GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: AIGL condemns GJM’s attention towards Nickole – now calling for focus on the Greater Gorkha Cause ?!!
From The Sikkim Express Correspondent
DARJEELING, August 31, 2010: The All India Gorkha League (AIGL) has accused the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) of undertaking a “mission” to save absconding Nickole Tamang instead of going ahead with the Gorkhaland movement.
The GJM had announced to start relay hunger strike in all three subdivisions to press ahead its demand for production of Nickole, who is presently absconding from police custody.
Condemning the GJM’s announcement to conduct relay hunger strike and rallies, AIGL working president Dawa Sherpa said these were mere attempts by GJM to hide its guilt. It also hilarious to see the party whose party leaders supporters have been arrested for the murder case, to do such antics, he said.
The AIGL working president also blamed the failure of West Bengal CID to produce Nickole in court yesterday as promised earlier. “Firstly, there was a delay by CID to arrest Nickole. Then it failed again by allowing him to escape”, said Sherpa.
Regarding the chargesheet filed by CID against 30 persons in connection to the murder of Madan Tamang, the AIGL working president said that those named in the chargesheet were all low level workers of GJM.
“Those named in the chargesheet did not have any personal enmity with Madan Tamang. The names of those persons who ordered them to kill should be made public”, said Sherpa claiming that murder was politically inspired.
“Madan Tamang had been murdered by professional killers”, claimed Sherpa.
Similarly, the CPRM also demanded early arrest of fugitive Nickole Tamang.
Saman Pathak meet PM concerning hills issues – no objection from the LF, that’s interesting ?!!
Sep 1, 2010: Saman Pathak MP of Rajya Sabha met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and proposed for an all hill party discussion for a solution regarding Gorkhaland and other issues.
He also submitted a memorandum signed by LF MPs Sitaram Yechuri, Brinda Karat, Ram chandra Dom and Bajuban Riyang to the PM.
He thanked PM for his concern over Darjeeling problem and said that WB Govt. has no objection for the forthcoming Tripartite Talks, but he demanded that before coming to any conclusive decision there should be an all party meeting regarding the overall situation of the hills and restoration of peace, law and order and democracy as well as the formation of an Interim body.
On demand, Pathak submitted a list of the hill parties to the PM Singh.
Meanwhile MP Amar Singh President of Federation of new states stated that demand of Gorkhaland is not the demand of a region but a political demand of all Gorkhas of India.
Garden siege over power demand – so why now after 5 months, an excuse to consolidate ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Alipurduar, Aug. 31: More than a thousand workers of Subhasini Tea Estate confined the garden manager to his office for 10 hours today demanding the restoration of electricity lines that had been disconnected five months ago.
The siege that began at 7.30am was lifted at 5.30pm after the manager, Anindya Roy, assured the protesters that he would sit with the trade unions on Thursday to thrash out the issue. Work in the garden in Kalchini was hampered throughout the day.
According to Abdul Hamid, the unit secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad’s Progressive Tea Workers’ Union, the management had begun to deduct Rs 350 a month from the workers’ wages as electricity charges from October last year causing widespread resentment among the workers.
Earlier, the management had charged a worker between Rs 200 and Rs 225 a month for power consumption. But the workers protested the sudden rise in deduction from their wages and said they were ready to pay Rs 100 a month for electricity supply for 12 hours a day. Earlier, the supply was for 24 hours.
“The management did not heed our plea and instead disconnected the power lines from every worker’s quarters from April 1 this year. Since then we are living in tremendous hardship, especially the elders and the students. So we decided to gherao the manager till some assurance was given,” Hamid said.
The PTWU leader said the workers had submitted a proposal that electricity meters be installed in each quarters and the amount consumed would be paid for. But that demand was also rejected by the management, he said.
The garden has 1,200 workers.
Around 3pm, police from Hashimara outpost arrived at the garden office and tried to persuade the protesters to lift the gherao but failed.
As the manager was feeling uneasy — garden sources said the agitating workers did not allow him to drink water or use the washroom — the police asked the central leaders of the Parishad from Hashimara to come and negotiate. After the talks with the Adivasi leaders, the agitation was withdrawn.
While the manager was not available for comments, Amitangshu Chakrabarty, the secretary of the Indian Tea Planters’ Association’s Birpara branch, of which the garden is a member, said Roy’s confinement was uncalled for.
