NATIONAL SECURITY: China placing missiles in G-B, encircling India: Jaswant Singh

NATIONAL SECURITY: China placing missiles in G-B, encircling India: Jaswant Singh – a warning few will heed ?!!

* BJP leader claims Chinese military building road, rail networks in G-B
* Says even Pak Army denied access to building sites

An aggressive China or a rather docile India - time to take heed ?!! (The Hindu)

From Daily Times
By Iftikhar Gilani / AP
Forwarded by Gorkhs Daju

NEW DELHI, Tuesday, August 31, 2010: The Chinese military has dug tunnels in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and is storing missiles there in an attempt to encircle India, claimed a senior leader of India’s Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday.

Speaking in Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Indian parliament, BJP leader Jaswant Singh claimed that the Chinese military is storing missiles in tunnels it has dug in G-B. The target of the missiles, he said, is India. Singh warned that Beijing was trying to “encircle” India. He said it has set up permanent structures in G-B in Jammu and Kashmir, which he said is “an inalienable part of India”.

Rail, road networks: Singh remarked Pakistan has handed over G-B to China and the People’s Liberation Army personnel were digging tunnels there to set up rail and road networks for placement of missiles. He asserted that “even locals and Pakistan Army personnel were not allowed to venture in those areas”.

The former foreign minister stressed that it was an issue of vital national importance on which the government must respond in unequivocal terms. He criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent statement on China’s actions, which said that ”we do not have to be reciprocal’. Singh said that India was being encircled by the People’s Republic of China and the prime minister chooses not to respond. He observed that statecraft was a cruel dealing where personal niceties had little relevance.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday denied reports that appeared in a section of the press that India’s maps had been confiscated by Chinese authorities from the country’s pavilion at World Expo 2010. “I have seen a report in the Times of India about the alleged confiscation of some printed material depicting the Indian map… there is no factual basis to this report,” a ministry spokesperson said.

According to the newspaper, officials of China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB) barged into the Indian pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai and seized brochures bearing India’s map, saying they were taking away the maps because China objected to showing northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh as a part of Indian territory. The spokesperson, however said, “there has been no interference in the functioning of our pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.”

China had recently refused visa to an Indian Army general on the grounds that he commanded troops in Indian-held Kashmir, which it described as a disputed area. China said on Monday that it had not received any word from New Delhi that it had suspended military exchanges over the refusal of visa. An anonymous senior Indian official was quoted as saying in The Hindu on Saturday that future military exchanges and a joint exercise between Indian and Chinese defence forces would remain suspended until China resolved the issue.

“China did not suspend military exchanges with India, nor did it receive any communication from India about a suspension of exchanges between the two militaries,” China’s Ministry of National Defence said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press in response to questions.

Time to put China in its place – before its just too late ?!!

From The Hindu Business Line
By B.S. Raghavan

The pinpricks that China had been giving India do not befit the dignity and sobriety normally associated with ancient cultural values.

China’s is an ancient civilisation. It can legitimately pride itself on the quintessential wisdom of thinkers and philosophers who have left their impact on every aspect of life. Indeed, the Chinese polity has its moorings in the comprehensive value system handed down by them that is meant to govern the daily conduct of the people as also those in positions of authority and power. But the needling of neighbours on the slightest pretext by the present-day Chinese rulers makes one wonder whether the compulsive itch to play realpolitik is throwing overboard the heritage of noble tenets and traditions honed for over 5,000 years.

For instance, Confucius is China’s patron saint by whom even the Communist ideologues swear, at least outwardly. It is from his famous aphorisms that Mao borrowed “Let a hundred flowers bloom, let hundred thoughts contend”, only to be subsequently trampled underfoot.

One of the imperative dicta of Confucius is that China’s relations with other peoples and countries should be founded on the sacred principle of harmony and the golden law of reciprocity, defined as putting oneself in the other’s place, whatever one does. One need not go as far back as Confucius. Speaking to the US Army War College some time ago, General Li Jijun, then Vice-President of the Academy of Military Science of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), referred to an ancient Chinese motto that admonished people, “Never do to others what you do not like others to do to you” ( ji suo bu yu, wu shi yu ren), and added: “China’s history and the way the Chinese people understand their own civilisation militate against any desire for aggression. Over thousands of years the pursuit of peace has been thoroughly absorbed into the Chinese national psyche…”

Sardonic smile

He also paid glowing tribute to the ancient Chinese military thinker, Mo Zi, who lived five centuries before Christ, and was the father of the concept of “non-offence” ( feigong), that advocated ‘accommodating’ rather than provocative actions.

The people of India, for many of whom the memory of 1962 is still fresh, should be pardoned if they react to this recital with a sardonic smile. The behaviour of the market socialist Chinese regime towards India in recent years has not only been at odds with the teachings of Confucius and claims of the PLA General but can fairly be described as immature, even childish.

It is always possible for two national Governments, particularly of adjacent countries, not to see eye to eye on some issues. In such a situation, it is expected of mature Governments to seek to deal with them at the policy level and set up mechanisms that will take such issues towards resolution in the spirit of the ancient Chinese motto mentioned by the PLA General, and not to unilaterally go about indulging in irritating displays of carping pettifoggery. The pinpricks that China had been giving to India in the past in the form of border incursions, questioning the status of Arunachal Pradesh, raising frivolous objections to the visits of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Dalai Lama to that State, refusing visas to the IAS trainees belonging to that State, and resorting to issue of stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir are certainly not befitting the dignity and sobriety normally associated with ancient cultural values.

Now comes the refusal of China to ‘host’ General B. S. Jaswal, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of India’s Northern Command, who was to lead the team for the fourth defence dialogue, to be held in Beijing.

The reason mentioned (that he came from the “sensitive location of Jammu and Kashmir” and “people from this part of the world come with a different kind of visa”) is of a piece with China’s past record of insensitivity and arrogance.

Hegemonistic ambitions.

