GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: GLP chief bail plea rejected – shows emphatically how even the Bengal judiciary is unwaveringly biased, now Asok and Buddhadeb to also have FIRs filed against them on conspiracy to murder Madan Tamang allegations next – as true ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, June 14: The sessions court here today rejected an anticipatory bail plea by Lt Col (retd) Ramesh Allay, the chief of the Gorkhaland Personnel who was named in the FIR filed after ABGL chief Madan Tamang’s murder.
“We had moved the bail plea, saying that Allay is a leader of a party (The Bharatiya Gorkha Bhutpurba Sainik Morcha – see report on “Lathicharge Memory Meet” on April 6, 2010) and his name has been falsely implicated. We also told the court that our client had an impeccable record while he was serving in the army.
The bail was rejected as the court believes that the investigation is still at an early stage,” said Dinesh Chandra Rai, who represented Allay in court.
Following Tamang’s murder on May 21, Laxman Pradhan, the Darjeeling district secretary of the ABGL, had in the FIR accused Allay, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung, general secretary Roshan Giri and four other leaders of conspiring to kill the party president.
Sudesh Raimaji, 36, a contractor in Darjeeling who had been arrested by police for criminal conspiracy, was also produced in the court of the chief judicial magistrate here today and remanded in judicial custody.
The judge, D. Mukherjee, fixed the next date of hearing on June 28
Raimaji had been arrested on June 4 and the next day, he was remanded in police custody for 10 days.
MEANWHILE IN A SIMILAR MURDER CHARGE IN BENGAL
Youths charged for friend’s fall in river – Sudesh Raimaji’s personal bond not good enough – because he is a Gorkha from the hills ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Raiganj, June 14: The six youths from Raiganj who had accompanied Abir Dutta, missing after allegedly falling off a launch into a Sunderbans river on Saturday night, have been charged with negligence and inconsistency in statements.
The youths were released on personal bonds.
“It is not convincing that the six youths did not notice for an hour that their friend was missing.
Police have recorded their statements which varied from one person to another. We are not divulging further details in the interest of the probe. The youths were charged with negligence and inconsistency in statements,” said Lakshminarayan Meena, the superintendent of police of South 24 Parganas.
He said searches were still on in the Gomor river to trace Abir. The 26-year-old was a cricketer with the North Dinajpur district sports association.
A senior police officer said the youths had claimed that Abir’s mobile phone was active even two hours after his fall from the launch. “How could the mobile phone remain active for two hours even after one falls in a river? We had conducted a thorough search on the launch, but the phone could not be traced,” he said.
Gopal Debnath, one of the youths, when contacted, said they were too nervous and shocked after the incident. “That was why we might have made some incorrect or confusing statements,’ he said.
Debnath said they were having their dinner in the cabin of the launch around 9pm. “A little later, the cook said he had heard something heavy fall in the river. It struck us at that time that Abir was not with us and it could be that he had fallen in the river. There was no negligence on our part,” Debnath said.
Don’t play billiards out of statehood issue: NFNS – Center still trying to water down the Gorkha Statehood demand through proxy politics and the setting up of endless new commissions and subsequently wasting time while the peaceful situation further deteriorates ?!!
FROM HINDUSTAN TIMES
BY HT CORRESPONDENT
Lucknow, June 14, 2010: The National Federation for New States (NFNS) in Lucknow on Monday held its maiden national conference for creation of six new states in the country.
It blamed the center and the respective states for engaging in the policy of ‘managing by postponement’ the crisis of the demand of new states.
NFNS unanimously elected the expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh as its chairman in the presence of the convenor, Raja Bundela of Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha (BMM) and co-convenor, P Nirup Reddy of Telengana Vikas Kendra (TVK).
Though (one-time Congressman) Raja Bundela said that the NFNS would struggle for new states without engaging in any kind of violence or vandalism, Amar Singh warned of self propelled public movement if the center and the state governments dilly-dallied the issue.’
Amar Singh said: “Stop playing billiards and play football. Instead of the indirect approach like in the sport of billiards, the governments should ‘kick and goal’ like in football.”
He meant that governments should be direct in their approach towards statehoods to these six regions. The regions are-Telengana, Vidharbha, Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Purvanchal, and Gorkhaland. (nice watering down of Gorkha Issue – just lump it in with the rest and make everybody wait, and wait, and wait – till they finally get violent – and then crackdown with the army – Gorkha army ?!!)
