GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS: Parishad to take stock of Dooars move – Calcutta absolutely alarmed at ultimately loosing Dooars, now dangling the ‘Golden Fleece’ ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, June 25: The president of the Dooars and Terai Regional Committee of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, John Barla, has been summoned by the state leadership to Calcutta to discuss his decision to hold talks with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on a joint movement for the creation of Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh.
Before leaving for Calcutta, Barla said the date for the talks with the Morcha would be decided on his return to the Dooars.
“I have received an urgent call from our leadership in Calcutta to attend the state committee meeting tomorrow,” said Barla. “I will return to the Dooars by Sunday and after that on June 28, we will hold our regional committee’s meeting at Banarhat where we will decide on the date for holding talks with the Morcha.”
On Tuesday, Barla, in defiance of his party leadership, had sent a letter to the Morcha saying the Parishad’s regional committee was willing to hold talks with the Morcha on Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh and they would shortly be informed of the date.
However, yesterday Birsa Tirkey, the state president of the Parishad, had said there was no question of holding any dialogue with the Morcha as the hill party had no authority to decide on the developments in the Dooars.
He had also told The Telegraph that he had received an invitation from the government to sit for a dialogue on June 30. “I have received the invitation from the home department over phone that government will hold a dialogue with us on June 30 at Writers’ Buildings,” said Tirkey. “We have convened the Saturday meeting to discuss the issues which are going to be placed before the government on June 30.”
Tirkey also confirmed Barla’s participation in the meeting and ruled out any possibility of a rift with its regional committee over joining hands with the Morcha.
“We had cleared our stand in a public meeting at Banarhat on June 9 that we want the Terai and Dooars to be included under the Sixth Schedule and we won’t allow the inclusion of any part of the Dooars and Terai in the state demanded by the Morcha,” Tirkey said.
ABGL plans rally to cement hill base CPM on mission to gain foothold – first the murder now the mission, why not the mission first ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, June 25: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha might have been able to contain the backlash following the murder of ABGL president Madan Tamang, but the rivals seem determined to create some political space in the hills and have started their groundwork.
To start with, the ABGL has once again decided to organise a peace rally in Darjeeling.
“The rally will be held soon,” said ABGL leader Mohan Sharma. “We shall decide on the date tomorrow.”
The ABGL had earlier demonstrated in front of Darjeeling Sadar police station followed by a peace rally on June 21 — a month after the murder — when the hills had been shut because of the strike called by the Morcha.
Today, Asok Bhattacharya, the CPM heavyweight of north Bengal, paid a visit to Mungpoo, about 40km from Darjeeling, to pay his respects to Rabindranath Tagore at the bungalow where the bard had often stayed between 1938 and 1940.
Observers believe the urban development minister’s visit underlines the CPM’s efforts to be visible in the hills given the fact that he has hardly visited Darjeeling since the Morcha was formed in 2007.
The CPM did not even campaign in the hills during the last parliamentary elections with Bhattacharya visiting Darjeeling only when party candidate Jibesh Sarkar filed his nomination papers.
After the elections, the only time the minister had visited Darjeeling was to express his condolences to the bereaved family of Tamang.
But today, Bhattacharya promised to visit Darjeeling again.
The bungalow where Tagore had stayed had been neglected for long and Bhattacharya promised to start its renovation by the end of the year. “For three years, attention could not be paid to the place because of various reasons. The structure is fine but the ceiling is leaking, the floor has to be changed and electrification needs to be done,” said Bhattacharya.
Apprehending opposition to Bhattacharya’s visit, the administration had made adequate security arrangements and had also posted the CRPF personnel. Some black flags were noticed by the police almost an hour before the minister was scheduled to visit the bungalow and they were immediately removed.
Apart from the ABGL, the Democratic Front, which is an anti-Morcha front, has also decided to hold a public meeting in Darjeeling soon.
The front had decided to hold a public meeting in Darjeeling yesterday but had postponed it saying most of the ABGL leaders, along with Bharati Tamang, the slain leader’s widow, had gone to Calcutta on Wednesday to meet the chief minister and would not be able to come back to Darjeeling on time.
Accused remanded – no bail plea heard like Chattray Subba ?!!
The court of the chief judicial magistrate in Darjeeling today remanded Subash Tamang and Prashant Chhetri, who were allegedly involved in the murder of Madan Tamang, in judicial custody for 14 days.
