Showing posts with label GJM Latest News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GJM Latest News. Show all posts

Bimal Gurung faction leader Suraj Subba arrested

8:49 PM
Suraj Subba, the former general secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's trade union, was arrested on Monday in connection with the 2017 June 8 clash that triggered the last round of the statehood agitation in the hills.

He was the general secretary of the Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union before Binay Tamang took charge of the Morcha.
Bimal Gurung faction leader Suraj Subba arrested

"Subba was directly involved in the incident that occurred on June 8, 2017 and in mobilisation (of supporters) to commit crimes during the agitation. He was arrested on Monday," said a police officer.

Once Binay Tamang took charge of the Morcha in November last year, Subba was removed from the post. He had been the general secretary of the union since the Morcha was formed in 2007.

Assistant public prosecutor Pankaj Prasad said Subba had been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

[Via:TT]

Bimal Gurung faction GJM Press release on quitting Alliance with BJP

11:42 PM
Bimal Gurung faction has released a press release denying Binay Tamang's  recent statement, claiming to be from GJM, that  Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has quit the NDA with BJP.

Here is the Press release:
A statement released by Binoy Tamang, the West Bengal government appointed GTA Chairman of the Board of Administrators, that Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has quit the National Democratic Alliance is ludicrous, and does not reflect the official GJM stand.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has been a constituent of the NDA since 2009, and we will continue to remain an integral part of the NDA.

I request all our party members to forewarn the people, and let the public and media be aware that any statement made by Binay Tamang, claiming to be from GJM, should not be given any credence. He is a West Bengal government employee, and does not represent the people of Darjeeling, nor the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

He may, if he so desires, release statements on behalf of the government he is serving - West Bengal, or the party he is serving - TMC, but he has no business whatsoever issuing statements on behalf of GJM, from which we have removed him on September 1, 2017 itself.
Bimal Gurung
President, Central Committee
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha


GJM gets 72 hrs deadline to end the stir from Mamata Banerjee

7:11 PM

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha leaders Saturday to withdraw the call for an indefinite bandh. An aggressive Mamata said: “Enough is enough. For eight days,we have tolerated the strike. But now,I declare the strike unconstitutional as the Calcutta High Court has done. I am rough and tough. The bandh has to end,” she said.

The ultimatum was a clear warning to the GJM leadership that they should either fall in line or be ready for arrests. Mamata Banerjee’s harsh words turned the heat on in the Hills. GJM Chief Bimal Gurung,who has already resigned from the Gorkha Territorial Administration,responded instantly saying they were ready to take on the challenge.

“Mamata Banerjee is threatening to break the spontaneous agitation in the Hills for a separate Gorkhaland state. Banerjee would have to withdraw the ultimatum or else the Hills will respond with a Janata curfew. Now you see millions on the streets demanding Gorkhaland. Once the Janata curfew comes in force,not a soul will step out of their homes. The streets will be deserted if she tries to break the bandh with the help of police and by force.”

The Darjeeling Hills have been under an indefinite strike since August 3 with sporadic violence erupting in different parts of the hills. Tourists have been turned out of the hill town while all schools and colleges are shut. Tea gardens,though exempted,are suffering as the produce is not being despatched due to lack of transport.

The CM,however,clearly indicated that her administration will not hesitate to arrest the GJM top leadership after the 72-hour deadline.

“There are scores of criminal cases pending against all and every possible constitutional action will be taken to break the abnormal situation in the hills,” Banerjee said. Mamata also warned the Centre against any kind of interference in the matter. “For one LS seat,no one has the right to play a divide and rule game. Let us act together in the matter of Darjeeling,” she appealed

BJP Extends Support to GJM Agitation Against Making Bengali Language Mandatory

2:44 PM

LANGUAGE ISSUE: BJP Extends Support to GJM Agitation Against Making Bengali Language Mandatory

All India General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party Shri. Kailash Vijayvargiya has spoken out against the Mamata governments proposal to make Bengali language compulsory in all the schools across Bengal. In turn he stated BJPs support to the ongoing agitation against the proposed imposition being led by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in the hills.

