Showing posts with label Siliguri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Siliguri. Show all posts

Mamata Banerjee want Communication between GTA and State Govt.

8:39 AM

Siliguri, Jan. 21: Mamata Banerjee today asked the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to refrain from violence and talk to the state government if the party had any problems.

The chief minister made the oblique reference to the hill party at the inauguration of the North Bengal Wild Animals Park on the outskirts of Siliguri.

Puriye dile hobe na. Kichu bolar thakle bolun. Jaliye deben na(Arson would not do. If you have anything to say, tell us. Don't burn down (things)," said Mamata.

The remark came immediately after she had referred to the establishment of various tourism infrastructure in north Bengal and the repair of forest bungalows at Takdah and Jayanti during her regime.

According to observers, the chief minister's oblique and short message for the Morcha is in the wake of a snap in the communication between the state government and the GTA.

"Earlier, Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri was the link between Morcha and the state government. Ever since he walked out of the Morcha, the GTA-government communication has virtually stopped at the political level. The chief minister has understood it and proposed the resumption of talks to resolve issues through today's statement. Besides, ahead of the polls, Mamata wants peace in the hills and that is why she referred to the Takdah bungalow arson," said an observer.

Mamata said: "We have put in place important infrastructure across north Bengal. The Uttarkanya and Kanyashree (the branch secretariat and the VIP guesthouse on the same premises) have been constructed. Today, we opened this safari park. The Takdah forest bungalow has been built and it was torched earlier. The Jayanti bungalow, which was also gutted in a fire, has been rebuilt."

She added: "If anybody has any problem, they should come and speak to us. I would like to tell them that don't set fire to properties."

The Takdah bungalow, located around 35km from Darjeeling, where the chief minister had stayed in 2012, was set on fire in August 2013 when the Morcha was enforcing an indefinite strike over the demand of Gorkhaland. The structure was rebuilt at the instruction of the chief minister.

In June 2011, the Jayanti bungalow, a 61-year-old structure, was gutted in a fire, which foresters suspected was a sabotage. The bungalow, 35km from Alipurduar, was rebuilt with seven new cottages and inaugurated by Mamata in September last year.

Mamata's call for the Morcha to adopt the path of peace came a day after the Trinamul Congress had fumed at the hill party. Trinamul leaders like MP Abhishek Banerjee and minister Arup Biswas told a rally in Mirik yesterday that the Morcha had fooled the people of the hills in previous elections.

As a couple of months are left for the Assembly polls, it is unlikely that the Morcha will tie up with Trinamul even at an informal level. In the 2011 Assembly polls, the Morcha and the Trinamul-Congress alliance had an informal understanding and it helped the Congress and Trinamul win a number of seats in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts.

Siliguri district demand by Brihattar Siliguri Nagarik Mancha

9:10 AM
Siliguri, Dec. 21: An apolitical body of Siliguri residents today submitted a memorandum addressed to chief minister Mamata Banerjee to the subdivisional officer here, demanding the formation of a separate Siliguri district.

The Brihattar Siliguri Nagarik Mancha said in the memorandum that it had been seeking the separate district since 2011.

"The entire Siliguri subdivision and Bhaktinagar police station area should be included in the proposed district. The state's decision to form a separate Kalimpong district is a welcome step. We believe the state government has taken the decision to provide better administration and judiciary to the people. If this is the case, then Siliguri also needs to be developed as a separate district," said Ratan Banik, the secretary of the Mancha.
Demand to create Siliguri district by Brihattar Siliguri Nagarik Mancha

"Kalimpong is 52km from Darjeeling, which is the district headquarters. Siliguri is 80km from Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri is 50km from Bhaktinagar. So, we hope the state government will consider our demand," he added.

The Mancha also requested the government to bring Bhaktinagar police station, which is under Siliguri Police Commissionerate, under the Darjeeling district judiciary. "People of Bhaktinagar have to go to Jalpaiguri for legal and administrative matters. The police station is under the commissionerate and yet, it has not been brought under Darjeeling district judiciary. So, we demand the establishment of metropolitan courts as is required in a commissionerate. It would help Bhaktinagar residents," Banik said.

Source : Telegraph

Harka Bahadur Chhetri to form new party in the new year 2016

9:37 AM

Kalimpong, Dec. 20: Kalimpong MLA Harka Bahadur Chhetri today indicated that he would float a new "inclusive" and "secular" party that would not be confined to any geographical boundary before the end of the year.

Chhetri said he would be sitting with his colleagues on the Kalimpong District Demand Committee and other advisers in the next few days and hopefully, be in a position to offer a New Year gift to the people of the hills in the shape of a new party.

"We got Kalimpong as Christmas gift, and in order to make proper use of this Christmas gift, we may be in a position to announce a New Year gift," he said to wild cheers from the gathering at a programme organised by the district committee at the Mela Ground here to celebrate the government's decision to carve out Kalimpong district.

