै आविप र मोर्चाबीच द्वन्द्को कारण बन्न सक्ने सबैले अऩुमान गरेका छन्‌।
पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा धेरै कुरा बताइएको छैन। जी एण्ड एटीएको निर्वाचन प्रविधि, राशि अनि अन्य क्षमताहरुको समिकरण कस्तो हुने हो केही नै स्पष्ट छैन। मोर्चाले गोर्खाल्याण्ड राज्यको मुद्दा थन्काएर हस्ताक्षर गरेको जीटीएको खेस्राको अब के हुन्छ? पिन्टेल भिलेजमा मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीको उपस्थितिमा जीटीएमा गरिएको सम्झौता विधानसभामा बीलकोरुपमा आएको छैन अब फेरि बङ्गाल सरकार अनि केन्द्र सरकारले आविप र मोर्चासित जी एण्ड एटीएको निम्ति सम्झौता गर्नु पर्ने भएको छ। नत्र जीटीएलाई नै नाम परिवर्तन गरेर क्षमताहरूको थपघट गराएर काम चलाउनुपर्ने स्थिति देखिए पनि आविपको राज्य समिति मोर्चासितको सहमतिसित खुशी नरहेको कुरा पनि अघि आएको छ। जीटीएको निम्ति केवल सीमाङ्‌कनको समस्या थियो अनि यसको निम्ति हाइपावर कमिटीको कार्य शुरू भइसकेको थियो भने जी एण्ड एटीएमा तराई र डुवर्सको सम्पूर्ण भूभाग सामेल हुनुपर्ने दाबी गरिए पनि यदि गोर्खाहरूको छुट्टैराज्यको सवाल आए जीएण्ड एटीएको औचित्य के हुने हो त्यो भने स्पष्ट छैन।
Mamata ‘displeased’ with Morcha move - Ploy to step up plains demand

MEGHDEEP BHATTACHARYYA, TT, Calcutta, Oct. 31: The state government is “displeased” with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s “efforts to strike a deal” with local leaders of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad to press for the inclusion of the entire Dooars-Terai region within the hill set-up, sources said.
By roping in the Parishad, the Morcha is trying to put pressure on the committee formed to look into the territory issue of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) to include more plains areas in the hill set-up, the government sources said.
Such a move could “alienate the people of the plains from the Trinamul Congress”, the sources added.
“The chief minister is displeased with the Morcha for trying to strike a deal with the Parishad. The outfits now want all the 514 mouzas in the Dooars-Terai region to be included in the GTA. Earlier, the Morcha had demanded the inclusion of 196 mouzas from the plains in the set-up. The Justice (retd) Shyamal Sen-headed committee is looking into the earlier demand,” a Writers’ source said.
The sources said Mamata Banerjee was “against the inclusion of more plains areas in the GTA than what the committee is already looking into”.
“By roping in the tribals, the Morcha is planning to press for the inclusion of more plains areas in the GTA. The Parishad’s support will increase the Morcha’s bargaining power. This will alienate the non-hill population from Trinamul and strengthen the CPM’s claim that the Mamata government is trying to divide Bengal,” one of the sources said.
The Parishad, which had earlier opposed the inclusion of the Dooars and the Terai in the hill set-up, held a joint news conference in Mongpong, 25km from Siliguri, yesterday and said it had agreed to the plains areas being included in the GTA.
The Parishad leaders had said the Morcha had accepted their condition of including “Adivasi” in the name of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).
“If the Parishad joins the GTA and starts demanding a separate Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh together with the Morcha, we could be in an awkward situation. The chief minister will not allow separate statehood under any circumstance,” a Trinamul leader said.
Sources in the cabinet said the government was “surprised” at the new development and was monitoring the situation “cautiously” before deciding on its course of action.
“We were surprised to say the least. We were not prepared, especially after the enactment of the GTA, for such a move,” a minister said.
North Bengal affairs minister Gautam Deb refused comment, merely saying: “We have not received any official communication, verbally or in writing, yet. I’m not going to comment on the issue on the basis of what has appeared in newspapers.”
Surjya barb
CPM leader Surjya Kanta Mishra today said the Morcha was trying to “create a divide between the tribals” by demanding with a section of Parishad the inclusion of the entire Dooars-Terai region in the GTA. “Fresh complications are being created by the Morcha. The majority of the Adivasis don’t want the region to be part of the GTA.”
Left drops in on GTA panel on last day

TT, Jalpaiguri, Oct. 31: The district Left Front and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today aired their views on the territorial jurisdiction of the proposed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration before a high-powered committee.
Today was the last day for the public to make submissions before the committee, headed by Justice (retired) Shyamal Kumar Sen.
The panel was constituted by the Bengal government to look into the Morcha’s demand for the inclusion of the Gorkha populated areas in the Dooars and the Terai in the GTA.
In its memorandum submitted to the panel through district magistrate Smaraki Mahapatra, the Jalpaiguri Left Front iterated its opposition to the Morcha demand.
However, no fresh submissions were made by the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, whose Dooars and Terai units had demanded at Mongpong yesterday that the GTA’s jurisdiction should stretch to the two regions also.
The tribal outfit had earlier refused to concede a single inch of land to the GTA.
The CPM district secretariat member, Ziaur Alam, submitted his party’s viewpoint on the issue. He said under no circumstances should the plains be brought under the ambit of the GTA.
“The need is for the speedy development of the region that will end the problems in the Adivasi-dominated areas. The Adivasis have been residing in the region in peace and any attempt to break that will create law and order problems,” said Alam.
The leaders belonging to Front constituents like the Forward Bloc and the RSP also echoed the CPM leader.
Salil Acharya, another district secretariat member of the CPM, said the Parishad’s change in stand would create fresh tension in the region.
“We are not going to allow any kind of law and order problem in the plains,” he said.
A Morcha delegation from Bhaktinagar in the district also arrived at the district magistrate’s office to air the party’s point of view regarding the territorial jurisdiction of the GTA. The team was led by a Morcha central committee member, Arjun Chhetri.
“We have submitted our viewpoint as per the instructions of the high-powered committee. The agreement between us and the Parishad is new and the committee only wanted us to give our opinion on the territory of the GTA and we have stuck to that. However, we feel if the Gorkhas and the Adivasis work together, there will be overall development in the hills as well as in the plains,” said Chhetri.
Alipurduar Congress MLA D.P. Roy, who had come to meet the district magistrate to discuss issues concerning the development projects in his constituency, said the Parishad was a divided house after yesterday’s development.
“I have my doubts about the unity of the Parishad because of the internal bickering in the outfit. I feel the state government should take care of tribal rights to land and other things and allow development to take place in the Terai and the Dooars,” said the MLA.
KPP resents focus on Darjeeling
AVIJIT SINHA, TT, Siliguri, Oct. 31: North Bengal outfits seeking statehood but lying dormant over the past few years today criticised the chief minister for “prioritising the hills” and warned of agitation.
“We have been fighting for our demands for decades but the state is consistently prioritising the hills. The state will have to look after the Rajbanshis as well and not simply take care of the people of the hills,” said Atul Roy, the president of the Kamtapur Progressive Party that had been demanding a Kamtapur state and development of the region.
Referring to the Adivasi Vikas Parishad’s decision to accept the inclusion of the Dooars-Terai region in the set-up for the hills, Roy said: “Many people are opposed to the Parishad’s move. The government has created a rift between the people of the region.”
“We will hold a meeting with like-minded organisations at Shivmandir (on the outskirts of Siliguri) on November 9 and plan a movement that will include blockades of roads and rail tracks, demonstrations and strikes,” he added.
The Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party, too, spoke on similar lines. Asutosh Burma, its president, said: “We oppose any steps that will affect the interest of the Rajbanshis. Thousands of Rajbanshis live in the Dooars. We will decide on a movement demanding that our problems be addressed immediately.”
The voices of discontent have been raised at a time the Mamata Banerjee government has announced a raft of development projects for the hills and signed a deal with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to form the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
Some of the Parishad leaders who had held a joint news conference with the Morcha yesterday to announce that they had agreed to the inclusion of the Dooars-Terai region in the GTA also accused the government of “neglecting” the tribals.