Speaking to the press, Mr. Vijayvargiya said, "ours is a diverse country and all communities have their respective language, and culture... hence it is the duty of any government to consult with every community before proposing any such measure, but instead of any consultation Mamata is trying to forcefully implement mandatory teaching of Bengali language in the schools... this won't work..."

He added, "because of Mamata's highhanded approach Morcha has been forced to start protest in the hills... India is a democratic nation and we should respect people's mandate and democracy... but in Bengal democracy is dead... here only dictatorship rules..."

How different medias covered GJM called bandh in Darjeeling

9:53 PM
GJM bandh turned out a success in Darjeeling hills - indiatoday
The stage is set for a mighty showdown in the Hills with both Trinamool Congress and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha gearing up for a show of strength and political space in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.

GJM SENSED LOOSENED HOLD
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the leading party in the Darjeeling hills and advocate of separate state of Gorkhaland for the people, is in a difficult position with members quitting the party either for Trinamool Congress or for JAP (Jana Andolan Party), which is its offshoot. The policy of poaching, which Trinamool Congress adopted to increase its tally has affected the GJM. The party's principal agenda of a separate state is also not finding many takers.

Yet the bandh called by GJM today was a huge success as Hill people preferred to go on a holiday instead of risking their lives in the confrontation between the Trinamool Congress and GJM supporters.

The ruling Trinamool Congress has left no stones unturned in making the bandh a flop show. Three ministers are camping in the Hills to ensure normalcy. But the situation is far from being normal. Schools, colleges, government offices were kept open and public transport was plying, but very few people were willing to step out of their houses.
GJM called bandh in Darjeeling 28th Sep 2016
GJM called bandh in Darjeeling 28th Sep 2016
LOCALS STAYED OUT OF THE SCENE
The division bench of Calcutta High Court has passed an order and asked the government to ensure an atmosphere of normalcy for people. However, the government was unable to build up confidence among people to feel free.


"People of Hills want peace and development. They don't want disturbance. The success of the bandh does not indicate that GJM still holds influence among the Hill people. If people  have stayed away from work, it is because they are peace loving," said Harka Bahadur Chhetri of JAP. For Mamata, the outcome of the bandh cannot be music to the ears, but she is still hoping that appearance can be deceptive.

Bandh in Darjeeling Hills sees dull response - PTI

Darjeeling, Sep 28 (PTI) The 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha in three hill sub-divisions of Darjeeling district today failed to evoke much response, even as over 200 GJM supporters were detained for trying to enforce the shutdown.

Government buses arrived at Darjeeling with tourists escorted by security personnel. Private vehicles were however off the roads.

Around 98 per cent of attendance was recorded in government offices and private schools were open. Shops were mostly closed. Bank ATMs were found to be open also.

At around 11 AM, two toy trains plied with domestic and foreign tourists to Ghoom station from Darjeeling.

This was the first time in the DHR history that a toy train operated during a bandh.

Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava told reporters that more than 200 hundred GJM supporters were detained. Three Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) members were arrested during the bandh.

Three state ministers -- Gautam Deb, Rabindra Nath Ghose and James Kujur monitored the situation in the three hill sub-Divisions.

Opposing the bandh, Chief Minister Mamata Banjeree had yesterday stated that there should be no more shutdown and blockades.

"Bengal's economy was affected by bandhs. There was enough bandh politics," she said.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) called the shutdown alleging the state government has failed to give details of Rs 4,000 crore, which the chief minister has claimed to have given to the GTA.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung, however, claimed that the shutdown was "successful".

"People in the Hills have observed a peaceful bandh," he said, adding TMC has unleashed an autocratic rule.