Mamata Banerjee had announced in Calcutta on Friday that Kalimpong would be made a new district.
Harka Bahadur Chhetri to form new party in the new year 2016
Rally in celebration of the declaration of Kalimpong District n welcoming Dr Harka Bhadur Chettri.
Chhetri said the new party would be inclusive and would not confine itself to a geographical boundary. "The party will be inclusive and secular. Even its name will not bear the name of any one community or communities. It will not be restricted by region either."

Chhetri said he could sense excitement among the people and time had come to seize the moment and herald a new beginning. "Today, I want to appeal to the people in Kurseong and Darjeeling, and my friends all over, to do something new in this new atmosphere... Come forward in this new atmosphere to herald a new dawn," he said.

Without naming Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung, Chhetri urged the educated section not to keep association with uneducated leadership. "I want to tell the educated friends what the value of your education will be if you obey everything a leader who knows nothing tells you. There is still time to make a course correction."

Seated on the dais were Darjeeling-Dooars United Development Foundation president Mahendra P. Lama, former Morcha leaders Amar Lama and Anmole Prasad. Mahendra Lama had contested the last parliamentary elections against the Morcha-supported BJP leader S.S. Ahluwalia.

Amar Lama and Prasad had quit the Morcha following the killing of Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League president Madan Tamang on May 21, 2010. Lama is the younger brother of Tamang.

Mahendra P. Lama congratulated Chhetri and the people of Kalimpong on the upgrade of the subdivision to a district.

"District is a big achievement. Kalimpong has tremendous potential. We can make the district number one not only in Bengal but in the entire country," he said.

Earlier in the day, upon his arrival in Siliguri from Calcutta, Chhetri scoffed at the Morcha leadership for resorting to confrontational politics with the state government and for failing to harness the provisions and powers conferred on the GTA.

He also ruled out the possibility of joining Trinamul

"The entire credit for making Kalimpong a separate district goes to Mamata Banerjee. She had never ever told me to join Trinamul. If she had put a condition that the state would announce Kalimpong a district only if I joined Trinamul, I would have accepted it in the interest of Kalimpong residents. But no such offer had come," the MLA told journalists in Siliguri.

Chhetri said he couldn't say now if he would contest the next Assembly polls.

During his drive up from Siliguri, people stopped his vehicle at various points on NH10 and offered him khadas.

They shouted slogans hailing the formation of Kalimpong district and in praise of Chhetri. In Kalimpong, he was given a rousing reception by people.

Source Telegraph

Hill parties should learn from this - CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join Hands against TMC

10:42 AM
CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join Hands to Keep TMC at Bay in Two Siliguri Panchayat Samities

The CPM today entered into an alliance with the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad and the Congress to keep Trinamul away from power at two panchayat samities under the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad.

The Left Front had majority in two panchayat samities - Kharibari and Matigara. Today, the Front tied up with non-Trinamul parties to form boards at Naxalbari and Phansidewa panchayat samities, which were hung.

In Naxalbari, of the total 18 seats, the CPM had won eight. The party got the magic figure with the support of two winners of the Parishad and one of the Congress. Trinamul's seven candidates did not participate in the electoral process today and walked out from the block office before the board was formed.

Saroj Kiran Toppo of the Parishad became the sabhapati and Md Islam of the CPM became the deputy.

"Our aim was to keep Trinamul out of power and we appealed to all political parties (to join). We are overwhelmed that they reciprocated. After keeping away Trinamul in the panchayats, we have sent a message that Trinamul no longer enjoys indomitable status in the state," said Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya, who is also a CPM state secretariat member.
Hill parties should learn from this - CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join Hands against TMC
CPI(M), AVP, Congress Join
Hands against TMC
At Phansidewa, of the total 21 seats, Trinamul had eight. Later, the party got support from two members, one each from the BJP and the Congress. The Left, which had seven seats, formed the board with support of four Congress members.

Biswajit Nandi and Nistar Lakra of the CPM became the sabhapati and the deputy, respectively.

Today, the Left formed the board at Matigara and Kharibari as well.

A local Trinamul leader said they were kept in dark about the formation of the rural boards by the district leadership. "The district leaders did not bother to consult us before selecting candidates and we were ignored after the results. No strategy was followed to form the boards," a senior party leader said.

Ranjan Sarkar, the newly-appointed president of Darjeeling district Trinamul, however, said the way the boards were formed proved the CPM-Congress nexus once again. "We have accepted defeat against the tacit understanding between the two parties. We will analyse the results and work for better outcome in the coming Assembly polls."

[Via: Telegraph]

Darjeeling girl Murdered in Siliguri, suspected husband missing

8:23 AM
A gruesome murder of a young woman has rocked Siliguri town.
According to sources, Ms. Sweta Lama was married to one Abhilash Tamang, apparently on Saturday Sweta was brutally murdered. Police recovered the dead body of Ms. Sewta Lama, and informed the family on Monday morning.