“The chief minister has urged us to maintain peace and take our case to the committee looking into the GTA’s territorial reach. But she has brushed aside our demand for Sixth Schedule status or grant of some for of autonomy so that the tribals’ lot can be improved,” said John Barla, the Dooars-Terai unit president of ABAVP.

Hill traders’ woes stay
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Oct. 31: The Bengal government’s decision to collect tax dues only from August has failed to bring cheer to the traders in the Darjeeling hills as they cannot transport goods from outside the state because of lack of waybills.
Unless a decision is taken on the outstanding dues, the traders’ sales tax return is unlikely to be accepted by a specially designed software christened Impact, which is used by all sales taxes offices across the state.
“The hill traders might start paying taxes from August 2011 but they will still face problem as the software will not accept their sales tax returns unless the pending dues are cleared,” said a source in the sales tax department.
The hill traders have not filed their sales tax returns since April 2008 following the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s call for a non-cooperation movement.
The district administration today clarified that the government had asked the people of the Darjeeling hills to pay their dues with effect from August, 2011 and that a decision on payment of bills for the previous three years was still pending.
“The outstanding dues have not been waived as yet and the issue shall be discussed in due course,” Saumitra Mohan, Darjeeling district magistrate said.
Without having cleared their sales tax dues, traders cannot generate waybills, which are needed to bring in goods from outside Bengal.
“The sales taxes department is computerised and if anyone needs to get a waybill, the software finds out whether dues have been cleared or not. If it has not been cleared, which is the case with most of the traders in town, the waybill cannot be generated,” said a trader.
The waybills can be obtained for free and they have to be sent to the outstation traders who then send in the goods along with the waybills.
Products which are not accompanied by the waybill can be seized by the commercial tax officials at various checkpoints.

2 matches lined up for Kalimpong - Gurkha Gold Cup to kick-off on November 4
VIVEK CHHETRI,TT, Darjeeling, Oct. 31: The biggest sporting extravaganza of the Darjeeling hills, the All India Brigade of Gurkha Gold Cup which was revived after 25 years in 2010, will make its debut in Kalimpong this year with the town set to host two matches.
Fourteen teams from India, Bhutan and Nepal will take part in the tournament that is organised jointly by the district administration and the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Sports Association.
“The tournament will kick off on November 4 at the St Joseph’s College (North Point) ground (in Darjeeling) and the finals will be played on November 13,” said Saumitra Mohan, the district magistrate of Darjeeling and president of the tournament’s organising committee.
Two matches of the tournament will be played at the Kalimpong Mela Grounds. “The matches in Kalimpong will be organised in collaboration with the Kalimpong Sports Association on November 5 and 6. However, matches will be held in Darjeeling also on these two days simultaneously,” said Dawa Lama, the vice-president of the organising committee.
Apart from well known Indian teams like Pune FC, Tata Football Academy, Jamshedpur and Bhaichung Bhutia’s Sikkim United Club, defending champions Army XI from Calcutta, will vie along with one of Nepal’s top team, Three Star Club, and Bhutan’s Bhutan Clearing Football Club to lift the trophy. Seven Calcutta-based teams like B.N.R. Club, Southern Samity and Techno Aryan have also confirmed their participation in the tournament.
The inaugural match will be played between Darjeeling XI and Kalighat Milan Samity. Sports Authority of India (Darjeeling) will take on Tata Football Academy in the second match on the opening day. Football, which is clearly the most popular sports in the hills, is expected to receive a major boost from the tournament to be organised with a budget of Rs 54 lakh.
Ticket prices have been kept at Rs 100, 40 and 20 per day. Winners will walk away with a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 1.3 lakh while the runners-up will take home Rs 70,000.
‘State’s refusal led to conciliation with GJMM’
SNS, SILIGURI/KOLKATA, 31 OCT: The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP) leaders today made it clear that having failed to obtain an autonomous body for tribal dominated Terai-Dooars region, they had decided to join hands with the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) to demand ATA (Adivasi Territorial Administration) under the Gorkhaland and Adivasi Territorial Administration (GATA) comprising the Hills, the Terai and the Dooars.
The Dooars-based ABAVP president, Mr John Barla, said: “We have been deprived by the state. The state declined our proposal to form an autonomous council under the Sixth Schedule. When chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee came to Chalsa, we have demanded ATA under the Sixth Schedule, but she declined to our proposal. She only told us to maintain peace and compromise with the GJMM. So, we decided to make an understanding to demand GATA with the help of the GJMM.” When asked about their stand on Gorkhaland, the state ABAVP general secretary, Mr Tejkumar Toppo, said: “Whenever the GJMM would demand a separate state of Gorkhaland demanding our lands in the Terai and Dooars, we would break the understanding.”
Mr Toppo said: “They do not have objection if they form a separate state of Gorkhaland within the Hill areas. But they would object to transfer of land from the Terai and the Dooars within the separate state of Gorkhaland. If they (GJMM) demand additional land to form a separate state we would start movement for ATA under the Sixth Schedule.”
Mr Toppo admitted: “We adopted the strategy to demand ATA under GATA and joined hands with the GJMM to achieve the goal through short-cut method. We think that it would be difficult to manage ATA if we struggle alone.” The ABAVP leaders also said that a joint delegation, comprising members of the ABAVP and the GJMM, will propose the state government and the Union home minister to implement GATA method.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra, today said: “This is a fresh twist to the already complicated situation in the Hills. This demand of formation of another territorial administration is nothing but a calculated ploy to divide the tribals and Adivasi population in the Terai-Dooars region. Moves like these would destroy the harmony of the entire region.” “This new state government has been saying boldly since assuming charge that it was solving the troubles in Junglemahal, Hills and other issues. With these new demands cropping up, it seems that those proclamations were ahead of its time. Situation in the Hills and the Dooars are far from being solved,” he said.
A day after alliance, ABAVP fears backlash
Pinak Priya Bhattacharya, TNN, Nov 1, 2011:Jalpaiguri: Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parshad's joining hands with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, in an apparent volte face, has sent ripples among the tribals and non-tribals of Dooars and Terai. While the resident Bengali population is scared with the new development, a large section of tribals in the tea belt feel betrayed with the ABAVP's new stance.
Fearing backlash from their own supporters, ABAVP leaders from Dooars and Terai are now trying to explain to the supporters what led them to join hands with the GJM. The leaders, on Monday, held a press conference at Siliguri where they tried to point out the reasons behind their Sunday's decision.
"We, the adivasis, are the most deprived community living in the region. We had sought for a Sixth Schedule status for Dooars and Terai and had also appealed for an autonomous council. But those were turned down. We, therefore, thought it wise to join hands with the GJM as it is included under the autonomous council, which would ensure flow of funds for development of the area we live in," said John Barla, president of ABAVP's Dooars Regional Unit.
The tribal leader said they would launch a door-to-door campaign in Dooars and Terai to make their supporters understand the reason behind joining hands with the Hills party. "Our central committee leaders are worried. We think this is just a misunderstanding due to lack of communication. We will go to meet our state president Birsa Tirkey on November 3 and would explain everything to him," he added.
But the task does not seem as easy as it appears, especially seems to be less easier than saidat their home turf. Supporters have already started voicing their dissent.
"We supported the ABAVP as it had promised to resist the GJM in the plains. Now once they have joined hands with the GJM, it will be easier for them to penetrate this region. It is obvious that the GJM will start calling the shots in this region. Who will guarantee that they won't target us once their goal is achieved?" a tea labourer of Oodlabari tea estate said.
"The decision has been taken very hastily. This involves the sentiment of thousands of common people of all communities. We must not forget that ABAVP also enjoys the support of other non-Nepalese and non-tribal communities as well. If they are not happy with us, how can we move further?" Birsa Tirkey had told TOI on Sunday.
Sensing the mood, the Left parties on Monday, wrote to the Jalpaiguri district magistrate opposing the handing over of Dooars mouzas. The DM is a member of the expert committee constituted to look into the GJM demand for inclusion of parts of Dooars and Terai under Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. The Left parties said that they would do their best to stop inclusion of the plains under the GTA.
