Monthly Archives: May 2012
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY NIRMAL MANGAR
The blockade, which was set up at noon, left in the lurch almost 1,500 tourists who had to take a circuitous route to avoid the protest site, extending their travel time by over one-and-a-half hours to reach their destinations.
Among those stranded today was Bhagyesh Patel, a tourist from Ahmedabad. “It has been three hours since we had been waiting for the highway to open. We had a local sightseeing programme in the evening which has been abruptly disturbed,” said Patel in Gangtok around 3pm.
Except for a few ambulances and cars carrying patients, no other vehicles were allowed to ply on NH31A, Sikkim’s only road link with the rest of the country. A police force had been deployed at the spot headed by the superintendent of police of the East district, M.S. Tuli. Most vehicles took the route via Ranka from Indira Bypass, a kilometre away from Gangtok, that meets NH31A at Ranipool downhill. “We had no option except to tell the tourists to take the Ranka route as many of them had train reservations and flights in the evening,” said a local tour operator.
FROM TIMES OF INDIA
BY AJANTA CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a fortnight ago seems to be bearing fruits slowly and steadily. The Centre has started loosening its purse strings. It has granted Bengal special central assistance (SCA) of Rs 158.35 crore for border development. That’s higher than the allocations for Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan which border Pakistan.
Officials at Writers’ Buildings are upbeat over the small yet significant gesture since they have been provided with a list of allocations for 17 states by the ministry of home affairs (MHA), which shows that Bengal’s share is the biggest.
The letter to chief secretary Samar Ghosh reveals that Rs 2.16 crore has been allocated for “the hilly areas of the border blocks in Darjeeling”. CM Mamata Banerjee has been campaigning for special funds for Darjeeling after last year’s earthquake and to strengthen her efforts to restore peace in the Hills.
Only 24 hours ago in Parliament, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had resolved to look into Bengal’s distress along with the other two debt-stressed states of Punjab and Kerala. He talked about special packages but officials at Writers’ Buildings feel that Mamata’s recent talks with the Prime Minister were more effective.
FROM TIMES OF INDIA
NEW DELHI: A doctor has been arrested from Mayur Vihar Phase I for allegedly raping a 30-year-old woman from Darjeeling. The two had known each other for several months, said cops. The woman has claimed that he drugged her before raping her.
The incident took place on May 15 at the doctor’s Mayur Vihar residence. “We received a complaint on May 16 and arrested the accused the same day after a medical examination of the victim confirmed rape,” said DCP (east) Prabhakar. On Tuesday, the doctor had called over the victim to his house and allegedly raped her.
Sources in east Delhi police said the accused, Dr Pradip Kumar Bhatia, works at a government hospital in east Delhi. He had met the victim while she had gone to him for treatment.
“The two got talking and soon their friendship developed into an intimate relationship. The doctor proposed marriage to the woman but he failed to keep his promise,” said a cop. On her latest visit to his house on Tuesday, Bhatia tried to get intimate with her. but the woman resisted his advances. When he couldn’t have his way, he drugged her and then raped her.
FROM THE STATESMAN
KOLKATA, 17 MAY: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee today announced an increase in government subsidy from 20 per cent to 30 per cent to the Self Help Groups for various poverty alleviation projects while inaugurating the National Rural Livelihood Mission or Aajeevika.
The project, a joint initiative of the Centre and the state government, named by Miss Banerjee as ‘Anandadhara’, is aimed at achieving self-reliance and socio-economic development of the rural poor in the state. She was overwhelmed to see the Netaji Indoor stadium packed with women.
The chief minister also said that her government will set up markets for the SHGs at block, sub-division and district levels to help them sell their produce.
Today she renewed her commitment to develop rural economy, remove poverty and encourage self-employment in the state.
“We need to develop rural economy on a faster pace through strong grassroots institutions like Self Help Groups (SHG),” Miss Banerjee said while launching the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) project here.