On arrival at her home, Sweta’s family was shocked to find that she had been tortured brutally. According Ms. Sarina Gurung Rai, sister of Sweta, “her hands had been burned with cigarettes and iron, there are knife stab marks on her head, and acid was also thrown on her body... as if that was not enough, her body was then hanged as well.”

Family sources added that Sweta who is originally from Dali, in Darjeeling had eloped with Abhilash, and they had been married for the past 4 years. Mr. Prakash Gurung the father of the victim has stated in his FIR “ daughter had love-marriage with Abhilash Tamang since the past four years. After marriage, she was tortured physically by her husband.”
Darjeeling girl Sweta Lama Murdered in Siliguri, suspected husband missing

Since the murder, Sweta’s husband Abhilash Tamang has gone missing and the police have not been able to trace him. They have however registered a case under section 302/201 of Indian Penal Code.
Ms. Sarina stated, “Her husband is missing since the day of the murder... I request help from the general public to help us trace Abhilash, we are hopeful, with all of your help, that criminal will be behind the bars as soon as possible.”

Anyone who has any information on absconding Abhilash Tamang is requested to contact:
Tshering Doma Lama (Shweta’s mother) at: 98325-52397 or your nearest police station.
Please SHARE… someone from your timeline may know the where about’s of Abhilash Tamang or may have seen him.

Via TheDC

Bimal Gurung extends his padayatra to Siliguri and Dooars

12:05 PM
Gurung to extend walk to plains
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, Oct. 4: Bimal Gurung has decided to extend his ongoing padayatra to cover more areas in the hills as well as Siliguri and the Dooars in two new phases.

According to the original plan, the procession was to end at Darjeeling on October 7.

However, Binay Tamang, the assistant secretary of the Morcha, today said the party president would again start marching after a gap of one day. "From October 9, Bimal Gurung will start the padayatra from Darjeeling once again and this time, he will go to Kurseong and then proceed towards Sukna from Tindharia area. He will then walk to Panighatta and climb up to Soureni to reach Mirik," said Tamang.

After completing the second phase of the march at Mirik, Gurung will go to Siliguri and the Dooars. "The march to Siliguri and the Dooars has been lined up for the third phase. However, we cannot tell you the dates as it would depend on the days required to complete the second phase of the march," said Tamang.
Gurung on 3rd Day of Gorkhaland Jagaran Yatra
Gurung on 3rd Day of Gorkhaland Jagaran Yatra 
Gurung's decision to extend the procession effectively means that he won't be attending the GTA chief executive's office for almost a month, said party sources. "Important GTA files will be signed wherever Gurung is during the march. This is what Gurung has told us," said Tamang.

The plains in the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts have 398 mouzas which the Morcha wants to be brought under the GTA.

Gurung and his supporters had started the march from Kalimpong on October 2. The walk was launched in the wake of resignation of Harka Bahadur Chhetri and Trilok Dewan from the Morcha. The duo had questioned the Morcha leadership's style of functioning and said Gurung was acting in a dictatorial manner.

Source Telegraph

Tea Joint Forum campaigns against Trinamul in Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad

11:59 AM
Leaders of the Joint Forum, the apex body of 24 trade unions of tea plantation workers, have said they will campaign for the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad polls with a plea to voters to keep Trinamul Congress at bay.

If Trinamul could be defeated in the three-tier rural polls, they said, the experiment will be replicated in the Assembly elections also.

Similar to the "Siliguri model", the initiative is the result of the success the forum could script earlier this year by getting tea planters to offer a good hike in the wages for the workers.

The forum's constituents are tea garden wings of the trade unions affiliated to the Congress, Left parties and other organisations.

Trinamul has three trade unions in the tea belt and none of them are members of the forum.
Darjeeling and Dooars Tea Workers Relief Organization - DAWN's photo
Darjeeling and Dooars Tea Workers Relief Organization - DAWN's photo
"We succeeded in getting a decent hike in wages, compared to previous pay rise. Besides, the state was forced to form an advisory committee to recommend minimum wages for tea garden workers. All these would not have been possible but for the initiative of the Joint Forum. The role of Trinamul's trade unions was not up to the mark during the wage talks," said Ziaur Alam, the Jalpaiguri district secretary of the Citu.

"In our campaign for the SMP polls, we are insisting that the workers join hands to achieve their rights and simultaneously ensure the development of their villages and their socio-economic uplift. It is necessary to maintain the unity so that the state government, which is not taking any step against tea planters accused of violating workers' rights and privileges, is forced to act," he added.

A senior Citu leader based in Darjeeling district said the forum's message was in consonance with the one passed on by the Left Front to voters in the SMP area and other parts of north Bengal.

"The Left Front has appealed to people to vote for any competent candidate other than the nominees fielded by Trinamul. The message was sent to stop Trinamul from coming to power at the SMP. In a similar manner, we are making it clear that the Trinamul trade unions have failed to meet the aspirations of the workers and could not fulfil their demands, though their party is in power in the state," said the Citu leader who didn't want to be named.

