GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL DIMENSIONS: Call for halt to ‘corrupt’ job selections – hence the agitation for separation from Bengal, for reasons far too many ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, Aug. 26: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today alleged malpractices in the ongoing recruitment of para teachers and midwives in the hills and demanded an immediate freeze on the processes till an interim set-up was put in place for the region.
Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of the Morcha, said: “It has come to our notice that there have been several anomalies in the recruitment of para-teachers and selection of ANM (Auxiliary Nursing Mid-wifery) candidates in the Darjeeling hills. Moreover, we had told the government that our party should also be consulted on all affairs, but this did not take place. We demand that the entire procedure be kept on hold until the interim set-up is put in place.”
He said applicants with only a couple of years’ teaching experience had been given preference over those with more than 10 years’ experience.
“Many people who were employed under the Integrated Child Development Scheme were selected as midwives. The selection was partial,” he said.
However DGHC officials said they had gone by the rules governing the recruitment and there had been no foul play in the process.
P.T. Sherpa, secretary of the council’s education department, said: “The appointment process is still in progress. We are following the norms laid down by the Sarva Siksha Mission to recruit teachers.” While 197 vacancies of para-teachers are in the primary schools (till Class IV), and 210 posts are to be filled in the upper primary section (from Class V to Class VIII).
Shutdown looms as remand nears end – Morcha sets Aug 30 deadline for cops – and CID top brass retaliate to bungling with yet more threats ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU
Aug. 26: The hills are wary of another indefinite shutdown with the CID drawing a blank on the Nickole Tamang escape probe, and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha setting August 30 as deadline to produce him in court.
The Morcha said it expected the accused, a central committee member of the party, to be produced in court before noon of August 30, when Nickole’s term in police remand ends.
“The police and the CID are expected to produce Nickole Tamang in court on August 30, when the police remand ends. If he is not produced before the court by noon, an indefinite strike will start,” said Binay Tamang, the assistant secretary of the Morcha at a media conference here today.
The Morcha had called the indefinite strike last Sunday after Nickole, who had been arrested by Darjeeling police on August 16, fled from a CID camp at Pintail Village near Siliguri.
However, even five days after Nickole, a prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case, fled from CID custody, the police hardly have any leads.
Additional director-general of police, CID, Raj Kanojia, who arrived in Siliguri today, said his agency had received phone calls after a reward was announced for information on Nickole. “This is a positive development and our officers are working on these inputs, we expect a breakthrough very soon,” Kanojia said.
The Morcha, while announcing a two day relaxation in the indefinite strike on Wednesday, had said the continuation of the bandh would be decided upon today. People in the hills spent the entire day in uncertainty, and the Morcha announced late in the afternoon that the relaxation would extend till the noon of August 30.
The 48-hour strike relaxation had been provided following an assurance from the Darjeeling district police that there had been no foul play in Nickole’s disappearance. The Morcha had claimed that Nickole had probably died during interrogation and that the police were trying to hush up the incident by staging the “escape drama”.
With the uncertainty now looming, almost all the residents are being forced to keep every future schedule in abeyance.
“Travelling plans have gone haywire. We cannot even tell people who are coming from distant places to cancel their visit,” said a resident of Darjeeling.
Tourism industry, which is the backbone of the town economy but one of the most sensitive industries, has also been hit hard.
“Even though this is not a peak season, tourists always trickle to the hills. However, with this uncertainty we are bound to lose even on this little inflow which is important to sustain our business,” said a hotelier.
Even if the strike commences from August 30 noon the duration is not yet known as the Morcha has talked about an “indefinite” shutdown. Apprehending a fresh flare-up in the hills after Nickole’s disappearance, the state government had asked for three companies of CRPF. However, the Centre today, reports PTI has agreed to send two.
“The state government had requested the Centre to give three additional companies of CRPF to Darjeeling, but they have agreed to send two companies for the hills,” PTI quoted home secretary Samar Ghosh as saying.
CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury will visit Darjeeling on August 29. He will deliver the Ratan Lal Brahmin Memorial Lecture at Gymkhana Club, said K.B. Wattar, a CPM leader from Darjeeling. Brahmin was one of the leading communist leaders from the hills.