“It was very undemocratic of the workers to confine the manager to his office in this manner. What the workers have been demanding is unreasonable. However, let us see what takes place in the meeting scheduled for Thursday,” Chakrabarty said.
Leash on primary job drive – 15 told not to join duty – drive against corruption in job allotments, not based on merit system but party supporters ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Aug. 31: The state school education department has asked the Jalpaiguri district inspector of schools not to allow 15 candidates selected for primary teachers’ post to join duty in a tough stand against corruption in job drives.
A letter written by S.C. Ghosh, a deputy secretary of the department, that reached the DI (primary) office yesterday, also asked the official to suspend the candidates, if they have joined by now, immediately on an interim basis. All 15 are reportedly close to the CPM leaders.
Earlier, the department had removed Jalpaiguri district primary school council chairperson Mrinal Pal and shifted Kaushik Roy, the then DI (primary) of schools, to West Midnapore as assistant inspector after receiving around 1,000 complaints on allegation of corruption and nepotism in the recruitment process. An inquiry had been started.
The Youth Congress, which had been spearheading a movement over the issue, demanded the arrest of those involved in corruption. The party had accused Pal and district CPM leaders for inducting their near and dear ones in the final merit list by depriving the deserving candidates.
“All the 15 names mentioned in the list are the family members and the relatives of CPM leaders. They include the wife of Mrinal Pal and three family members of K.K. Jha, a CPM leader from Nagrakata,” said Saikat Chatterjee, the Jalpaiguri district Youth Congress president. “Our movement has succeeded in unearthing the corruption to some extent but we want a complete amendment of the final list as at least 550 others — 1,411 were recruited — have got jobs by virtue of nepotism. They should be treated like the 15.”
The Youth Congress leader said now that the corruption had been proved, the party wanted police to immediately arrest all those involved in the racket — right from Pal to some of the employees of the DPSC who had resorted to illegal means to ensure job for their family members. “Or else, we will continue our agitation and call a general strike in Jalpaiguri district or sit on indefinite hunger strike.”
Mohan Bose, the Jalpaiguri district Congress president who had sought the intervention of governor M.K. Narayanan, claimed that Raj Bhavan had forwarded the matter to the state school education department.
NHAI blames bumpy ride on rain – Bus owners refuse to budge till visible proof of road repair – what about making old contractors also accountable for poor work earlier ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Aug. 31: On the backfoot because of the indefinite strike called by private bus owners, the NHAI has assured the protesters that it would repair the roads in the region at the earliest and was waiting for the rain to stop.
The promise from the National Highways Authority of India comes even as thousands of commuters in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar struggled for toehold in the few over-packed government buses and the private owners from other districts, besides some trains and smaller vehicles.
Around 1,500-odd private buses remained off the roads to protest the condition of the routes on which they travel. The bus owners said the potholed roads meant additional expenses for the maintenance of their vehicles, which were often damaged.
Smaller vehicles like cars hiked up their rates and goods carriers like mini trucks turned means of transport for daily passengers today.
Since morning, thousands of people swarmed New Jalpaiguri and Siliguri Junctions, New Mal, Birpara, Hasimara, New Cooch Behar, New Alipurduar, Dhupguri, Falakata, Jalpaiguri Road and Jalpaiguri Town stations. Train travel would have been easier had the tracks been connected to the remote corners.
“I teach at a school on Gayerkata and travel by bus from Siliguri everyday. Today, I boarded an express train from NJP to reach Dhupguri, more than 10km from Gayerkata. From the station, I had to take a rickshaw van to reach NH31D and then got a pick-up van to reach school,” said Ashima Chakraborty, a teacher.
“I don’t know how I will go back. The only hope is that a couple of express trains on way to NJP stop at Dhupguri in the evening.”
Those whose destinations were Changrabandha, Lataguri, Jaigaon, Barovisa, Tufanganj, Sitai, Baxirhat, Kumargram and Mekhliganj in Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts where there is no train connectivity had to wait for government buses or take private vehicles on share.
“Private vehicles are often available between Siliguri and Jalpaiguri on share with rates varying between Rs 40 to Rs 60. But today these vehicles are charging as high as Rs 150 per person,” said Binod Chhetri, a resident of Jalpaiguri who works in a bank in Siliguri.
Although bus owners admitted that passengers were inconvenienced, they refused to budge till the roads become “motorable”.
