Tag Archives: bimal gurung
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Dec. 23: Bimal Gurung has directed the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarathi Morcha to close down the Darjeeling Government College office for an indefinite period starting tomorrow to protest the state government’s decision to transfer two teachers from the institution.
Although colleges in the hills are closed for winter vacations, the administrative wings of the institutions are open and a closure of the office would mean that the teachers who are to be transferred would not be given release orders, mandatory before joining a new college.
Sherpa Bhutia, the head of the geography department, is to be transferred to Chandernagore Government College. The other teacher, Willie Henry, who heads the zoology department, is supposed to be transferred to AB Sen College in Cooch Behar.
“We met our party president Bimal Gurung (today) and according to his directions, we are closing down Darjeeling Government College indefinitely from tomorrow,” Asok Chhetri, the vice-president of the Vidyarathi Morcha, told The Telegraph today.
Darjeeling Government College is the only government college in the hills. Under the GTA memorandum, the college is supposed to be handed over to the hill body
Gurung, the GTA chief executive, had directed GTA executive member R.P. Bhujel to send a written objection to the state higher education minister asking the government to stall the teachers’ transfers till the institution comes under the autonomous hill body.
The letter dated December 18 read: “I, as directed by Shri Bimal Gurung, Hon’ble Chief Executive, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha, request you to kindly hold the transfer of these teachers till the transfer of Darjeeling Government College is completed.”
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Dec. 21: Bimal Gurung has asked the state government to stop the transfer of two teachers from the Darjeeling Government College to elsewhere in the state until the transfer of the institution’s jurisdiction from the state government to the GTA is completed.
Two heads of departments of Darjeeling Government College, Sherap Bhutia and Willie Henry, have been transferred to Chandernagore Government College and AB Sen College in Cooch Behar, respectively.
Bhutia heads the department of geography and Henry the zoology department.
A letter written by R.B. Bhujel, executive member of the GTA in charge of higher education, to the state higher education department said: “I, as directed by Shri Bimal Gurung, Hon’ble Chief Executive, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha, request you to kindly hold the transfer of these teachers till the transfer of Darjeeling Government College is completed.”
“I spoke to the minister regarding the matter and he said he would look into it,” said Sharma. The Kurseong MLA also stated that senior officials of the state government had suggested that they should allow the two teachers to join the new place of posting and that they could be brought back to Darjeeling once the college is handed over to the GTA in the next one and a half months.
Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dec. 21 (ANI): The Gorkhaland Territorial Authority (GTA) in Darjeeling, West Bengal, has organised a 17 day-long tea tourism festival, with an aim to boost tourism in the state.
The spotlight was on the tea gardens around the hill station of Darjeeling.
The president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), Bimal Gurung, said: “Earlier, the region was facing lot of disturbances but now the tea industry has improved and the quality of tea has also improved. Now, we are trying to promote development in the region and increase the sale of tea, so this was the aim of organizing the tea tourism festival.”
The programmes at the festival included a cultural show, a dance programme where one could see a cornucopia of tribal and other dances. Beside these are stalls where tourists can sample different qualities of tea from various gardens.
The Principal Secretary of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Saumitra Mohan, said: “We are receiving good response. This festival was started last year to promote Darjeeling and tourism. This year also the festival is being organised, which indicates that we are continuing with the success that we received last year. The festival is organised to promote the culture, environment and the beauty of Darjeeling and to boost the tourism in the region. We have been quite successful with our aim.”
The festival, which began on December 20, will end on January 5, 2013.
India is one of the major producers and exporters of tea in the world market.
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Bimal Gurung addresses the seminar in Darjeeling on Sunday. Picture by Suman TamangDarjeeling, Dec. 16: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today took the first step towards a pan-India presence by holding a national seminar where the party made an attempt to be seen as the only political outfit espousing the cause of the Gorkhas across the country.
Morcha representatives from 22 places across the country were present at the daylong event in Darjeeling where four resolutions were passed unanimously.
Morcha president Bimal Gurung made it clear at the conference that he was looking at representing not only the people in the GTA area but also Gorkhas in other parts of the country. “I will be there for each and everyone of you. I know the Gorkha people living in other regions of the country have different problems. Our people in the Northeast are the worst sufferers. Just work out a date and we will accompany you to your respective chief ministers to redress your problems,” Gurung said.
The seminar adopted four resolutions — seeking the formation of a separate state of Gorkhaland, tribal status for all Gorkhas except for those belonging to the SC category, linguistic minority status for the Nepali language across India and the inclusion of more mouzas in the Terai and the Dooars in the GTA.
This was the first national event of the Morcha. The representatives of the party from Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Sikkim were present at the seminar.
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
“We had a healthy discussion and Bimal Gurung was very receptive to our suggestions,” said K.B. Wattar, a CPM’s district secretariat member. “We discussed transport, water problem, interests of farmers and education in the region.” The meeting comes at a time when frequent clashes between the Morcha and its rivals, especially the GNLF and the Gorkhaland Rajya Nirman Morcha have been reported.
