BENGAL POLITICS IN DARJEELING : Extra force plea for GNLF comeback – sinister ruse replayed, all to continue dividing and perpetuating Bengal’s dastardly rule ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Oct. 28: Nearly 25 GNLF leaders have decided to return to the hills en masse, prompting the Darjeeling police chief to ask the state government for more forces to ensure their security.
The announcement comes even as the GNLF steps up its offensive before the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha signs an agreement on the interim set-up for the hills. The Subash Ghisingh-led party had already started forming village committees and yesterday announced the formation of a unit in Darjeeling subdivision, almost three years after nearly 40 leaders were hounded out of the hills. It is not yet clear if Ghisingh will be part of the group that is planning the comeback after Diwali.
Darjeeling superintendent of police D.P. Singh said: “We have received letters from 25 GNLF leaders expressing desire to return home. I have written to the state government seeking additional forces to ensure their safety and security.” Singh said no intimation had come from Ghisingh, who had been forced to leave the hills in June 2008.
However, sources in the police said “before Dashain (Durga Puja) they had received information that Ghisingh, too, was planning a return”.
The GNLF, as part of the rival camp, is trying to take advantage of the fluid hill politics before the pact on the interim set-up is sealed with the Morcha. The ABGL, another Morcha rival, had yesterday said the hills would go up in flames if the deal was sealed as people wanted Gorkhaland and not any interim arrangement. In a tactical move, the ABGL while naming its former president Madan Tamang had also mentioned the names of Morcha supporters Pramila Sharma and Akbar Lama — all three were killed — as those who had sacrificed their lives for Gorkhaland and not for any interim set-up.
Ghisingh along with around 40 prominent party leaders were forced to leave the hills after a bullet fired from the house of a GNLF leader killed Morcha supporter Pramila in June 2008. Houses of many of the leaders were torched and vandalised allegedly by Morcha supporters who claimed that the general public had chased the GNLF leaders away.
The only GNLF leader who managed to enter the hills early this year is Dawa Pakhrin. He, however, came back only after resigning as the president of the GNLF’s Kalimpong branch committee. Even Shanta Chhetri, the GNLF MLA from Kurseong, has not been able to visit her constituency since 2008.
On March 4 this year, a National Human Rights Commission directive asked the state chief secretary and the director general of police to provide security to GNLF leaders wanting to return.
Observers believe that the GNLF leaders are confident that they can return home not because of the NHRC’s directive but also because of the “fluid political situation in the hills”.
“The GNLF and the ABGL have been able to make some inroads largely because of the fallout of the murder of ABGL leader Madan Tamang. The GNLF leaders perhaps believe that this is the right time to return home,” said an observer.
Whiff of interim protest in rival camp – STATE ONLY: ABGL – all so that the territory issue can be sidelined as the “Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas” were not respected by Bengal’s hegemony and never will be ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU
Oct. 27: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha is confident of inking an agreement on the interim set-up in the next political-level talks but rival outfits are determined to oppose the arrangement, raising the spectre of unrest in the hills after the pact is sealed.
Today, the ABGL warned that the hills would go up in flames if the Bimal Gurung-led Morcha went ahead with an interim set-up for the Darjeeling hills.
Chewang Bhutia, the the Kalimpong branch secretary of the ABGL, said those who claimed they would sign such an agreement within a month or two should think twice because former party president Madan Tamang had sacrificed his life to oppose such interim set-ups.
“If they (read the Morcha) have the guts, let them do it. The hills, however, will go up in flames. The youths are with us. Make no mistake of treating us like weaklings,” warned Bhutia.
The ABGL reaction was in response to reports that the Morcha is on the verge of signing the agreement on the interim arrangement by as early as the next round of tripartite talks, likely to be held in the first half of November.
The ABGL said over 1,200 people (in the 1980s) and Morcha supporters Pramila Sharma and Akbar Lama sacrificed their lives for the separate state of Gorkhaland, not an interim set-up or the Sixth Schedule.
“Gorkhaland is our birthright. We are not begging before anybody for a state of our own. To agree on anything other than Gorkhaland is shameful,” said Pratap Khati, an ABGL central committee member.
The ABGL’s threat looms on the hills, as the party has been able to mobilise support across the region in recent times. In fact, leaders like Rajen Mukhia, who was solely responsible for keeping the GNLF alive in the Terai, has switched over to the ABGL along with his supporters. Former GNLF leaders like K.N. Subba have also joined Tamang’s party.
The GNLF has also started reviving its activities after lying low for almost three years. With the rise of the Morcha, the GNLF writ was wiped out of the hills and its leader, Subash Ghisingh, went into political hibernation.