What is the justification for China viewing Jammu and Kashmir as a ‘sensitive location’? Is it insinuating that it does not regard the State as an integral part of India? Or is it that the location has become ‘sensitive’ because China is preparing the ground to lay claim to some part of the territory? Worse still, has China decided to gang up with Pakistan to ‘bleed’ India in whatever manner possible?

Whatever it is, it takes the cake for impudence beyond belief, raising the question how and why China, with all the advantage of ancient wisdom, has failed to realise that this is no way to “clarify concerns, deepen mutual trust and coordinate stances” which was the stated purpose of the defence dialogue.

What is most baffling is China being oblivious to the greatest harm it is doing to itself as a result of the cumulative effect of these annoying incidents.

It is providing vindication to those who have been venting their suspicion of its hegemonistic ambitions and is fast alienating a constituency in India which, however small, had been braving public opprobrium and advocating an early settlement of the border dispute in a spirit of give-and-take to usher in an era of peace and friendship with China.

Apparently, winning friends and influencing people is not China’s forte. Given China’s deliberate policy of keeping India on tenterhooks by manufacturing a series of untenable pretexts, reminiscent of the famous fable of the wolf and the lamb, it should not be surprising if the significance of India’s mild but pained response to the blackballing of Gen Jaswal is totally lost on the powers-that-be in Beijing.

New Delhi must understand that mere half measures will not do. The defence dialogue has never been much to speak of from its initiation in 2008. At best, it was exploratory at the periphery of India-China relations and never went in depth into any substantive issues relating to Defence and security collaboration, the implications of China’s maritime pretensions or the China-Pakistan axis spiting India an every count.

China has handed on a platter an opportunity for Indian policy-makers to scrap altogether the wholly fruitless and wasteful make-believe of a dialogue and deal with emerging issues as they arise.

In any case, the strategic imperatives and the composition and configuration of forces of both countries are so far apart that a common defence dialogue is an illusory luxury.



PERSPECTIVE: NEW POLITICS – a way to bring parity & justice in India, so lets start by creating some example smaller states like Sikkim ?!!


August 31, 2010: If party politics does the tribal people some real good, that should be hailed as a welcome change.

The practice in Indian politics has been to either completely ignore the interests of these people or see them only as the so-called vote bank.

Rahul Gandhi’s support to the tribal people’s cause in Orissa may or may not help the Congress in the state. It is fair game in competitive politics for Naveen Patnaik to show that he cares for these people just as much or even more.

In a democracy, it is for the people to decide whom they trust. But to see a “political conspiracy” in the Union environment and forests ministry’s decision to veto the clearance for the Vedanta group’s bauxite mining project is to deliberately confuse the issues.

Mr Patnaik’s party, the Biju Janata Dal, has complained that the Centre’s veto on the Vedanta and the Posco projects reflects its allegedly discriminatory attitude to development projects in states ruled by Opposition parties. It has cried foul that the Centre did no such thing to the Polavaram dam project in Andhra Pradesh because the state is ruled by the Congress.

It is a bad argument that does not explain why the Orissa government failed to obey the laws relating to environment and the tribal people’s right to forest land.

The issues that the Centre’s directives on the two Orissa projects raise go far beyond party politics.

All these years, laws on environment and the protection of tribal people’s rights were merrily flouted both by the private and the public sector projects.

An antiquated land-acquisition law allowed the government to take over any land in the ‘public interest’. The affected people’s opinion did not matter either in the acquisition of their land or in the compensation the government unilaterally decided on.

What the Union ministry of environment and forests have done in the case of the two Orissa projects is not only true to the spirit of the new laws but also reflects a new concern for social justice.

Whether a party gains by it or a state loses a large source of revenue is secondary to the larger legal and moral issues. Forest rights activists have raised questions over the Polavaram project too. The Centre should look into them, irrespective of the BJD’s charges.

The issues are too important to be left to games of political one-upmanship. The two projects happen to be in Orissa, but the issues involve governments and entrepreneurs everywhere.

GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL DIMENSIONS: Talks on mind, strike pushed back once again

GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL DIMENSIONS Talks on mind, strike pushed back once again – show of majority consensus complete, so now on to negotiate a settlement that satisfies the complete consensus including that of the opposition ?!!

GJM Secretaries Roshan Giri & Binoy Tamang at the press conference in Darjeeling - working towards an upright political settlement where Bengal cannot point any fingers ?!! (Darpan)


Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to postpone its indefinite strike once again, keeping in mind the official-level tripartite meeting scheduled for September 7.

However, the party has decided to organise relay hunger strike from September 1 to demand that their party leader Nickole Tamang be produced in court alive.

The Morcha had earlier threatened to start an indefinite general strike across the hills if Nickole was not produced alive in court today. Nickole’s 14-day police remand ended today.

In fact, soon after Nickole escaped from the CID custody, the Morcha had called a strike from August 22 to 24. The party had given a two-day breather to the indefinite strike before postponing it on Friday till August 30.

Roshan Giri, general secretary of the Morcha, today said: “We have decided to postpone the general strike keeping in mind the scheduled tripartite talks. We will however start a 24-hour relay hunger strike from September 1 which we will carry on unless Nickole is produced alive in court. Seven Morcha supporters will sit for the hunger strike in shifts.”

The relay hunger strike will take place in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. Giri said preparations were on to stretch the fast till September 17. “We are ready till September 17 and if Nickole is not produced alive even by then we will stretch the hunger strike.”

The fast will be held in front of the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling and on the subdivisional office premises in Kurseong and Kalimpong.

CID names 30, gives Morcha seniors a miss – ABGL to continue to scream conspiracy ?!!

The 30 Accused by the CID - when just one struck the fatal blow, from the back or from the front, from within or from outside ?!! (TT)


Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The CID today submitted a chargesheet before a Darjeeling court alleging that 30 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha activists were involved in the murder of Madan Tamang.

Senior Morcha leaders, who had earlier been named in an FIR after the murder of the ABGL chief, do not figure in the chargesheet.

Assistant public prosecutor Govind Chhetri said: “The CID has filed a 519-page chargesheet and has further maintained that they can file a supplementary chargesheet if other names figure in their investigations.”

