GORKHA ADIVASI TERRITORIAL DEMARCATION ISSUE: No-talks threat – Bengal at its diplomatic best, against all democratic protest, pushing the area towards violent chaos like they knowingly have the Maoists ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH, BENGAL BRIEFS
Calcutta, July 8: The state government today indicated there would not be any tripartite talks on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s separate state demand unless normality was restored in the hills.
“They (the Morcha) are calling prolonged bandhs and then demanding tripartite talks. This can’t be accepted,” home secretary Samar Ghosh said.
The Morcha had threatened a 40-day strike in the hills from next month if the date for the talks was not announced immediately.
CM ‘snubs’ Asok, shunts IG – good riddance to bad rubbish, but what about Madan Tamang’s blatant assassination under KL Tamta’s watch, no moral responsibility ?!!
From The Statesman
KOLKATA, 8 JULY: The state home department today shunted out the controversial IG (North Bengal), Mr KL Tamta, to the post of advisor, security and vigilance, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, giving no credence to his claims that he had single-handedly curbed the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha’s (GJMM) agitation in the Hills.
The chief minister chose to stand by the decision of the police top brass to transfer Mr Tamta even though the urban development minister, Mr Asok Bhattacharya had opposed the decision.
Mr Bhattacharya had got the district Left Front leaders to endorse his view about retaining the police officer at his current posting.
Mr Tamta had made a representation before the home secretary following his transfer to the post of IG (planning) which was sent to the Police Establishment Board (PEB).
The PEB members had said that the “claim was devoid of merit since police always work as a team and there is no scope for individual achievement,” while upholding Mr Tamta’s transfer to the post of IG (Planning).
Mr Tamta had asked for a posting in CID or Kolkata Police in his letter to the home secretary.
The matter was then referred to the home department which transferred Mr Tamta to a more inconsequential posting.
While Mr Ranveer Kumar will take over as IG (North Bengal) Mr Rayapuri Thyagaraju, holding the post of advisor, security and vigilance (WBSEDCL), will be IG (coastal security), a newly created post.
It may be pointed out that GJMM had demanded the removal of Mr Tamta.
State housing dept to construct low cost accomodation for Hills – promises to keep without proper planning of the infrastructure, more crowding on Tri-shed land meant for road expansion and footpaths ?!!
From The Statesman
KOLKATA, 8 JULY: The state housing department will construct houses for people belonging to lower income groups in the hills, the state minister for housing and public health engineering, Mr Gautam Deb, said today.
He was answering a question raised by the opposition party MLAs in Assembly. Mr Deb said that he had asked the local MPs and MLAs of hill areas to hand over the lists of lower income group people. His department will soon undertake the construction of houses for poor people.
Mr Deb also added that the state planned to construct houses for other lower income groups like fishermen, scheduled tribes and poor minority communities.
He also pointed out that his department will try to give permanent jobs to 8000 casual staff. Senior officials from his department are trying to solve the related legal issues.
Mr Deb indicated that the PHE department had spent more than Rs 12 cr to install tube wells in the Junglemahal area and that they will spend more money to set up tube wells in several places including Jhalda, Mukutmanipur, Belphari and many other places in West Midnapore and Purulia.
Mr Deb emphasised that the Central government praised the corrective measures taken by the state government to provide arsenic free water in arsenic contaminated areas. The state has also set up 118 laboratories to test arsenic contamination.
The housing minister also expressed his displeasure at the railway minister failing to reply to the invitation letter sent by the housing and PHE department to the inauguration of a flyover in Rajarhat. He added that the Trinamul Congress is creating a turmoil situation in West Bengal. He, however, said that Mr Pranab Mukherjee expressed his desire to participate in the programme.
Mr Satya Sebi Kar has proposed to rename New Town after Jyoti Basu. (cultural hegemony rampant ?!!)
Asok wants more for in Hills – more what ?!! but no political closure on tripartite talks or the territory demarcation issue ?!!