Congress leaders have said that they would again question in favour of including Dooars, Terai and the Hills under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution that can protect the rights of the indigenous people as is the case with nine other states in the country. some of them being as Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gorkhas and Adivasis reunited for GATA... Plea to rename Gorkha council, include tribal areas....मोर्चा र आविपबीच बैठकःअब जीटीए होइन गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन....अब जी टी ए होइन तर जी ए टी ए को मांगमा गोर्खा र आदिवासी माझ सम्झौता - आपस्तको मनोमालिन्य समाप्त...Hill dues in bills, taxes to be waived - Morcha welcomes Mamata gesture to write off Rs 100 crore

Gorkhas and Adivasis reunited for GATA
Gurung  presenting bouquet to Barla , Photo: Mukesh S 
KalimNews, Mongpong : Gorkhas and Adivasis are reunited for the formation of a united body called Gorkhaland and Adivasi Territorial Administration. During a joint meeting held in Mongpong this afternoon the leaders of GJM and Adivasi Vikash Parisad announced that Adivasis and Gorkhas are united and no difference among them exists regarding the territory.
ABAVP President John Barla and Secretary Tez kumar Toppo were present in the meeting held in the eastern Dooars near Coronation bridge where leaders and supporters of both the GJM and ABAVP were present. GJM President Bimal Gurung thanked the Adivasi leaders and said that both have to go ahead unitedly for the next steps to be taken with the government. ( Photo: Mukesh Sharma)
Plea to rename Gorkha council, include tribal areas
IANS, Kolkata, Oct 30: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Sunday forged a pact with the Adivasi Vikas Parishad (AVP), and demanded that the name of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills be changed to Gorkhaland and Adivasi Territorial Administration (GATA) after bringing the tribal areas of Terai and Dooars under it
On July 18, a tripartite agreement was signed between the GJM and the state and central governments for setting up a new autonomous, elected GTA, a hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) formed in the late 1980s. The AVP had opposed the agreement.
An expert committee was set up under the agreement to survey the Gorkha-dominated parts of Siliguri, Terai (plains of Darjeeling) and Dooars (foothills of the eastern Himalayas) and examine if areas from these places could be brought under the GTA. The committee is expected to give its report in six months.
GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said: “After holding a series of meeting with the AVP leadership it has been decided that the name of the GTA be changed to GATA so that the moujas of Terai and Dooars can be included and there is a representation of adivasis.”
“We just want changing of the name from GTA to GATA and other things of the agreement will remain the same,” Giri told IANS by phone.
The AVP, since the signing of the tripartite agreement and formation of the area demarcation committee, had declared that it won’t allow any area of Terai and Dooars to be included under the jurisdiction of the GTA.
During Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit to North Bengal the AVP leadership demanded the formation of an adivasi territorial administration (ATA) on the lines of the GTA for the welfare of the tribals. The demand was rejected by Banerjee.
“We had placed the demand of formation of ATA but the demand was rejected. We discussed the matter with GJM leadership and they agreed to change the name of GTA to GATA. We are happy about it,” said John Barla, president, AVP.
“We have decided to give the nod regarding the inclusion of areas of Terai and Dooars under the proposed GATA. The AVP will also have representation in the GATA. We will place this demand before Mamata Banerjee very soon,” Barla told IANS.
Parishad, Morcha close ranks
RAJEEV RAVIDAS AND VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Mongpong/Darjeeling, Oct. 30: One key issue relating to the Darjeeling accord appeared headed for a breakthrough today when local leaders of a tribal outfit influential in the Dooars-Terai region agreed to these plains areas being included within the proposed hill set-up.
The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad leaders, who addressed a joint news conference with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha here, said the Morcha had accepted their condition of including “Adivasi” in the name of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA). It will be known as the Gorkhaland Adivasi Territorial Administration.
Parishad state president Birsa Tirkey, however, said from Ranchi that he had been “kept in the dark” about the deal and would seek an explanation for the “unauthorised” move.
The Morcha had sought the inclusion of Gorkha-dominated Dooars and Terai areas within the GTA’s territory but the Parishad had opposed the claim, leading to frequent clashes between the two sides. The state government had set up a committee, headed by Justice (retd) Shyamal Sen, to look into the matter.
Observers said today’s development could ease the tension in the plains. The Parishad would now be part of the GTA, a senior Morcha leader said.
Morcha chief Bimal Gurung told the news conference: “We want the inclusion of the entire Dooars and the Terai in the new set-up, not just the 199 mouzas that we had earlier been demanding. Unless this happens, elections to the GTA will not be held.”
John Barla, the Parishad’s Dooars unit chief, said a joint Morcha-Parishad team would meet Sen and “tell him we want all 315 mouzas of the Dooars and 199 mouzas of the Terai to be included in the GTA”.
Trinamul leader and state minister Partha Chatterjee refused comment, saying it was up to chief minister Mamata Banerjee to react. During a trip to the Dooars earlier this month, Mamata had urged the Parishad to take its case to the Sen committee and maintain peace in the region.
The chiefs of the Parishad’s Dooars and Terai units, Barla and Nicotine Minz, and state committee secretary Tezkumar Toppo were present at the joint news conference at Mongpong, 25km from Siliguri.
“We have struck a historic deal with the Morcha, which has not given up its demand for a separate state,” Barla said. “We too will stick to our demand for Sixth Schedule status for the Dooars and the Terai. Who knows, a Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh could be formed later.”
Gurung said: “The GTA agreement allows a change in nomenclature. Once the set-up is formed, the new administration will pass a resolution changing the name.”
He parried the question whether an agreement had been struck with the Parishad. “We will not say anything now. We will give the details at public meetings that we will jointly organise in the Dooars and the Terai,” Gurung said.
More than 1,000 Morcha and Parishad supporters were present at the venue of the news conference. The Adivasis make up 65 per cent of the population in the Dooars and the Terai, while the Gorkhas account for 25 per cent.
Sources said Morcha and Parishad leaders had met in the Dooars last night for three hours and worked out a deal.
Barla did not explain the change of stance but a Morcha leader attributed it to the Parishad’s “compulsions of staying afloat”.
“The Parishad had tried to side with the Congress in the run-up to the Assembly elections. Neither the Centre nor the state government has accepted the Sixth Schedule demand,” the Morcha leader said.
“Mamata’s decision to set up a committee to look into our territory demand has proved that she is firmly beside us. All this has persuaded the Parishad to rethink its strategy.”
He added: “The Parishad now wants to get some administrative powers for itself and develop the Terai and the Dooars by being part of the proposed administrative set-up for the hills.”
Parishad president Tirkey, however, questioned the move. “Some of our leaders in the Dooars and the Terai participated in a dialogue with the Morcha without taking the consent of our state committee,” he said over the phone from Ranchi.
“Although the leaders are free to attend meetings, they do not have the authority to take decisions without the ratification of the state committee. I will call an emergency meeting and seek an explanation from these leaders.”
Gorkhas, Adivasis agree on new body
SNS, MUNGPONG, 30 OCT: Finally, after a long flip-flop and controversy between the Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP) and the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) regarding their respective demands, they have brushed aside their political differences for a new Gorkhaland and Adivasi Territorial Administration (GATA) in place of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) that had earlier been agreed upon by the GJMM, the state government and the Centre.
The ABAVP and the GJMM jointly held a Press conference today at Mungpong in Kalimpong sub-division, where leaders from both the parties agreed to jointly work for development of the Darjeeling Hills, Terai and the Dooars under the GATA banner.
In an apparent sign of a rift in ABAVP ranks, the state president, Mr Birsa Tirkey, said: “I do not know about any unification.” Later, Mr Tirkey said: “Who is John Barla and Tej Kumar Toppo? Maybe Tej Kumar Toppo is ABAVP state general secretary but he is not the competent authority to take a decision for unification for forming a GATA. The decision would be taken at an executive committee meeting in consultation with the policy-making body of our organisation.” Mr Toppo, Mr Barla, and several other Adivasi leaders were present at the Press conference. The GJMM was represented by the party president, Mr Bimal Gurung, the general secretary, Mr Roshan Giri, the three MLAs from the Hills and other leaders.
Mr Gurung said they will jointly meet chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee and Union home minister Mr P Chidambaram to discuss GATA. The former minister and CPI-M leader, Mr Asok Bhattacharya, said: “The ABAVP is not the sole representative of all Adivasi people in this region.”