This technically means that the senior Morcha leaders could figure in the supplementary chargesheet if further investigations point to their involvement.

The FIR filed by ABGL general secretary Laxman Pradhan soon after the May 21 murder had named Morcha chief Bimal Gurung, his wife Asha Gurung and central committee members of the party Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Pradip Pradhan, Col(retd) Ramesh Allay and Binay Tamang as conspirators. None of the names figure in the CID chargesheet.

But seven other persons named by Pradhan figure in the chargesheet.

Set to open the system to conduct raids at will - just the Bengal Democracy all opponents have been calling for ?!!

All the 30 persons have been booked under Section 147/148 (rioting /rioting  with deadly weapons), 149 (unlawful assembly), 427 (mischief causing damage), 506 (criminal intimidation ),  302 (murder) and 120 (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Of the 30, nine people had already been arrested. One of the prime accused, Nickole Tamang, fled from CID custody on August 22. Another accused is nursing bullet wounds in hospital.

While submitting the chargesheet the CID had pleaded before the chief judicial magistrate to issue arrest warrants against those who have not yet been picked up. Court warrants make it easier to arrest the accused if they have fled to other states. Shyam Prakash Rajak, chief judicial magistrate, has granted the petition.

With the filing of the chargesheet, the first step towards the trial of the murder case has started. Had the CID failed to submit a chargesheet within 90 days of the arrest of the accused, even those picked up for non-bailable offence would have been entitled to bail.

The chargesheet is primarily the findings of the investigation team. However, whether those named are actually guilty of committing the crime will be evident at the end of the trial.

Gorkha Naari Morcha - the backbone of the Gorkha agitation, fed-up with Bengal ?!!

“The trial will take place at the session’s court. If those named in the chargesheet are not arrested, there are provisions in the CrPc to even attach their properties. A few other procedures like transferring the case to the session court (from the chief judicial magistrate’s court) and separating the cases for those who have been arrested and those who are yet to be arrested will take place before trial starts,” said a lawyer.

In fact, the court had earlier imposed a freeze on the bank accounts of 10 of the accused including Nickole.

According to Chhetri, 61 witnesses have been named in the investigations. Sources said Bharati Tamang, the wife of slain leader Madan Tamang, and his son Sanjog Tamang are among the witnesses.

The Morcha refused comment on the chargesheet. Party assistant secretary Binay Tamang said: “Let the law take its own course.”

The CID has filed a fresh FIR after Nickole’s disappearance. The accused’s police remand ended today. Defence lawyer Seshmani Gurung said: “The CID team maintained that Nickole has fled from their custody and have filed an FIR at the Pradhan Nagar police station in Siliguri. The bail application of the other seven accused were rejected and they will be produced in court on September 13,” said Gurung.


Morcha 30 on CID list – hint of Morcha leadership under scanner for later ?!!


Darjeeling, Aug. 30: The CID today named 30 Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders in its chargesheet for alleged involvement in the murder of Madan Tamang but left out senior leaders, including chief Bimal Gurung, who had been named in an earlier FIR.

The chargesheet, submitted today before a Darjeeling court, names among others Nickole Tamang, the prime accused in the murder of the ABGL leader. However, Nickole, who had escaped from CID custody on August 22, is absconding. His remand ended today but the CID failed to produce him in court.

Assistant public prosecutor Govind Chhetri said: “The CID has said it may file a supplementary chargesheet if other names crop up during investigation.”

This means that the senior Morcha leaders who had been named in an ABGL FIR after Madan Tamang’s murder on May 21 could still be put on the list.

The FIR had named Gurung, his wife Asha and central committee members such as Roshan Giri, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Pradip Pradhan and Binay Tamang for “conspiring to kill” Madan Tamang. However, none of them was mentioned in the CID chargesheet today. But seven other persons named in the FIR have been mentioned.

The chief judicial magistrate accepted the CID’s plea to to issue arrest warrants against those who have not yet been picked up.

Gorka leader murder: CID files chargesheet – over a 100 days later, now room for more raids and tension in Darjeeling ?!!


Darjeeling (West Bengal), 30 Aug 2010, 20:56:07: A little over a 100 days after Gorkha leader Madan Tamang was murdered in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Monday filed chargesheet in a court of law naming 30 accused, even as prime suspect Nicole Tamang is absconding.

Public Prosecutor Govind Chettri said the 519-page chargesheet was filed at the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court here naming 30 accused, including two women-Babita Ganguly and Biva Sona Sherpa.

The chargesheet, filed at the bench of justice S P Rajak, however, has not named any top ranking leader of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) though an FIR had accused party president Bimal Gurung and general secretary Roshan Giri in the May 21 daylight murder.

Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) president Madan Tamang was hacked to death near the Mall here.

ABGL’s general secretary Laxman Pradhan filed an FIR the following day naming ten senior GJM leders as suspects in the murder of the 63-year-old leader.

On August 16, the Darjeelng Police arrested the prime accused, GJM’s central committee member Nicole Tamang and by the court order had handed him over to the CID. The 47-year-old suspect, however,
fled from CID custody from Pintail village in Siliguri on August 22.

He was supposed to be produced in the court on Monday.

The CID told the court that Nicole fled from their custody and has been evading arrest.

The chargesheet was filed by CID investigating officer Ardhendu Sekhar Pahari.

Meanwhile, the GJM has withdrawn their shutdown in view of a tripartite meeting on Sept 7.

On Aug 21, the GJM called a shutdown in three hill-sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong, demanding production of Nickol Tamang.

Nicole Tamang declared absconder, GJM withdraws strike – absconder according to the CID’s report, taken at full face value for now ?!!

Nicole Tamang - in the eye of the storm, dead or alive ?!! (Darpan)

From The Hindustan Times

Darjeeling, August 30, 2010, 17:27 IST: (PTI): The main suspect behind the May 21 killing of Gorkha leader Madan Tamang in the town was on Monday declared an absconder by a Darjeeling court.