FROM THE STATESMAN
KOLKATA, 8 July: In a desperate bid to gain a foothold in the hills, Mr Asok Bhattacharya, the CPI-M MLA from Siliguri and the state urban development and municipal affairs minister, held a series of meetings in the last 48 hours with the state home secretary, state finance minister and state school education minister urging them to resolve a number of problems in the hills.
Mr Bhattacharya said at Writers’ Buildings today that he has informed the state school education minister that a number of teachers’ posts in the primary and secondary schools in the hills are lying vacant. About 1,200 teachers working with the schools for a long period have not been absorbed permanently. 40-50 new schools are required in the hills.
“We are trying to start recruitment in the primary schools by setting up a temporary primary school recruitment board,” said the minister.
He also said that he held a meeting with the state finance minister regarding temporary employees of the DGHC who have been working for 10 years or more.
The finance minister has been urged to absorb these employees permanently. “The finance minister has asked us to submit a specific proposal in this regard,” said Mr Bhattacharya.SNS
FURTHERMORE FROM KALIMNEWS
State’s package to Darjeeling – raising hopes, but no political solution ?!!
Kalimpong, July 9, 2010: Samar Ghose, Home secretary of the State is visiting Darjeeling very shortly to assess the present political and administrative situation. Ashoke Bhattacharya said that Administration is more active in Darjeeling now and the political as well as administrative scenario has changed a lot.
He confirmed that to fill up the vacant post of teachers 750+ in the primary and 300+ in the secondary sections will be appointed in the hills. He further added that 1300+ contractual staff appointed by DGHC having experience of more than 10 years will be regularised. This was resolved on a discussion held with the Education Minister and Finance Minister.
In another statement Gautam Deb State Housing & Public Health & Engineering Minister stated that 1500 houses will be constructed for the poor people of Darjeeling. Each house will be constructed at a price of Rupese one lakh seventy five thousand. Jaswant Singh MP will enlist 600 while three MLAs will enlist 300 each from their constituencies.
TITBITS: National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice on 20 June to the Home secretary and state Police chief regarding an appeal made by Dawa Pakhrin, Ex GNLF Counllor. It is said that in the application Pakhrin had appealed to the NHRC stating that many GNLF supporters and leaders who were forced to leave hills after their houses were torched and they were driven away, had appealed for their safe return to their home.
Family members of slain Pushpajung Thapa of Chungtung had rejected to receive Rupese Two lakh granted by Bimal Gurung GJMM Chief. Thapa was a supporter of GNLF an accused of Pramila murder case was arrested and released on bail. Late Thapa was murdered by GJMM supporters and his family members were GJMM supporters. They instead asked Gurung to give justice by arresting and helping to arrest the accused of Thapa’s murder.
MEANWHILE FROM DOOARS
Smoke blocked tracks, recalls driver – Assistant pilot fights train trauma – now violence and uncertainty moves definitively into the Siliguri corridor ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY ANIRBAN CHOUDHURY
Alipurduar, July 8: A dark screen of smoke covered the tracks for an instant and everything went black for Ashim Kumar Som, the driver of Garib Rath Express that went off the tracks near Assam’s Gossaigaon early this morning.
“I saw the thick smoke in the beam of the engine light and as the train was moving fast, there was little time to react. Suddenly there was a loud bang like an explosive going off and we were off the tracks and hurtling down the slope,” Som said after a surgery at the railway hospital here. It was a while before he realised that the engine, along with some coaches, had rolled almost to the edge of the Modati river that runs along the tracks.
Som and 18 others had been brought to Alipurduar railway hospital later in the morning by a relief train from Babubill — where the Garib Rath derailed — near Gossaigaon station in Assam’s Kokrajhar district.
The driver said he remembered the relief train arriving around 5am. It reached Alipurduar, 58km away, an hour later. “I was told that many passengers had been injured, but they were safe. My right hand was impaled by a metal in the engine cabin and I could not move it. My assistant Anup Chakrabarty helped free my arm and we climbed out of the engine and collapsed.”