The federation would hold its next meeting in Darjeeling at the end of this month. The federation earlier was known with a different name-National Federation of Smaller States (NFSS) but went defunct after the creation of Uttrakhand, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.
“Now instead of ‘smaller’ we changed it to ‘new’ states because small is the wrong word. Now of the regions that we are demanding statehood for are small. If Telengana was made a state, then it would be bigger than 134 countries in the world,” said P Nirup Reddy who by profession is a Supreme Court lawyer.
Munesh Tamang, who is associate professor in English but also leads the separate Gorkhaland movement through Bharatiya Gorkha Parishad said: “Struggle for separate Gorkhaland is not based only on the issues of governance. It is also the matter of self-representation and identify. We Gorkhas, speak Nepali but we were always Indian. We have no other history. But in popular imagination we are not Indian.”
Reddy and Bundela said that the federation would only struggle for the six regions and would not add any new statehood demands. “We are struggling only for those six regions for which the central government had agreed statehood for. We are not demanding any new commission because commission mean an issue going into a cold storage,” said Reddy.
Bundela, talking about Bundelkhand said that the region existed as a state and had a chief minister but it was later divided into two and merged in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Ajit Singh did not turn up at the conference. Amar Singh announced that from December 1 he would take up a 350 km foot-march from Allahabad to Gorakhpur for statehood to Pruvanchal.
Amar Singh said that he was doubtful about UP chief minister, Mayawati’s statements of favouring smaller states out of UP. “She has majority with her. If she is serious, then all that she has to do is to move a proposal for the smaller states and then send it to the center. This would make the states a reality faster. Instead she is writing letters to the center about the statehood of Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh and Purvanchal.”
NFNS said that British government had the vision to make commissions every ten years for reorganization of states every, just recently election constituencies have been delimited, but the governments do not think about reorganization of states.
A five-member delegation of National Federation for New States (NFNS) would meet the Governor, BL Joshi over its demand of statehoods to Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Harit Pradesh.
The delegation includes NFNS chairperson, Amar Singh, convenor, Raja Bundela, co-convenor, P Nirup Reddy, Munish Tamang from Gorkhaland and Raju Shetty who demands statehood to Vidharba.
Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha Delhi and NCR meet and reaffirm faith on party President – while the so called anti-GJM ‘Democratic Forum’ of the ABGL, CPRM, GNLF and Dawa Sherpa and their supporters keep eroding the GJM credibility through hearsay and unnecessary media attention ?!!
FROM THE HIMALAYAN BEACON
New Delhi, 13th June: A meeting was called by Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha (GJYM – Delhi & NCR) at Gorkha Welfare Centre, which was presided over by the GJYM Vice President Shri Pankaj Chhetri.
In this marathon meet, which lasted for almost three hours, the youth leaders touched upon various ongoing political issues of the hills of Darjeeling.
Once again, they vehemently condemned the brutal murder of Madan Tamang, the then President of AIGL. The youth leaders from Delhi and NCR affirmed a complete faith on the leadership of Mr. Bimal Gurung and reiterated that the GJM, the firm believer of Gandhian philosophy of non-violence, cannot be a part of the crime and said the allegation about the involvement of the prominent GJM leaders is completely baseless.
They demanded the proper investigation of the whole matter and supported party for seeking CBI enquiry to lift the curtain from the real culprit. The youth leaders also damned the torture that is being meted out on innocent locals by the police, in the wake of the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang last month. They blamed the state government of failing to maintain law and order in the hills.
The youth leaders also cheered the success of the public meeting held by GJM at North Point Ground, Darjeeling on 30th May 2010.
Addressing the meet, the Vice President of the Delhi Morcha Pankaj Chhetri said. “The huge gathering of people in lakhs during the public meeting on May 30 clearly exhibited the strength of GJM, and urged the people of Darjeeling to have patience and not to get swayed away by unwanted elements that is trying to bring about the faction among the Gorkhas of the hill”.
Adding to it, the advisor of the Delhi GJYM Shri Ranjan Sharma said, “We are emotional by nature and at times we tend to overreact, let’s wait till the verdict is out; till then don’t let yourself be puppet in the hands of the elements trying to bring political instability in the hills of Darjeeling”.
The youth leaders also discussed upon the change of nomenclature of the proposed state from “Gorkhaland” to the “Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh (GAP)”.
Addressing the meet, the General Secretary of Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha, Delhi & NCR, Shri Shanker Mangar said “It is for a better socio-economic future of both the communities, who have so far been suppressed by Bengal Govt. Lets wait till June 15th, and hope that Adhibasi Bikash Parishad will respond positivey to the offer”.