Nicole Tamang, who escaped from the custody of the CID from Pintail village near Siliguri on August 22, was among the 30 named in the chargesheet filed by the investigating agency in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate H Rashid in Darjeeling.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, meanwhile, withdrew an indefinite strike called in Darjeeling from today to press for Nicole’s production in the court in view of the tripartite talks with the Centre and West Bengal government on September 7.

The decision was announced by GJM General Secretary Roshan Giri here after a meeting with Darjeeling District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police Devendra Pratap Singh.

Pema Tamang, Nicole's wife - worried no end ?!!

To press for the demand, Giri said batches of seven GJM supporters would fast in Kalimpomg, Kurseong and Darjeeling from September 1 to 17.

A GJM ‘investigation team’ has also been formed, he said, adding it would leave for Assam and Nepal in search of Nicole.

He also announced that henceforth government and Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council offices in the hills would be allowed to function unhindered.


Sitaram Yechuri in favour of self-administered authority for Hills – conveniently forgot the Gorkhasthan ruse that labelled all Darjeeling Gorkhas into foreigners ?!!

Sitaram Yechury - must first prove this region was Bengal's to being with ?!! (SE)

From Sikkim Express

Gangtok, Aug 30, 2010: Indicating a clear signal that his party is not in favour of division of West Bengal, CPIM politbureau member Sitaram Yucheri made only a passing remark on the ‘Gorkhasthan’ demand raised by late Ratnalal Brahamn during a seminar organized here at Gymkhana Club.

Instead, Yechuri presented the Tripura model of self-administrated territory and strongly advocated similar arrangement for Darjeeling.

During the seminar organized in the memory of Ratnalal Brahamn, one of the foremost CPIM leaders from the hills, local CPIM supporters had gathered in large numbers to show that the party still has a base in the troubled hills.


Amra Bengali condemns the upcoming Tripartite Meeting – forms Bangla Bahini, any ex-Servicemen to train them or will the CPM do ?!!

Amra Bengali stand on all Indian Gorkhas as Foreigners in India - communal instigation enough for the Indian Supreme Court ?!! (DT)

From Himalayan Beacon
By HB Siliguri Correspondent

Siliguri, Aug 31, 2010: Amra Bangali took out a rally in Siliguri yesterday.

The organisation also held a meeting at Hashmichowk and condemned the demand for Gorkhaland and the upcoming Tripartite Meeting between the Union Government, the State Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

The meeting was addressed by a number of leaders which included Ranjan Mandal, Basudev Saha, Utpal Kundu, Jayant Das, Kokil Roy, Sambhu Sutradhar, Pritam Das among others.

Bangali Regiment from Amra Bangali - look like a couple of chaprasi babus ?!! (Kalimnews, Bartaman)

The uniformed cadres of the Bangla Bahini were also present in the meeting. The leaders addressing the meeting said, “The division of Bengal will not be allowed at all cost.”

The leaders also condemned the Government’s role in the ongoing political turmoil in the Hills. One of the leader said, “The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has shut down the hills whenever they have wanted. The Government it seems is not strong enough to stop them from holding the people in the hills to ransom.”

CPM job demand – working on increasing support base in a hurry ?!!

Tara Sundas - in power, yet not in office ?!! (Darpan)


Kalimpong, Aug. 30: Senior CPM leader from the hills Tara Sundas has demanded that the appointments of para-teachers and midwives in the hills should not be stalled, but completed at the earliest in a fair and transparent manner.

Taking on the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Sundas, a member of the CPM’s Darjeeling district secretariat, said the appointments should not be kept on hold till an interim administrative arrangement was put in place in the hills, as demanded by the hill party.

The Morcha has called for a freeze on appointments, alleging malpractice in the recruitment process.


From The Telegraph

Fake notes seized

Malda, Aug. 30: Customs officials arrested a youth from a hotel here this morning and seized fake notes with a face value of Rs 2. 4 lakh from him.

The arrested youth, Paban Sharma, said he is a resident of Guwahati. Assistant customs commissioner S.K. Jha said they had information that dealers of fake currency frequented the hotel. “We are looking for the owner of the hotel. People involved in the racket often bring fake notes to this hotel from Kaliachak and Baisnavnagar before ferrying them to other places,” he said.


Malda: A woman was arrested from Baliadanga in Kaliachak on Sunday night and three quintals of marijuana worth over Rs 10 lakh was seized from her. During interrogation Shanti Roy said the marijuana had been brought from Manipur and was supposed to be transported to north Bengal and Jharkhand.

Road death

Malda: Feroz Mahaldar, 23, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a truck on NH34 at Bagbari near Englishbazar on Monday. After the accident, angry residents of the area blocked the highway alleging that police had arrived late. The driver of the truck has been arrested and the vehicle seized.

Tea meeting

Siliguri: The tripartite meeting between labour minister Anadi Sahu, stakeholders of tea industry and the state labour commissioner that was held in Calcutta on Monday ended without any results. The meeting was held to discuss the interim wage hike. Another tripartite meeting has been called on September 9, a trade union leader said.

One hacked

Jaigaon: Saroj Kalikotay, 40, of Chhetri Line in Dalsinghpara panchayat, was hacked to death on Sunday. Police said neighbours Bidhan Mangar and Manjit Rai have been arrested. The two had an altercation with Kalikotay over money which led to the murder, the police said. The duo were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Alipurduar on Monday and have been remanded in jail custody for 14 days.

From KalimNews: 15 Primary Teachers’ appointment is cancelled after the investigation. It includes  Anita Paul wife of the suspended District Primary School Board’s Chairman Mrinal Paul some of the sons and daughters of the Dist Primary School Board members and prominent CPM leaders . It also includes three sons and daughters of KK Jha a prominent CPM leader of Nagarkatta.

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award-2009 to Ms. Chandraprabha Aitwal for Life Time Achievement (PIB)

The President, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil presenting the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award-2009 to Ms. Chandraprabha Aitwal for Life Time Achievement, in a glittering ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi on August 29, 2010. (PIB)


A protest rally against Gorkhaland agitation was brought by Amra Bangali in Siliguri declaring formation of Bangali Regiment.