Elections to the SMP and by-polls to several other rural bodies in north Bengal will be held on October 3.

The trade unions said they intended to carry out a similar campaign in the 2016 Assembly elections.

"Trinamul has many trade unions for tea plantation labourers and it has created confusion among the workers. We will highlight this aspect during the campaign for the Assembly elections to keep Trinamul at bay. We are also expecting support from the trade union of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha which has taken a vehement anti-Trinamul stance," said an INTUC leader in Jalpaiguri.

If the tea plantation workforce is united under the banner of the Joint Forum, Trinamul will be in a tight position in at least 11 Assembly segments in north Bengal.

Four constituencies in Darjeeling district, one constituency in North Dinajpur district, three constituencies each in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts have a substantial population of tea garden workers.

In 2011, despite having an alliance with the Congress, Trinamul was defeated in the constituencies where it had fielded candidates. The Congress won the seats where it contested.

Alok Chakraborty, the working president of Trinamul Tea Plantation Workers' Union, said the forum's efforts wouldn't succeed.

"It was our government that forced a substantial hike in wages. The Left never thought of implementing the minimum wages but our government took an initiative in that direction. Attempts by some unions to deter Trinamul from making inroads into the tea belt will not work," he said.

Source Telegraph

CPIM hand behind renewal of ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ agitation - Gautam Deb

11:00 AM
Minister Gautam Deb today said Bimal Gurung's decision to resume the statehood agitation was a result of a meeting between Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya and Swaraj Thapa, the principal advisor to the GTA.

"Bimal Gurung's decision to resume the movement for statehood is the outcome of the recent meeting between Asok Bhattacharya and Swaraj Thapa. It is after this meeting that Morcha leaders sharpened attacks at the state and our party," Deb said. "We feel that Asok Bhattacharya is inciting the (Gorkha Janmukti) Morcha to resume its movement. People who are trying to encourage those who want division of Bengal will not succeed."

On September 22, Thapa had called on Bhattacharya and both leaders had termed the meeting "personal".
CPIM hand behind renewal of ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ agitation - Gautam Deb
CPIM hand behind renewal of ‪‎Gorkhaland‬ agitation - Gautam Deb Pic via Himalaya Darpan
Yesterday, Bimal Gurung, had said the Morcha would resume the movement soon.

Bhattacharya said: "I have said Swaraj Thapa is known to me for the past 10-12 years. It was entirely a personal visit. We have already cleared our stand over Gorkhaland and said that we don't want any division of state. Trinamul has given recognition to the demand by signing the GTA accord, where it was mentioned that Morcha was not dropping its demand for Gorkhaland. This has encouraged them."

Today, Trinamul published its manifesto for the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad polls.

Source Telegraph

Swaraj Thapa GTA advisor called on by Asok Bhattacharya, Siliguri Mayor

11:52 PM
By A newsman

Siliguri, 22 September: AMIDST the on-going upheaval in Darjeeling politics, the advisor to Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Swaraj Thapa on Tuesday called on the Siliguri Mayor and CPI-M leader Asok Bhattacharya.

Thapa, who was a senior journalist with the Indian Express group in Delhi before joining the GTA as advisor in 2011, met Bhattacharya at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation around noon on Tuesday. He is very close to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung, who heads the autonomous GTA as its chief executive.

Both the Siliguri Mayor and Thapa maintained that the meeting was a courtesy call. But political observers suspect that a political understanding might be cooking between the CPI-M and the GJM as Trinamool Congress happens to be prime rival for both the parties.
GJM has some strong base among the Nepali speaking people living in and around Siliguri where the Mahakuma Parishad elections are scheduled on 3 October.
From the left Swaraj Thapa and Asok Bhattacharya
From the left Swaraj Thapa and Asok Bhattacharya
“I went to meet Mr Bhattacharya on a personal courtesy call and this has nothing to do with the GTA or politics. I gave him a bouquet as this is the first time we met after he became the Mayor,” Thapa said.

Bhattacharya however, acknowledged that they did discuss the political situation of Darjeeling Hills. “It was a courtesy call as I have known Thapa for several years now. But during the course of the discussion Darjeeling politics did came up,” the Mayor said.

“At present, Hills politics is not on our agenda. It shall be our focus at a later stage. But it is true that both the people of the Hills and Siliguri want to defeat the Trinamool,” he added brushing aside the possibility of any immediate understanding with the GJM.

The meeting comes at a time when two top GJM leaders have resigned from the party in a span of four days accusing Bimal Gurung of running the party in a dictatorial fashion.  Gurung in the meantime has gone to Nepal with some associates and family members “to offer puja” in a temple there.

Via newsmen

Carpenter trio held in Shivmandir Siliguri triple murder case

12:55 PM
Siliguri police today said they had cracked the family triple-murder case with the confession and arrest of three carpenters who were arrested this morning.