When the general manager of the Northeast Frontier Railway, Shiv Kumar, arrived at the hospital’s male ward, Chakrabarty burst into tears. “I was frightened when I saw the smoke in front. I am worried that something will happen to me. I am still so scared,” the assistant motorman told Kumar, clutching his hand. “Everything will be all right, you take rest,” Kumar told him.
Doctors attending on the injured said Som had to be shifted to the railway hospital in Garden Reach, Calcutta, in the evening for another surgery on his hand.
Five railway employees and 14 passengers had been brought to the hospital here. Himadri Samaddar, who is doing a course in hotel management in Guwahati, was returning home in Barrackpore on the outskirts of Calcutta. “I was in coach G1 when suddenly there was a huge lurch and the coach toppled on its side. Many of the passengers fell off the berths. Within seconds a railway track sort of pierced through the coach. Some passengers had managed to climb down through the vestibule,” Himadri said. The vestibule connects two compartments and had given away.
Despite the darkness, Himadri could see two compartments and the engine lying on slope. The other coach was the power car that carried the generator and some passengers. Durlav Sethia, the six-year-old boy who was killed, was travelling in the power car right behind the engine. “The passengers from the other coaches helped those inside the two compartments to come out. Railway officials came to the spot about an hour later,” said Himadri, who suffered injuries on the right knee.
Vinita Phukan, who was taking her husband to Chennai for his diabetes treatment, said she remembered people screaming. “We were all asleep when everything suddenly changed. My 11-year-old daughter Ankita was not hurt but my husband and I suffered cuts on the head and arms. We will miss our connecting train to Chennai today evening from Calcutta,” she said. A special train with the passengers of Garib Rath left for Calcutta at 7am.
Intelligence scan on sabotage – blame everyone but your own wrong policies ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, July 8: Intelligence agencies have collected information on the bomb blast on tracks by suspected NDFB militants in Assam this morning.
“We have been collecting the information on the blast and exchanging it with other agencies,” said an official of state intelligence agency. “The threat is always there, particularly at a time a rift has developed in the NDFB and police action has led to death or arrest of several cadres who are against negotiations.”
Jayanta Pal, the superintendent of railway police (Siliguri), said security had been beefed up in north Bengal following the blast.
AND FROM THE PLAINS OF DARJEELING
Serving SFI at state cost – in the red and getting deeper ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Raiganj, July 8: The North Bengal State Transport Corporation may be in the red but it is obliged to serve the CPM’s student wing for a song — at least to obey the minister.
Transport minister Ranjit Kundu has asked the managing director of the NBSTC to ferry SFI members from across north Bengal to a party convention in Cooch Behar on July 10.
The state government had given a subsidy of Rs 92 crore to the NBSTC in 2009-10. The minister’s order will cost the cash-starved Corporation nearly Rs 1 lakh to arrange for transportation of the SFI members. This is ten times the usual fare charged by the state-run organisation, sources said.
On July 2, Kundu wrote to managing director Uttam Kumar Gan (memo no 376/TM/2010) “to ensure” eight buses “in good condition” from various places for the Cooch Behar meet. He also suggested that the “payment” should be collected from the SFI (see chart). Kundu’s office also sent a list of names of the SFI leaders and their cellphone numbers .
Accordingly, the managing director directed the depot-in-charges of Raiganj, Balurghat, Malda, Siliguri and Islampur to arrange for the buses. Defending his move, Gan said: “I have acted on the basis of the minister’s order. The rate prescribed by the minister is, however, much lower than our official fare.”
Minister Kundu could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. Joint secretary of the Intuc-affiliated NBSTC Workers’ Union Tarapada Das said he was shocked that the minister could order the state buses to be used for party work for a nominal price when the government had declared the NBSTC as sick.
The Intuc members, who demonstrated against the minister’s move at the bus terminus here, also threatened to paralyse movement of buses from the depots tomorrow. Paritosh Debnath, a central committee member of the Citu-affiliated employees’ union, said: “It is the minister’s prerogative to allow a student body some concession.”