मोर्चा र आविपबीच बैठकःअब जीटीए होइन गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ, 30 अक्टोबर। सम्झौता भइसकेको गोर्खाल्याण्ड टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन होइन अब गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले आदिवासी विकास परिषदसित मिलेर गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशनको दाबी गर्ने भएको छ। शनिवार गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा अनि आदिवासी विकास परिषदका प्रतिनिधिहरूबीच कालेबुङमा बसेको बैठकमा लिएका सहमति अनि सम्झौता अनुसार आज मोर्चा अनि आविप दुवैले मङपङ फरेष्ट बङ्गलोको प्राङ्गनमा राखेको पत्रकार सम्मेलनलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङ अनि आविप क्षेत्रीय समितिका अध्यक्ष जोहन बार्लाले आजैको दिनदेखि गोर्खा र आदिवासीबीच ऐतिहासिक मित्रता कायम भएको घोषणा गर्दै दुवै दलको पक्षमा जीएटीए (गोर्खाल्याण्ड अनि आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन)को माग गरिने दाबी गरे।
मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङले आविपसित धेरै कुरामा सहमति बनेको बताए पनि सबै कुरा आज घोषणा नगर्ने बताए। तिनले भने, पहाड, तराई अनि डुवर्समा रहेका समुदाय शोषित छन्‌। शोषित समुदायबीच अहिलेसम्म फुट थियो।

GJM supporters at Mongpong, Photo: Mukesh Sharma
आजको दिनदेखि आदिवासी र गोर्खाबीच जुन मित्रता गॉंसियो, यो केवल राजनैतिक प्राप्तिको निम्ति मात्र होइन। मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीले पहाड, तराई र डुवर्समा शान्ति चहाने भएकोले शान्ति र विकासको निम्ति सधैँभरिलाई यो मित्रता गॉंसिएको हो। तिनले शीघ्र नै मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जी अनि गृहमन्त्रीसित मोर्चा र परिषदका संयुक्त टोलीले संयुक्त प्रस्ताव राख्ने बताए।
नयॉं नाम अनि यसको क्षमताबारे जीटीएको निम्ति गठित हाइपावर कमिटीलाई पनि बुझाइने बताउँदै तिनले जीएटीए (गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन)मा तराई र डुवर्सका सम्पूर्ण मौजाहरू (सम्पूर्ण तराई र डुवर्स) अन्तरभुक्त हुनुपर्ने बताउँदै जबसम्म अन्तरभुक्त हुँदैन तबसम्म जीएटीएको चुनाउ नहुने पनि घोषणा गरे। विमल गुरूङले तराई र डुवर्सका जनतालाई नयॉं रणनीतिबारे जनसभा गरेर बुझाउने बताउँदै जीटीएको सम्झौतामा नाम परिवर्तन गर्ने प्रावधान रहेको बताउँदै जीटीएको चुनाउपछि जीएटीए बनाइने पनि बताए।
यता जोहन बार्लाले मोर्चासित भएको सहमतिबारे शीघ्र नै आविपको राज्य समितिलाई बुझाउने अनि संयुक्त रणनीति तयार पारेर राज्य अनि केन्द्रलाई संयुक्त टोलीले भेट गर्ने अनि प्रस्ताव राख्ने जनाएका छन्‌। जीएटीए भएपछि यसको सञ्चालनको निम्ति हुनुपर्ने धनराशि अनि जीटीएको निम्ति तय गरिएको 45 सीटमा पनि वृद्धि हुने विमल गुरूङले जनाएका छन्‌। आदिवासी मात्र होइन, तराई र डुवर्समा रहेका सबै समुदाय अनि गोर्खाहरूलाई वामफ्रण्ट सरकारले शोषण गर्‍यो। तराई, डुवर्स र पहाडबीच विभेदको परिस्थिति बनाइयो। अहिले ममता व्यानर्जीको सरकार आएको छ, जो राज्यमा शान्ति र विकास चहान्छन्‌। हामीले अहिले आएर बुझ्यौं आदिवासी र गोर्खाहरूबीच एकता नभएसम्म विकास र शान्ति सम्भव छैन। अब शान्तिको प्रक्रिया हामीले शुरू गर्‍यौं, विकासको प्रक्रिया सरकारले गर्नेछ, यसबारे मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीलाई हामी अनुरोध गर्नेछौं-विमल गुरूङले भने।
अब जी टी ए होइन तर जी ए टी ए को मांगमा गोर्खा र आदिवासी माझ सम्झौता - आपस्तको मनोमालिन्य समाप्त
डि के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालिम्पोंग, 30 अक़्टोबर् : अंतत: डुवर्सलाइ जिटिएमा गाभ्न गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले आदिवासी विकास परिषद्का नेताहरुको मन जित्न सफल भयो। आज पश्चिम डुव-सको मंग्पंगमा आयोजित एक जनसभामा अखिल भारतिय आदिवासी विकाश परिषद् र गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले सन्युक्त रुपमा आदिवासी र गोर्खाहरुमाझ कुनै मनोमालिन्य अब नरहेको घोषणा गरे भने गोर्खाल्याण्ड टेरिटोरियल अथोरिटिको नाम पनि परिवर्तन भएर गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड् आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्मिनिसट्रेसन हुने सम्झौता भएको दुवै दलका नेताहरुले बताए
गोजमुमोका अध्यक्ष बिमल गुरुंग, अभाआविपका सभापति तेज कुमार टोप्पो, महासचिव जोन बार्लाले एउटै आवाजमा पहाड् र डुवर्सको विकाशको निम्ति जी ए टी ए मात्रै एउटै विकल्प हो जसले दुवैलाइ फायदा हुने अनि शांति पनि कायम हुने बताए।
बिमल गुरुंगले बताए अब डुवर्स र तराइको सबै मौजा र भाग जी ए टी एमा पर्नेछ। हामी यो नया मांग लिएर मुख्य मंत्री ममता ब्यानर्जि कहा जानेछौ र अब यसमा ब्ंगालको कुनै अड्चन हुनेछैन। पुरानो समझौतामा कुनै पनि परिवर्तन हुनेछैन केवल नाम मात्रै बद्लि भएर आदिवाशी गाभिनेछ। अवश्यै यसको क्षेत्र भने बडेर तराइ र डुवर्स यसमा गाभिनेछ जो सबै भन्दा ठुलो समस्या समाधान थियो त्यो नै हल हो, गुरुंगले थप जनाए ।
स्मरण रहोस अखिल भारतिय आदिवासी विकास परिषद्ले गोजमुमोलाइ प्रारम्भदेखिनै विरोध गर्दै डुवर्स र तराइको कुनै क्षेत्र पनि गोर्खाहहरुको नियंत्रणमा गाभ्न नदिने घोषणा संगै हतियार लिएरै विरोध जनाएको थियो। जीटीएको गठ्नहुने त्रिपक्षिय सम्झौता अघि र पछि पनि यसले एकै इण्च जमिन नदिने टेक लिएको थियो।
गत सेप्टेम्बर मा माल बजारमा मुख्य मंत्री ममता ब्यानर्जिको भ्रमणको समयमा अखिल भारतिय आदिवासी विकाश परिषद्ले डुवर्स र तराइलाइ जीटीएमा गाभ्न नचाहेको जनाउदै डुवर्सको विकाश नभएकोले अखिल भारतिय आदिवासी विकास परिषद्ले छुट्टै आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल अथोरिटि गठन गर्ने मांग राखेको थियो। तर ममताले यसलाइ ठाडै इंकार गरेकी थिइन। बार्लाले अखिल भारतिय आदिवासी विकाश परिषद्ले अर्को कुनै विकल्प नपाएर गोजमुमो संग गुप्त बैठ्क गरे पश्चात यो निर्णयमा पुगेको बताए। तिनले जीटीएमा डुवर्स र तराइ गाभ्न अखिल भारतिय आदिवासी विकाश परिषदको विरोध नभएको र अब बनिने जीएटीएमा यसको प्रतिनिधित्व हुनुपर्ने बारेमा सरकार संग बैठक बस्ने थप बताए।
अब बनिने जीएटीए प्रति सरकारको रवैया कस्तो हुनेछ सो र यसमा के के हेरफेर् हुनेछ साथै आदिवासीहरुले के कस्तो सहुलियत र अधिकार पाउने छ्न सो अनिश्चित नै रहेको थाहा लागेको छ।
फेरि फेरियो मुद्दा
मनोज वोगटी, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ,30 अक्टोबर। तिहार सक्ने वित्तिकै गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाको नयॉं रणनीति शुरू भएको छ। छुट्टैराज्य गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति जन्मिएको गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले पहाडको तीनवटा महकुमाको विकासको निम्ति राज्य र केन्द्रसित गोर्खाल्याण्ड टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशनमा सम्झौता गर्दै हस्ताक्षर गरिसकेको छ। अहिले यसको सीमाङ्‌कनको निम्ति हाइपावर कमिटीले सर्वेक्षणको प्रक्रिया शुरू गरिरहेको छ। मोर्चाले जीटीएको निम्ति तराईको 199 अनि डुवर्सको 196 वटा मौजाको अन्तरभुक्तिको दाबी गरेको छ। यता सम्झौता अनुसार केवल गोर्खा बाहुल क्षेत्रहरू अनि त्यो पनि उनीहरूको सहमति भए मात्र अन्तरभुक्त गरिने भएको थियो। मोर्चाले जीटीएको कुरा गर्दै तराई र डुवर्सबाट गोर्खाबाहुल क्षेत्र चुँडाउने रणनीति शुरू पनि गरिसकेको थियो जसको कटाक्ष विरोध गर्दै आदिवासी विकास परिषदले पहाडलाई जीटीए दिन्छ भने तराई र डुवर्सलाई पनि एटीए दिनुपर्छ भन्ने माग शुरू गरेको थियो।