Among others prominent youth leaders of GJYM core committee present in the meeting were Shyam Rai, Robin Pradhan and Vijay Mankrati.
Chamling is behind the SC petition – GJM – just waiting for the recent Manipur vs Nagaland problems to manifest in this region also ?!!
FROM HIMALYAN BEACON, SIKKIM EXPRESS and VOICE OF SIKKIM
GANGTOK, June 13: Following the contempt notices issued by the Supreme Court to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung and joint secretary Binay Tamang on the basis of contempt of court petition filed by Sikkimese advocate OP Bhandari, the party has claimed the involvement of Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling behind the whole legal affair.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim is behind the petition filed in the Supreme Court by OP Bhandari, said GJM general secretary Roshan Giri to media in Darjeeling over the contempt notices issued to the party chief.
According to reports published by two Siliguri based newspapers, the GJM general secretary further accused Chamling of being ‘anti-Gorkha and anti-Gorkhaland’.
OP Bhandari is trying to drag our party president Bimal Gurung and joint secretary Binay Tamang in the petition filed in the Supreme Court over the NH 31A issue, said Giri.
Giri asserted that the party fully respects the directives of the apex Court and has not violated any directive. He informed that the party has kept the NH 31A open respecting the directives of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party here did not issue any immediate rejoinder regarding the allegations made by GJM against the party president and Chief Minister.
We will be issuing an official press statement tomorrow, said SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal.
While the ruling front showed reluctance to make immediate comments, petitioner Bhandari was vocal in refuting the allegations made by GJM.
“I am the petitioner and my name is there in the petition. I attend every hearing. How can GJM claim the involvement of the Sikkim Chief Minister?”, countered Bhandari to the GJM allegations.
“The GJM is making baseless allegations just to tarnish the image of the Chief Minister and Sikkim”, said Bhandari. He asserted that he had filed the petition in his personal capacity as a concerned Sikkimese person to protect the Sikkim’s interests along the NH 31A. Sikkim loses Rs. 7 crores during one day bandh along the NH 31A and much hardships is caused the Sikkimese people, he said.
The advocate who is the OSD (Legal) in the Chief Minister’s Office said that he had filed the petition in the apex court way back in 2005 when he was not holding that post.
63 years on, full freedom is about to flow – freedom from the Tyranny of Bengal, at long last, or ruse to again fool the Dooars Adivasis ?!!
REPEAT – FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Jaigaon, June 14: If dams are modern India’s temples, a group of eight tea gardens in Jalpaiguri district have been the new religion’s outcastes.
Six decades after Independence, these gardens have never tasted Indian water, their 60,000 residents perhaps alone in the country in being denied a necessity that even parched Rajasthan can claim by right.
But now these tea estates, which have for almost a century drunk and bathed in mountain water imported from neighbouring Bhutan, are ready to enter India’s water supply map in six weeks’ time, thanks to a central scheme.
Ever since they came into existence a century ago near the Bhutan foothills, these gardens have been drawing water for their households from the Himalayan streams and lakes across the border, through pipelines built with the garden authorities’ own money.
The surplus water went into the tea bushes and factories, which otherwise made do with the local groundwater — unfit for drinking or household use — pumped out by tube wells. But from the middle of July, deep tube wells will start pumping clean water from several hundred feet under the Indian soil to these gardens in Nagrakata block under the Sajal Dhara scheme.
After these tea gardens came up, their owners had approached the local authorities in Bhutan’s Samtse district and requested the use of their water, which they had in plenty, a senior Bhutan government official said.
The gardens then laid pipes, some up to 5km long, through Bhutan’s forests and hills and erected high reservoirs in that country, employing local Bhutanese labour.
“It was an agreement between the tea gardens and our people that epitomises the friendship between the two countries,” the official said.
The arrangement continued even after Independence, when the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, highlighted the importance of public water supply by terming irrigation dams the “temples of modern India” along with power stations.
In the 1980s, Thimphu told the Samtse administration to levy a “water rent” on the eight gardens as a “commercial token”. The tax was nominal considering the 36 lakh litres the gardens drew every day, and ranged between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6,000 a year, the official said. The agreement, renewed annually or biannually, allowed Bhutanese farmers to enter the “adjacent Indian territory” to “graze cattle, collect fodder” and forage for “wood and thatches during the day time”.
