GORKHA ADVIASI POLITICAL SPECUALTATION: Gorkha deal may be sealed soon – without the territory issue is resolved, highly unlikely ?!!
From The Hindustan Times
By Aloke Tikku
New Delhi, September 05, 2010, 23:34 IST: A crucial tripartite meeting at the home ministry on Tuesday could practically seal a deal between West Bengal, the Centre and GJM, the outfit spearheading the agitation in the hill districts of Darjeeling.
The three sides have been in negotiations over the past one year to work out the form, structure and powers of the Gorkhaland Regional Authority (GRA) to be constituted as an interim arrangement. (or the Gorkha Adivasi Regional Authority, as being more non-parochial ?!!)
Last year, the GJM agreed in principle to an interim arrangement since talks on statehood would take time. The GJM also recognised difficulties in arriving at a permanent resolution as the state was heading for assembly elections next year.
Sources said the government expected the details of the interim authority — expected to be have features of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council — to be finalised at Tuesday’s official-level talks.
Once an agreement is reached, one more round of political level talks would be held to formally clear the deal.
“There is broad consensus on most points… the remaining would be sorted out at Tuesday’s meeting,” said a source.
Among the points expected to be finalised are the number of members that GRA should have. The GJM wants 56 members since the now-defunct Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council had 42 members and not 20 members as proposed by the government.
While the GJM and the Centre agree that GJM leaders be nominated to the body, the West Bengal government wants membership to be decided on the basis of proportional votes polled in Gram Panchayat and Panchayat Samiti elections. (for just one year ?!!)
Sources said GJM was also expected to be pragmatic about difficulties in expanding the territorial jurisdiction of the interim GRA. (But would the Hill opposition, most certainly not ?!!)
The meeting will also decide if the GRA should have a two-year tenure beginning this year-end as proposed earlier or accept the state government’s suggestion of a five-year term. (To move on-towards ultimate statehood, 25 years not long since the violent GNLF agitation not enough, nor 63 years since India’s Independence ?!!)
Morcha youth leader held – ‘Arrest a pressure tactic’ – arrested, not from house but requested to come to KPG police stationing for questioning and then arrested on trumped up charges – classic Bengal’s way of winning Gorkha hearts & minds ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Kalimpong, Sept. 5: A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha youth leader was arrested from his Gumbahatta house here last night in connection with a number of arson cases and vandalism that had taken place in Kalimpong over the past two-and-a-half years.
The arrest of Topden Bhutia, who has 10 warrants against him, has come three days before the next round of tripartite talks on Darjeeling. He has been remanded in judicial custody by a local court for 14 days, police said.
Political observers here said Bhutia’s arrest before the talks could be a ploy of the state government to push the Morcha on the backfoot. “Remember, even Nicokle Tamang (the on-the-run accused in the Madan Tamang killing) was arrested a day before the last round of talks. These arrests are nothing but pressure tactics,” said an observer.
Bhutia was allegedly involved in vandalising GNLF leader Maurice Kalikotey’s house in 2008 and arson at the Motor Stand here when a mob set fire to buses and seriously injured a policeman on February 4.
Suva Pradhan, the Morcha’s Kalimpong unit secretary, however, said: “We are confident that we will be able to secure his release within a day or two.” He said the arrest would not have any negative impact on the ongoing tripartite talks on Darjeeling.
DGHC job status poser for govt – clarification that Bengal just can’t give ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, Sept. 5: The Janmukti Asthahi Karmachari Sangathan has started agitating in front of DGHC offices since Saturday, seeking clarification from the state government on what the status of the casual employees would be once the interim set-up was put in place.
The agitation underlines the fact that many issues have to be thrashed out before the new administrative arrangement is made workable.
Machendra Subba, the president of the JAKS, an affiliate of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, said: “Talks (on the interim set-up for the hills) are progressing well and it is only a matter of time before the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Act, 1988, is repealed. We want a clarification from the government on the status of jobs before the interim set-up is put in place.”
The JAKS, a union of DGHC causal employees, has been agitating for the regularisation of the jobs of 6,321 workers since the Morcha was formed on October 7, 2007.
The government had assured the JAKS at least twice last year that the regularisation would begin soon, but said frequent closure of administrative offices by the Morcha was delaying the process.