SIKKIM NEWS: High Court directs BRO and state govt to restore roads within six months

SIKKIM NEWS: High Court directs BRO and state govt to restore roads within six months – now that’s a worthy example to set ?!!

A birds eye view of Gangtok - A supreme court in Sikkim, why not one in Darjeeling also ?!! To get a better overview and culturally different from that of Kolkata ?!!


Gangtok, Aug 30, 2010: Sikkim High Court in a suo motto case has passed an order directing Border Road Organisation and the state government to restore National and State Highways within six months from first day of September.

A Divisional Bench of the High Court said, “On account of such bad condition of road, the main source of income, namely tourism, is very severely affected. In turn, it also reflects on the lifeline of the public and the economy of the state”. The court further said “…there is a great urgency to improve the condition of the roads and to maintain the same.”

Col. Rakshvir of BRO, who appeared in person sought three weeks time to file affidavit for execution of all the Highways road works in Sikkim, which shall include the time required for getting the permission from the competent statutory authorities, the ministry of Environment and Forest.

The Bench said that the BRO and Highway and Transport ministry shall also take all initiatives to get the best technology and mechanism in executing the road works, so that they can stick to the time schedule.

The Bench also directed the state government to identify the roads which require to be repaired and maintained properly and make such roads fit for transportation within the same time schedule.

The High Court has urged the senior advocates and members of High Court Bar Association of Sikkim to assist the court by bringing to its notice the roads that required to be attended to by the state government as well as the Border Roads Organisation.

BRO restores NH 31A connectivity, says – certain portions vulnerable – action respected ?!!


Gangtok, Aug 30, 2010: Road connectivity of Gangtok with rest of the country which had snapped at seven places between 32nd Mile and Singtam along the NH 31A on August 27 was restored Sunday, August 29 morning by Border Roads of Organization (BRO).

Two days’ bright sunshine enabled the Project Swastik of BRO, which looks after the highways of Sikkim and parts of North Bengal, to clear all the slides and restore traffic movement along the national highway.

“The slides have been cleared before 11 am and the highway is open for both light and heavy vehicles”, said Project Swastik executive engineer AK Singh. While five slides had been cleared early by the BRO, two stubborn slides near the Government Fruit Preservation Factory (GFPF), located 28 kms from here, had been a major headache. The first slide had breached some 15m of road and a huge pile of slush which had peeled off the hillside had buried the highway.

Fifty labourers and two huge excavators toiled hard to cut inside the hillside to approach the breach and sweep the slush of the second slide. 764 BRTF commander Manav Prasad said that the BRO had been clearing the slush near the GFPF for the past two continuous days. But the slush continues to pour down from the hill side, he said.

Prasad explained that three artificial ponds had been created by the slides some 200m further uphill. These ponds are being fed by small streams and the muck continues to roll down the hillside hampering the road restoration work, he said.

Though the slides near GPTF have been cleared for vehicular movement along the highway, BRO officials said that road links could be snapped at the same spot if it rains again. The Project Swastik executive engineer said that talks are on with geologists from Sikkim government to ‘do something’ about the ponds that had come up due to accumulation of rain-fed streams above the hill near GPTF. “We have to wait for some days when the weather will clear up. Right now the only temporary measure is to clear the slush whenever it comes”, said Singh.

In the past two days before the highway was restored, commuters traveling to and fro Gangtok had to depend on transshipment. They used to reach the troubled spot near GPTF and take a 300m detour on foot to board the waiting taxis on the other side.

Most of the vehicles from Gangtok had taken the longer distance to bypass the slides in the past two days. They used to take a detour from Ranipool, reach to Pakyong (28 kms from here) and then drop 25 kms down to Rangpo and join the NH 31A. Vehicles coming from Siliguri also took the alternative route.

State Government comes forward to assist 62 landslide-affected families – quick to action and good on its promises ?!!

From Haalkhabar
By Pravin Rai

Gangtok, 30 August, 2010: Without claiming any lives, the landslides that triggered at Rangang-Yangang constituency, South District had affected 62 families and the state government, providing a sigh of relief to the afflicted lives made an announcement to reinstate all the families.

The government had decided to rehabilitate the aggrieved at Lingmoo, south district and the constructive act is in process.

The government is ready to provide land and shelter for all the landslide-victims and other related and practical plans are still in progress, informed by CL Gurung, President of Constituency level Committee, SDF Party.

It had also been informed that the falling of boulders, debris and slush that started from 15th August at the particular spot is still going on which had hampered the daily life of 62 families of Upper Mangjing and Lower Mangjing.

40 suffered families have been evacuated to Panchayat Bhawan of the area and remaining families have been sheltered at a local’s house, it is informed.

CB Karki, State Minister for RMDD has also surveyed the area and the affected families, who were earlier, camped at a safer place. The government has been helping the families providing every facility. Further, the government has also decided to compensate the affected families, for which surveys regarding the loss have been undergoing by the department.

Mother Teresa peace rally – a week of celebrations and adulation, now service for the poorest of the poor, an example not many can emulate ?!!

Mother Teresa peace rally in Gangtok - 20 years of service in Darjeeling and birthplace of her inspiration now so-neglected by Bengal, would make Mother Teresa cry and pray ?!! (Sikkim Reporter)


Gangtok, Aug 30, 2010: St. Thomas Catholic Association (STCA) took out a peace rally in the town which marked conclusion of a week long celebration of the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa, the embodiment of compassion.

Participants in the rally included priests and sisters of churches of Gangtok and Pakyong, sisters of Missionaries of Charity, students and large number of devotees of Mother. Participants carried pictures of Mother, placards bearing her message and sang prayers and bhajan as the rally did the round starting from St. Thomas school ground.

Before commencement of the peace rally, a function was held at St. Thomas school auditorium to mark conclusion of the 7-day celebration. In the function, speakers briefly recalled the life and work of Mother Teresa. It was also recalled that at the holy Mother’s instance, a branch of Missionaries of Charity was established in Sikkim in 1980.