“Union Ministers concerned at the political undertainty in Darjeeling hills” Dawa Sherpa – still stirring the Gorkha disillusionment pot and disgracing the Gorkha harmony factor only to empower Bengal ?!!
From The Himalayan Beacon
By Barun Roy
Darjeeling, August 27, 2010: All India Gorkha League working President Dawa Sherpa has claimed that the party’s Delhi tour has been successful.
Speaking to the media, Sherpa said, “We have been able to apprise the Union Home Minister, Law Minister and other Ministers about the law and order situation in the Hills.
The Ministers were greatly concerned about the situations unfolding in the hills.” Sherpa also informed that the party will be meeting on Saturday and will then be chalking a new strategy.
Meanwhile,the cadres of the Gorkha League pasted posters yesterday at the chowk Bazaar in Darjeeling condemning the failure of the police and the West Bengal Government in nabbing the murderers of late Madan Tamang and allowing them to roam freely in the streets.
129 Foundation Day of the DHR celebrated – decades of neglect does need change, not felt by DHR yet under Bengal ?!!
From The Himalayan Beacon
By HB Kurseong Correspondent
Kurseong August 26: The 129 Foundation Day of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was celebreated here today by the employees. The function was to be held on the 23rd, however, due to the indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the function was postponned.
Three senior employees of the DHR viz N. K. Ghisingh, Dhanmaya Sharma and Mathura Rai were felicitated in the function. Members of various Non Government Organisations also participated in the function. A number of cultural programmes were performed by the employees and their wards.
Rajen Mukhia to remain non-aligned – to whom, as acceptable ?!!
From Himalayan Beacon
By HB Dooars Terai Correspondent
Siliguri, August 27th, 2010: Rajen Mukhia to remain non aligned. Speaking to the media, Mukhia said that he will not be aligning with any political parties at this moment. He said that he will be working independently.
It might be reminded that Mukhia resigned from Gorkha National Liberation Front a few days ago.
He was one of the few leaders who remained loyal to the party and the party Supremo Subash Ghising even after other leaders left the party in droves.
‘Shanta Chettri should conduct herself from Kurseong not from Kolkata’ – Harka Bahadur Thapa – infighting still in the remaining remnants of GNLF ?!!
From Himalayan Beacon
By HB Correspondent
Darjeeling August 26, 2010: Gorkha National Liberation Front Panighatta Village Committee President Harka Bahadur Thapa has said that Kurseong GNLF Member of Parliment Shanta Chettri to conduct herself from Kurseong instead of making political remarks from Siliguri and Kolkata.
Speaking to the media, Thapa said, “It was Rajen Mukhia who at the height of the GJM hegemony in the Hills went to Darjeeling shouting GNLF Zindabad and Subash Ghisingh Zindabad while Shanta Chettri issued political statements through telephone.”
Speaking against the Party President Subash Ghising, Thapa said, “During the DGHC Chairmanship of Subash Ghising, the Panighatta High School was promised a sum of Rs. 4 lakhs. However, the school has so far not even been offered 4 paise.”
Gorkha identity crisis is a national issue – NFNS & BGP working on their own levels for the Greater Gorkha cause, with the right management systems in place ?!!
By DK Waiba
August 26, 2010: “Gorkha identity crisis is a national issue, so it should be fought through a national movement. It is not a demand it is a necessity,” said Amar Singh MP & president of National Federation for New States during a workshop organised at Bagdogra jointly by Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh and NFNS.
Speaking on ‘Federal structure of India and the demand of Gorkhaland’ held in the hotel Marina Amar Singh said that for the patriot and sincere Gorkhas justice can only be given by creating a separate state of Gorkhaland. He emphasised that the movement for the statehood should be sincere, peaceful and should not touch the sensitivity of public.
Jaya Prada MP and former actress addressing the audience said that all should unitedly fight for Gorkhaland as fought for the inclusion of Nepali language in the eighth schedule. As it will take a long time to achieve statehood people must consistently fight and continue the movement without any discouragement added Jaya.
