GORKHA POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: Road block for Gurung arrest – guess where the Bengal Media focus is right now, political demonisation & denigration of the Morcha & ‘Gorkha Cause’ at any cost ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, May 26: GNLF supporters today blocked NH55 near Siliguri for one hour, demanding the arrest of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders implicated in the assassination of ABGL chief Madan Tamang.
The protesters also threatened to sit on an indefinite dharna at the Siliguri subdivisional office if police failed to act against Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri who had flouted the prohibitory orders in Darjeeling yesterday.
Led by Rajen Mukhia, the convener of the Terai committee of the GNLF, about 200 people descended on the road at Dagapur at 10.30am.
“We were shocked to see that Morcha leaders like Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri, who are prime accused in the Madan Tamang’s murder, blatantly violated prohibitory orders and entered Darjeeling with police escort. Instead of arresting the two, policemen shamelessly guarded them,” said Mukhia.
“We demand the immediate arrest of the Morcha leaders or else we will resort to dharna at Siliguri subdivisional office, where the prohibitory orders are in force round the clock,” he added.
Mukhia also said Gurung had threatened his opponents with dire consequences at a public meeting in Panighata on April 20. “On the very next day, I lodged a complaint with Panighata police outpost and submitted the video footage of his speech. The clippings were also sent to Writers’ Buildings on May 6, seeking necessary action. But the government has not done anything till now and Madan Tamang was murdered in the meantime,” said the GNLF leader.
Hundreds of vehicles were stopped at either end of the road and the Darjeeling-bound toy train was also blocked for 20 minutes by the agitators. The protesters were mainly from Panighata, Belgachi and Neopani under Mirik block and carrying placards, they shouted anti-Morcha slogans.
The Bangla O Bangla Bhasha Banchao Committee also slammed the state government for being inactive even after Tamang’s murder on Friday.
“The police could have at least removed the Gorkhaland signboards or deleted the word after Tamang’s murder. Further, the government can also proscribe the Gorkhaland Personnel. These steps will send some positive signals to the common people and the Morcha,” said Mukunda Majumdar, the president of the Bhasha Banchao Committee.
New chief pleads for peace, democracy – Madan widow says Gorkhaland will be achieved in a civilised manner – now chance for ‘unprecedented unity’ for the ‘Gorkha Cause’ or more factionalism ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, May 26: The widow of Madan Tamang and the newly appointed president of the ABGL today appealed to the people here to unite and fight for the restoration of democracy in the hills.
At her first media conference, Bharati Tamang appeared composed and determined to fulfill “my husband’s wishes”.
“I have accepted the challenge to head the ABGL to respect the wishes of the hill people and of my party cadres. In democracy, the wishes of the people are the most important and I appeal to all to unite and fight for restoration of democracy,” said Bharati.
She appealed to her supporters to remain calm, five days after her husband and ABGL chief Madan Tamang was hacked to death before he was to address a public meeting in Darjeeling.
In Calcutta, director general of Bengal police, Bhupindar Singh, said the police have found several clues in the Tamang assassination case and would not hesitate to arrest anybody involved in the murder. “We’ve got several clues as the murder was in broad daylight. We have to arrest anybody whose name comes up during the investigation for involvement in the assassination. If there is a law and order situation because of these arrests, we will deal with that,” said Singh.
He, however, did not reveal what the “clues” were.
Tamang’s murder had sparked protests across the hills, and a stream of resignations from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had followed. But yesterday, Morcha chief Bimal Gurung returned to Darjeeling in a convoy of 100 vehicles, bulldozing the stirrings of defiance.
A day after severing links with the Morcha, two prominent leaders who had resigned from the party — Harka Bahadur Chhetri and L.B. Pariyar — took back their decisions. “People are not in favour of violence and everybody knows that violence cannot last forever,” Bharati said.
Pratap Khati, a senior ABGL leader, said the fight was not between the ABGL and the Morcha any more. “It is a fight between democratic and undemocratic forces.”
