GORKHA POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Gorkha squad to stay put: Morcha – Indefinite strike threat after lathicharge – so why the lathicharge on the unarmed Naari Morcha – and does the DGHC property belong to Bengal or the people of the Hills, any referendum ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, June 17: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has refused to shift the Gorkhaland Personnel from the DGHC properties and has, instead, threatened a general strike across the hills from Saturday if the administration fails to explain its lathicharge on party supporters in Kurseong last night.
This morning, Morcha supporters gheraoed all police stations across the hills for one-and-a-half hours to protest the lathicharge. The party had also called a 12-hour bandh in Kurseong subdivision, which passed off peacefully.
“We give the administration time till 6pm tomorrow to explain the lathicharge, failing which we will call a general strike across the hills. Seventeen people were injured in the lathicharge. We also demand the transfer of Kurseong subdivisional police officer Rakesh Singh and K.L. Tamta (inspector-general of police),” said Binay Tamang, the assistant secretary of the Morcha.
Last night, the Morcha members were lathicharged while demonstrating in front of the Kurseong police station against the CRPF’s visit to Jamuni, the GLP headquarters, 35km from Darjeeling town. The administration had explained the CRPF visit as search for the killers of Madan Tamang, the ABGL leader who was hacked to death on May 21. (So, why the sudden lathicharge on the unarmed Naari Morcha ?!!)
The party has also demanded that the term of B.L. Meena, the DGHC administrator, should not be extended after it ends on June 30. (Really, does it now make a difference at all ?!!)
The superintendent of police of Darjeeling, D.P. Singh, justified the lathicharge. “The Morcha supporters were throwing stones at the policemen. We had to lathicharge to disperse them,” he said. On February 18, too, Morcha supporters had attacked the Kurseong police station and set fire to vehicles parked on the premises. (no photos and GJM culprits in custody ?!!)
DGHC administrator Meena had lodged FIRs at the Gorubathan, Kalimpong, Rongli-Rongliot and Darjeeling Sadar police stations against the GLP occupation of DGHC buildings.
The GLP is a voluntary squad of the Morcha raised, according to party claims, for crowd management. Later, the party had tried to make the squad function like a parallel police force, checking cars and seizing “illegal liquor”. The administration had then announced that the “seizures and car-checks” went against the law.
According to Meena, the GLP has been illegally occupying the Tribeni, Deolo and Kafer tourist lodges, Gorkha Huts, and the Dalim Fort in Kalimpong apart from Parijat lodge at Gorubathan and Roy Villa in Darjeeling.
Trying to justify the occupations, Morcha treasurer Dawa Lama said: “The GLP has not been declared illegal by the state and the Centre. It is not provided with any arms training. Instead, the volunteers do social work across the hills and had helped the administration during landslides following Cyclone Aila last year.”
The Morcha also claimed that the Centre had offered to absorb the GLP into the police and the paramilitary forces in its proposal for an interim arrangement for the hills till December 31, 2011.
Senior administrative officials, however, said the Centre’s offer had no official stamp.
“The proposal was never tabled in the tripartite meetings as the Morcha had refused to discuss the interim set-up. Hence, it cannot be said the Centre had officially agreed to absorb the GLP into the police and the paramilitary forces,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
Surendra Gupta, the district magistrate of Darjeeling, said “the buildings belong to the DGHC and action would be taken as they were being illegally occupied”.
Gorkha group threatens indefinite Darjeeling shutdown – and now finalised ?!!
Siliguri, June 17 (IANS): The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) Thursday threatened to call an indefinite shutdown in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling district from June 19 if the police did not stop harassing its frontal organisation, Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP).
The GJM, agitating for creation of a separate Gorkhaland state out of Darjeeling and parts of Jalpaiguri districts, has given an ultimatum to the state government that its demands, including transfer of Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) K.L. Tamta and Kurseong sub-divisional police officer Rakesh Sinha, should be fulfilled by 6 p.m. Friday.
“We also demand that the Indian Reserve Battalion and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) stop harassing innocent people,” GJM assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang said.
