GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL DIMENSIONS: Congress proposal – to confer Union Territory, but not only in the 3 hill subdivisions – still not in tune with the majority consensus of the Indian Gorkhas and inadequate as before, and banking on the ‘Historic Ghising Blunder’ ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Aug. 27: The district hill Congress committee today said it would propose to the Centre to confer Union Territory status to the Darjeeling hills to end the ongoing agitation.
K.B Chhetri, president of the Darjeeling district Congress (hills), said he would meet the Union home minister P. Chidambaram and place the proposal before him.
“So far, the AICC had not sought any suggestion or opinion from the Darjeeling district Congress, be it the plains or the hills, on statehood.
However, as the Congress-led central government is carrying out negotiations with the Morcha on the interim set-up, we will visit Delhi next month and propose conferring Union Territory status to the three hill sub-divisions of the district. This is the only way to meet the aspirations of the people and the final solution to the Darjeeling problem,” Chhetri said.
“Once formed, the Union Territory would be under the control of the Centre and will help in serving the purpose, as far as the lack of development and other grievances of the hill residents are concerned.”
Asok potshot at Centre – barb for Delhi and advice too – communal forces and new consensus carefully sidelined by a far too wily Asok ?!! Eye on lost Dooars consensus to justify communal forces ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Aug. 27: Bengal urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya today accused the Centre of adopting double standards in hill matters.
“We have come to know that Prime Minister, while addressing a gathering of DGPs in New Delhi yesterday, expressed concern over the ongoing agitation in the hills and sought action against law breakers,” said the minister here this afternoon.
“It seems the Centre has realised that the hill issue cannot be resolved merely by negotiating with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said: “The situation in Darjeeling hill area also needs a careful watch. The writ of the state should be firmly established in all these areas. The state police and the central paramilitary forces should take firm action against those who take the law into their own hands.”
Bhattacharya also alleged that there was dichotomy between what the Centre preached and what it practised.
“Ever since the Morcha launched the agitation in the hills, we have been insisting on stringent action and sought paramilitary forces from the Centre. The paramilitary forces were sent to guard NH31A and to maintain law and order in the hills. The situation was improving but suddenly, the Centre withdrew the forces,” the minister said.
“If the Centre, that also the Prime Minister, feels strong action is to be taken against those violating law, why did the home ministry withdraw the CRPF then?”
Bhattacharya also alleged that the Congress had tried to forge a tie-up with the Morcha before Parliament polls last year. “However, the BJP succeeded and the Congress had to accept the defeat,” he said.
The minister also spoke on the escape of Morcha leader Nickole Tamang from Pintail Village. “We are not ruling out the possibility of Nickole Tamang getting help for the escape. Although his escape is a setback to the investigation, those involved in the murder of Madan Tamang will not be spared.”
“Nicole was allowed to escape in order to help in the passing of the Setup,” Gorkha league – fantastic immaturity displayed to win over the true hill consensus ?!!
From The Himalayan Beacon
By Barun Roy
Darjeeling, August 28, 2010: Gorkha League Leader Mohan Lama has alleged that the Government of West Bengal allowed Nickole Tamang, the chief accused in the assassination of former Gorkha League President.
Speaking to the media, Lama said, “The Communist Party of India Marxist and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha are the two faces of the same coin. Both are hand in glove and in order to see to it that the Interim Setup passes without any hitch, Nickole Tamang was allowed to escape.”
Lama further said, “We have demanded that the Government of West Bengal arrests Nickole Tamang by 30th of this month failing which we will initiate aggressive agitational programmes.”
When inquired about the scope of the agitational programme that the party is seeking to initiate, Lama said, “We will not like to divulge that. However, they will be in a far greater scope than anything that we have been pursuing so far.”
Lama added, “The fact that the GJM and the CPIM are hand in glove can be ascertained from the fact that though the GJM does not allow any political party in the hill to hold any meeting, it has allowed the CPIM to organise the Ratanlal Brahmin Memorial Lecture to be held at the Gymkhana Club, Darjeeling.
It has been years since Maila Bajee’s death and so far nothing of the sorts have been organised, then how come this is being organised at this moment. More so why and how is GJM allowing anti-Gorkhaland party to organise the meeting when it specifically disallows pro-Gorkhaland parties to organise any meeting.”
It may be reminded that the Ratanlal Brahmin Memorial Lecture is to be organised at Gymkhana Club, Darjeeling. The Memorial Lecture is delivered by Sitaram Yechury, the Politburo Member of the Communist Party if India Marxist.
GJM condemns statements made by BGP ‘Guests’ – what an excellent example of pure nonsense reporting, where explanation turns into condemnation ?!!
Kalimpong, August 28, 2010: SP denied of giving any time limit for re-arrest of Nickole Tamang and stated that police is trying its best to find Nickole. On his visit to Kalimpong he said that police is not sitting idle but trying with its best effort.
