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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Murder in Jorethang... Youth found murdered in Kalimpong.....DMs to scan contours of plains mouzas - Morcha cites adivasi support to argue against demographic profiling of plains pockets...Buxla takes charge of rail passenger service...Govt mulls monthly allowance for closed tea garden workers

Murder in Jorethang
Prabin Khaling, KalimNews, Jorethang, 18 January 2012: One person was murdered in Jorethang at 2nd street near vegetable complex at around 8.30 PM in evening. According to the reports received from Jorethang police the murdered person is identified as Chandra Das (45) of Chandapara about 8 km away from siliguri of West Bengal.
Sources revealed that Das was tea and coffee vendor at Jorethang Maghay mela. Das was murdered by unknown assailant by a sharp knife but both the killer and the knife is yet to be recovered by the Police.
The dead body was taken to Namchi hospital for Postmortem by the police and later handed over to the Das family.A case under section 302 IPC is registered by Jorethang police and investigation by the police is under process.
Youth found murdered in Kalimpong
D.K.Waiba, KalimNews:  A dead body of a youth was recovered by Kalimpong police while on duty last night at about 12.30 pm from RC Mintri Road near a ginger godown.  Later the youth was identified as Sonam Gyatso 31 of Suntalay kothi of RC Mintri Road. Two persons are detained by the police in connection with the murder. It is revealed that Gyatso was a drug addict and also a drug paddler. 
Chepey of the same area and Dallu of Sadhudhara are being questioned by the police regarding the murder. It is learnt that the duo had been warned by Gyatso on various occasions of dire consequences, on the day of the murder too they had an altercation between themselves.  Gyatso used to live with his grand mother. He was hit by a sharp weapon on the head and had died around 11 pm. A case of murder under section 302 IPC. The body was handed over the deceased family.
News in Brief 
Tremor in Sikkim
KalimNews: A light tremor measuring 3.4 Richter scale was recorded in Sikkim at 52 sec on 18 January. The location of the tremor was at latitude 27.3 degree longitude 88.5 degree east . As the intensity was slight no report of any damage is received.
Gurung visit to Dooars
GJM President Bimal Gurung will lay the foundation stone of Gorkha Bhavan at Chamurchi in the central Dooars during his visit to Dooars in February. A sarva dharma rite will be conducted at Sibshu from 13 to 19 February near the site where 3 GJM supporters were shot dead by West Bengal police on 8 February 2011.
DMs to scan contours of plains mouzas - Morcha cites adivasi support to argue against demographic profiling of plains pockets

VIVEK CHHETRI, TT, Darjeeling, Jan. 18: The Justice Shyamal Sen Committee today decided to ask the district magistrates of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri to prepare a map to see if the mouzas the Gorkha Janmutki Morcha wanted as part of the hill set-up were contiguous.
“This would be a first step,” said Shankar Adhikari, the Morcha’s convener of the Terai unit who is on the committee.
“Then would follow the more complex task of verifying whether they (the mouzas) are Gorkha dominated or not. Unless these areas are contiguous it would be difficult to include them in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. So we shall first study this aspect and then move forward. The district magistrates will be given 10 days to complete the map,” he added.
The committee’s decision comes a day after Morcha chief Bimal Gurung threatened to re-start the statehood agitation unless the GTA was implemented by March 27.
Sources in the state government doubted whether the committee could achieve the task of verifying if the mouzas were Gorkha-dominated before that. The government had initially given the committee a deadline of six months to submit its report. As the deadline will expire in February, the committee is expected to ask the government for more time.
“The verification (if the mouzas are Gorkha dominated) would be time-consuming process and we have not even started it yet. In fact, it is the verification process that is becoming one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the formation of the GTA,” another Morcha leader who is on the committee said. “What is good, however, is that a start has been made and we can only go forward from here.”
The Morcha has asked for the inclusion of 196 mouzas in the Dooars and an equal number in the Terai in the GTA. The hill party has maintained that it would not accept the new administrative arrangement unless the territorial status was firmed up.
The committee is headed by retired judge Shyamal Sen and consists of four Morcha representatives, the district magistrates of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri, a representative of the state home department, the director of census (representing the Centre) and the administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.
Adhikari said the Morcha representatives argued today that it was not necessary to get the demographic profile of these mouzas as most of the adivasi leaders of the Dooars and the Terai had said they were willing to be part of the GTA.
“They have even signed a pact with the Morcha on this,” Adhikari said. “After this, getting a democratic profile of the mouzas is a futile exercise.”
Adhikari said after the committee was formed, the government had invited submissions from people to know if they wanted the areas to be brought under the GTA.
“Of the 719 public submissions made before the committee, 696 applications were in favour of being part of the GTA. Although the rest of the applications were against the merger of the mouzas with the GTA, eight of them were from various political parties,” said Adhikari.
Government sources said only 392 mouzas initially demanded by the Morcha would be considered and not the entire Dooars and the Terai that was subsequently demanded by the hill party.
The next meeting of the committee is likely to be held in February, though the date has not been fixed.
Buxla takes charge of rail passenger service
TT, Alipurduar, Jan. 18: Former MP and Trinamul leader Joachim Buxla today took charge as the chairman of a railway committee that looks after passenger services across the country and said he would focus on the late running of trains on the NJP-Alipurduar route.

