GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Morcha meet permit denied

GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Morcha meet permit denied – when they shouldn’t have they did, now they don’t, not in tune with the hills are they ?!!

GLP prepare for Shahid Diwas above Chowarsta - Administration powerless over wreath laying ceremony, lost a lot of face over nervousness ?!! (Darpan)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Darjeeling, July 26: The Darjeeling district administration has refused to grant permission to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to hold its martyrs’ day meeting at Chowrastha tomorrow, with the ABGL refusing to shift its hunger strike from the spot.

Although the Morcha declared today that it would go ahead with the meeting at Chowrastha, insiders said the party would avoid a confrontation by making some other arrangements for the programme.

“We have received a report from police, expressing the apprehension that there could be a law and order problem if permission was granted (to the Morcha) to hold its function at Chowrastha,” said Surendra Gupta, the district magistrate of Darjeeling.

The Morcha has been holding meetings at Chowrastha on July 27 since 2008 in memory of 1,200 people who had died during the 28-month-long Gorkhaland agitation. Thirteen people were killed in a police firing at a GNLF rally brought out on July 27, 1987, to protest the Indo-Nepal friendship treaty of 1950.

The authorities fear law and order problems this year as the ABGL has been staging the relay hunger strike at Chowrastha, demanding the arrest of those behind the murder of the outfit’s leader Madan Tamang. The ABGL accuses the Morcha leaders of planning and executing Tamang’s assassination.

Dawa Lama, the treasurer of the Morcha, said the party was determined to go ahead with its “main function” at Chowrastha. “Since the martyrs’ column has been erected at Chowrastha and we have been holding the function there (for two years), we will go ahead with the main programme at the same venue,” he said.

Even though Lama sounded rigid, it has been learnt that the Morcha, which does not want any law and order problem following Tamang’s murder, will only hold a prayer followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Chowrastha (on the martyrs’ column). ‘The main meeting will be held at Gymkhana Club,” said a source.

Asked if the administration would allow the Morcha to go ahead with the wreath-laying ceremony, DM Gupta said: “Permission from the administration is not required for a wreath laying ceremony.”

Red flag for GJM martyrs’ meet – aware of past mistakes, now panic over no issue only to lose face ?!!

Nari Morcha at Gymkhana on Pramila Sharma's Rememberance Meet on 25th July 2010 - Administration just not in tune with the Gorkha culture ?!! (DT)

From The Times of India

DARJEELING, Jul 27, 2010, 04.33am IST (TNN): Apprehending trouble, the district administration has refused to allow Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to hold its Shahid Diwas programme in Darjeeling town on Tuesday.

July 27 is observed as Shahid Diwas in the Hills in memory of the 1,200 people killed during the 28 months of bloody agitation for a separate state of Gorkhaland in 1986-88. The day is also observed as a government holiday.

“Police have raised objections to GJM holding its political programme at Chowrasta as they apprehend trouble. So, we have decided not to give them (GJM) permission,” said Surendra Gupta, the Darjeeling district magistrate.

While this has been the official stand of the administration, sources say the real reason behind not granting permission to GJM lies elsewhere. They claim the authorities do not want to take any chances by allowing two parties to hold programmes in Darjeeling on the same day. It could be recalled that Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) had been staging a relay hunger strike in the town for the past few days.

The administration had given permission to both GJM and ABGL to hold meetings in the town on May 21. ABGL leader Madan Tamang was killed the same day, and his party later accused GJM workers of being involved in the murder. “We have all seen what happened on May 21. Though we do not expect something like that to happen again, it is too big a risk to take,” said a government official, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, GJM’s Darjeeling sub-divisional committee president Pemba Tsering Ola said: “We have sought the administration’s permission to allow us to conduct prayers and a garlanding session at Chowrasta in front of Shahid Bedi. We will hold the rest of the programme at some other venue.”

Police said they did not want to take any chances. “We informed the district administration about our objections to GJM holding its programme at Chowrasta, where ABGL workers had been holding their relay hunger strike for the past few days,” said a senior police officer.

MEANWHILE FROM THE PLAINS OF DARJEELING

Union disowns rebels – good for the Gorkha Adivasi unity to expand ?!!

Kiran Kalindi announces the names of the leaders of the new party at Malbazar on Sunday - Adivasis now going totally political, where the Parishad did never ?!! (Biplab Basak)

THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Jaigaon, July 26: The Progressive People’s Party formed by rebel members of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad has decided to dissociate itself from the latter’s trade union while mulling on whether to form a workers’ front or not.

At the same time, the chairperson of the Progressive Tea Workers’ Union, Sukra Munda, today said the Parishad union did not recognise the new party. “Rebels and suspended leaders of the Parishad have formed a party. The Parishad is a voluntary organisation and not a political party. Our union (Parishad) has obtained official recognition from the state labour department and we shall continue working for the interests of the tea garden workers,” Munda said.