Meanwhile Dr. Harka Bahadur Chhetri Spokesperson of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha objected on the statement issued by MPs Raja Bundela, Jaya Prada, Amar Singh and P Niroop during their visit to Dooars and Bagdogra and expressed resentment on the statement.
He said that they do not know what is the ground reality so they should not comment on our agitation. Earlier MPs had stated that Interim Setup is a lollipop and it cannot solve the Gorkha problem and identity crisis, the only solution is formation of a separate state which cannot be achieved single handedly by GJM.
GJM supporters leaders have been surrendering in different cases of fire and arson, road obstruction and others during the 2008-2010 agitation of Gorkhaland organised by GJM. Since three days Kalimpong court is flooded with party supporters for surrender and granting bail.
As per the information received from the Kalimpong Court all the accused of Kalimpong Subdivisions have been granted bail only a few are yet to report and surrender with petition for bail.
BRIEFS FROM THE REGION
Youth beaten to death
Malda, Aug. 27: A youth was beaten to death by a mob in Ratua last night over an alleged illicit affair he was having with a woman in the locality.
The 27-year-old Sabirul was caught in the woman’s house by her husband last night. Soon, neighbours arrived and beat up Sabirul and threw him into a septic tank. The mob then spread the news that he had fallen into the tank while trying to flee. After Sabirul’s death, his relatives and friends reached the spot. Tension brewed with both sides heading for a clash. But police arrived and dispersed both the groups.
Jaigaon: A worker was mauled by a leopard in Nepuchapur tea garden in Mal block on Friday. Sadna Oraon, 48, fought with the animal for over five minutes and freed himself from its clutches. He was admitted to the subdivisional hospital in Mal. Oraon was on his way to work when the animal pounced on him around 7am. The leopard fled after he hit it with an iron container.
Girl run over
Islampur: A 15-year-old girl was mowed down by a car at Bidhannagar on Friday afternoon. Subarna Khatoon was crossing NH31 when the vehicle knocked her down. After the accident, irate residents blocked the road for more than four hours.
Siliguri: Twelve shops which had encroached on Sevoke Road in Ward 41 of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation were removed on Friday. The drive was carried out by the civic board with the help of Bhaktinagar police
Islampur: Yasmin Khatoon, 20, committed suicide by consuming poison at her residence in Goalpokhor on Thursday evening. Police said depression had driven the girl to the suicide.
THE DEMOCRACY WALL: All-weather wall stands tall with info of all hues – the freedom of expression in the hills never to be subjugated, even for blatant lies and provocation ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Aug. 27: If you live in Darjeeling, you can never afford to miss the Wall.
In the age of instant communications, the 15ft X 30ft wall at Chowk Bazar, bang opposite Sumeroo Manch that is the podium for all public meetings in Darjeeling, stands as the most trusted source of information for the people of the hill town.
Whether it is an announcement of a meeting, congratulatory messages, information on the venues of board exams or simply an observation that is to be shared, the Poster Wall has obliged the residents of Darjeeling for long.
“It used to be a place where cinema posters of Rink and Capital Hall used to be plastered. I think it was the ABGL that started putting up political posters on the wall in the early 1950s. And since then, the cinema posters have been forced to make way for other the posters,” said Nayan Prakash Subba, a retired police officer.
Even before the ABGL started putting up political posters, the wall was used by the managements of the two cinema halls to communicate information on items left behind by the viewers in the halls.
Perhaps the success in communicating the messages pushed the political parties to start using the wall to serve their end.
The importance of the Wall has been accepted even by the government. Two years ago when there was a spate of house burglaries in town during winter — a time when many shift to the warmer climes of the plains — Darjeeling police had put up posters informing the people to be vigilant of their surroundings.
“We have been so used to the Wall that unless we see any announcement put up there, we don’t believe them,” said Neetu Rai, a resident of the town.
In fact, the success of political programmes at times depends on the Wall.
“For the people of Darjeeling, the Wall is most important. None can deny its importance,” said Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. Communication on instant political programmes, which need to be put into place within a span of a couple of hours — like the recent flash strike called by the Morcha — owe its success to the Wall.
The entire town may be deserted during political strikes but this is the one place in Darjeeling that always has a crowd in front. Even on normal days, the Wall makes every resident stop for a while.
Many have tried to find an alternative to the Wall and had started using a small wall next to the Darjeeling municipality building, as the Chowk Bazar one is always crowded with posters.
But the new place could not compete with the more illustrious space.
The Wall has had its share of stardom too.
It figured as one of the “stars of Darjeeling” in a documentary film fest organised by the mass communication department of St Joseph’s College (North Point) in 2008.
“The film The Silent Informer featured in Montage08, a documentary film festival organised by our college, was made on the Wall. The theme of the festival was ‘stars of Darjeeling’ and our students felt that the Wall was definitely a star for the people of Darjeeling,” said Vikram Rai, the head of department of the college.
Sanjay Biswas, a writer from Darjeeling, has also written a poem on the Wall in one of his books Aaakhabhari (eyeful).