Asked about the motive behind the murders of retired government employee Pradip Bardhan, his wife and son, the police said more investigation was required, but preliminary findings suggested the attackers had tried to rob the house in the hope of getting a large amount of cash.

The police said they had recovered some gold ornaments and some cash from the three, who were arrested from two locations - Matigara and Malbazar.

According to senior officers of Siliguri Metropolitan Police, the trio admitted that they had murdered Pradip Bardhan, 62, Dipti, 50, Prasenjit, 29, between 6pm and 10pm last Monday.

"Our officers spoke to some people, including close relatives of the family. Also, some clues were found during a search at the house. Based on the investigation, we could track Sahadeb Burman, a 27-year-old carpenter," Shyam Singh, the deputy commissioner (west) of Siliguri Metropolitan Police, said at a news conference at Matigara police station this evening.
Family-Murdered-in-Siliguri- ILS
Family-Murdered-in-Siliguri- Photo via ILS
"Based on his confession, we nabbed Dipu Sutradhar, 24, and Chiranjit Modak, 21."

Singh said Burman was a resident of Tarijote and Dipu is from Pramodnagar, both under Matigara police station.

Modak is from Chakrabusty in Malbazar, Jalpaiguri district.

"About one-and-a-half months back, the trio had worked in Pradip Bardhan's house. Recently, Pradip met Sahadeb in a local market in Matigara. He asked him to visit his house, saying that one of the doors, fitted newly on the first floor, was not working properly. Sahadeb assured him he would come soon," the officer said.

On September 14, Sahadeb, along with Dipu and Chiranjit, arrived at Bardhan's house. As they were known to the family, all the three were allowed inside.

"We are yet to know when they entered the house but they have confessed that they murdered Pradip on the first floor and his wife and son on the ground floor between 6pm and 10pm," Singh said.

Police sources said the trio had searched for money and other valuables but found only Rs 13,000 in cash, some gold ornaments, some ATM cards and bank passbooks.

"These items have been seized from them. We are yet to assess the valuation of the ornaments and whether they had taken away only Rs 13,000 or more," a police officer said.

"Also, five cell phones have been seized from them. We need to check out these cellphones to know whether all five belong to the trio or they had stolen one or more handsets from the house after the murders."

Singh, when asked whether the motive was robbery, said they needed to investigate further.

Yesterday, some police officers had said that they are suspecting some other motive behind the murders.

"We will produce them in court tomorrow and will seek custody for 14 days. They need to be interrogated further to confirm the motive. As of now, we cannot comment on the issue," Singh said.

Police sources, however, said that preliminary interrogation and the seizure of cash and valuables indicated it might be a case of robbery.

"There are chances that the trio had planned the murders and the robbery in anticipation that they might get a huge amount of cash, considering that the house was under renovation," the police source said.

"However, as we need to know some more information from the murderers, we cannot rule out that there might be other motives."

The last rites of the family were conducted by Ashok, Pradip's brother, and some other relatives at Bardhan Nivas today. A few neighbours were seen near the house.

"The family had been staying here for several years and we knew them quite well. None of them was ever found involved in even a minor altercation. We can't still believe that they have to face such painful deaths," Raja Majumdar, a resident of Leninpur, said.

Ashok, the deceased employee's brother, said: "We want exemplary punishment to all those involved."

Source: Telegraph

Police rule out theft in Shivmandir Siliguri triple murder case

12:34 PM
Police said today they had found only some items in disarray when they entered the house of the retired WBSEDCL employee found murdered along with his wife and son, but they don't suspect theft to be the motive for the triple murders.

The bodies of Pradip Bardhan, 62, wife Dipti, 50, and son Prasenjit, 29, were found yesterday morning after a carpenter alerted neighbours.

The post-mortem has shown that all the three died of strangulation. All three bodies had ropes or cloth fastened to the throat. "Doctors have confirmed that all three were strangulated to death, as we have been suspecting," an officer of Matigara police station said.

Also, Pradip's head, face, neck and chest was smeared with paint. "He had bought paint and hired painters to colour the house. We suspect that either his head was forcibly put into a paint container by the killers or after murdering him, they smeared his upper body with paint to hide their finger marks," the officer said.
Police rule out theft in Shivmandir Siliguri triple murder case
Dead body of , wife Dipti, 50
The police said when the first team went to the house yesterday, "we found that some items at the house are slightly in a disarray However, there was no proof that those who killed the family did it with the intention of robbing cash and valuables. This minor frisking, we suspect, was done to divert the motive," a police officer said.

Suspicion had initially fallen on the painters working at the Bardhans' home - Pradip had made the two-storey house after retiring from WBSEDCL. The police said there were four painters working in that house. "It was learnt today that there were four of them, all are from different localities of Siliguri. Our officers have spoken to them, but so far, nothing could be found from what they have said," a senior police officer said.