Is Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh in a mood to initiate combined programmes for Gorkhaland with the NFNS ? – jolting the opposition into action on alleged claims, worrying enough ?!!
From Himalayan Beacon
By HB Siliguri Correspondent
Siliguri, August 26, 2010: According to political analysts based in Siliguri and insiders within the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, the Parisangh is in the mood of initiating programmes for the separate state of Gorkhaland at the national level with the support of the National Federation of New States.
Reacting to the ‘Balidan Diwas’ organised by the Parisangh, a (in) various places, a number of political analysts in the city said that the BGP have been able to muster high profile leaders in its various programmes. However, it has not been able to gain any grass-root level support.
Speaking to ‘The Himalayan Beacon’ one analysts said, “Though Parisangh strongly asserts itself not to be a political entity, it is very much a political entity. Besides championing the various issues of Gorkhas spread across the nation, the Parisangh wants the Government to offer it the power to issue the ‘Gorkha Certificate’. Arguably this will make the Parisangh the most powerful Gorkha Organisation in India as it will have the power to certify each Gorkha in India as a Gorkha.
Certainly without the approval of the Parisangh, no Gorkha in India will be a Gorkha. This is exactly why the Parisangh has always conducted itself at the National Level maintaining itself as the largest Gorkha Organisation in the nation orchestrating spectular extravaganzas laced with high profile guests. The Parisangh though statedly in favour of the separate state of Gorkhaland has also not directly initiated any specific programme at the grassroot level”.
Meanwhile, a combined seminar was organised yesterday by the Parisangh and the National Federation of New States at Kalchini.
Nilammani Burman, the President of Dooars Terai Citizens’ Forum said, ”The way the national leaders like Amar Singh has been talking about Gorkhaland in a predominately non-Gorkha region, it is sure to create tension.” He demanded that the administration take immediate action to counter any threat to peace.
ABAVP and PTWU to oppose GJM 29 August Meeting tooth and nail – against a growing ‘separation from Bengal’ consensus ?!!
From The Himalayan Beacon
By HB Dooars Terai Correspondent
Birpara, Jalpaiguri, August 26, 2010: In a meeting held today at the Parnami Mandir in Birpara, the Progressive Tea Workers Union (PTWU) has announced various agitational programmes.
The Union affiliated with Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP) also took exception to the proposed Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) meeting in the Dooars Terai. The Regional Committee members of the Parishad unanimously opposed the proposed GJM meeting in the region.
It may be reminded that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has called for the holding of a political rally at Jaigaon on the 29th of August. The GJM Supremo Bimal Gurung has even challenged the party supporters from Dooars Terai to gather more than 40,000 people in the meeting.
Meanwhile, the cadres of ABAVP and Progressive Tea Workers Union (PTWU) has swore to oppose the meeting. ABAVP and PTWU leaders have said that the meeting will lead to violence and insecurity in the region.
Speaking to the media the leaders said, “The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is trying to create tension in the region. However, we along with our supporting organisations will not allow this to happen.”
ABAVP and PTWU’s opposition to the meeting has lead to major contention between the ABAVP and the GJM. The GJM Supremo Bimal Gurung is to address a meeting in Dooars Terai for the first time. It now remains to be seen whether the GJM meeting will be postponed or not.
According to political analysts based in Dooars Terai, it is possible that the venue of the meeting may be changed. However, there have so far been no reaction from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on the ABAVP and PTWU’s opposition to its upcoming meeting in Jaigaon.
Manmohan Singh expresses concern over Naga-Metei ‘divide’ in North-East – reason enough to understand the region’s inner consensus and act more sternly on parochial political bias of the CPM ?!!
New Delhi, Aug 26 (ANI): Prime Minster Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the situation in the North East is better today than it was in the recent past, but some areas of concern still remain, like the Naga-Metei divide in Manipur.
Addressing the second-day session of the 45th conference of Director Generals Of Police and other senior security officials here, Dr. Singh said: “In Manipur, for example, the Naga-Metei divide had accentuated. The unfortunate growth of identity-based assertiveness in the North East, particularly in Manipur and the North Cachar Hills, needs well thought-out and sensitive handling.”