“It is not a strike called for revision of fares. There is the question of safety and security. Everyday, accidents are reported, as the roads are not in motorable condition. The strike was spontaneous today and we plan to continue with it until we see visible proof of repair,” said Pranab Mani, secretary of the North Bengal Passenger Transport Owners’ Coordination Committee.
The NHAI claimed the repairs that have started would be expedited soon. “We are responsible for NH31 and have started repairing the stretch between Sevoke and Bagdogra via Siliguri. The incessant rain is posing a problem but we expect the work to take a full swing once it stops,” said Dhruba Chakraborty, the superintending engineer of PWD (NH Division IX).
R.K. Chaudhry, the project director of the NHAI posted in Siliguri, said tenders have been issued for repairing NH31D, from Ghoshpukur on the outskirts of Fulbari to Dhupguri and Falakata.
“Repair has commenced in five places on the entire stretch. We have floated three tenders of Rs 15 crore for strengthening the road but the main constraint is rain which is hampering work,” he said.
Crowd fury after road death – MOB SETS BUS ON FIRE, DAMAGES FIRE TENDER, INJURES DRIVER – mob rule begins, dissatisfaction over Bengal growing slowly and steadily ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Raiganj, Aug. 31: Angered over delayed arrival of police after an accident on the Balurghat-Raiganj state highway this morning, a mob torched a bus of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation and stoned a fire tender injuring its driver.
Nirmal Induar, 25, was knocked down by an NBSTC bus while he was trying to cross the road at Mission More, 6km from here, around 7am today.
A crowd gathered at the spot and alleged that despite informing Karnajora police station 2km away, the policemen reached the site after one and a half hours.
Owner of a tea stall at Mission More and a witness to the incident Rajani Kanta Das said he had opened his shop as usual at 6.30am and the accident victim had come to his shop.
“Nirmal is a regular customer here. After drinking tea, he was about to cross the road with his bicycle when the NBSTC bus on the Raiganj-Balurghat route came at a tremendous speed and hit him,” said Das.
He said the youth had fallen between the two front wheels of the vehicle and did not appear to be badly injured.
“However, when people started shouting and ran towards the bus, the driver suddenly accelerated and tried to flee the spot and the rear wheels of the vehicle crushed Nirmal. I and a few others stopped a private car and chased the bus for around 8km. Finally, the driver drove the bus into the Hemtabad police station and surrendered there,” Das added.
Shankar Singh another person present at the spot said the Karnajora police station was informed immediately after the incident.
“After about 30 minutes, two policemen on a motorcycle were spotted coming towards the accident site. But when they saw the large crowd that had gathered, they drove back. At this the people became incensed,” Singh said.
He said 30 minutes passed away without any sign of the policemen and the angry crowd stopped another NBSTC bus coming from Balurghat and asked the passengers to get off.
“They smashed the window panes of the vehicle and set it on fire. About 15 minutes later when a fire tender arrived at the spot the crowd pelted it with stones. One of the stones hit the driver, who fled with the firemen, leaving the engine of the fire tender running, ,” Singh said.
“I was on my way from Kaliaganj to Siliguri when the bus I was travelling in was suddenly stopped near Mission More. Angry youths climbed on board and asked us to get off. When I asked what was happening, they dragged me out of the vehicle. There was not a single policeman on sight,” he said.
Around 9.30am, the deputy superintendent of police, headquarters, Amlan Ghosh, arrived at the spot with a huge police force and took away the body.
Traffic movement on the road resumed around 10.30am.
Superintendent of Raiganj hospital Arabinda Tantri said the driver of the fire tender, Dinesh Das, had been brought to the facility in the morning.
“A stone thrown at the fire engine hit him on the head and ear and he was bleeding profusely when he was brought here. We have referred him to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri,” he said.
“The driver of the NBSTC bus has been arrested by the Hemtabad police. We are looking for those who burnt the other vehicle and attacked the firemen. We are also looking into whether or not there was any delay in the policemen reaching the spot,” said Ghosh.
Naparajit Mukherjee to be next DGP – taking over a tough assignment for fading political masters ?!!
From Indian Express
Kolkata, Tue Aug 31 2010, 06:37 hrs (ENS): Naparajit Mukherjee will take charge as the new Director-General of West Bengal Police from Bhupinder Singh, who retires on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee signed the letter of appointment of Mukherjee as the next DGP on Monday, said officials.
Mukherjee, a 1976-batch IPS officer, was the Director-General of Intelligence Branch.
Singh, who served as DGP for 14 months, retires after 36 years of service.