Bharati sounded confident about achieving Gorkhaland. “Restoration of democracy is the priority now and if we remain united, Gorkhaland can be achieved. I do not have any doubts,” said Bharati adding: “We will, however, have to work in a civilised way.”
Asked if the party would hold public meetings soon, Bharati said: “As of now we have not decided to hold any public meetings. We are in a state of mourning.” The ABGL has decided to remain part of Democratic Front, an anti-Morcha alliance of seven parties.
Khati, however, added that the party would hold condolence meetings across the hills soon. “We will start from Darjeeling,” he added.
Pranay Rai, the (GNLF) MLA of Darjeeling, today said he would (*?!!)resign (Madan Tamang’s open murder not reason enough ?!!) from the Assembly if the state government failed to provide adequate security to the hill people.
“The state has not been able to provide security to the leaders, forget about the common people. I will tender my resignation as MLA if the state fails to provide security to the common people,” he said . (is this ‘News’, or what …. could find nothing better ?!!)
GJMM desperate to restore image – really, how desperate and in whose eyes ?!!
FROM THE STATESMAN
BY SABYASACHI ROY
KURSEONG, 26 MAY: Amidst uneasy calm in the Hills, a day after Mr Bimal Gurung’s show of strength and five days after Madan Tamang’s murder, the GJMM is leaving no stones unturned to thwart any attempt by either the CPI-M or the AIGL to snatch away its claim to the “public mandate” in the Hills.
Party president, Mr Bimal Gurung and general secretary Mr Roshan Giri were busy in a closed door meeting with other senior party leaders at their Singmari party office in Darjeeling while other party leaders organised a public meeting at Kurseong.
A senior party leader said the central committee members of the party are not worried about the allegations leveled against the GJMM, primarily by the CPI-M.
The incident where several party flags and banners were torn down and several people in the hills shouted slogans against the party chief, was not the outcome of the allegations leveled by the political parties. It happened only after the resignation of the senior members of the party, he said.
The resignation of party leaders like the GJMM spokesperson Mr Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Mr Trilok Dewa, former Andhra Pradesh chief secretary, Mr Amar Rai former principal of Darjeeling Loreto College and Mr LB Pariyar former state’s panchayat secretary created discontent among the Hill people.
They misunderstood the issue and started to distance themselves from the party despite knowing that GJMM is the only party to voice their demand for separate Gorkhaland, said GJMM insiders.
The matter has been resolved as Mr Chhetri and Mr Pariyar have returned to the party.
The high command of GJMM was busy in restoring its image during the last two days. (Wow ?!!)
Two other leaders Mr Trilok Dewan and Mr Amar Rai are also contemplating to rejoin the party, it was learnt. (Wow again ?!!)
The senior party leader (*?!!) also said that the leaders were told that their resignations would only make the people think that Tamang’s murder is indeed the handiwork of a section of party leaders. “They were also told that the state government and the CPI-M are playing the trick to tarnish the image of the party and they should not fall in their trap. After this, the leaders changed their decision and rejoined the party,” he said. (Who please ?!!)
Meanwhile, an uneasy calm is still prevailing in the hills, after five days of the murder of the AIGL’s top leader. Normality has been party restored in Darjeeling, though still today several shops and business establishments remained closed in a few pockets of the hill town.
Mr KL Tamta, IG (North Bengal) said that normalcy has been restored in the areas. “Apart from additional police personnel, two companies of Central paramilitary forces has been deployed in the hills,” he added. (So, why has Bimal Gurung, who called KL Tamta a “haldaar” not been arrested as yet ?!!)
The GJMM high command has taken the state minister for urban development, Mr Asok Bhattacharya’s statement that GJMM has lost the mandate of the people and it should no longer represent them in any future meetings on the hill issue, as a challenge and are desperate to make their 30 May meeting a grand success, said the GJMM leader.
Meanwhile, other political parties have also started to make their presence felt in the hills. The Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad has invited all the Gorkhas from Dooars to return to their land and join their movement for achieving the Sixth Schedule status for the Dooars and Terai. (No mention of an GJM Adivasi leader, with Samuel Gurung in charge of Dooars lending full support to GJM in Darjeeling ?!!)