That pact will come to an end when work under Sajal Dhara, which started on May 28, is completed. District public health engineering (PHE) sources said the pumps would supply 8,000 to 12,000 litres of water an hour to each of the eight gardens: Carron, Changmari, Gatiya, Bandapani, Chamurchi, Lankapara, Jiti and Makrapara.
“We are looking forward to getting our own water. Now, when supply is disrupted, we have to walk up to a kilometre to fetch fresh water. Also, the water often becomes muddy during the rains and we have to strain it,” said Sabitri Baraik, a worker at Carron.
The Centre is funding 90 per cent of the deep tube-well project, with the gardens providing the rest of the money.
Each garden will need to pay between Rs 9 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, the assistant engineer of the Jalpaiguri PHE department, Aniruddha Bhattacharya, said. Carron will need to cough up Rs 20 lakh.
“We had to bore more than 300 feet deep to get water in Carron tea estate,” said Prabhas Barman, a supervisor with the private company boring the tube wells.
Under the agreement with Thimphu, renewed the last time on November 30, 2008, the gardens were to build pucca water channels and water locking gates to prevent soil erosion in Bhutan. They had to “build strong bridges/covers over the Channel at path/passage for safe crossing” of humans and live stock and “prevent pollution of the water supply”.
In Calcutta, Bhutan consul-general Tsering Wangda welcomed the development. “This is a very good development that water has been found on the Indian side. Therefore, as far as water resources are concerned, both sides will be independent of each other. Moreover, the Bhutanese people will have more water to use,” Wangda said.
He said Bhutan’s decision to let these gardens use its water was based on the “mutual trust and friendship the two countries enjoyed”.
Lock on Calypso hype, fruit plant silent – no confidence motion of the industrial sector in Bengal ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, June 14: The Bangalore-based Calypso Foods Pvt Ltd has shut down its operations here, putting under a cloud the much hyped farmer-partnership programme that the fruit processing plant once symbolised.
The second company to invest in food processing in north Bengal after Dabur, the export-oriented Rs 10 crore fruit processing plant had spawned high hopes among farmers who cultivate pineapple, tomato, mango, gherkins and baby corn.
The shutdown, four years after its grand opening by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, has left around 100 farmers associated with the plant in the lurch and another 100 or so factory employees, who worked on a daily wage basis, jobless. Some 400-500 growers, who sold their produce to the unit though not regularly, also have been affected.
With the plant in Bidhannagar — located off NH31 and 40km from Siliguri — shutting down, most of the Calypso farmers have resorted to the earlier practice of sending their produce to the north Indian states.
“This season (March to mid-August) the unit has hardly functioned for a day or two,” said Arun Mondal, secretary of the North Bengal Pineapple Growers’ Association. “As the company owed money to the growers, they did not supply fruits to Calypso this time. Since last week, the unit is completely under lock and key.”
Allegations are that ever since operations began in 2006, there have been several disputes between the farmers and the company over the quality and size of fruits supplied. “After sometime (because of the dispute), the farmers started supplying fruits to Delhi and other northern states, where they had no problem with quality or size,” said Monohar Brajabasi, a CPM Darjeeling district committee member from Bidhannagar. “The company had also started bringing pineapple from the Northeast.”
The CPM leader said those employed in the factory were on daily wage. “They would hardly get work on a regular basis and often had to face delay in payments.”
The Bidhannagar area has around 20,000 growers, producing 3-3.5 lakh tonnes of pineapple.
“Initially, more than 100 growers got themselves associated with Calypso. These farmers would sell their entire produce to the company. Another 400 to 500 pineapple and gherkin growers would supply their produce to the unit on and off. The problem began when the company started missing payment dates and accumulating dues,” secretary of the growers’ body said.
“On our side, we resumed sending our produce to north India. This year, the production is good and prices are pretty steady, but the farmers are having problems trying to get a foothold in north India,” he added. A kilo of pineapple has been fetching Rs 5 or so this year.
The Telegraph had tried to contact the Calypso authorities in Bangalore but none of the telephone numbers given on the website of Calypso Foods worked. Debashis Sinha, the manager of the plant, was also unavailable.
Representatives of the private bank from where the company had taken loan said there were dues in the Calypso accounts. “We are looking into the matter,” an officer of the bank said.
The district horticulture department said it had not received any formal letter from Calypso about the shutdown. “No letter mentioning the closure of the unit has reached us so far. However, we have information that the unit is shut,” said Biplab Sarkar, the district horticulture officer, Siliguri.