आविपको यस्तो मागले मोर्चालाई अप्ठ्यारोमा त पारेको नै थियो राज्य सरकारलाई पनि असुविधामा पारेको थियो। गोर्खाहरूलाई गोर्खाल्याण्ड टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन दिँदा आदिवासीलाई पनि आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशन हुनुपर्छ भन्ने आविपको मागलाई मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीले हरियो झण्डा देखाउँदै शान्ति र विकासको निम्ति आफू प्रतिबद्ध रहेको अनि तराई-डुवर्स र पहाड दुवैलाई अन्याय नगर्ने बताएपछि अचानक हिजो कालेबुङको डेलोमा गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा अनि आदिवासी विकास परिषद्बीच गोप्य बैठक भयो। मङपङमा मोर्चा र आदिवासी विकास परिषद र गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले डाकेको संयुक्त पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा आविपका क्षेत्रीय अध्यक्ष जोन बार्लाले बैठक तीनघण्टा भन्दा धेर भएको बताए भने मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङले भने ममता व्यानर्जीले शान्ति र विकासको निम्ति राज्य प्रतिबद्ध रहेको बताएकोले नै आविप र मोर्चाको मित्रता शुरू भएको जनाए। गुरूङ अनि बार्ला दुवैले नै मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीलाई मोर्चा र आविपको संयुक्त प्रस्ताव गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशनबारे बताइएको जनाए। यसबारेमा दुवै दलको प्रतिनिधि टोलीले मुख्य मन्त्री लगायत गृहमन्त्रीसित पनि भेट गर्ने पनि उनीहरूले जनाएका छन्‌।
आविपले मोर्चासित भएको सहमति र मित्रतालाई ऐतिहासिक मानेको छ भने मोर्चाले पनि आविपको कुरालाई सहमति जनायो। जोहन बार्लाले भने, अघि हामीले एकार्कालाई चिनेनौं,यसकारण लड्यौं। नोक्सान दुवैको भयो। यसरी नै लडिरह्यौं भने दुवैलाई केही हासिल हुने छैन। यो कुरा बुझेर नै मोर्चासित आजदेखि मित्रता गॉंसिएको हो। आजदेखि गोर्खा र आदिवासी भाइ-भाइ। तिनले अझ भने, गोर्खा र आदिवासी बङ्गालमा बराबर शोषित समुदाय हुन्‌। दुवै समुदायको विकासको निम्ति दुवै समुदायबीच मित्रता र संयुक्त रणनीतिको अनिवार्यता पर्छ। जो आज आएर पुरा भइरहेको छ। तिनले आविप र मोर्चाबीच फाटो ल्याउने काम वामफ्रण्ट सरकारद्वारा भएको बताउँदै ममता व्यानर्जीको सरकारमा आविप आस्थावान रहेको पनि बताए।
यता मोर्चा अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङले पनि भने, आजको सहमतिले गोर्खा र आदिवासी मात्र होइन बोडो, टोटो राभा तथा अन्य समुदायको अनुहार उज्यालो भएको छ। यो सँधै रहोस्‌। सबै नै शोषित रहेकोले संयुक्तरुपले सरकारमा दबाव बनाउनुपर्ने तिनले बताए। तिनले भने, यो मित्रता केवल विकास र शान्तिको निम्ति भएको हो। राजनीति त हुँदै गर्छ। ममता दिदीले शान्ति चहान्छु भनेकी थिइन्‌, त्यसैको फलफल आजको दिन हो। वामफ्रण्टले हामीलाई मिल्न दिएन। गोर्खा आदिवासी टिस्टा रङ्गीत जस्तो भएर बग्नेछ। तिनले अझ भने, हामीले आन्दोलनमा धेरै गुमाइसक्यौं। आविपले पनि गुमायो। यसकारण शान्ति र विकास अनिवार्य छ। पहाडमा त केही विकास भइरहेकै छ तर तराई र डुवर्समा भएको छैन। म सबैलाई साथ लिएर अघि बढ्‌न चहान्छु। तिनले विकास र शान्तिको कुरा बारम्बार दोहोर्‍याए तर छुट्टैराज्यको कुरो एकैपल्ट पनि गरेनन्‌। आविपसितको मित्रता केवल विकास र शान्तिको निम्ति रहेको अनि छुट्टैराज्यको निम्ति नरहेको बुझाउन नै तिनले शान्ति र विकासको कुरा बारम्बार दोहोर्‍याइरहेका थिए।
आमालाई अनुरोध
विमल गुरूङले राज्यका मुख्यमन्त्री ममता व्यानर्जीलाई आमाको संज्ञा दिँदै भने, ममता दिदी अब गोर्खा र आदिवासीहरूको आमा हुन्‌। हामी तिनलाई 'तपाईँका बालबच्चाहरूलाई विकासको खॉंचो छ, हामी शान्ति कायम राख्ने छौं, दुवै सुमदाय शोषित छन्‌, उनीहरूको विकासको निम्ति आमाले सहयोग गर्नुपर्छ' भन्नेछौं। आदिवासी र गोर्खा एकैसाथ बस्ने अनि विकास गर्ने पक्षमा रहेकोले नै आविप र मोर्चाबीच सहमति बनेको बार्ला अनि गुरूङ दुवैले पत्रकारहरूलाई बताए। विमल गुरूङले आमा ममता व्यार्जीमाथि आफूहरूको भरोसा रहेको बताउँदै मुख्यमन्त्रीले उनीहरूको कुरामाथि सहमति दिने आशा पनि व्यक्त गरे।
विकास भए दङ्गा हुँदैन
गोर्खा जनमिुक्ति मोर्चाले शुरूमा छुट्टै राज्यको निम्ति आन्दोलन गरेको थियो। यसैको निम्ति अध्यक्ष विमल गुरूङ डुवर्स पस्ने कार्यक्रमको अवधी सिब्सु गोली काण्ड भएको थियो जहॉं तीनजनाले ज्यान गुमाए। यता पहाडमा गोर्खालीग नेता मदन तामङको हत्या भयो अनि अन्य धेरैले पनि ज्यान गुमाए। अब मोर्चा फेरि गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलन गर्ने पत्रमा छैन। मोर्चा पहाडको विकासको निम्ति लड्‌न चहान्छ यसैकारण नै जीटीएमा सम्झौता भएको थियो। आज विमल गुरूङले स्पष्ट भने, विकास भए दङ्गा हुने छैन। गोर्खा र आदिवासीबीच विकासको मुद्दामा सहमति र मित्रता गॉंसिएको छ। तराई-डुवर्स र पहाडका जनतालाई मात्र होइन हाइपावर कमिटी, मुख्यमन्त्री अनि गृहमन्त्रीलाई पनि यसबारेमा बुझाइने छ। तिनी अनुसार गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशनको निम्ति नयॉं गरी राज्य र केन्द्रसित सम्झौता हुनुपर्छ। यसमा सीमाङ्‌कनको कुरा प्रमुख थियो तर आविप र मोर्चाको सहमति पछि जम्मै डुवर्स र तराईको अन्तरभुक्तिको कुरा सहज बनेको छ। गोर्खाल्याण्ड एण्ड आदिवासी टेरिटोरियल एड्‌मिनिष्ट्रेशनको सीट, यसको फण्ड तथा अन्य क्षमताहरूबारे पनि केन्द्र र राज्यसित सहमति हुनुपर्छ। यसैको निम्ति आविप र मोर्चाको टोलीले शीघ्र नै बैठक गरेर संयुक्त रणनीति तयार पार्ने छ।
सतर्कता अनिवार्य
जोहन बार्लाले आविप र मोर्चाबीच मित्रता गॉंसिए पनि यसलाई फुटाउने धेरैपक्षबाट षडयन्त्र हुनसक्ने शंका व्यक्त गरे। तिनले भने, हामीलाई फुटाउने षडयन्त्र हुनसक्छ, आविप र मोर्चा दुवैले सतर्कता अप्नाउनु अनिवार्य छ। अब एकसाथ एकै मञ्चबाट संयुक्त आन्दोलन हुनेछ जसलाई तराई-डुवर्स अनि पहाडका जनताले समर्थन गर्नेछन्‌। यता आविपको राज्य समिति अध्यक्ष विरसा तिर्कीको उपस्थिति थिएन यसबारे प्रश्न गर्दा राज्य सिमितिका सचिव तेजकुमार टोप्पोले राज्य समितिको प्रतिनिधि आफू उपस्थिति रहेको अनि सहमतिबारे राज्य सिमितिलाई बुझाइने स्पष्ट पारे। पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा मोर्चाको पक्षमा मोर्चा महासचिव रोशन गिरीले सम्बोधन गरेका थिए भने आविपको पक्षमा आविप क्षेत्रीय समितिका उपाध्यक्ष सुक्रा मुण्डाले सम्बोधन गरेका थिए। रोशन गिरीले आजको दिनलाई अघिको तितो अनि पछिको मीठो बताए भने मुण्डाले आफूहरुलाई 55 हजार बोडोहरू अनि अन्य समुदायको समर्थन रहेको बताए। पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा विनय तामङ, डा.हर्कबहादुर छेत्री, रोहित शर्मा, अनि डा.त्रिलोक देवानको पनि उपस्थिति थियो भने आविपको पक्षमा निकोटिन मिञ्जको उपस्थिति थियो।
Hill dues in bills, taxes to be waived - Morcha welcomes Mamata gesture to write off Rs 100 crore
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Oct. 30: The state government has accepted the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s demand to write off electricity dues and outstanding taxes to the tune of over Rs 100 crore that had accumulated over the past three years because of the party’s “non-cooperation movement” in the Darjeeling hills against the administration.
