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Thursday, October 20, 2011

3 fugitives of Arunachal arrested in Sikkim....Women trafficker arrested...BASIBIYALO TO BE HELD AT NATIONAL LEVEL...Hills on tax mop-up drive - Water supply to 160 defaulters to be cut off...GJM chalks strategy for Uttarakhand elections...Adivasis demand AGTA

3 fugitives of Arunachal arrested in Sikkim
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Gangtok, October 20: Sadar Police, Gangtok on Wednesday evening arrested three wanted criminals of Arunachal Pradesh here in the capital after the extensive raid carried out by the Police team led by PI Tshering Sherpa.
The tri Bintok (22), Bikash Kira (28) and Nido Neahru (21) all the residents of Dollung Mukh, Arunachal Pradesh have been booked in the case of robbery at Ziro Police Station in Arunachal Pradesh.
According to Tshering Sherpa who is also the Sadar Thana in charge the three persons had robbed 15 lakhs from the cashier of the one of the construction companies in Ziro in the broad day light of October 3.All three have been booked under 392\34\ IPC and section 22(1) Arms Act 1959.
“We received an information from the Arunachal Pradesh Police seeking help in the case, we mobilized our source and the three persons who had just checked in the Hotel were arrested” Mr. Sherpa added.
The Police have recovered four mobile phones, 45,000 cash from the accused. While talking over phone Pushpendra Kumar, the SP (Ziro) said the criminals were in the wanted list since they absconded aftercommitting the crime.
“I thank the pro active support of the Sikkim Police in nabbing the culprits” Kumar told Sikkim Express. He also said that the Police team from Ziro would reach Gangtok within two days to take the custody.
All three were produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate court today and have been taken for three days Police remand.
Women trafficker arrested
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, GANGTOK, October 20: Namchi Police has detained one woman allegedly involved in the women trafficking. Chuki Rai the resident of Rangpo was detained by police for an interrogation following the complaint lodged by the parents of the girls who went missing since October 12 from Kateng, South Sikkim.
The parents in the FIR have complained that six girls, including two married women were taken by one Tenzing Bhutia of Kalimpong (brother of Chuki Rai) to New Delhi without their prior permission.
According to the Police the girls were told that they would be given lucrative jobs at Delhi and Haryana. “All the six women are being brought back from Delhi by Tenzing after a phone call was made by his sister Chuki Rai” Police Inspector of Namchi Police Station informed.
Meanwhile, a case under section 365/34 IPC has been registered against both the accused and the case is under investigation.
KalimNews: 100th episode of Basibiyalo, a monthly literary programme, will be held at a grand manner at national stature on 5 and 6 of coming month at Ramkrishna Rangmanch, Town Hall, Kalimpong. This was made known by Manoj Bogati, publicity co-ordinator of the celebration committee here in Kalimpong today while addressing a media gathering. He said that the programme which would last for two days would comprise variety of literary, cultural and artistic displays. The main functions of the first day which would be organised jointly by the Madhyam Marg family of Siliguri and Basibiyalo group of Kalimpong will be recitation of creative writings by reputed Nepali writers, exhibition-cum-sale of books and magazines, release of various books written by T.N. Subedi, Hira Chhetri, Samsher Ali and children literary magazine edited by young writer Siba Chhetri 'Sibu'. The souvenir of the Basibiyalo family will also be released the same day. A documentary film produced by KTv would be displayed for the audiences on the occasion.
The programme of second day would consist of presentation of mass recitation by Bhadreko Toli, recitation of creative writings by non-Nepali writers of Maithili, Telegu, Punjabi, Boro, Bhojpuri, Bengali and Hindi writers. The welfare raffle of the Basibiyalo would also be drawn on the second day, as disclosed today. The programme would be televised live by the media partner KTv. As an additional attraction, the Sikkim chapter of Basibiyalo will present its programme the second day for which a committee has already been constituted in Gangtok under the convenorship of senior and reputed artist Kiran Rasaily, Bogati added.
During the media briefing C.K. Shrestha, founder of the Basibiyalo highlighted the background of formation of the Basibiyalo.
The organising committee has invited all interested persons in the programme to be held on 5/6th November, 2011 in Kalimpong.

Regular attendance of Food & Supplies staff doubtfull
D.K.Waiba, KalimNews: Most of the staff of Food & Supplies of Kalimpong Sub Divisional Office were found not in the office at 11.30 am today while a group of reporters visited there. On enquiry Dhruba Baraily F&S Inspector said that most of the Inspectors who deal ration cards stay out of the town and report late in the office but they work hard till the late hour. He further admitted that after the call of Mamata Banerjee the Chief Minister to all the government staff to report timely in duty , staff of this office is more regular than before.
Hills on tax mop-up drive - Water supply to 160 defaulters to be cut off
VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Oct. 20: The Darjeeling municipality has decided to disconnect water connections of nearly 160 tax defaulters, an indication that the administration is trying to get a grip on the state of affairs in the hills by going on a drive to collect its dues.