State tourism minister Gautam Deb, who camped at Kalimpong, said GJM supporters damaged three cars of TMC activists and the police is taking action.

On the closure of shops, he said there was a fear among shop owners and that the state government has taken all steps to maintain normalcy.

Darjeeling reels under GJM bandh - thehindu
Political temperatures went soaring in the Darjeeling hills on Wednesday over the 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). The GJM has been demanding a separate Gorkha homeland to be carved out of three hill subdivisions of West Bengal, which is opposed by all major parties of the State.

While the bandh was called by the GJM after recent comments of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has been allocated Rs. 4,000 crore by the State government, the GJM however has raked up Gorkhaland issue. A statement issued by GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “Those opposing Gorkhaland will get more energy if the bandh is unsuccessful”

More than 250 GJM supporters were detained till Wednesday afternoon, District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava told journalists.

“We are checking if tourists are stranded. Vehicles are available in the hills… Some shops are open,” he said.

There were reports of vehicles being attacked in Kalimpong and Mr. Srivastava said strong action will be taken.

The three-hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong saw huge deployment of police during the shutdown. Hundreds of supporters of the GJM also took to the streets shouting slogans.

Three Ministers of the Trinamool Congress government were present in each of the subdivisions trying to ensure that shops and commercial establishment remain open.

Supporters of the Trinamool Congress also brought out rallies raising the pitch against the GJM supporters.

Darjeeling tense over bandh call - tribuneindia
Shubhadeep Choudhury Tribune News Service
Kolkata, September 27 Undeterred by a High Court directive, the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) is all set to go ahead with its call for 12-hour bandh tomorrow in the Darjeeling Hill areas.
“We have not seen the court order. Bandh will be observed in the hills tomorrow”, Rooshan Giri, GJM general secretary, said.

Responding to a petition filed by Trinamool Congress leader Idris Ali, the Calcutta High Court today directed the state government to ensure that normal life is not disrupted in view of the bandh called by GJM tomorrow.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has vowed to foil the bandh call and the court directive has come to her as a shot in the arm to crack down on supporters of the bandh.

“The court has said it can start a suo motu contempt proceeding against GJM as bandhs are illegal and unconstitutional,” Amit Javalgi, Superintendent of Police of Darjeeling district, said, indicating the police resolve to take strong action against supporters of the bandh.

“Adequate forces are being deployed so that normal life is not affected in the hills tomorrow,” Javalgi added.
However, Harka Bahadur Chhetri, who formed Jana Andolon Party (JAP) after breaking away from the GJM, said if strong arm methods were used against GJM supporters tomorrow, Mamata Banerjee would be walking in the trap of the GJM because this was what GJM leader Bimal Gurung wanted.

“Bimal Gurung wants police to come down heavily on his supporters tomorrow. Violence will benefit him politically”, Chhetri, former GJM MLA from Kalimpong constituency, said.

The state government has also issued a circular making it mandatory for employees in the hills to come to the office tomorrow. Three ministers – James Kujur (tribal welfare), Rabindranath Ghosh (North Bengal Development) and Gautam Deb (Tourism) – are camping, respectively, at Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong.

“The ministers are interacting with public. They are here to give the message that the state government is serious about its opposition to the bandh call by the GJM”, Anurag Srivastava, District Magistrate of Darjeeling, said.

Harka Bahadur Chhetri said the current dispute between the state government and GJM should have been sorted out across the table since the issue involved was about the quantum of funds released by the state government to the GTA for development.
“Why put common people into discomfort by calling a bandh”, Chhetri said. Chhetri, who was backed by Mamata in the Assembly elections held earlier this year, said GJM called the bandh to regain the influence it once enjoyed in the hills.
GJM managed to retain all three Assembly seats in the hills in the 2016 General Elections but the victory margins of its candidates were considerably less than the 2011 elections.