The upper floor was getting finishing touches, neighbours said, for which the house painters used to come to work.

Today, two CID officers from Calcutta visited the house, under Matigara police station, to collect fingerprints. "The fingerprints would be analysed and we hope it would help in our investigation."

Yesterday morning, the carpenter who was supposed to work at the house turned up and found that the main door at the entrance was open. He entered and found the lifeless bodies of Dipti and Prasenjit and immediately raised the alarm. The carpenter too has been questioned and released.

The Bardhans had resided in the Lenipur locality on Siliguri's outskirts for two decades, but the house then was a single-storey structure with a tin roof. After retirement, Pradip had made the new house. The ground floor, from where the bodies of Dipti and Prasenjit were found, was complete.

Police officers who spoke to Reshmi, Pradip and Dipti's daughter, and her husband this evening said they were still in the process of collecting information.

"We are trying to find out the motive behind the murders. There is no reason to believe that it was done to rob the family. Also, there is no indication that the family was in financial trouble," a police source said. "We have also checked with Prasenjit's office colleagues and found nothing suspicious so far."

Prasenjit used to work as a computer operator on a contractual basis at the design wing of state PWD near Jalpai More in Siliguri.

Source Telegraph

Family brutally murdered in Shivmandir Siliguri

12:03 PM
Three members of a family were brutally killed by some miscreants in a house at Shivmandir near North Bengal University in Siliguri on Tuesday.Only the daughter of the family, who stays at her in-laws, was spared.

Elderly couple and their only son of around 27 year had strangulation marks on their necks.The dead body of Pradip Bardhan (61), his wife Dipti (52) and son Prasenjit (27) was found in their newly constructed bi-storyed house around 8.30 on Tuesday morning.

The elderly man Pradip Bardhan’s body was strewn with fresh paints and a coir rope, which police suspect has been used in strangulating him, has been found beside the dead body.His wife, Dipti’s body was found in the kitchen, with a nylon rope beside the dead body. She is suspected to have been strangulated with the nylon rope.The couple’s son Prasenjit’ body was lying in another room with a long cloth covering his upper body that has probably been used to strangulate him.
Family brutally murdered in Shivmandir Siliguri
Family brutally murdered in Shivmandir Siliguri
Accordeing to sources for the past few days the Bardhan family had hired five painters who are outsiders to paint their home, out of whom 4 have gone missing because of which the locals suspect that the painters were involved in the murder.

Police have nabbed the fifth painter and are interrogating him, however people are cautioned against hiring outsiders without proper verification of their antecedents.

Such a dreaded incident have created panic among the residents of the area and Siliguri too because most of the households generally appoint laborers, workers, electricians etc. without knowing the background of them for small works. They stay in the house at that time when most people go to work and no one to protect. The members of the households can become immediate victims to those ill intentioned people.

Darjeeling TMC and Congress files nominations for SMP election

11:09 AM
Darjeeling district units of TMC and Congress files nominations for Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad (SMP) polls. The TMC is contesting the election in alliance with the  Advashi Vikas Parishad where as Congress has decided to fight the election on its own and have filed the nominations for all nine seats.
TMC and Congress File Nominations for SMP Elections
TMC and Congress File Nominations for SMP Elections
Entering into a poll alliance with the Advashi Vikas Parishad, the Darjeeling district unit of the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday announced the names of its candidates contesting in the upcoming Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad election. After announcing the names of nine candidates, North Bengal Development Department minister Gautam Deb said, "Our party and government are working for the development of the Advashi community. Hence, we want them to partner us in every development and political ventures. This time around, AVP candidates will contest in TMC tickets."

Deb also maintained that since the TMC works for the welfare of all strata of society, party candidates would garner votes in large numbers. The nine TMC candidates are Nivamerry Tirkey, Sharmistha Chanda Roy, Suren Burman, Adhendu Biswas, Ratan Singh, Tarulata Das Singh, Ramchandra Lohar, Ayanul Haque and Kajol Ghosh. They will file their nomination papers on Thursday, the last date for doing so, said Deb.

The Darjeeling district unit of the Congress party today filed nomination papers of its nine candidates contesting in the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad polls at the office of the SDO. The Congress has decided to fight the election on its own. MLA Shankar Malakar said, "Our main fight will be with the Left Front and we are sure our candidates will win in all the nine seats." Of the nine candidates, Sunita Tamang is contesting from Naxalbari, Sujata Sarkar from Bagdogra, Sukumar Saibo from Patharghatta, Sujit Das from Matigara, Ataur Rahaman from Phansidewa, Kshith Singha from Bidhan Nagar, China Burman from Khoribari, Karlos Lakra from Ghoshpukur and Nirupama Singha Roy from Binnabari. 