The waiver, coming at a time the state is reeling from a severe financial crunch, is being seen as an attempt by the Mamata Banerjee government to turn into a goodwill gesture an otherwise arduous task of collecting dues that had accrued because of a boycott call by the Morcha, whose writ runs large in the hills.
The government would also have risked antagonising the Morcha if attempts were made to collect the dues at a time the state and the party have mended bridges with the formation of an administrative arrangements for the hills and the announcement of several development projects, observers said.
Darjeeling district magistrate Saumitra Mohan said his office had received a circular from the government announcing the waiver. “All taxes have been exempted by the state government. Hill residents will, however, have to pay their taxes and bills from August 2011.”
After the deal to form the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration was signed in July, the Morcha had called off the non-cooperation movement and said the hill people would start paying taxes and bills from August this year. Morcha chief Bimal Gurung had, however, requested the government to waive all dues accrued till August. Several people have started paying and clearing the dues accumulated since August.
Since April 2008, the hill people had not paid power and phone bills and land and transport taxes to demand a separate Gorkhaland state.
The observers said the waiver came as a relief for the Morcha as well. “There was no way the Morcha could have asked the hill people to pay the dues as the party had only asked them to stop paying bills and taxes,” an observer said.
The Morcha leadership welcomed the government’s decision. “We had been demanding that outstanding dues be waived. We welcome the decision,” said Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri.
Sources said the waiver would cost the state exchequer more than Rs 100 crore. They said unpaid electricity bills amounted to Rs 72 crore while the outstanding sales tax came to around Rs 25 crore. Other outstanding dues such as transport and land taxes add up to Rs 5 crore.
Mohan said the state could not write off telephone bills as the department was overseen by the Centre. “The telephone department is under the Centre and we have not received any instructions from Delhi yet,” he said.
Sources said the telephone dues would not be as high as the outstanding power bills. “This is largely because one can’t refuse to pay for cellphone recharge vouchers. Bills of private companies providing services also had to be paid. BSNL had cut connection to all landlines barring those in government offices two years ago,” a telephone department official said.
Bengal's 'Switzerland' in utter neglect
Jayanta Gupta, TNN, Oct 29, 2011, CHARKHOLAY/RISHAP: When two-year-old Angela Gurung caught a severe cold a few months ago, the only thing that her parents could do was to feed her a couple of drops of kerosene oil. "That is the only remedy we have here. There are no doctors here for miles around, no hospitals and no chemists," said the child's father, who owns a small shop and eatery at the extremely picturesque tourist destination of Charkholay.
A few years ago, Charkholay - nestled among the hills in the Kalimpong subdivision of Darjeeling - was adjudged the most promising tourist destination in the state. Since then, a couple of resorts and several 'Home Stay' arrangements have come up in the village. There are only two shops in the village of which one belongs to the Gurungs. The nearest medical facility is at Kalimpong, which is nearly 50 km away. Gurung's shop stocks some medicine for local villagers. When asked what these are, he brought out a couple of strips of paracetamol tablets.
"What else can I keep? Our village is still better as there is a motorable road (a jeep track through the Neora Valley) up to it. There are several villages all around from where people come here in the hope of getting a ride to Loleygaon or Kalimpong. Some of these villagers have to trek for up to 10-12 km along hill tracks to reach Charkholay. If anybody falls ill, family members try to get a vehicle from here. If it happens after dark, the patient has to be carried on foot. Children have to trudge for 3 km each way to reach school," Gurung said.
Though there is a trickle of tourists to Charkholay, life for the hardworking people who live here has not changed for the better. Arun Chhetri, a villager, revealed how the last two years were extremely bad for the village due to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha agitations.
"There was no tourist traffic. Today, we beg to people to visit Charkholay and spend a couple of nights here. That is how the villagers can survive. We have faith in Mamata Didi. It is she who can do something for us. The two important things that we need are water and health facilities. We can take care of everything else," Chhetri said.
There is little rest for the people here. When they are not doing whatever they can to earn a few bucks, villagers get together to repair the main road with stone and earth. They hope that a 'better' road will attract more tourists to the village.
Rishap is a far better known tourist destination than Charkholay. Though dotted with resorts of various sizes, this location lacks basic facilities like doctors or schools. "Mamata Didi has promised a lot. We can only hope that she delivers. My 10-year-old son has to walk five km to reach school. As there are no facilities here, I have put my daughters in a boarding school in Kalimpong. We have to travel to Kalimpong for even basic needs. Why can't the government take care of our needs? How much does it cost to set up a health centre here with a couple of paramedics," said Vin Chhetri, a resort owner in Rishap.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quake deaths...Kalimpong Convention held...Mumbai marathon runners introduced...Over 50 feared killed in Arunachal bridge collapse

Quake deaths
Gangtok, Oct. 29:Low-intensity tremors in parts of North Sikkim today killed two persons and sparked panic in the district.
The quake measured 3.5 on the Richter scale. While Sonam Lepcha, in her early twenties, fell off a bridge in Dzongu and died, Sandup Lepcha, 57, expired following a heart attack caused by shock.