Bandh Called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Halts Public Life in Darjeeling - news18
Sougata Mukhopadhyay | CNN-News18
Kolkata: A 12-hour bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) hit public life in Darjeeling on Wednesday as commercial establishments remained shut, defying the state government calls to boycott the strike.

The bandh, called by the GJM in support of a separate state of Gorkhaland, has been termed “illegal” by the Calcutta high court. Several shopkeepers and transport operators, however, supported the bandh in the upper reaches of West Bengal.

There were no reports of violence but minor tension was reported from Kurseong and Kalimpong towns where sympathisers of the ruling Trinamool Congress who were opposing the strike came face to face with GJM supporters who laid siege to important junctions of the hills to make the bandh a success.

The strike is being seen as the beginning of a new phase of protests in the hills as the GJM renews its calls for a separate Gorkhaland.

Seven companies of central forces and large contingents of the state police have been deployed to thwart attempts at disturbing peace. Trinamool Congress leaders Gautam, Rabindranath Ghosh and James Kujur have set up camp in the area to monitor the situation.

GJM called Darjeeling bandh, State govt. and administration set to foil the strike

11:33 AM
Morcha to TMC: avoid conflict - Ministers to camp in hills on bandh day

Telegraph Darjeeling, Sept. 26: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today "requested" the Trinamul Congress and the GNLF to stay away from confrontation during the 12-hour bandh on Wednesday 28th September 2016, but the ruling party announced that three ministers would be in the hills on that day "to supervise the situation".

The Morcha called the dawn-to-dusk shutdown in the Darjeeling hills on Wednesday to protest the allegedly false claim of Mamata Banerjee that Rs 4,000 crore had been given to the GTA. The chief minister had already announced that she wouldn't allow bandh in the hills.

Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, held a press conference here today and appealed to Trinamul and the GNLF not to confront the strike.

"The strike is a protest against the domination of the Bengal government. Mamata Banerjee and Aroop Biswas came to the hills, instigated the people and left, leaving the hill residents here. They will not be here during the strike and we request local leaders and cadres of Trinamul and GNLF not to confront the bandh as we are not against our own people," said Tamang.

Tamang also asked the GNLF to cancel its public meeting on the strike day. "We appeal to them to postpone the meeting to any other day so that there is no confrontation that day."
GJM called Darjeeling bandh, State govt. and administration set to foil the strike
Darjeeling Bandh - A File Photo
The GNLF's student wing is scheduled to hold a meeting in Darjeeling on Wednesday.

The Morcha leader said the administration was holding meetings with businessmen and transport operators and taking their phone numbers.

"Holding rallies, demonstrations and burning effigies are part of a democratic movement. But if the administration tries to force open shops, the situation could flare up not just in the hills but across north Bengal and we request the administration to handle the situation calmly and in an unbiased manner," said Tamang, who also requested vehicles from Sikkim not to operate within the GTA area on Wednesday.

Within hours, N.B. Khawash, the spokesman for Trinamul (hills), said three ministers would be stationed in the hills on the strike day.

"Three Trinamul ministers will be coming to the hills. They will probably reach tomorrow. They will be in the hills during the strike day to supervise the situation," he said.

While tourism minister Gautam Deb will be in Kalimpong, north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh will camp in Kurseong. Tribal minister James Kujur will be in Darjeeling.

Ghosh said: "Three ministers from the state cabinet will be camping in the hills basically to instill confidence in people's mind and help them in all possible manners."

Deb said the strike was "uncalled for" and would not be accepted by the hill people. "The strike has been thrust on the common people at the start of tourism season," said Deb.

Khawash said Trinamul would appeal to the people through the public address system not to take part in the strike and make them aware of the situation. "We are positive that the people will respond to our appeal."

Even though the Morcha decided to call a strike at the start of the tourism season, the party-controlled GTA will hold World Tourism Day celebrations in Darjeeling and Kalimpong tomorrow. The GTA has, however, cancelled its programme in Mirik.