STCA publicity secretary further informs that a number of competitions was organized for students during Mother Teresa’s birth anniversary celebration.

Workshop on MSA implementation – total literacy mission by 2015, an example for the rest of India’s politicians ?!!


Gangtok: A one day workshop cum meeting was organised on the “Mukhyamantri Saaksharta Abhiyan (MSA) 2015” at the conference hall of H.R.D.D. on 29th August, which was jointly chaired by Anil K Generiwala, Secretary, RMDD, and R. Telang, Secretary, HRDD, and attended by Special Secretary, HRDD, Director( Panchayat), District Collector, North, Director, HRDD, and Additional District Collector (East), among others.

Secretary, RMDD and Secretary, HRDD explained in details the Total Literacy Mission -2015. Officers present in the meeting raised many pertinent points about modalities of implementation of the mission which were clarified by the concerned Secretaries. After full deliberation on the issue the meeting resolved to assign the responsibility for implementation of “Mukhyamantri Saaksharta Abhiyan-2015” to all the BDOs and ADs of HRDD posted in BACs for rural areas, in coordination with the respective Gram Panchayats, and to the Urban local bodies in urban areas.

Responsibilities of those engaged in MSA implementation were delineared in the meeting. Mr. H. P. Dhakal, Deputy Director, HRDD, made a presentation on all important issues in details.

Sikkim govt gives aid to families of accident victims – empathy personified ?!!


Namchi: Sikkim government on Sunday gave Rs.50000 each family of the victims of road mishap of Jorethang. A representative of the government handed over the cash in aid as the Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling could not do it personally for his ill health and poor road condition.

Chief Minster himself stopped at Jorethang and went to Mazhitar where he met the family of the owner cum driver of the vehicle which met an accident at Jorethang near Chirbireytar on 27th August, leaving nine dead and one missing. On the of doctors, Chief Minster sent a team to Singla to meet families of the victims of Jorethang. The team comprised of Political Secretary to Chief Minister, KN Rai, MLA Salghari Zoom, Madan century, MLA Namchi Singithang Binod Rai, among others.

The team met the bereaved families at Singla Tea Estate Manager’s Bunglow where the aid money was handed over to the family members and conveyed deep sorrow and sympathy.

Police nabs alleged cheats – illegal ponzi and pyramid schemes, playing on the layman’s greed ?!!


Namchi: Before it could cheat more people of Sikkim once again, the south district police has broken the nexus of another scam which was brewing here in the name of Stock Guru India.

The police has arrested one lady Leela Chettri, teacher by profession, under Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978.

Hailing from Namchi kazitar, accused Leela Chettri was recently transferred in the District office of HRDD, south. Allegedly, she acting as an agent of the organization, collecting the amount from the investors and, after depositing it in her own personal account one of the banks in Namchi, was transferring the money to the organization, Stock Guru India.

According to SP South Monaj Tiwari, accused Leela Chettri wife of Neol Rai, resident of Kazitar Namchi, has been arrested for collecting cash from individuals. He also said that another co-accused, Yogesh Gurung (38), son of Lt. LB Gurung of Sadam, South Sikkim, involved in the nexus operating from Gangtok, has also been arrested by Sadar police and later handed over to Namchi Police.

Reportedly, Leela Chettri has already transferred Rs.13 lakhs (approx) while Yogesh Gurung transferred about Rs. 25 lakhs to the company.

It is learnt that Stock Guru India came to the state about 5 months ago and was promising to its depositors 20% interest on their deposits along with the principal amount after six months.

A case has been registered at Namchi Police Station under section 420 IPC r/w section 4/5 of Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, 1978 against the accused who are at present in police custody and the case is under investigation.

PM likely to visit Sikkim in February, reveals CM – a state tour the PM is set to enjoy ?!!


Gangtok, Aug 29, 2010: “In all probability, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will visit Sikkim sometime in the month of February next year”. This was revealed by Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling in a high level coordination meeting of all the Secretaries and Heads of Departments at the Conference Hall of Tashiling Secretariat here on August 27.

Chief Minister said that he is “contemplating to have the Char Dham at Solokhop, and Buddha Park at Ravangla in South Sikkim and Door Doordarshan Kendra, Gangtok, inaugurated by the Prime Minister during his Sikkim visit”.

During the meeting the Chief Minister thoroughly reviewed the matters that were discussed in the last coordination meeting and inquired about the achievements of different departments to meet the target since then. He directed all the departments to prepare a comparative document of all infrastructural as well as other developmental works that have taken place prior to 1994 and thereafter, so that it can be a proof about all the developments that have taken place in the state.

He also asked all the Secretaries and HODs to simplify the administration make it more people friendly, transparent and the staff accountable, while taking all the present plans and polices of the government in mission mode and work accordingly. He reiterated the need to have a good coordination and cooperation among the departments so that all the official and administrative works could flow smoothly. He expressed his happiness over the Chief Minister Special Scholarship Scheme which has generated a sense of competition not only among the students but among the parents also.

Chief Minister noted that to build a qualitative and highly skilled human resource is the need of the times. Accordingly, he urged the officers to give top priority to Capacity Building Programme, which is the flagship programme of his government and make it a total success. Chief Minister emphasized that all the developmental works in the state should be qualitative and cost effective and added that all the departments should find ways and means to generate maximum revenue in order to meet the expenditures of the government.
The Commissioner-cum-Secretary, IPR, apprised the meeting about the advertisement bills pending with various departments. For which, the Chief Minister directed heads of departments to clear the bills immediately.

The meeting began with the welcome note of the Chief Secretary Mr. T.T Dorji. He congratulated Chief Minister for being conferred the prestigious Thekong Ambassador of Peace Award and Bhanu Puraskar recently. Additional Chief Secretary, Mr. Karma Gyatso lauded the Chief Minister for his dedication in speeding up manifold development in the state. He vowed on behalf of all the officers to work the way Chief Minister has directed and desired.

Sikkim team to join CWG opening prog – to display a unique cultural heritage ?!!