Besides Wattar, in the team were S.B. Tamang, G.R. Rai and Kiran Lepcha. “We demanded that kachcha roads be converted to metallic ones, the Balasun drinking water project be completed immediately and medical and engineering colleges be set up in the hills,” Wattar said. They also demanded potable water in every town and village in the hills. “We stressed on improving the traffic,” Lepcha said. “He (Gurung) told us that he would ensure that all is done for developing the region,” Watter said.
Darjeeling, Dec. 10: The GTA has decided to demolish all buildings at the Chowk Bazar square, one of the main business centres in Darjeeling, and develop it as a modern market complex with parking space and an underground rainwater harvesting facility.
The Chowk Bazar comprised a vacant space of around 180sqm and buildings on all the four sides when it was set up in the 1920s. Traders used to display their wares in the open area during the day. Concrete structures started coming up in the vacant area in the 1950s.
Although the entire property belongs to the Darjeeling municipality, it will be revamped by the GTA.
“This project is being undertaken by the GTA and not the Darjeeling municipality. The GTA has already held talks with shopkeepers at the market regarding the plan,” said Amar Singh Rai, the chairman of the municipality.
During an informal interaction with journalists last week, GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung said: “We will set up an underground rainwater harvesting system in the area. We will also have parking facilities.”
When the square was vacant, the British used to organise music performances by bands to welcome dignitaries who used to visit the hill station. The GTA now wants to clear the square and keep it vacant.
Darjeeling’s main vegetable market is at Chowk Bazar. There are also shops that sell garments, electronics and groceries. More than 100 traders do business at Chowk Bazar.
Khudu Tamang, president of the Paatpasala Sangh which is an organisation of vendors, said: “If they are coming up with a better plan, we welcome the move. However, we want the vegetable vendors to be given space on the ground floor of the area. It makes sense to give the vegetable vendors the ground floor as it will be easy to clean up the area.”
Rai said the civic body had already requested the GTA to earmark certain portions of the new complex to accommodate some of the hawkers evicted from Nehru Road and NB Singh Road. “We also want to set up a flea market in the complex,” he said.
The municipality had removed more than 200 hawkers from Nehru Road and NB Singh Road two months back and half of them were already given space to do business at Chowrastha.
GTA officials said they had already started working out the modalities of the project. “The complex will be built on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model. The modalities are being worked out at the moment,” said a GTA official overseeing the project.
Since the blueprint is yet to be ready, the cost of the project and the time frame for the completion could not be immediately known. But sources said the project cost could touch the Rs 18-20 crore mark.
DARJEELING HILLS: Tea auction revival at fest – 17-day Darjeeling tourism festival begins on December 20
BY VIVEK CHHETRI
Darjeeling, Dec. 5: The Darjeeling Tea and Tourism Festival that will kick off on December 20 will have a tea auction for the first time after two decades.
Sources said more than 10 gardens would take part in the auction and would sell a few hundred kilograms of brew. The last such auction at the Darjeeling tourism festival was held in 1991.
“The proceeds of the tea auction will not be taken home by the planters but will be handed over to a social organisation. We will also felicitate tea gardens labourers who contributed to the growth of the industry, along with prominent people of yesteryear,” said Binay Tamang, Morcha leader and general secretary of the festival organising committee.
The GTA, the state government and the “people of Darjeeling” have decided to organise the festival by remembering the history of the land and felicitating the sons of soil who made contributions in different fields.
Not to speak of Bollywood celebrities, many of whom won’t charge a single penny for their participation.
“The history of Darjeeling is intertwined with the history of tea gardens. During the festival this year, the Indian Tea Association will be organising a tea auction at Chowrastha in Darjeeling where the brew from the gardens will be directly sold,” Tamang said.
BY AMITAVA BANERJEE
Bharati Tamang, widow of Madan Tamang, All India Gorkha League (AIGL) leader, has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court praying for De novo investigation (investigation from the beginning) by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Madan Tamang murder case. The writ petition was admitted by the Supreme Court on December 3.
The Supreme Court has sought responses from the Union government, state government, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and 12 other respondents within 4 weeks on the matter.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, justice SS Nijjar and justice Jasti Chelameswar admitting the writ petition (Criminal 159/2012) has directed the petitioner (Bharati Tamang) to issue notices to all 15 respondents and has further directed the respondents to file replies within 4 weeks.
“We have also made a prayer to the apex court to appoint a Special Investigation Team (SIT) so that fresh investigations can be carried out as the previous investigation agencies and the police have failed to arrest the persons named in the complaint and the FIR involved in the conspiracy and the murder.” stated Bharati Tamang, talking to HT.
Bhrati Tamang has further pointed fingers at the government for allegedly trying to protect the top GJM leaders (who have been named in the FIR as conspirators) and also striking a political bargain with the GJM over the murder case.
On May 21, 2010, Madan Tamang had been brutally hacked to death in broad daylight at the Clubside in the heart of Darjeeling while overseeing preparations for an AIGL meeting.
All three occupy key positions in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA – an autonomous administrative setup arrangement for the Darjeeling Hills.)