The civic body has already identified the top five property tax defaulters in each of the 32 wards of the municipality. The highest tax default is Rs 5.86 lakh, followed by Rs 2.85 lakh and Rs 2.34 lakh.
The mop-up drive comes after three years during which the government had avoided all confrontation with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha which renewed the statehood agitation in the hills.
Although the Morcha had kept the hill civic bodies out of the ambit of its non-co-operation movement against the government — when it had asked the hill people not to pay taxes like electricity and telephone bills, land rents and even transport taxes — the administration had not taken any action against civic defaulters.
The Morcha had exempted the hill municipalities from its movement on the ground that the local bodies had to raise their own funds to meet 20 per cent of its total expenditure on the salary of its staff, who are mostly local people. The non-cooperation movement had started in April 2008.
Although the municipality claimed that the decision to book defaulters was taken to bail out the civic body from financial crisis, observers believe it is aimed at sending out a strong message.
Tamal Das, chairperson of the board of administrators that runs the civic body, said: “The municipality is facing a huge financial crunch and this is why we decided to take stern action. We have already issued notices to the top five defaulters in each of the 32 wards and our officials have started disconnecting water supplies to those households whose owners have not replied appropriately to our notices.”
Meaning business, Das said: “We will give the defaulters 15 days’ time after which we will also start disconnecting sewerage connections.”
The Darjeeling municipality is indeed facing a huge financial crunch. Sources said the total outstanding dues crossed the Rs 8 crore mark on March 31, 2011. “It is difficult for us to manage as we have to pool in 20 per cent of the salaries of the 456 permanent employees of the municipality. Also, we do not get any financial help to pay the 193 daily wage workers who get Rs 75 a day,” said a municipality official.
The civic body collects around Rs 25 lakh per month as various taxes. But the total expenditure on salaries, wages of daily workers, gratuity to retired employees and a portion of the pension stands at Rs 1.02 crore. Sources said the municipality was running on a monthly deficit of Rs 20 lakh. “We need to collect around Rs 45 lakh per month to function smoothly,” said an official.
Often, the municipality has to pay hill allowances from its own kitty as the government delays payment.
Observers feel that the recent civic drive would be a cue to government departments to mop up other outstanding dues like the electricity tariff. The hills have not paid electricity bills worth Rs 80 crore to the power department. The Morcha has asked the hill people to clear the dues only from August 2011.
But there is still no word either from the party or the state government on the collection or settlement of other outstanding dues — like telephone bills and land tax to name a few — that have reached Rs 100 crore.
Daily water plea
RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, Oct. 20: More than 500 people today took to the streets to demand 15 minutes of daily water supply but the civic body has dismissed it as impossible under the existing system.
The Gorkha Dukhi Niwarak Sammelan and the Kalimpong Sangrakchhan Samiti, which jointly took out the silent rally, later submitted a memorandum to Kalimpong subdivisional officer L.N. Sherpa with a five-point charter of demands.
The demands include supply of water for at least 15 minutes everyday, immediate repair of the Thukchuk water source and constitution of a monitoring team on water supply. “There is mismanagement in delivering water from Thukchuk to the reservoir. We also noticed water seeping from the joints of the pipes along a 16-km stretch,” said B.K. Pradhan, the treasurer of GDNS and a KSS member.
Thukchuk is one of the water sources of the town. The main source, however, is the Neora river.
Landslides triggered first by rains and subsequently by last month’s earthquake caused extensive damage to the pipelines from both the sources. For the hills, a “normal” supply is half an hour of water either on alternate days or every third day. Even that had been hampered for the past one month.
An official in the public health engineering (water works) department, which looks after distribution, however, said it was not possible to supply water on a daily basis because of the antiquated distribution system.
“It is not feasible to supply water for 15 minutes in the present system. The distribution system needs to be re-modified totally. Preliminary work on modernising it has been initiated recently,” said the official.
GJM chalks strategy for Uttarakhand elections
Amitava Banerjee, HT, Darjeeling, October 21, 2011: The four member Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) team led by President Bimal Gurung, camping in Delhi since October 17, returned back to the hills on Thursday. "We had three separate meetings in Delhi, one with Member of Parliament Jaswant Singh, one with the GJM Delhi unit and another with the GJM Dehradun unit. The Delhi visit was purely organizational in nature" claimed GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri.
"We met the GJM unit of Uttarakhand. The State will be holding Assembly elections in 2012. We asked our Uttarakhand unit to conduct a ground survey based on which we will chalk out our strategy for Uttarakhand elections. There is a sizeable Gorkha population residing in Uttarakhand" remarked Harka Bahadur Chettri, GJM Spokesperson.
Based on the report by the GJM Uttarakhand unit, the GJM will decide whether to go at it alone, support a political party or forge a seat sharing alliance. "Our next meeting will be held as soon as the GJM Uttarakhand unit is ready with the report" added Chettri.
Though GJM is an ally of the BJP, having supported the BJP candidate Jaswant Singh and ensure his victory from Darjeeling constituency in 2009. GJM lately has taken an inclination towards the Congress, extending unconditional support to the Congress and Trinamool Congress candidates in the plains during the West Bengal Assembly elections in April-May 2011.
Adivasis demand AGTA
KalimNews: After GTA and ATA now a new concept of AGTA is formulated by Adivasis of Dooars during a meeting of All Adivasi Welfare and Cultural Society held at Chamurchi of Central Dooars. The meeting presided by Dhanu Murmu resolved to forward a 22 point demand to the high power committee. Discussing on the proposals of GTA and ATA we thought that the proper redressal of the problems will be possible if AGTA is formed with areas comprising of Darjeeling and Dooars said Johnson Bablu Minz, the general Secretary of AAWCS. He further said that government should take initiatives to return the lands of the Adivasis now under the occupation of others.

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