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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.

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