Pradip Lama, the secretary of the Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents (DATA), said: "I will not attend the GTA programmes tomorrow. This is because they will be celebrating the World Tourism Day tomorrow and observing a strike the next day. The strike will hamper tourism. My conscience does not allow me to attend the celebrations."

The government on Monday issued a notification declaring that no leave would be granted to employees posted in the GTA area from September 27 to 29 in view of the bandh called by the Morcha on September 28.

According to senior Nabanna officials, the notice gives a hint that the chief minister is set to take the Morcha head on during the bandh.

Later this evening, principal secretary of the state transport department, Alapan Bandyopadhayay, issued another notification declaring that "wilful non-plying of public service vehicles" might lead to cancellation of permits and licences.

The notification also states that the government will take steps to ensure that traffic is normal on September 28. If damage is caused to any vehicle "by unruly and violent agitators", the state will compensate through insurance, it states.

In August 2013, the Morcha had called a prolonged bandh in the hills demanding Gorkhaland and the government had issued a notification that said salary of the employees would be deducted if they did not attend offices during the shutdown.

But this time, the picture is different as Mamata appears to be tough while dealing with the bandh call.

State government and district administration ready to foil the 12-hour Darjeeling bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

HT, 27 Sep 2016, DARJEELING: The state government and district administration are getting ready to foil the 12-hour Darjeeling bandh called by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung on September 28.

While James Kujur, minister in-charge of tribal development, will oversee matters in Darjeeling on September 28, tourism minister Gautam Deb will be camping in Kalimpong and North Bengal.

“Forceful bandh has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court. We have made all necessary arrangements to tackle any eventuality. Senior police officials will be camping in Darjeeling,” said Darjeeling SP Amit P Javalgi.
A notification from the finance department, Government of West Bengal stated that all state government offices in the GTA area, including those provided with grants-in-aid by the state government, will remain open and all employees should report for duty from September 27 to September 29. Absence will result in show cause and salary deduction. Some exceptions including hospitalisation, death in the family have been made.

“Special arrangements for transport have been made. State transport department will run extra buses. We have asked all unions to ply their vehicles. We have tied up with companies to provide insurance in case vehicles are vandalised,” said district magistrate Anurag Shrivastava.

A circular from the transport department stated that the Regional Transport Officer will ensure that public transport remains uninterrupted. “Permits/ licenses are liable to be cancelled for willful non-plying of public service vehicles. Regional Transport Authority will be in charge of cancellation of permits and licenses,” said the circular.
“What can we do? We are caught between the GJM and the district administration. The district administration is pressurising us to keep our shops open. The GJM is saying just the opposite. For how long will the district administration provide us security? We will be marked,” said a shopkeeper.

“The bandh is not the fallout of a tussle between Mamata Banerjee and Bimal Gurung. It is for Gorkhaland and Bengal’s suppression of the demand. We want to see the formation of Gorkhaland by 2019. All proGorkhaland people will support the bandh,” claimed Roshan Giri, general secretary, GJM Binay Tamang, assistant general secretary, GJM warned, “If the police and district administration use force, we will extend the 12-hour bandh and make it indefinite. The jurisdiction of the bandh will then spill over to Siliguri and Dooars.”

The GJM will be sending appeal letters to transport unions of Sikkim not to ply in GTA areas, mainly on National Highway 10 on the day of the bandh.

Though the bandh call was initially called to protest chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement that Rs 4000 crores has been allotted to the GTA in the past four-and-a half years, the GJM hurriedly added the “Gorkhaland” demand to the bandh call agenda- a perfect prescription for a successful strike.
Mamata has announced that under no condition will she allow the bandh to paralyze the Hills while Gurung is adamant to see the strike through.

GJM to spread bandh to plains if police "atrocities" continue

EOI DARJEELING 26 Sep 2016 Accusing the district police of intimidating traders, business establishments and vehicle syndicates to remain open on September 28, the proposed bandh day, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today warned of continuing the strike and even spreading it to Siliguri and the Dooars.