Following a complaint, the police have asked the GLP – a virtual police force raised by the Bimal Gurung led GJM leadership – to vacate several offices of the hill development body, the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).
The GJM is also peeved with the administration, particularly Tamta, for the arrest of its men for their alleged involvement in the murder of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) chief Madan Tamang.
GJM bandh paralyses normal life in Kurseong – and has now spread to all areas of the Darjeeling Hills ?!!
FROM THE HINDU
Siliguri, June 17, 2010 (PTI): The 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) paralysed normal life in Kurseong sub-division of Darjeeling district on Thursday.
The GJM had called the bandh in protest against the alleged police lathicharge on the Jamune camp of Gorkha Personnel (GLP), ‘police’ wing of GJM in Darjeeling last night.
GJM assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang demanded that the police officer responsible for the lathicharge should be arrested by this evening otherwise the GJM would go for an indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling hills from tomorrow.
Tamang alleged that the police and CRPF while raiding Jamune camp had misbehaved with women members and when GJM supporters in protest against this had gheraoed Kurseong police station they were beaten up by police.
Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) K.L. Tamta told PTI that police and CRPF did raid the Jamune GLP camp in search of few accused persons involved in Madan Tamang murder case but there was no no incident of major lathi charge as such.
Yesterday police had arrested four more persons believed to be members of GJM and its frontal organisation in Madan Tamang murder case.
Meanwhile, police had asked the GLP to vacate seven Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) bungalows they are occupying by June 19 otherwise police and CRPF would forcefully vacate them from the bungalows, Tamta said.
Maj Warner: ‘Bengal Administration should not take advantage of their Uniform’ – anything to destroy and discredit the movement ?!!
From our Special News Correspondent
Kalimpong, June 18, 2010: In what can be seen as a growing crisis in the hills, perpetuated by the current confrontational politics of the West Bengal administration, Retd Maj Stafford P Warner from the Indian Army, Garwal Regiment, chided the Bengal Police Administration not to “take advantage of their uniform by conducting raids on GLP encampments, as well as conducting immoral and unjustified lathicharges against unarmed and peaceful protestors in the hills of Darjeeling”.
Retd Major Warner, spokesperson of the ‘Indian Gorkha Ex-Army Servicemen’s Organisation’ (Bharatiya Gorkha Bhutpurva Sainik Morcha – BGBSM) was speaking at a televised press conference in Kalimpong yesterday.
“The Bengal Police Administration cannot take undue advantage of their uniform,” Maj SP Warner said and added, “we strongly disagree and condemn such actions.”
Maj Warner was referring to the raid of the Bengal Police with the help of the CRPF at the Jamune GLP camp below Singamari in Darjeeling on Tuesday, June 16, 2010, in search for the killers of Madan Tamang.
At the press conference, Maj Warner questioned the intentions of the WB Police and the CRPF and stated that the Retired Gorkha Ex Army Soldiers and Officers had also served their nation, India and stated that wearing the uniform was no excuse for taking advantage of their position.
Maj Warner further stated that early last year, IG KL Tamta himself had visited the GLP training camp (6th of May, 2009 ), wherein he (KL Tamta) himself had commended them on their Army training procedures and that the GLP training (without arms) for social welfare, natural disasters and the maintenance of peace and order in the region, was akin to and maybe even better than the National Cadet Corps (NCC) training centers around the nation.
The Gorkha Ex-Army Servicemen’s spokesperson reasoned that since most of the DGHC buildings had been laying unused and vacant, the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP) had set up camp there on the understanding that these vacant properties belonged to and for the people of the Hills.
Maj Warner, when questioned, agreed to the fact that the BGBSM had received formal notice from the Bengal Administration to vacate the various DGHC owned buildings occupied by them in the Darjeeling by the 21st of June, 2010 and said that their response was under consideration.
He also stated that they (the ex-army-servicemen and the GLP) would only act on the directions of their chief, GJM President Bimal Gurung. “Let’s see how the situation develops,” he said.