The PTWU today begun bicycle rallies across the Dooars to raise long-pending demands of the workers. “We will press for the daily wage to be raised to Rs 250, the distribution of pattas and safe drinking water — some of our many demands. The rally will continue till July 30,” said Brajanath Nayek, the secretary of the PTWU.

Central committee president of the PPP Kiran Kalindi, one of the two leaders suspended indefinitely by the state leadership of the Parishad yesterday, said his party had nothing to do with the Parishad union. “If Sukra Munda has said he has nothing to do with the PPP, he is correct,” Kalindi said.

Asked whether the PPP would raise a trade union of its own, Kalindi answered that the matter was yet to be discussed. He evaded questions on whether the PPP would speak to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on its proposal for Gorkha Adivasi Pradesh, a new state.

Trinamul FIR for baton on leader – Police chief stands by his force but orders inquiry – the Siliguri turf war ?!!

A Trinamul Congress rally to protest the lathicharge in Siliguri on Monday - the ruse for protests on higher number of votes than voters ?!! (Suman Tamang)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Siliguri, July 26: The Trinamul Congress has filed an FIR against the officer in charge of Bagdogra police station and took out protest processions against a lathicharge on its party members including the district president last night.

District president Gautam Deb, who has been admitted to a nursing home here, said he would meet the inspector-general of police, north Bengal, tomorrow to complain against the lathicharge. Trinamul will also stage dharnas in front of each school across Siliguri subdivision.

Deb was leading a road blockade on NH31 — 15km from Siliguri — to protest the alleged anomaly in the managing committee election of a local school when a force from the nearby police station baton-charged him and his supporters to clear the highway.

The election of Chittaranjan High School was held in Bagdogra yesterday. “At the elections to all the six seats, the CPM backed candidates contested against those backed by us and the Congress,” Deb said. “The counting revealed that the CPM backed candidates had won all seats and that the total number of votes polled was higher than the number of voters. We protested and demanded a re-election but the local block development officer and other officials who conducted the elections refused to listen.”

Partha Chatterjee visits Gautam Deb at the nursing home - CPM days numbered ?!! (Photo by Suman Tamang)

In protest, Trinamul supporters squatted on the highway that connects Siliguri to the Northeast and rang up Deb around 10.30pm.

“I reached there after 11pm and found them on the road. All of a sudden, a group of policemen in black fatigue, led by Bipul Sinha, the officer in charge of Bagdogra police station, resorted to lathicharge. I was no exception and they beat me hard even as I shouted to know the reason for such aggressive action,” the Trinamul leader added.

Some Trinamul supporters allegedly ransacked the houses of two leaders of the CPM-dominated All Bengal Teachers’ Association in Bagdogra.

Doctors, who attended to Deb, today said his condition was stable. “He has bruises and blood clots on the right shoulder,” said C.P. Sharma, one of the doctors. “We have provided him with medication.”

The leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Trinamul’s Partha Chatterjee, visited Deb in the nursing home here this afternoon.

“It was a plan to murder Gautam (Deb) which is why the police resorted to such an act last night,” Chatterjee said. “We are not surprised by the barbaric act as it is the way the CPM has been running the state. However, by using force and resorting to attacks, the CPM cannot stop Trinamul’s progress.” The party, local leaders said, have filed an FIR against the officer in charge of the Bagdogra police station.

The CPM, however, accused Deb of inciting his party workers and creating tension in Bagdogra. “Why did he go to Bagdogra at night when the election results were already announced?” said state urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya after arriving here from Calcutta today. “It is unfortunate that the Trinamul district president was injured but we have reports that he had incited his workers to create tension at Bagdogra.

“I visited Bagdogra today and came to know that in his presence, Trinamul workers had pelted vehicles, plying on the highway, as well as the policemen with stones. They ransacked the houses of two teachers and confined even the women teachers till midnight.”

D.P. Singh, the superintendent of police of Darjeeling, stood by the cop action. “It was night and there was tension. Initially, our officers requested them (Trinamul leaders) to withdraw the road blockade,” the district police chief said. “They refused and instead hurled stones and bricks, leaving no other option but to resort to lathi charge to clear the highway. Nevertheless, the ASP Siliguri has been asked to investigate and submit a report to me.”

IN THE DOOARS ASSAM AREA

Ulfa martyrs’ day alert – where violence gets nowhere and non-violence stagnates in apathy ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Guwahati, July 26: Police have issued an alert to thwart any attempt by Ulfa to raise black flags on the outfit’s martyrs’ day tomorrow.