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to field own candidates for SMP elections

"GJM, (Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) has several supporters in the Terai region who have been extending full support to the Gorkhaland movement ever since the inception of the GJM. Considering the views and aspirations of the people of the Terai region, GJM has decided to field it's own party candidates in the upcoming SMP (Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad) elections," Gurung said in a press release.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to field own candidates in SMP elections
Bimal Gurung & John Barla
"The people of the Terai region have various problems, which can be solved only in a localized manner. The decision was taken by keeping this in mind," he added. According to Gurung, it was the unity of GJMM supporters that helped Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate SS Ahluwalia (Darjeeling MP) emerge victorious in the last Lok Sabha polls. "I have full hope that this time our candidates will emerge victorious as well," Gurung said. However, he did not disclose the names of the candidates.

Another regional party, the Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP), which has a significant support base in the Matigara, Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa blocks in the plains, has said it will soon clear the air on whether it will support the BJP in the SMP elections or go it alone.

The State Election Commission (SEC) is likely to issue a notification for the SMP elections in the first week of September. The SEC has already informed anti-Trinamul political parties in writing that the SMP elections will be held on 3 October.

"The notification will be issued just a month before the 3 October polls, if things go in the right direction," SEC commissioner SR Upadhyay had told The Statesman on 18 August.

Source - Statesman 

What's in a Name? I'm a proud Bahadur. Are you?

1:25 PM
Writes Dumi Rai

Last weekend I was invited to my friend Birthday party. He lives some miles away from me in the heart of Siliguri. The party was a show in itself. Bright and lively. People dressed rich flocked in and out. I checked myself in the mirror. Smelled myself fearing the worst. I then realize that sometime being with the best simply makes us self-conscious without any reason to be. I knew I needed to do something. But what? I don't move and sing like Michael Jackson. Or act like Amir Khan. Or even the ultimatum I can't even perform comedy like Kapil Sharma. So, I decided to do what suited the best for a 22 year man like me. Watch the crowd, specially the beautiful ladies. And this is one thing I knew I could do right.

What's in a Name? I'm a proud Bahadur. Are you?

It had been only sometime, when I sense someone watching me. I turned to see Aavnay standing next to me. So which one attracts you? He said looking at the crowd. That girl in the red top and the blue ... I paused. What was the thing even called? Skirt, he completed my incomplete sentence. I smiled.
“Drink?” He offered me one. “No”, I said. He then gulped the drink meant for me at one shot. “So have fun, I need to attend the guest.” Then he was gone. And I was back again to where I had left behind. The DJ playing really nice number and with the liquor flowing everywhere, the guests were indeed having a great time.

“I will drop you home. Let me at least do this,” Aavnay grunted. His eyes had that shade of red and he smelled alcohol. I smelled myself. I still smelled the cologne. The perfume did really worked as it claimed to in the ads. Except one sad lie, no girls came running to me. Not even one. But that's OK.  I can live with it.

As we were coming out of his building, I could see an old man opening the main gate. Maybe in his 50's. “Bahadur, Mein bahar jaa raha hu.” “Thik hain Saab,”  came the polite reply. I watch the silhouette until it faded in the dark.

“Bahadur,” I whispered to myself.

“Do you know what "Bahadur" literally mean?”

“It is a title. An honor conferred upon an individual.”

“And who has beautify this legendary title better than us.”

Among the Gorkhas, we are proud of this title which symbolizes bravery and courage. Believe it or not, but our ancestors had a "Bahadur" in between their names. Maybe some of us still do. We are one community who are regarded as very brave and equally loyal. The Gorkha regiment under the Indian Army speaks legends about us. Also the Gorkha soldiers serving in the other foreign countries have carved a name for themselves. Gallant acts of courage has made us a respectable community. And hence the title being conferred upon us.

But ironically, we are using the same title to humiliate our community, our brothers and ultimately the sacrifices of those brave souls who redeemed us. We are depriving them of their honor. And to add to the woes, if we were not enough, even other communities have chosen to share our stupid task of humiliating ourselves. For god's sake , stop using that name.

Call the watchman a watchman. Or the servant with his name. I say so because he didn't fight battles or is sacrificing himself for a greater cause. He isn't any brave soldier neither an honored freedom fighter. He is just a common man like us who's trying to survive. And I say that he is not worthy a contender for the title. If he was, so are we. Why not call yourself a Bhahadur? No. Why? Because that would be a mockery to your high profile. Ironically the very honor that appreciates us globally  is considered discreetly inappropriate for us. Why? We misused the title. We made it cheap like some fabricated gold ornaments that can be found for some twenty or thirty rupees in the markets stalls. They Shine brightly but are worthless.

And to great astonishment, you would find "Bahadur" who are not Gorkhas. Kudos to us, we have finally made "Bahadur" a successful brand name of which everyone are so fancy about. For instance, watch a movie and you will find the actor calling for a watchman Bahadur. Great, isn't it?

We were a poor community once. Our ancestors had been brought in this land as workers for the Tea plantations. We bowed our head low and folded our hand into a "Namaste" to every Britishers.  And when they left the country, we bowed to the rich Indians. But, now the time has changed and the coin has been flipped. We are no longer cow herds or servants. We are a proud community which boast of many great personalities and legends.