Gangtok, Aug 29, 2010: A team of 47 girls from three districts of the state, excepting North, will be in New Delhi to perform at the opening function of upcoming Common Wealth Games at the capital starting from October 3.

A conference was held here Friday at the Sikkim State Archives Cultural Affairs and Heritage Department, Gangtok, wherein Cultural Minister Sonam Gyatso Lepcha urged the participants to perform at the highest level as they bear the responsibility to represent Sikkim at the international arena. Mr. Lepcha said the team is a sign of unity as the participants are from all Sikkimese society irrespective of caste, creed and religion. “It would be a proud moment for us to see our participants performing in CWG”, he said.

Sikkim team has been assigned three performances, namely, Ghatu Dance of Gurung Community sponsored by Kala Tshetra Ashram, Singi Cham Dance and Yak Dance of Bhutia Community sponsored by INGS Foundation and North East Zonal Cultural, Dimapur.

The participants may also perform at the theme song of CWG composed by AR Rehman butonly after a tough selection test at Delhi. Sikkim is one from the four states of North Eastern states representing in CWG event, along with Assam, Nagaland and Manipur respectively.

Families thank Chief Minister – for the names of their fathers now immortalised ?!!


Gangtok: Family members of late Rai Sahib B.B Pradhan and late Mr. Padam Singh Subba (Apatan), one of the brightest literary figures of Nepali Literature, called on the Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling at his official residence Mintokgang here in the capital on August 27.

The members of both the families expressed their profound gratitude to the Chief Minister for honoring and paying homage by naming the roads in the names of their respective fathers and stated that they were highly moved by this gesture. They were all praise for the developmental programmes innovated by the Chief Minister for the state.

Chief Minister asked their support to his government and contribution to build Sikkim s a model State. He also requested the members of both the families to write biography of their respective fathers as a documentation of their lives and deeds, as a guiding force for the future generation.

Chief Minister assured them of his full cooperation for the same. (IPR)


A PHC fails to catch the CATCH – BJP claims CATCH a gimmick – not at rosy as it all seems, caught by the thorns ?!!

From Haalkhabar
By Pravin Rai

Gangtok, 30 August 2010: Days after the launching of a programme – Comprehensive Annual & Total Checkup for Healthy Sikkim (CATCH) – in order to make Sikkim one of the healthiest State of India by 2015, a Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Pakyong was found running without medicines and everyother medicinal facility, since the last week.

A PHC, situated at Pakyong, East Sikkim is running without a single medicinal facility. A notice has been issued by one of the Medical Officers and dispatched at the hospital that reads, ‘it is to inform all the patients that the health center is running with any proper and required medicines. We are directing the patients to buy the dressing stuffs like bandage, plaster of their own because the center fails to provide it.

Moreover, this is our firm request to all that no officials of the center are responsible for such hindrances and not to comment them. The center is also undergoing a construction work of repairing a safety tank hence, the center would not intake the admission of any patients for three days. All the patients are hereby directed to refer STNM, Gangtok Hospital for medical investigation and treatment”.

Dr. Sanjay Upretti, one of the Medical Officers of the PHC mentioned that no medicines have been supplied from Central Medicinal Store – located at Tadong, Gangtok – that is manned under State Health Department.

The PHC, at present is also facing the fund-shortage problem, it is informed.
The PHC at Pakyong witness more than 200 patients a day, which is same in number with STNM, Gangtok Hospital so the PHC requires abundant supply of medicine, added Dr Upretti.

Striking at the issue, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appealed the State Health Department, State Government and Chief Minster Pawan Chamling to pug the loopholes right from the gramin level, inspecting every health centers within the state.

The programme on a comprehensive health awareness and checkup, CATCH launched under the banner of state government by Chamling days after stands as a gimmick, in terms of health, stated the State General Secretary, BJP, Sikkim Unit Padam Sharma.

BJP also claimed that during the launching of the programme Chamling had assured every citizens of the state to enable a healthy life by distributing ‘Health Card’ and providing a promotive and preventive health checkup to make the state a ‘Disease-free State’ by 2015 but with such management of PHCs – experiencing medical shortage – Chamling is trying to fool the Sikkimese.

CRIME WATCH: Assault after rustler slur

CRIME WATCH: Assault after rustler slur – the only time potholes came to the rescue ?!!

One of the two charred vans on the Bhaktinagar police station premises on Monday - rustled animals rescued by a pothole ?!! (Kundan Yolmo)


Siliguri, Aug. 30: Three suspected cattle rustlers were beaten up early this morning by residents of Jaleswari More who also set their vehicles on fire.

“Around three in the morning, some private guards spotted a pick-up van loaded with cattle stuck on a potholed road near Jaleswari More on the outskirts of the town. The guards found a couple of people desperately trying to free its wheels,” said Shikha Chatterjee, the upa-pradhan of Dabgram II panchayat under Rajganj block. “As two guards walked towards the van, they saw another vehicle reach the spot. Two more men joined the ones who were struggling to get the first vehicle out of the pothole.”

When the guards and the local people, who came out from their houses in ones and twos hearing the noise, asked the strangers about their whereabouts and the cattle, they could not give satisfactory replies. “The crowd then started beating the people, suspecting them to be rustlers and torched their vehicles,” she said.

Local people alleged that a racket was active in the locality to lift cattle and to steal gas cylinders from houses. Police did not take any action despite repeated pleas. “This had prompted us to depute night guards,” Supen Roy, a resident said.

Around an hour later, officers from Bhaktinagar police station rescued the three injured men and sent them to the Siliguri District Hospital. A fire engine from Siliguri fire station doused the flames.

The injured were later shifted to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. “We are aware of the criminal activities in Jaleswari, Shantinagar and Ashighar areas,” said Achintya Gupta, the circle inspector of Jalpaiguri Sadar. “Once the injured persons recover, we will interrogate them to find out the intentions.”

LOVE TRAGEDY: Jilted lover kills man

LOVE TRAGEDY: Jilted lover kills man – Beauty and the Beast who didn’t get the right parental advice nor love ?!!