GJM assistant secretary Binay Tamang said the party would make every effort to ensure a peaceful bandh on Wednesday. But he warned that recent police activities had the potential to create a flare-up.

“Why are the police going around and taking phone numbers of traders and syndicate members? Don’t we have the right to protest in a democratic manner by putting up posters, rallying and calling strikes?

If the police attempt to open offices, schools, business establishments forcibly and if the situation turns volatile, the state government and the district administration will have to take the blame,” he threatened.

The GJM has called a 12-hour bandh in the hills on Wednesday seeking clarification from the state government within September 27 on the claim made by chief minister Mamata Banerjee that Rs 4,000 crore has been allocated for development work and that the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration had failed to execute it in the last four years.

The GJM assistant secretary said the party leadership was initially against calling the bandh, but for the intimidating statement by state minister Arup Biswas in Kalimpong on September 24. “It (Biswas' statement) has become an issue of challenge. We will definitely go ahead with our proposed bandh and even continue it and spread it to the plains if the police attempt to foil it,” said Tamang.

The GJM leader also said the party will be writing to Sikkim and apprise it about Wednesday’s bandh. “Since parts of NH-10 fall under Kalimpong sub-division, there is bound to be inconvenience.

We appeal to traders of Sikkim, vehicle owners and others to restrict their movements on the bandh day,” Tamang said.

Interestingly, the Gorkha National Student’s Front, a frontal organisation of the Gorkha National Liberation Front, will be holding its public meeting in Darjeeling on Wednesday. “We appeal to the GNLF  student wing and their party president Mann Ghisingh to postpone their public meeting,” Tamang said today.

But M.G.Subba, the Darjeeling sub-division convener of the GNLF, refused to budge and said the public meeting would go ahead as planned. “The public meeting is our pre-announced programme to highlight  the Sixth Schedule issue. The GJM should understand this. Why did they announce the strike all of a sudden?” he asked.

The GJM has also asked tourists in the hills to leave before September 27 if they have flight or train schedules for Wednesday. Later in the day, leaders of the hill TMC unit told reporters they condemned the bandh and that they would hit the streets on Wednesday to foil it. “We condemn GJM’s strike call and will protest on Wednesday. We don’t want conflict and so have started making the public aware of the disadvantages of strikes. This so because bandhs are not good for tourism, especially with the puja festivities approaching,” said N.B. Khawas, spokesperson for the hill TMC. He also said state tourism minister Gautam Deb, tribal minister James Kujur and north Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh would come to the hills on Wednesday to observe developments.

Bengal Government Goes All Out to Thwart Strike Call by GJM - Threatens Cancellation of Licences, Permits, Mandates Govt Employees Presence on 27th, 28th and 29th 

Vivek Chhetri Telegraph The West Bengal government on Monday issued a notification declaring that no leave would be granted to employees posted in the GTA area from September 27 to 29 in view of the bandh called by the Morcha on September 28.

According to senior Nabanna officials, the notice gives a hint that the chief minister is set to take the Morcha head on during the bandh.

Later this evening, principal secretary of the state transport department, Alapan Bandyopadhayay, issued another notification declaring that "wilful non-plying of public service vehicles" might lead to cancellation of permits and licences.



The notification also states that the government will take steps to ensure that traffic is normal on September 28. If damage is caused to any vehicle "by unruly and violent agitators", the state will compensate through insurance, it states.

In August 2013, the Morcha had called a prolonged bandh in the hills demanding Gorkhaland and the government had issued a notification that said salary of the employees would be deducted if they did not attend offices during the shutdown.

But this time, the picture is different as Mamata appears to be tough while dealing with the bandh call.

HC directive to government on Darjeeling bandh
The Calcutta High Court today directed the West Bengal government to ensure that normal life is not disrupted in view of a Darjeeling hills bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) tomorrow.