Kalimpong Convention held

KalimNews: A three days Christian convention was organised by Kalimpong Local Kirk Session of Macfarlane Memorial Church in Worship Centre at 9th Mile. Rev Uday dan Paul Tamang was the main speaker who spoke on the theme "Let your light shine". Rev. Noel Lepcha taught from the book of Micah. Hundreds of Christians from all over the subdivision of Kalimpong attended the convention.
Rev, H.D.Subba the Moderator of the Local Kirk Session presided the convention while Elder L.T.Sada was the coordinator of the programme. 30 yrs anniversary of the Kalimpong Regional Youth Fellowship was also celebrated during the programme.
Today Rev Sylvanus Lepcha Mololommu of Pakang UCNI Church was ordained as the minister by Rev D.K.Khaling, Moderator of Eastern Himalayan Church Council, UCNIat Pakang.
Mumbai marathon runners introduced 
KalimNews: 22 hill marathon runners to run Mumbai marathon on 15 January 2012 were introduced to the public during a programme held in Kalimpong. In the programme organsied by Kalimpong Press Club it was informed that they will run the marathon to let the world know that Gorkhas are very much Indian as others and the misconception between the Gorkhas of India and Nepalese of Nepal should be cleared. 
Roshni Rai was introduced by AK Rai secretary of Kalimpong Press Club while the runners from Kurseong, Darjeeling and Kalimpong were introduced by Roshni who are accompanying them in the run. Roshni is an international marathon runner from Pedong. 
Vivek Behl a Punjabi who is also running the marathon to support Roshni wearing similar T shirt with a caption that We are Gorkhas and proud to be Indians told the audience during a telecon message that it is the duty of every Gorkhas to join such kind of movement. Eminent citizens of Kalimpong were present in the programme. Roshni has requested people to support her to raise funds for the travelling and boarding expenditures of the runners that is equivalent to Rupees ten thousand per runner. Roshni has already raised fund and registered the runners at a cost of Rupees 1 lakh 10 thousand . Runners T-shirt was also released in the programme.
Over 50 feared killed in Arunachal bridge collapse

PTI: Over 50 people were feared dead after a wire rope suspension bridge over the swift Kameng river collapsed this evening at Seppa in Arunachal Pradesh’s East Kameng district.
The hanging bridge at the entrance to Seppa town, the district headquarters, collapsed as people were crossing it, with 50 feared dead, East Kameng SP Kime Aya said.
Five bodies were found by rescue teams comprising the CRPF, ITBP and the district police, he said.
The swift current in the river and darkness was impeding the search and rescue teams, the SP said.
“Two people who swam back to safety informed that there were over 100 people who had gone on the hunt for ‘teri’, an insect which is a delicacy for the tribals, at around 5:30 pm which was not the right time,” Mr. Aya said.
The exact toll can be ascertained only tomorrow, he said.

Green light to post-quake tourist flow - jn marg opened, visitors relish nathu-la & chhangu lake..Assam students drown in Teesta....Alumni seek heritage tag - plea to preserve school ‘character’...Gift turns curse as son dies in crash...Sikkim seeks Bengal nod for alternative highway

Green light to post-quake tourist flow - jn marg opened, visitors relish nathu-la & chhangu lake
BIJOY GURUNG, TT, Gangtok, Oct. 28: The trinity of Sikkim tourism — Nathu-la, Chhangu Lake and Baba Mandir in the East district — was declared open for visitors coming through the Jawaharlal Nehru Marg for the first time today after the September 18 earthquake.

The high altitude spots with Nathu-la at 14,400ft were closed to tourists following multiple slides along the JN Marg triggered by the quake.
“Eighty vehicles carrying tourists went to Chhangu Lake, Nathu-la and Baba Mandir today though the road condition is as vulnerable as before. We will brief the tourists every morning at the 3rd Mile check post on the road and weather conditions and urge them to return early,” said Chiley Tshering Bhutia, the officer-in-charge of Sherathang police station.
Chhangu Lake, 35km from Gangtok, is situated at 12,400ft and close to Sherathang.
But the Sikkim tourism department decided not to allow tourist vehicles to pass through JN Marg until the road conditions were found safe enough. “We started issuing permits to tourists to visit Nathu-la and Chhangu Lake from today. As the road is narrow at some points, the police will be escorting the vehicles to avoid traffic disruption,” said tourism permit officer Sonam Rinchen.
The 52km-long JN Marg connecting Gangtok with the Nathu-la border had been blocked by boulders brought down from the hillside by 22 slides of various degree. Three stretches of JN Marg had also been damaged in the quake and the strategic road was restored by Project Swastik of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on September 29.
Rinchen said the department had issued permits to visit Nathu-la and Chhangu Lake through the Rongli-Nathu La road in the past few days. He said there were very few takers for this route as one had to travel some 180km to reach Nathu-la from Gangtok via Rongli
According to the Sherathang police station in-charge, the visitors are asked to leave the tourist spots early because of the bad weather in the high altitude areas.
“The weather is bad in the afternoon and we are advising tourists not to delay their return to Gangtok from Nathu-la or Chhangu Lake as rainfall or snowfall could block the road. There was snowfall in Sherathang and the areas above it today. The tourist vehicles started the return trips at 2pm today,” he said.
“The rocky road was a problem. But we enjoyed the trip to Chhangu Lake. The lake is very beautiful,” said Sai Aneknamwong, who was part of the 13-member tourist group from Bangkok. They had come to Gangtok yesterday after touring Lachung and Yumesamdong in North Sikkim.
The Thai tourists were the first group to visit North Sikkim after the earthquake which had snapped the roads in the district.
“We had planned our trip to Sikkim last year. We had seen photographs of the beautiful mountains in North Sikkim taken by our friend during his visit and we wanted to come. Our tour of North Sikkim and Chhangu Lake has been worth it,” said Aneknamwong.
The Thai tourists were given permits to North Sikkim on a ‘trial run’ by the Sikkim tourism department.

“North Sikkim is still closed for tourists. The Thai group had been sent on a trial basis. We will take a decision on allowing tourists to North Sikkim in a couple of days,” said a tourism official.
The closure of destinations in North and East districts has hit the tourist inflow to Sikkim during the festive season of Puja and Diwali. Last year, some 1.5 lakh domestic tourists had visited Sikkim during the months of September-October-November according to tourism department records.
However, this season, the tourist flow is hardly 10 per cent of the last year’s figure and most of the visitors are going to West and South Sikkim, said tourism officials and tour operators.
The tour operators said Nathu-la, Chhangu Lake and Baba Mandir axis was the ‘bread and butter’ of Sikkim tourism as snow covered mountains could be seen within a two-hour journey from Gangtok. During the peak seasons of April-May and September-October, more than 300 vehicles carrying tourists are taken to these tourist spots daily.
Assam students drown in Teesta
BIJOY GURUNG, TT, Gangtok, Oct. 28: Two third-year engineering students from Assam, out for a swim in the Teesta that flows near the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology campus, died after being swept away by a strong current this afternoon.
Police said Kuntal Kashyap from Jorhat and Imanjal Gohain from Guwahati, had gone swimming along with their friends around 3pm near their institute campus at Majitar.
They were washed away for about 10-15 metres downstream by the river before alarmed friends and local people pulled them to the bank and rushed them to the nearest hospital at Singtam, where they were declared dead on arrival.
Kuntal, an only child, had passed HSLC in 2006 and CBSE from Kendriya Vidyalaya ONGC in 2008, before joining the institute for a degree in electronics and telecommunications. His father, Girin Das, an official of the department of industry and commerce, is posted at Nagaon, while mother Bino Devi, is a United Bank of India employee.
Debashish Bharali, Kuntal’s cousin, told The Telegraph this evening that parents of one of Kuntal’s classmates told them that he had met with an “accident and was serious”. “When our aunt (Kuntal’s mother) arrived from the bank, they said that they had received a phone call saying Kuntal was dead,” Bharali said. Kuntal’s mother fainted and had to be administered medicines.
Bharali said they were told that four students had gone to the riverside (Teesta) to click photographs when suddenly two of them fell into the river.
