GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Exits continue in Dooars tribal body – from trickle to torrent ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU
Jaigaon/Siliguri, Sept. 10: A joint secretary of the Dooars unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad today announced that he was quitting his post, the last in a trail of resignations that has affected the tribal outfit in the past two days.
Four office-bearers of the Dooars-Terai regional unit of the Parishad have resigned from their posts in the past two days. However, state leaders of the Parishad today said they would try to pacify the disgruntled regional leaders and to stop further exodus.
Rajesh Lakra (not the Dooars unit secretary who has resigned), a joint secretary of the regional wing, said he would put in his papers to the state committee tomorrow.
However, state president of the Parishad Birsa Tirkey, who reached Malbazar for tomorrow’s state committee meeting, said: “We have information about the resignations of the regional committee secretary and three others. We plan to sit with them to listen to their grievances and reinstate them to their respective posts.”
“We will also hear some other disgruntled regional leaders, but not during the state committee meeting tomorrow which will not have it on its agenda,” Tirkey added.
The state president’s move contradicts the comments of state secretary Tezkumar Toppo who had said that those who resigned had been “lured” by the Progressive People’s Party.
Former regional secretary Rajesh Lakra, treasurer Sanjivan Kuzur and two others who have resigned said they would not attend the state committee meeting tomorrow. “If the state president or other leaders call us to have dialogues, we are ready to meet them but will not attend the meeting tomorrow,” Kuzur said.
Morcha protest puts rural exam on hold – till the interim authority is in place, fair enough ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Sept. 10: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today browbeat the government into deferring an exam for employees’ promotion in the panchayat department.
The Darjeeling district administration has announced that the exam scheduled for tomorrow has been put on hold indefinitely. (*?!!)
The Morcha has also decided to shut down the block development office in Bijanbari from Monday.
However, keeping in mind the “success” of the tripartite talks on the Darjeeling hills and the coming festive season, the Morcha has lifted the “ban” on liquor off-shops from Monday.
District magistrate Surendra Gupta said in the evening: “Certain objections had been raised by them (the Morcha), so the exams have been deferred. Another date will be announced.”
Earlier, Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang said the panchayat exams should be postponed till the interim set-up for the hills was finalised.
“We have already told the Janmukti Karmachari Sangatan (an employees’ union affiliated to the Morcha) not to take the rural job exams tomorrow. It will be held once the interim set-up is finalised,” said Tamang.
Glare on block office – not satisfied with its non-functioning ?!!
The hill party has also decided to close down the block office in Bijanbari, 35km from Darjeeling, from Monday. “We are not satisfied with the functioning of the block office. We have received complaints about the way the officials are functioning in Bijanbari,” said Pemba Tshering Ola, president of the Morcha’s Darjeeling sub-divisional committee.
Some of the Morcha allegations against the block office are:
* Misappropriation of funds and anomalies in issuing tenders and notices on implementation of development work under the Border Area Development Project.
* No action has been taken against employees winning the contracts for the projects and participating directly in political activities (which the party says are against existing rules)
* Irregularities in payments for work done under the 100-days’ scheme
* Irregularities in bringing people under old age and widow pension and the delay in disbursement of the benefits.
* Objecting to the way in which the BADP funds are being utilised, Tamang said: “Tender for work under the BADP is not being issued, and the process of allotting projects is flawed. Crores of rupees are being spent on development of the region but the quality of work is not up to the mark.”
Under the BAPD, the district administration can undertake projects like construction and creating community assets.
Sonam Bhutia, additional district magistrate (development) of Darjeeling, said the grievances against the Bijanbari block office would be looked into. “As far as stopping the department exams is concerned, a decision can only be taken by the state government,” said Bhutia.
The Morcha said during the next round of the tripartite meeting, discussions would be held on the transfer of the tauzi department to the new set-up. The tauzi department is in charge of the land records of the tea garden. The mode of selection of the interim authority would also be taken up at the talks.
“Territory will be discussed during the political-level talks which we expect to be held before the pujas,” said Tamang.
Sources said the Morcha was looking at making some announcement when it celebrates its foundation day on October 7.
From relay to indefinite fast for Nickole – the pressure is on for the Bengal CID to now deliver ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Darjeeling, Sept. 10: A relay hunger strike currently going on in the three hill towns will be converted into an indefinite fast from September 17, said the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
The party had been organising the hunger strike since August 1 to demand that Morcha central committee member Nickole Tamang, a prime accused in the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang, be produced alive in court.
Nickole had been arrested by the Darjeeling police on August 16 but he allegedly escaped from the CID custody from Pintail Village on August 22.
The CID had said in its chargesheet that the investigators had recovered Nickole’s cellphone with dual SIM cards from the murder site at Upper Clubside Motor Stand in Darjeeling. Madan Tamang was killed by a khukuri-wielding mob in broad daylight on May 21.
“The relay hunger strike which is taking place in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong will continue till September 16. Instead of the relay hunger strike, we will now go in for an indefinite hunger strike from September 17,” said Binay Tamang, assistant secretary of the Morcha.
The indefinite fast will, however, be held only in Darjeeling. “The indefinite hunger strike will be organised in front of the Darjeeling district magistrate’s office by our youth front members. Seven members of the youth wing will take part in the fast,” said Binay.
Two Yuva Morcha members each from Darjeeling and Kalimpong will take part in the fast, while Kurseong, Mirik and Siliguri will be represented by one supporter each.
The chief judicial magistrate’s court in Darjeeling has issued an order to attach the properties of the 23 people named in the chargesheet filed by the CID. The accused are currently absconding. The CID had made a prayer for such an order when it had submitted the chargesheet to the court on August 30.
The 23 people were booked under sections 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.
Sources said the court had issued the attachment order between September 4 and 8 and it was now the duty of the police to implement it. The same court had issued an order in August to freeze the bank accounts of 10 people accused in the Madan Tamang murder case.
Relief for off-shops – festive season on ?!!
From Monday, however, the Morcha will allow the off-shops to remain open.
“Taking into account the success of the ongoing tripartite meetings and the festival, we have decided to open the off-shops from Monday,” said Tamang.
The off-shops have been shut since July 5, as part of a non-cooperation movement against the state government. Sale of liquors in restaurants has, however, not been restricted by the Morcha.
Sources said the owners of off-shops had met Morcha chief Bimal Gurung and had formed an association, which is now an affiliate of the hill party.
Hills liquor shops set to reopen – relief for those who can afford it ?!!
From The Times of India
In July this year, GJM leader Bimal Gurung had announced the closure of all government licensed liquor shops in the Hills. On Friday, the Morcha said it would allow these shops to resume functioning as the tripartite talks were progressing in the right direction and the Pujas were also round the corner.
“The tripartite talks to settle the issue of interim arrangement are going in the right direction. Also, keeping the Pujas in mind, we have decided to allow government licensed liquor shops to remain open from September 13,” said GJM assistant secretary Benoy Tamang.