A division bench presided by Chief Justice G C Gupta observed that the court can start a suo motu contempt proceeding against GJM as bandhs are illegal and unconstitutional and against existing judgements of Supreme Court and different high courts.


The division bench, also comprising Justice Arindam Sinha, directed the state government to ensure normal life in the hills by ensuring that individual constitutional rights are not infringed.

Moving a petition challenging the 12-hour bandh called by GJM supremo Bimal Gurung on Wednesday, Trinamool Congress MP and advocate Idris Ali submitted that existing Supreme Court and high court judgements have on many occasions declared bandhs as illegal.

Despite that a bandh has been called in Darjeeling Hills during the peak tourist season before Durga Pujas to disrupt normal life and to affect the livelihood of thousands of people involved directly or indirectly with the tourism industry, Ali submitted.

He prayed that if GJM goes ahead with the bandh call and tries to enforce it, then the hills party be directed to pay monetary compensation for any loss to the people or the state.

Gurung has called the bandh alleging that the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government had not done enough for the development of the hills and also sought detail of projects taken up or completed as stated by the chief minister recently in Kalimpong at a public meeting.

Roshan Giri's Effigy burnt in Darjeeling

3:05 PM
DARJEELING 24 Aug 2016 More than 200 voluntary teachers of primary schools in the hills today burned the effigy of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabhasad Roshan Giri in Darjeeling town and submitted a mass resignation from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, the party they were linked to.

Five hundred and nineteen teachers are presently serving voluntarily in 129 junior, high and higher secondary schools in the hills over the last 10-15 years. Now, these teachers, under the aegis of the Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation (JISTO), want to be regularised. On July 8, the GJM disbanded the JISTO’s ‘movement committee’, a sub-unit that was spearheading the  regularisation demand after it went vocal about the party leadership’s inability to solve the issue.

The JISTO had issued an ultimatum to the GJM and the GTA to find a permanent solution failing which the unit had threatened to leave the party. “He (Giri) should quit as a Sabhasad on moral grounds, as he has failed to help us. Of what use is the GTA if it cannot even solve small issues like ours?” said Amit Gurung, spokesperson for the voluntary teachers.

Giri is the GTA Sabhasad in-charge of the education department and is also the GJM general secretary. A rally was organised by the voluntary teachers after which Giri’s effigy was burnt in Chowk Bazar  in protest.

The GJM general secretary though, was unfazed and said it was up to the voluntary teachers to do what they wanted. “If they (JISTO) want to burn my effigy, then who am I to stop them? If burning my effigy will fulfill them their demand, they are most welcome to do so,” retorted Giri when asked to comment.

On June 5, the GTA Sabhasad had met state education minister Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata and got an assurance that the process to regularise the voluntary teachers would be started as soon as the  state’s chief secretary gave direction to that effect. However, before that, on May 20, the joint secretary of the state school education department wrote to the home and hill affairs department saying  regularisation, absorption and appointment of voluntary teachers in the GTA could not be entertained until they secure their candidature through the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC). But the SSC  has remained non-functional since 2003 in the hills.

Meanwhile, seven members of the Gorkha Janmukti Vidhyatrhi Morcha (GJVM) started an indefinite relay hunger strike today in Darjeeling in support of the demand for a separate state. The youth front has said this is to send a message to the central government. “We have nothing to do with the state government as the matter of giving a separate state lies with the Centre. Modiji has already said that the dreams of the Gorkhas were his too. So we want the central government to fulfill our demand,” said Satyam Lama, the GJVM president.

(EOIC)

Pradip Pradhan joined Trinamul blaming GJM not delivering on its promise

10:19 AM
Writes Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Aug. 24: Bhupendra Pradhan, a founder member of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the GTA chairperson, today joined Trinamul, blaming the hill party for failing to deliver on its promise of development.

Pradhan, who is better known as Pradip, joined the state's ruling party in the public meeting at the Kurseong Motor Stand in the presence of Trinamul minister Aroop Biswas.