The chief minister also announced setting up of a “task force” to speed up the project under the chairmanship of the state’s Panchayat and Rural Development minister, Mr Subrata Mukherjee.
DARJEELING HILLS: Is Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ready to compromise on Gorkhaland Territorial Administration?
FROM TIMES OF INDIA
KOLKATA: A compromise formula on inclusion of additional areas from the Dooars and Terai in the proposed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) may finally end the impasse and pave the way for holding of the GTA elections. On Tuesday, it was learnt from sources in Darjeeling that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) is waiting for such a formula to emerge before it can accept the proposal for going to the polls.
Though GJM leaders, in its central committee meeting held on Monday, took the tough stand of reviewing their position on GTA after the high-power committee headed by Justice Shyamal Sen submits its report by June, observers believe this was more of a public posturing. Even a partial acceptance of its demand on additional areas could lead to GJM softening its position. For, the first priority for everyone was now to make GTA functional.
New Delhi: Gorkha Boys Football Club, Delhi, celebrated “Yeh Shaam Aapke Naam” on Sunday May 13 at the MP Club. This cultural programme was organised to felicitate the football players for the year 2011. The Chief Guest for the occasion was NK Bhatia, Vice-President, Delhi Football Association. Guests of Honour were Manoj Shanker, President, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, Delhi, Andrew Gurung, Managing Director (Gurung Securities Pvt Ltd), and Wangdi Wangchuk, Central Excise and Customs.
The programme began with the playing of the FIFA World Cup 2010 Football Anthem followed by lighting of the diya by chief guest and all the guests of honour. Manoj Shanker, President, Delhi GJMM released the Club T-shirt, designed to match the colour of the club banner(red and green) and later distributed them to the members of the team. Club certificates were also given to the players by NK Bhatia, Vice-President, Delhi Football Association and Andrew Gurung.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest NK Bhatia, thanked Gorkha Boys Football Club for the invitation and praised the Gorkha Community for its valour, courage and dedication in all fields. He expressed satisfaction about the programme which will help motivate and encourage the footballers in making a strong team.
THE HIMALAYAN BEACON
BY DARJ MAN
It is agreed the GTA Act 2012, Chapter I , Section 2. (o) the meaning of ‘region’ to mean Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong and including 18 mouzas of Siliguri, is practically the DGHC areas only without having said so. In this respect EDP is speaking the truth, but not the whole truth, but only part of the truth. How is this so.
He is advised continue reading Chapter 1 Section 3, sub section (1) “ … GTA comprised the region as specified in the district of Darjeeling”’ But more importantly is the text of the matter continued in the same Chapter 1 Section 6, sub section ( 3) : “ The Government may, by notification , constitute a Committee for examining the question of identification and transfer of additional areas of Siliguri Terai and Dooars to the region. “ This has widespread implications to mean exactly, all the territories constituting the District when it was officially established in 1866 – 67 ( ie. When Sikkimes’ Darjeeling constituted the contiguous areas of Darjeeling , Kurseong and Siliguri subdivisions to which area was amalgamated with Kalimpong (earlier named Damsang guri of Dalimkot Bhutanese Dooars)
THE HIMALAYAN BEACON
BY BARUN ROY
DARJEELING: All India Gorkha League’s invite to Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) Supreme Subash Ghisingh is an ideological abomination. It is not only indicative of Gorkha League’s desperation but also of its political bankruptcy. Surely, the slain Gorkha League leader must be turning in his grave to learn that Subash Ghisingh whom he had opposed tooth and nail over various issues would not just be attending his 2nd death anniversary but would also probably be lending support to his party. All India Gorkha League (AIGL) President and the slain leader’s widow Bharati Tamang has invited all anti-Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders including Subash Ghisingh to attend the 2nd death anniversary of the slain leader.
The AIGL’s attempt to time and again use Madan Tamang’s death as a political instrument has caused a great deal of harm to the cause of the party, since, the party has instead of trying to solidify its base through political outreach has continued to tie its fortune on public sympathy over Madan Tamang’s brutal death.