A handwritten press release issued by Kusum Ghimire, the GNLF’s president from Liza Hill tea garden, 25km from Darjeeling, said: “The GNLF had supported the demand for a separate state raised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha but since the Morcha started talking about Gorkha-Adivasi Pradesh and now an interim set-up, we have decided to press for the inclusion of the Darjeeling hills in the Sixth Schedule as this would have constitutional guarantee.”
After three years, this is also the first time that the GNLF has issued a media release saying that it has formed a unit in the Darjeeling subdivision.
Recently, the GNLF also held indoor meetings in Kurseong and formed village committees across the hills.
Harka Bahadur Chhetri, a spokesperson for the Morcha, has refused to read much into the rival activities. “The present leadership of the ABGL has no credibility. They only get into the negatives and they themselves have nothing positive to show vis-a–vis the Gorkhaland demand. The interim set-up must be seen as a step towards achieving Gorkhaland.”
About the GNLF, Chhetri said the party was radar-less. “Their leader is in political hibernation. A lot of their leaders have joined the ABGL which clearly shows that the party has no political programme of their own.”
The Morcha is perhaps drawing solace from the fact that the rival camp is a divided house. While the ABGL wants nothing short of Gorkhaland, the GNLF is focused on the Sixth Schedule.
AND JUST LAST MONTH
Ghising’s aide quits his Gorkha outfit – now calling upon CRPF support with the help of Bengal ?!!
From Sify News
Siliguri, Sep 18 (IANS): Rajen Mukhiya, a long-time close aide of Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) president Subhas Ghising, Saturday joined the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL).
Mukhiya, who resigned from the GNLF last month accusing Ghising of being “inactive” during a vital stage of the hill politics and Gorkhaland movement, announced his decision to join the ABGL at a crowded media meet here in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.
Mukhiya said: “The GNLF has virtually become extinct. I have pleaded with Ghising so many times to return to the hills and take part in active politics. We also urged him to make his stand clear on the Gorkhaland movement and on ABGL president Madan Tamang’s murder. But he has maintained a stony silence.”
He also alleged that Ghising is maintaining “covert-alliance” with the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) which is now spearheading the Gorkhaland movement in the Darjeeling hills. The GJM has been held responsible by its political opponents for the May 21 murder of Tamang, he said.
Accusing the Bimal Gurung-led GJM of fomenting trouble in the hills and ruining its economy, Mukhiya said: “The ABGL is the best platform to fight against the GJM atrocities.”
Along with Mukhiya, the former convenor of GNLF’s Terai branch, hundreds of his followers joined the ABGL. Some GJM leaders like Prakash Subba also announced in the media meet that they were casting their lot with the ABGL.
ABGL working president Dawa Sherpa welcomed Mukhiya and his associates and said: “The downfall of the GJM has started. We will strengthen our movement against the GJM shortly.”
Meanwhile, seven GJM youth leaders have started a hunger strike in front of the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling town, demanding that the administration present Nicol Tamang, the prime accused in the Madan Tamang murder case, before the public.
Nicol Tamang fled from police custody near Siliguri Aug 22 a week after his arrest.
The three subdivisions — Kalimpong, Kurseong and Darjeeling — comprising the hilly areas of Darjeeling district have been on the boil for years with a section of political parties rooting for the creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.
The GNLF had been in the forefront of the agitation since the late 1980s and ran the autonomous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, enjoying a virtual monopoly over hill politics. However, the GJM overshadowed the GNLF to seize control of the Gorkhaland movement in 2008.
Ghising was practically driven out of the hills and now stays in the plains of New Jalpaiguri.
GNLF leaders join(ed) ABGL – more likely to follow – so now that Ghising is toothless, old and alone, what’s Bengal’s next move ?!!
19 September 2010, 08:54: Ex-Councillors of DGHC – K.N.Subba of Gorubathan and Rajen Mukhia of Panighatta, leaving GNLF, joined Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League. In a programme held in Kalimpong ABGL announced that these two top brass GNLF leaders were inducted in ABGL. It was also indicated that Dawa Sherpa of Kalimpong, Tshering Sherpa of Kafer along with Tika Khati an Ex-Secretary of DGHC are also likely to join ABGL.
Addressing a press conference Dawa Sherpa Working President of ABGL announced that the two with their supporters resigned from GNLF and membership of ABGL was granted to them. Sherpa said that ABGL has no enmity with GJMM and it wants peace in the hills as such it will continue its agitation for the creation of a separate state. He further said that their agitation will be Delhi based. He reminded that ABGL has filed a suit in Kolkata High Court demading proper enquiry on murder of its the then President Madan Tamang. He said that the party’s demand for CBI enquiry of the murder is likely to be started by the center.
ABGL Subdivisional committee too was reconstituted today. Tribhuan Rai as President, Kamal Chhetri as Vice President, Tshewang Bhutia as Secretary, Santa Bdr Chhetri as Asst Secretary, Udin Rai as Treasurer along with 9 executive members were elected in the Committee.