Pradhan said his decision to join the Trinamul was to ensure development in the hills, particularly Kurseong. He accused the Morcha of failing to carry out any development work in the past four years.

The GTA elections are expected to be held around July 2017. The Morcha today decided to expel Pradhan.

The hill leader arrived at the venue in the car of Biswas, who is Trinamul's observer for north Bengal.

He said the Morcha leadership was not sincere about the Gorkhaland demand and added that if a sincere leader comes ahead for statehood, he would definitely support the demand.

"In the past four years, we have been able to do nothing for the hills. I have had a talk with Mamata Banerjee and she has promised to look into issues related to the development of Kurseong. I have also raised the issue of granting district status to Kurseong. I am confident that with the TMC, there will be development here," Pradhan said.

He, however, said that if development was not ushered in even by Trinamul, he could think of leaving his new party too.

Pradhan accused the Morcha of corruption, saying some party leaders "did not have the means to even buy a good brand of cigarettes" but now "when they go to Bagdogra airport they enquire about the cost of a helicopter run by the Sikkim government. Where has this confidence come from?"

At the sidelines of the meeting, Pradhan said Bimal Gurung would not resign from the GTA as he had recently threatened. "He will not resign, note it down, as there is money in GTA," Pradhan said.

Pradhan urged the people to ponder over why Harka Bahadur Chhetri, Anmole Prasad, Trilok Dewan and Amar Lama had left the hill's biggest party.

Pradhan said in the next three months, the Morcha will have "only 20 per cent support" in the hills.

Morcha to oust Pradhan
The central committee of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today decided to expel Bhupendra Pradhan, popularly known as Pradip Pradhan, who switched to Trinamul today, from the party.

Soon after the central committee session, the GTA Sabha members met at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan and submitted a written request to the GTA Sabha vice-chairman, Lopsang Yolmo, to convene a special meeting where, sources said, they would seek the removal of Pradhan as the GTA chairman.

The meeting is likely to be held on August 26.

Morcha general secretary and the GTA Sabha member in-charge of education, Roshan Giri, said: "At the central committee meeting, we discussed the Gorkhaland issue. The party has also decided to expel Pradip Pradhan from the primary membership."

A source in the GTA said: "According to Section 37 of the GTA Act, a special meeting can be requisitioned by one-third of the Sabha members and once the vice-chairman convenes a meeting, the chairman can be removed by a resolution adopted by a simple majority of the total number of elected members of the GTA Sabha."

There are 45 elected members in the GTA Sabha.

The Morcha has also decided to hold a public meeting in Kurseong on Sunday.

According to sources, the move is an attempt to boost the morale of party cadres in the area and counter the Trinamul gathering where Pradhan switched allegiance.

Today, around 300 voluntary teachers, who were members of the Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation (JISTO) Movement Committee, burnt the effigy of Giri here before resigning from the Morcha.

The hill party had disbanded the Movement Committee last month after some of the members had criticised Giri alleging that he had not been working towards regularising the jobs of the 500-odd voluntary teachers in more than 120 schools across the hills.

Amit Gurung, the co-ordinator of the erstwhile Movement Committee, said: "We burnt the effigy of Roshan Giri today. Around 300 members have resigned from the party. We will soon meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee and decide our future course of action."

The teachers have decided to remain apolitical at the moment, sources said.

Told about the development, Giri said: "If by burning my effigy, their jobs are regularised, they are most welcome to burn my effigy everyday."

At Darjeeling Motor Stand, the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha started a relay hunger strike "for Gorkhaland" today with seven student leaders participating in it.

Satyam Lama, the president of the Vidyarthi Morcha, said: "Our hunger strike is a message that our agitation is democratic in nature. We demand that the Centre open a dialogue on Gorkhaland and efforts be taken to constitute a committee to look into our demand."


Via Telegraph

 
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