GORKHA ADIVASI POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Festival over, time for hard bargain – Morcha threatens to go back to Gorkhaland demand if state tries to defer talks – no more ‘chaltey hobe’ attitude nor in-action, Bengal set to lose much more with delays ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Oct. 18: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today threatened to reject the proposed set-up for the Darjeeling hills if it perceived that the CPM-led Bengal government was trying to drag the issue and defer the formation of the interim authority, piling pressure on the state and the Centre for a hard bargain before the next round of talks.
“At the last talks held on October 11, we proposed that the next round of discussion at the political-level should be held by October 25 or so. But we are yet to get any confirmation from the Centre. We want to make it clear that we have no problem if a different date is fixed in consultation with the state government for any specific reason,” said Harka Bahadur Chhetri, the media and publicity secretary of the Morcha, today. “However, if we perceive that the state is unnecessarily dragging its feet on the issue and delaying the process of forming the set-up, we will simply drop the proposal of the set-up. We may refrain from holding further talks and instead continue the movement for a separate state.”
Before the Pujas, the Morcha seemed to have been making an effort to convey the message that all was well in the hills. It had also re-introduced a tourism festival that stopped four years ago to woo visitors and stakeholders of the tourism industry. With the end of the festivity, however, the Morcha is back to its hard bargaining.
The Morcha top brass feel that owing to the impending political changes in Bengal, the state is not interested in working out a permanent solution for Darjeeling till the Assembly elections next year. “We feel the delay in forming the set-up will lead us nowhere,” a Morcha leader said. “In case there is any delay and the model code of conduct kicks in, then the formation of the interim authority would be halted. The talks we have held for all these months will then come to nought.”
The Morcha leader explained that in case of a change of guard in Bengal next year, the talks would have to begin afresh as the new government would be unlikely to pick up the thread from where the Left Front government had left it.
“It is important that the talks are held promptly and the interim arrangement is put in place soon as any further delay could halt its formation for a long time,” the Morcha leader said. “Then, if a new government comes to power in Bengal next year we can proceed further with our demand for a separate state.”
The state government, however, is determined not to let the Morcha go ahead with its Gorkhaland demand. “We want the Morcha to drop its demand and let an elected body take charge of the set-up,” state urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya said. “The state government will attend the tripartite talks…The Morcha, once a decision and consensus is reached on the set-up, should abandon its statehood demand. Discussions can, however, be always held on conferring more powers on the autonomous authority to be formed for hills.”
The Morcha is not the only one in the hills to have threatened a movement. The ABGL, which has been criticising the state government’s failure to arrest Nickole Tamang, the key accused in the Madan Tamang murder case who escaped from CID’s custody, said it would launch a movement soon, demanding CBI inquiry into the killing. “Once the festive season is over, we will renew our movement, demanding the arrest of Nickole and other culprits,” said ABGL working president Dawa Sherpa.
130 villages close to Indo-Bangladesh border identified as smuggling dens – ideal inlet for Terrorism and against India’s Homeland Security, while Bengal turns a blind eye ?!!
From The Statesman
KOLKATA, 17 Oct 2010 (SNS): About 130 villages lying close to the Indo-Bangladesh border have been identified as prone to smuggling of narcotic substances, fake Indian currency and other essential commodities including rice.
A senior BSF officer said the villages have been identified following an analysis of Intelligence inputs gathered by sleuths belonging to various State and Central agencies and arrests made by state police and border guarding force in the the last couple of years. Another startling revelation is that mostly women from these villages are involved in smuggling narcotic substances to Bangladesh and bringing counterfeit Indian currencies from there.
Vigil has been made stringent along the border and a special watch is being kept pn these 130 villages, located within 50 yards of International Border. The officer added that the smuggling of drugs, counterfeit Indian currency and arms was discussed during the director general level meeting between BSF and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) held last month.
“When people from our territory cross over the border for either cattle grazing or to visit their relatives, they bring narcotic items to India in lieu of money,” said a senior BSF officer. Sealed consignment of narcotic items are handed over to them to deliver it to their agents in India. The Bangladeshi smugglers never disclose the names of their Indian accomplices, the officer added. The women drug traffickers never show interest to know the names of the receivers as they are paid in cash before delivery. Hiding the drug consignments in their clothes, the women evade jawans guarding the border, the officer added.
According to BSF sources, fake Indian currency worth Rs 86,41,290 have been seized on 2006 to August this year. In 2006, the BSF had seized counterfeit Indian currency worth Rs 9,37,900. A total 32 seizures were made in 2006. In 2007, the border guarding force of the country made 18 seizers of fake Indian currency of worth total Rs 6,95,300.
In 2008, the BSF men seized counterfeit Indian currency of worth Rs 18,75,000 and registered 33 cases. In the next year, the BSF men recovered fake Indian currency of worth Rs 28,43,390 in total 39 cases of seizure.
Till August this year, 31 seizures of fake Indian currency have taken place on the border and the BSF jawans have seized about Rs 22 lakh fake Indian notes.
Winter Session of Parliament from Nov 9 – a deflection from the CWG scandals exposure time and an arms buying spree ?!!
FROM IBN LIVE
New Delhi, Oct 18,2010, (PTI) 08:10 PM: The Winter Session of Parliament will commence on November 9, a day after US President Barack Obama addresses members of both the Houses at a joint sitting.
Lok Sabha Secretariat today issued a notification saying the session will commence on November 9 and subject to exigencies of government business, it is likely to conclude on December 13.
A similar notification has already been issued by the Rajya Sabha secretariat. Speaker Meira Kumar will hold an all-party meeting on the opening day of the session to seek cooperation of leaders to ensure that the proceedings are smooth. Obama, who will undertake his first state visit to India next month, will address Parliament on November 8.
Sources said Obama is expected to arrive in India on November 5 on a five-day visit, his first since assuming office in January last year. Former US President Bill Clinton had addressed a joint sitting during his visit in 2000.
Obama’s predecessor George W Bush, who visited India in March 2006, did not have the honour of addressing Parliament of the world’s largest democracy. Among others to have addressed the Indian MPs at a joint session was former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who visited India in August 2007.
Obama is likely to begin his visit from Mumbai where he is expected to have an overnight stay at Taj Hotel, which was targeted by LeT terrorists during the 26/11 attacks in 2008.He is also expected to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar besides Delhi where he will hold wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Spruce-up for Obama – making a good habit continuous ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
Oct 18, 2010: Parliament’s Central Hall has been closed for renovation before the visit of US President Barack Obama. Obama will address a joint sitting of Parliament in the Central Hall on November 8.
The hall’s blue dome is being repainted and additional lights are being fitted. Giant fans with wide blades, relics of the Constituent Assembly, are also getting a fresh coat of paint.
Around 50 artists have been requisitioned to touch up the century-old paintings in the hall.
The winter session of Parliament has been advanced to November 9, primarily to ensure full attendance of MPs at Obama’s address. This session will continue till December 13.
Over 200 US Secret Service agents are in Delhi. Obama will be the second US President after Bill Clinton to address Indian parliamentarians in the Central Hall.