Guwahati resident Imanjal Gohain is the son of Sushil Buragohain, who retired last December as professor and head of the department of livestock production and management, College of Veterinary College, Guwahati.
On July 24, two students from the institute had drowned in the river.
Alumni seek heritage tag - plea to preserve school ‘character’
TT, Kalimpong, Oct. 28: Ex-students of Dow Hill and Victoria Schools will organise a two-day event to seek heritage status for the institutions and ensure that the schools are not brought under the purview of the Right to Education Act.

More than 200 ex-students of the two hill schools from across the country will gather in Kurseong on November 5 and 6 to take part in the programme.
“We will hold a seminar on the rich heritage of the institutions at Victoria School on November 5 and follow it up with a book release and a musical evening in Dow Hill the next day. The book Dow Hill to thee that is written by an ex-Dowhillian Jaya Roy Choudhary,” said Manoj Chandra Rana, the secretary of the north Bengal chapter of the Victoria and Dow Hill Alumni Association.
“We are seeking a heritage status for the schools at the state, national and, if possible, even at the international level to acknowledge their contribution in spreading the light of education in the region,” Rana said.
The 132-year-old institutions are managed by the directorate of schools (Anglo-Indian schools) of the state school education department and they are among the oldest institutions in the hills.
Both the schools feature the list of the 225 sites compiled by the North Bengal University that would be placed before the state heritage commission in November to grant them heritage status.
“However, we do not want only the physical infrastructure of the schools as heritage sites. We are also campaigning to ensure that the present character of the schools is not changed. We have already moved the state education department in this regard. If the need arises, we will also approach the chief minister with our demands,” said Rana.
According to the ex-students, two clauses in the RTE Act do not blend with the values of the schools. First is the provision to do away with the merit-based selection system and introduction of a lottery system for admitting students to standard I.
“Students should be admitted after interviews on a merit basis and not by lotteries,” said Rana.
The second clause of the Act that the ex-students have opposed is the admission of children from the economically backward families in the vicinity of the schools.
“As things are now, students from Bihar, Calcutta and many other places study in these two hill schools and they get a chance to interact with the local children. If the schools admit students only from the locality, the children would not get that exposure and they will not be able to interact with different kinds of people,” Rana added.
Victoria School has Classes from IV to X and 30 per cent of the seats are reserved for students from the three hill subdivisions.
Hill students are allocated 50 per cent seats in Dow Hill School that teaches students from kindergarten to Class X.
Although the RTE Act came into force in all government schools on April 1, 2010, the two hill schools were exempted.
“However, the directorate has recently issued an order stating that the two schools will be brought under the purview of RTE Act from the next academic session,” said a source.
The academic session for both the schools is from March to November.
Jaya Roy Choudhary, of the 1974 batch, said: “The Darjeeling hills that is acknowledged as the centre of education will lose two branded schools (if the Act is implemented).”
Gift turns curse as son dies in crash
TT, Siliguri/Malda, Oct. 28: A youth returning home on a motorcycle that was gifted by his father on Diwali died in an accident along with his friend.
While Tapas Mondal, 21, and Tushar Kanti Mondal, 17, died after the crash, their friend Bandhan is battling for life at the district hospital here. The 18-year-old student of Satatari High School was admitted to the facility with head injuries.
In another incident, three persons who had gone pandal hopping near Bagdogra were killed when the motorcycle they were riding hit a vehicle on NH31 near Khaprail More in Matigara early this morning.
Thirty-year-old Subrata Bhowmik, Pradip Mondal, 18, and Uttam Das, 21, were travelling towards Siliguri town when the mishap happened.
Police said the trio were not wearing helmets and a search is on to locate the unidentified vehicle.
Five friends from Malda’s Gansaihaat village had set out on two motorcycles to visit a Kali temple and a fair in Ratua yesterday evening.
The two-wheeler was gifted to Tapas by his father on Diwali. Police said on the way back, one of the two-wheelers collided with a truck on Amriti-Mothabari state highway near Kaliachak.
“We were following the motorcycle that Bandhan was riding. Tapash and Tushar were riding pillion. All of a sudden, we saw a truck come from the opposite direction and hit it. It was completely dark and a deserted stretch. We did not know what to do and felt very helpless,” said Jaidev, who was riding the other motorcycle along with Tushar’s brother Chandan.
He added that they managed to stop a passing motor-driven van and took the injured to the Malda district hospital.
“I had gifted the motorcycle to Tapas a day before Kali Puja. My son had to travel 25km by bus to go to the college. I bought him the bike for his convenience. But that turned out to be a curse for him and us,” said Tapas’s father Benoy Mondal, a labour supplier. Tapas was a third year student of Gour College in Old Malda.
According to hospital sources, Bandhan’s condition is critical. Tapas’s family members said Chandan is in a state of shock and he is not being able to speak. District superintendent of police Jayanta Pal said the driver of the truck had been arrested and the vehicle seized.
Youth body found
TT, Siliguri, Oct. 28: Pradhannagar police recovered the charred body of a youth from an abandoned house at Pramodnagar in Champasari today.
The deceased has been identified as Suraj Gazmer, 32. The police suspect that Suraj and his brother Pritam were drug addicts and Suraj was burned to death during an altercation between the siblings. Maya Gazmer, the deceased’s mother, has lodged a police complaint on the basis of which Pritam has been arrested. The police said an investigation has started.
Man kills wife
TT, Malda: A man allegedly stabbed his wife to death and later consumed poison to kill himself at Mianhat near Harishchandrapur on Friday. Police said Md Tajibur murdered Saheda Biwi after she refused to pay him Rs 1, 000 that he had asked for. Later, Tajibur consumed poison. Local people rushed him to the Harishchandrapur Rural Health Centre where he is under treatment.
Ticket fine
TT, Siliguri: Northeast Frontier Railway officials at New Jalpaiguri collected Rs 50,000 as fine from 40 persons for travelling without tickets on different trains. The team that conducted the raid was led by Debsish Karjee, the chief commercial inspector of the NFR in NJP.
Road death
TT, Alipurduar: Two persons died and five were injured when an auto-rickshaw collided with a car on the Jaigaon-Hasimara SAARC Road near Beech Tea Estate on Friday evening. The deceased have been identified as Ranjan Bhujel, 36, and Prem Lama, 30, the driver of the auto. The injured persons have been admitted to the subdivisional hospital here. The car has been seized but the driver escaped.
Sikkim seeks Bengal nod for alternative highway
Amalendu Kundu, TNN, Oct 29, 2011, LACHUNG: Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling has requested the Mamata Banerjee government for forest clearance to construct an alternative highway from Siliguri to Gangtok.
"I have requested Mamataji for an no-objection certificate (NOC). I told her the alternative highway will be important for Sikkim as well as Darjeeling," Chamling told TOI. "An NOC from Bengal is also necessary for the construction of a rail link to Sikkim." The necessary NOC from the Bengal government is, however, still awaited.
The Sikkim government had earlier sent a plan for the alternative highway to the Centre since NH 31A from Siliguri to Gangtok is overused and often gets blocked due to landslides. But an NOC from the Bengal government is a must before the ministry of environment and forest gives the final approval.
The Sikkim government is mulling a new highway from Chalsa in north Bengal, connecting the existing NH 31A at Rongpo in Sikkim via Jaldhaka, passing through the Neora Valley forest in Bengal. The army had also favoured the proposal as it would improve road connectivity to strategically important east Sikkim. The proposed road would pass through four forests in Bengal and one in Sikkim.
Chamling was hopeful that the clearance won't be a problem now as he shares a better rapport with Mamata than her predecessor. After the September 18 earthquake, Mamata had visited Gangtok and on October 24, the two chief ministers met briefly at Bagdogra airport.
Chamling, who is now touring the earthquake-hit areas of north Sikkim, faced criticisms as roads links to Chungthang, Lachen, Lachung and the Dzongu area remained cut off for weeks after the tremor. "All the important roads in Sikkim, NH 31A, the North Sikkim Highway, the Nathu La Road and the Kuppup Road are maintained by the Border Roads Organization (BRO). A total of 873 kms of roads in Sikkim is maintained by the BRO. I have told both the DG BRO and the Chief Engineer BRO in Sikkim about the condition of these roads," Chamling said.