Burdwan, Aug. 30: A man was beaten to death by a youth in Burdwan’s Katwa today for refusing to marry his 16-year-old daughter to him.

Police said Uddhav Debnath, 24, who has been arrested, and his friends had dragged Gautam Debnath out of his house at 3am, took him to a secluded place and beat him to death with rods and sticks.

The police said Uddhav, who works at a local jewellery shop, had been making advances at Beauty (name changed), for the past year. He had expressed his desire to marry her. Uddhav had also approached the Class X student’s father with the same request. “But neither Beauty nor her father agreed to his proposal,” said Ashok Bose, the officer in charge of Katwa police station.

Around 3.30am today, Uddhav went to Gautam’s house, dragged him away and killed him. He was caught by neighbours when he was trying to flee.

EDUCATION: Green & grey for equality – Premier college goes for uniform

EDUCATION: Green & grey for equality – Premier college goes for uniform – a shining example of focus on educational value ?!!

Students in uniform at the entrance to Tadong Government College on Monday - happy to gain the knowledge of college, good for the studious ?!! (Prabin Khaling)


Gangtok, Aug. 30: First semester student Sunil Chettri was a bit apprehensive as he walked into Tadong Government College dressed smartly in a deep green blazer, green striped tie and grey trousers. But soon Chettri’s awkwardness dissipated.

His friends also turned up similarly dressed, and soon the premier college in the hill state was crowded with students in green and grey uniform. The dress code had been enforced by the authorities from today to maintain uniformity among students hailing from different economic backgrounds.

For the girls, grey skirts with black stockings have replaced the trousers. “We are very happy about the uniform. It has brought unity and uniformity on the campus,” said Chettri.

Tadong Government College comes under Sikkim University. The monsoon semesters had started from June and the college authorities said the decision to introduce uniforms was taken at that time. “But we could not implement it then, as we had to give students time to get them stitched,” a member of the college authority said.

College principal M.P. Kharel said the institution had a dress code earlier from 1985 to 1987, but for some reason it was withdrawn. “We feel uniforms are necessary in the present times to inculcate a sense of discipline, attachment, uniformity and identity among the students,” he said.

Kharel said the large number of students was one reason why uniforms had been introduced. “We have more than 2,500 students. It is impossible to identify all of them giving opportunity to outsiders to enter the college campus and create mischief,” said the principal. The uniform, the principal believes, will also discourage students to indulge in bad habits, said Kharel. “Students in uniform will be spotted immediately outside the campus if they take drugs and alcohol.” The principal said uniforms would also remove the rich-poor discrimination and save many parents from unnecessary fashion expenditure.

Tadong college is the second government college in Sikkim to have uniforms after Law College in Gangtok.

Tech boy in hospital after video fight – not focused on gaining educational knowledge at all ?!!

Students outside the polytechnic on Monday - ready for mob rule of unethical politicians, a culture apart from true education ?!! (Kundan Yolmo)


Siliguri, Aug. 30: A second-year student of Siliguri Government Polytechnic was hospitalised after he was allegedly beaten up by a senior over a video shot of the latter’s girlfriend on his cellphone.

The incident in a private hostel in Aurobindopally last evening sparked protests from students who started an indefinite strike from today demanding that the third-year student of electronic instrumentation technology, Shubham Bera from East Midnapore, be rusticated immediately. Both Subham and the second-year student, Arin Dutta, have filed FIRs.

Arin, who studies electronic telecommunications, said around 5pm yesterday when he was in a tuition class he got a call from Nurul Hassan, another second-year civil engineering student, telling him that Subham wanted him to come to his Aurobindopally hostel. “I took leave from the tuition and reached the hostel. Once there, he started hitting me with T-scales and raining fists and kicks on me,” alleged Arin while showing injury marks on the chest, back and neck at the Siliguri District Hospital today.

Rajarshi Guha, the doctor treating Arin, said his condition was stable. “Arin has suffered some injuries but his condition is stable.”

Arin, who is from Bankura, stays in a private hostel at Bharatnagar here and is the vice-president of the Chhatra Parishad unit at the polytechnic. “Subham warned me that I should leave the party at once,” he said.

Nurul, who was also assaulted allegedly by Subham, took Arin to the hospital. Both the second-year students, however, denied having recorded any video. “It is completely untrue. He beat us up for being Chhatra Parishad members,” Arin said.

Subham today denied that the incident had any political connection. “I am an SFI supporter, what has happened is a personal issue. They had recorded my friend in video during a college programme and I came to know that they also passed lewd remarks while shooting it. They were going around showing the video,” Subham said. He claimed that the duo also assaulted him and he hit them back in self-defence.

The anti-ragging committee of the polytechnic has constituted an eight-member committee to probe the issue. “The committee will submit its report in seven days,” said Subrata Sarkar, the college principal.

Alok Dasgupta, the inspector-in-charge of Siliguri police station, said: “No one has been arrested.”

Affiliation plea – time to slowly move out from under Bengal, knowing someday NBU’s culture of corruption will change ?!!


Balurghat, Aug. 30: Student unions of colleges in South Dinajpur have said they would intensify their movement to bring all institutions in the district under the North Bengal University.

All seven colleges are affiliated to the Gour Banga University since 2008.

Teachers, members of the governing body and the principal of Balurghat College have also supported the demand.

Balurghat college is the only institution that offers post-graduate courses in the district.

Supporters of PSU, the students’ wing of the RSP, had taken out processions and submitted a charter of demands to the principal of Balurghat college on Friday, demanding the re-affiliation.

They also began an indefinite demonstration in front of his office.

“Our movement is against the malaise of the newly formed Gour Banga University and administration in the colleges across the district,” Balurghat College Students’ Union general secretary Arindam Bose said.

According to him, students were unwilling to take admission to the post-graduate course in the institution because it is under Gour Banga.

Those who can afford to leave the district are going to other universities for further studies, he said.

Principal Batokrishna Pal said he was finding it difficult to run the PG course because of faulty publication of results, question paper leaks and administrative lapses.