The two, who had suffered bullet injuries at the spot where Tamang was murdered on May 21, were produced in the court but their bail application could not be moved because of a strike by lawyers. (in Darjeeling or Kolkatta, no better excuse ?!!)
MEANWHILE FROM THE PLAINS OF DARJEELING
Walkout blow to alliance – TMC aware of ‘Commie-Congie Nexus’ and to go it alone or with the help of the ‘people of conscience’ ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, June 25: The Trinamul Congress today walked out of a board meeting of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation to protest the Congress chairperson’s alleged “misbehaviour” towards its leader, dealing a blow to the alliance.
Gautam Deb, the Trinamul leader in the civic body, later threatened that his party would not cooperate with chairperson Sabitadevi Agarwal in future meetings unless she apologised to him.
“Unless the chairperson apologises for her misbehaviour at today’s board meeting, we are not going to cooperate with her in future meetings,” said Deb, who is also Trinamul’s district president.
He, however, made it clear that the party councillors would attend the board meetings in future. “Being responsible public representatives, we will definitely participate in the coming meetings so that the civic services do not get hampered,” Deb said.
The drama unfolded at the conference room when the meeting began at 1.15pm. Sharadindu Chakraborty, a CPM councillor, asked Deb about his assurance of talking to the railways for keeping the railway gate under the flyover at Mahabirsthan open for the convenience of shopowners. Chakrabarty said the railways had kept the gates shut after the construction of the flyover.
The chairperson, however, asked Congress mayor Gangotri Dutta to reply, instead of Deb. The mayor said there was an agreement between the railways and the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority during the construction of the flyover that once the flyover was done, the gates would be closed. “But considering the inconveniences of the local people, we have requested the railways to keep the gate open and the Trinamul leader has taken the initiative.”
Deb stood up from his seat and wanted permission to speak on the subject. But Agarwal asked him to resume his seat as the mayor had already replied to the question.
At this, Deb lost his cool and told the chairperson that she had no right to stop him from replying the question as it was put to him before walking out of the room with all his party councillors at 1.20pm.
The board was formed in October after the Congress and Trinamul alliance wrested the SMC from the Left Front. Though the Congress formed the board and bagged the mayoral post with the CPM’s support, on March 30 Trinamul joined hands with the Congress to run the civic body.
The chairperson, however, defended her decision. She said she had asked the mayor to reply according to the business conduct rule of the SMC. “I have not done anything intentionally. If there was any supplementary question, I would have allowed the Trinamul councillor to answer. But during question hour, I cannot allow any debate according to the rule,” Agarwal said.
AND BELOW THE PLAINS OF DARJEELING
Body on tracks, son suspects foul play – accident or murder conspiracy for revenge of earlier crimes, more to follow ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Malda, June 25: The body of a retired madrasah teacher was found lying on railway tracks near Krishnapalli here this morning with his son suspecting that Gafur Sheikh died after he had been pushed from the train.
A cellphone and Rs 2,200 were found in Sheikh’s pocket. A bag containing his clothes and shoes were lying 50 metres away, police said.
Shamim Akhtar said his father was coming to Malda from Rampurhaat in Birbhum district by Intercity Express yesterday. At 11.20pm, he had called up Shamim to say he would reach Malda station around midnight. “Accordingly, I had been waiting for him at the station. When I could not trace him even an hour after the train reached the station, I tried to contact him over the phone. As there was no response, I complained to the GRP,” Akhtar said. At six in the morning, an unknown person called Akhtar to say a body was lying on the railway tracks at Krishnapalli.
“I rushed to the spot and found my father lying in a pool of blood. The person to whom I had spoken over the phone returned me Rs 2,200 and the cellphone that my father was carrying. He said the cellphone found on the body was ringing and he answered the call,” Akhtar said.
Around 6.30am, Akhtar went to the GRP again alleging that his father had been pushed to death. “But the police arrived four hours later,” Akhtar said.
Sheikh, who retired from the madrasah in Gajole, had gone to Muraroi on Monday to look after the construction of his house.
Inspector-in-charge of the Malda GRP Prabir Das said they suspect that Sheikh was pushed from the train as the body had deep wounds at the back of the head.“The body has been sent for post-mortem.”