Chhetri clarifies stand
KURSEONG, 26 MAY: The GJMM spokesperson, Mr Harka Bahadur Chhetri, who withdrew his resignation and rejoined the party, today clarified that the party’s long movement for a separate state has forced him to reconsider his decision.
“I resigned because of my conscience and to pay tribute to AIGL leader Madan Tamang, who was very close to me since 1981. But, the activities and conspiracy hatched by the state government and other political parties of the hills, against the GJMM and Gorkhaland made me realise that it was a mistake,” added Mr Chhetri. (SNS)
Fear factor ? 4 GJM men withdraw resignation – exactly how Bengal feels … that the Gorkhas should feel ?!!
FROM TIMES OF INDIA
SILIGURI, May 26, 2010: Four of the 10 GJM leaders, who had quit in protest against Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League chief Madan Tamang’s murder on May 21, have withdrawn their resignations, apparently under intense pressure. (*?!!)
They include GJM spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Study Forum members L B Pariyar (former IAS officer), Amar Rai (retired professor) and Trilok Dewan (ex-IAS officer). Chhetri and Pariyar rejoined on Tuesday, while Rai and Dewan did so on Wednesday.
Sources in Siliguri said Chhetri and Pariyar agreed to take back their resignations after GJM representatives went to their houses in Kalimpong soon after they quit the party on Monday evening. Rai and Dewan reportedly held a long meeting with GJM chief Bimal Gurung before they withdrew their resignations.
“The fear factor seems to have returned to the Hills after police let Gurung break Section 144 and hold a meeting in Darjeeling on Tuesday. Many in the Hills suspect the state government is hand-in-glove with GJM,” the sources said. Prior to his death, Tamang had repeatedly warned people that GJM and the state government might use force to make the Hills people accept the proposed interim autonomous set-up in place of a full-fledged state.
“Gurung knows he is on the back foot and is trying everything to reimpose his writ in the Hills. He reportedly skipped a scheduled meeting in Kurseong on Wednesday,” the sources said.
In Darjeeling, Rai told TOI: “Gurung requested us to rethink our decision. Factors such as GJM’s demand for a CBI probe also played a key role in our decision.”
Chhetri added: “ I realised over the last couple of days there was a hint of conspiracy by the state government, with an eye on the 2011 polls. It is trying to take advantage of the situation. The Gorkhaland movement is not only Gurung’s movement but mine as well. Which is why I decided to stick with the Morcha.”
Resist GJM’s autocratic rule: Tamang widow
SILIGURI: Bharati Tamang, who has succeeded slain husband Madan as Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League president called upon people on Wednesday to resist “the autocratic rule” of the Morcha. (or Bengal State ?!!)
She knows it is a difficult task, considering the way the administration cowered before Morcha chief Bimal Gurung on his return to Darjeeling on Tuesday. (Should have opened fire as on 27th July 1987 in Kalimpong ?!!)
“We do not want to fight a political battle with GJM. Our priority is to restore peace and democracy in a civilized way. After this, we can take up statehood and other issues,” she said at her INA Bypass residence here. “We are faced with a very difficult task but I believe people will support us in our struggle.” (For or against the ‘ways & means’ towards an ultimate Gorkhaland ?!!)
Bharati, 60, a former government employee , said: “I accepted the post of ABGL president to fulfil the wish of the people and the dream of my husband. The people have become disillusioned with GJM. This became evident during my husband’s funeral.”
Gorkha National Liberation Front MLA from Darjeeling, Pranay Rai, said he would resign as legislator if the state government failed to ensure “security and a democratic atmosphere” in the Hills.
“I am a citizen first and then an MLA. My purpose of representing people will not be served if there is no peace and democracy. I have told chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee that I will resign if violence and undemocratic activities continue in the Hills.” (So, why not resign in protest of Madan Tamang’s brutal murder – just sabre rattling ?!!)