He said that, in other areas of the North-East, there was need to consolidate the gains of the past while at the same time ensuring that new problems did not arise and could be controlled when they did.
“The Darjeeling hill area also needed a careful watch,” he added.
Stressing that the State police and the central paramilitary forces should take firm action against those who take the law into their own hands, Dr. Singh said: “The writ of the State should be firmly established in all these areas.
He also called for continuous vigilance against the rise of communal tensions.
He further said the conference was a valuable opportunity to enhance understanding of matters relating to internal security and to build a consensus on the new strategies that could be devised to meet the challenges facing the nation.
Dr Singh said policing in the country had become increasingly complex over the years.
“But of late the growing presence of non-state actors, fundamentalist groups and left-wing extremists has further complicated matters. The growing inter-linkages of the destabilizing and criminal forces, across states and across our borders, call for far greater vigilance and coordination between the security agencies than ever before,” he observed.
He said the Government had, over the past decade, institutionalized deliberations and structured interactions at various levels.
“This conference has been a time-tested mechanism for enhanced coordination but given the changing circumstances I believe the time has perhaps come for it to reinvent itself. Perhaps this year onwards you could set for yourself some quantifiable goals to be achieved in the coming year,” he said.
He also felt the conference should pursue its agenda of making available the considered professional consensus on important police matters in a more focussed manner.
In this context, he repeated an earlier suggestion to set up a Standing Committee of Director Generals of Police to provide policy inputs and hoped that it would begin work in right earnest.
Dr Manmohan Singh also drew the attention of the conference to the disinformation campaigns of the ‘adversaries’ and asked the police to take steps to counter them
He said modern means of communications had enabled adversarial forces to mount powerful and convincing propaganda.
“Our response to this development needs to be improved. We have to challenge disinformation, often masquerading as objective third party expert opinion, not through suppression or in position of censorship, but by ensuring the availability of better and informed opinion to public at large,” he said.
“Over the past decade, the Central Government had sought to assist states in addressing their manpower requirements through financial support for India Reserve battalions, Special Police Officers, and the setting up of village defence committees,” he added.
He pointed out that, within the police forces, the current system of promotion was based essentially on seniority.
He said this needed to be suitably recalibrated to catalyse better performance and motivation.
Dr Singh also spoke about the need to build up capacities for gathering intelligence in various Indian languages. The intelligence agencies of the Centre and States could draw upon police persons and also incentivize officers to acquire and use relevant local language skills, he said. (ANI)
$200m ADB aid for roads – so where does that leave Darjeeling & Dooars, till separation is finally achieved ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, Aug. 26: Northeast’s road network, marked by “insufficient coverage and poor geometrics”, is ready to receive a Rs $200-million balm from the Asian Development Bank.
A source said the bank’s board approval under the North Eastern States Roads Investment Programme is expected by November for developing 540-km network of roads.
Two roads in Assam — Kalitakuchi to Barpeta (58.5km) and Bilasipara to Fakiragram (16.2km) — will be taken up in the first part of the project.
The bank has asked the Assam PWD to look for consultants, both international and local, for the project. Assam is already a focal state for the ADB.
“Overall, there will be no private land acquisition, but there will be minor impact on roadside structures and businesses who are squatters or encroachers,” a bank report said on the social and environmental issues concerning the project.
The affected households will be entitled to compensation for the loss of structure, shifting costs and other income restoration assistance.
The bank report on the project says with the exception of national highways that are maintained by the central organisations, the road network in the region is extremely poor.
“Insufficient coverage, weak and rough pavement conditions, poor geometrics because of the terrain, narrow pavements, submersible stretches, poor riding quality, weak, distressed and semi-permanent timber bridges characterise the state road network,” it says.
The concept of the project was cleared in November 2005 and the appraisal was done in May 2007.
The ministry for Development of North Eastern Region will be responsible for the overall co-ordination of the programme.
It will establish a project management unit led by a senior ministry official, who will be the project director for the overall investment programme.