He said he would address the problems faced by passengers in the Dooars as trains had to slow down on the NJP-Alipurduar route after dusk to save wild animals.
“I am aware of the problems faced by passengers. If the train arrives late at Alipurduar Junction, it is really difficult for the passengers to reach their homes. Railways and forest officials are trying their best to solve the problem. I am also a director of the West Bengal Forest Development Corporation and now I can act as an intermediary between both the departments,” he said after assuming charge as the chief of the Passenger Services Committee of the Indian Railways.
The speed restriction was imposed on the trains after several elephants had been mowed down on tracks passing through the forests in the Dooars.
Buxla, who was a four-time RSP MP of Alipurduar, switched to Trinamul just before the last parliamentary elections. He was given the new task after Derek O’Brien resigned as the chairman of the panel following his election to Rajya Sabha. O’Brien quit the post as an MP cannot hold an office of profit.
Buxla said the Dooars was neglected in terms of railway development and he would try to promote tourism in the region. “The Dooars is far behind other areas in providing railway services. The railway minister has a plan to introduce circular rail in the region and I will discuss the matter with him. If more trains are introduced and connectivity is increased, tourism would get a boost in the Dooars and many youths would be employed.”
Tiger skin
TT, Siliguri: A resident of Nepal was arrested from Panitanki on Wednesday and a tiger skin was recovered from him. Naxalbari customs officials said Onchung Thakuri, 60, a resident of Lumbini in Nepal, was trying to smuggle the skin into the neighbouring country. “The estimated price of the skin is Rs 25 lakh in the international market. We have also recovered Rs 1.67 lakh and Nepali currency worth Rs 25, 000 from him,” said Jyotikumar Bubana, the assistant commissioner, Naxalbari customs division.
Govt mulls monthly allowance for closed tea garden workers
SNS, SILIGURI, 18 January 2012: After the death of six tea workers allegedly due to starvation, the state labour department has decided to provide financial assistance to all 484 permanent tea workers of the closed Dheklapara Tea Estate on a monthly basis.

Earlier, the payment used to be made on a quarterly basis. The state government gives the Financial Assistance to Workers of Locked-out Industries (FAWLOI) of Rs 1,500 for each permanent worker.
The decision was taken following a report, which was submitted today by the additional labour commissioner, Mr Pashupati Ghosh. Mr Ghosh had visited the tea estate on 16 January. Administrative sources said the state labour department, considering the plight of the jobless tea workers, had planned to take action against the planters of the closed tea plantations, based on the Tea Act 1953, in connection with tea (marketing) control, creation of encumbrance or diversion of funds and other financial irregularities, following recommendations of departmental officials.
The labour commissioner today approved the proposal to provide FAWLOI to the next of kin of the four victims of the closed tea plantation at Dekhlapara in Alipurduar. The state labour department today confirmed that of the four permanent tea workers, who had rendered jobless and died owing to prolonged diseases and malnourishment, used to get the FAWLOI from the state government.
Notably, six tea workers died there over the past few months, one of the administrative officials said. The workers, whose families will receive financial aid, have been identified as Shil Tanti (53), Bijoy Tanti (35), Rangia Khera (50) and Pradhan Tanti (45). The FAWLOI would be given to the next of kin of the four victims up to the age of 58 (age of retirement) of the deceased.
“The district officials of our department will prepare document on spot so that the family members can receive the financial assistance as early as possible,” said the additional labour commissioner.
The state labour department’s records show that a total of 602 workers were associated with the Dhelkapara Tea Estate when it was closed. When the labour department had sought applications from the jobless tea workers a few years ago, a total of 493 workers were listed as beneficiaries. As of today a total of 484 permanent workers are receiving the FAWLOI. Of them four workers have died.
The causal tea workers in tea plantations are not entitled to claim the FAWLOI. In north Bengal, out of seven closed tea plantations, permanent tea workers associated with three gardens receive the FAWLOI.
The three closed tea plantations are Ringtone Tea Estate and Kanchen View Tea Estate in the Hills and Dheklapara Tea Estate in Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri. According to the labour department, four others ~ Panighata Tea Estate in the Terai, Dalsingpara Tea Estate, Dalmore Tea Estate and Turturi Tea Estate in the Dooars ~ have been closed recently due to litigation and conflict between the management and labour unions.

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