The banned outfit observes martyrs’ day against the killing of five cadres in Darrang district in 1991. “We have information that the cadres will try to hoist black flags to prove that the outfit is still a force to reckon with. We have alerted all the police stations to thwart any such attempt,” a senior police officer said.

Ulfa had managed to unfurl its flags at many places in the state last year on March 16 on its “sainik divas” in an ostensible attempt to show that it still had enough foot soldiers and sympathisers on its side. The show of flags had come even after the outfit’s top leadership was put behind bars.

Police sources said Ulfa has hired a few persons, like it did during the “sainik divas” to hoist the outfit’s flag tomorrow. “Most of the flags the outfit had hoisted during the sainik divas were hoisted by hired persons,” the official said.

He said the Ulfa commander-in-chief Paresh Barua is desperate to show the outfit’s strength when the Centre is pushing for talks with the jailed leaders.

BSF ‘humane’ plea to push back boys rejected – Jyoti Basu’s politics still at play ?!!

The Bangladeshi boys being taken to the juvenile justice board in Raiganj on Monday - Bangladesh not concerned ?!! (Photo by Nantu Dey)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Raiganj, July 26: The state juvenile justice board here today rejected a BSF plea to push back three Bangladeshi minors, saying that it did not have any “jurisdiction” on the matter. The plea comes three days after the border guards caught the boys along with two others in Songaon.

The BSF had submitted an application to the board which has an office in Karnajora to grant them permission to push back the three “on humanitarian grounds”.

The three minor boys, two of them aged 10 and another eight, have been kept at Suryodaya, a government home in Raiganj.

Jashwant Singh, the deputy inspector-general of the BSF here, said the five boys were picked up on last Friday evening. The jawans patrolling at Songaon, about 25km from here, found their movement inside Indian territory suspicious.

“Two of the five were above 18 years and they were produced in court after they were handed over to the police. Since we realised that the three others were minors, we waited till Monday for the juvenile justice board office to open. We are trying our best to talk to our counterparts in Bangladesh so that the minor boys can be returned home,” Singh added.

Inspector in-charge of Raiganj police station Sujit Ghosh said the two others — Mohammad Paria, 22, and Mohammad Mutul Rehman, 20 — had been sent to judicial custody. The BSF had alleged that all of them were guilty of cutting the border fencing and entering India, Ghosh said.

One of the minor boys said they were all residents of Meenapur village in Thakurgaon district of Bangladesh. “Around 10 or 15 of us were fishing in a pond adjacent to the border on Friday evening. We had strayed close to the fence in search of a better catch. We were sitting and catching fish and a BSF jawan had been watching us. Suddenly he came and caught the five of us and handed us over to the police,” he recounted. The minor boy said he was a student of Class III in a primary school and missed his English test today.

The three minors were taken to the office of the juvenile justice board’s office on Suryodaya’s campus around 4pm today.

Sikha Moitra, a member of three-member board, said: “The BSF’s appeal could not be taken up as the board does not have the jurisdiction on these matter. However, we are treating this as a special case and the minors will be produced before us on August 5.”

IN BRIEFS FROM THE TELEGRAPH

Girl’s head found

Malda, July 26: The head of a girl, severed from the body, was found in a field near Kaliachak this morning.

The 15-year-old had been missing since July 8. Police are searching for the other part of the body. The girl’s bag and clothes were found 20 feet away from the highly decomposed head that was on a field 15km from here. “We have to look for the other part of the body. It could be that animals have devoured it. There is also a possibility that the girl had been raped and murdered. In that case, the persons involved might have dumped the body somewhere else,” said officer-in-charge of Kaliachak police station Sanjay Ghosh.

Electrocuted

Siliguri: Three workers of a tea estate near Bagdogra were electrocuted on Sunday night. Police said Anil Minz, 25, Peter Kujur, 27, and Jugia Minz, 24, all from Muni Tea Estate, died when they touched a live wire while searching for their cattle in the plantations at night. Pradip Dey, the zonal manager of West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, said he had asked the divisional manager of Siliguri to submit a report on the incident.

Tusker raid

Jaigaon: One person was killed and his pregnant daughter-in-law was injured when a tusker raided Dombarbusty in Malbazar block on Sunday evening. Forest officers from Noam range under Kalimpong division said the animal had entered the village from the Bhuttabari forest. The deceased has been identified as 55-year-old Somari Bhowmith. His daughter-in-law Nimi is under treatment at the Malbazar subdivisional hospital. The elephant also damaged at least three huts in the garden before leaving the area on Monday morning.

Train timings

Siliguri: The 2435 Rajdhani Express that is scheduled to leave Guwahati at 5.55am on Tuesday will depart at 7.05pm. The 2346 Saraighat Express that was scheduled to leave Guwahati at 12.45pm on Tuesday will leave at 4pm, said the Northeast Frontier Railways.

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