We are no longer that simpleton who don’t know how to read and write. We are no longer those Innocent mass who had never seen a computer all their life. We are no longer those unlucky few who are still a servant in someone's rich man house. We're the new face of change. We are the smart bureaucratic class who know how to read and write and even brag like the west. We no longer wear tattered clothes. We work in big international companies. We have a rich taste, wear rich clothes. Drive premium cars.  We no longer have to bow down to anyone anymore. We have transformed from a naive and poor community into respectable citizens.

We have respected people of our community expertise in every field. Be it arts, technology, medicines, science etc. Be it dancing or singing beautifully in the reality show that are aired in the television we have achieved it all. And we all love it absolutely.

But when would we love ourselves? Not the success or the riches that we have accumulated. But the true virtue of being who we are. When would we embrace our traditions and our culture? When would we quit impersonating being someone else and be completely honest with our Identity?

Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe the next spring.

But promise me, no matter whenever you decide to. Please begin by honoring the title "Bahadur".

I'm a proud Bahadur. Are you?


Congress demands cases withdrawn against anti Gorkhaland tribal leaders

12:29 PM
Siliguri, Aug. 26: A Congress MLA from the tea belt today demanded that the Mamata Banerjee government withdraw cases against tribal leaders who had protested the formation of Gorkhaland and the inclusion of Terai and Dooars in it.
Congress demands cases withdrawn against anti Gorkhaland tribal leaders
Congress Logo
Yesterday, the chief minister had said in Darjeeling that 115 cases against Gorkhaland leaders would be withdrawn. Joseph Munda, the Congress MLA from Jalpaiguri's Nagrakata, said the same should be done for the other side that tried to block the formation of Gorkhaland.

With the elections to Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad round the bend and the Assembly elections scheduled next year, Munda's demand has given Trinamul a campaign weapon, if the state accepts the Congress MLA's demand.

At the meeting of the Tribal Advisory Council in Darjeeling today, Munda demanded that all cases filed against tribals for blocking highways during the anti-Gorkhaland movement be withdrawn. "I have proposed that similar cases of blockade, which were registered against tribals in Terai and Dooars between 2008 and 2011, should be withdrawn," Munda said. "The chief minister has assured me she would look into the issue."

Source Telegraph

Amir Sundas sculpts unique statute of Bhanu Bhakta Acharya at Milan More

10:16 AM
Amir Sundas is the man behind the unique statute of poet  Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya in a sitting posture installed at Milan More Siliguri. Amir is multi-talented and in addition to sculpting he is also deft at painting, music and other art forms.
Amir Sundas seen in action.
Amir Sundas seen in action - PIC via TheDC
Amir Sundas from Bagrakote in Dooars is the artist who designed and sculpt the unique statute of Bhanu Bhakta Acharya in sitting position that was unveiled at Milan More Siliguri on the 23rd Nepali Bhasha Diwas , the day when the Nepali language got recognition by the Constitution.

The statue made in a sitting position on stone with verses of the Ramayana engraved is the first one in Bengal and l cost around Rs 3 lakhs.

With inputs from TheDC

Siliguri Gorkha Manch to Prioritize Nepali Language

On 23rd Nepali Bhasha Diwas SGM held a meeting just to celebrate the auspicious occasion and the meeting was chaired by Smt Sudha Passi.
Siliguri Gorkha Manch to Prioritize Nepali Language
Siliguri Gorkha Manch to Prioritize Nepali Language
The General Secretary Shri Suren Pradhan welcomed the members and wished them a very happy Bhasha Diwas and placed the agenda which was already passed to them. After a hot discussion the following resolutions were unanimously adopted.

1. From today onwards SGM will make all correspondence in Nepali language, no use of other language.

2. All text books of Nepali medium schools have numerous spelling mistakes and delay in supply for this reason SGM shall write to the concerned authority and will ensure that no spelling mistake in text books and timely supply of books

. 3. Once Nepali language has been recognized by the Indian constitution it should be adopted as official language not only in three hill sub divisions of Darjeeling but in SiliguriTerai and that all forms be printed in Nepali - eg voter card, ration cards, Aadhar card and all other forms should also be printed in Nepali Language too.

SGM has stated that they will start correspondence immediately with the concerned authority for implementation of the above. 

SGM saluted the agitators who were directly or indirectly involved in the Bhasha andolan. SGM will immediately submit a memorandum to D.M Darjeeling and all concerned authority very soon.

Via TheDC

Statue of Bhanu Bhakta to be installed on Nepali Bhasha Diwas

10:51 PM
A unique statue of eminent Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya will be installed

A unique statue of eminent Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya will be installed on Thursday by Congress MLA Shankar Malakar on the auspicious occasion of Nepali Bhasha Diwas at Milan More near Siliguri.

The idol made in a sitting position on stone with verses of the Ramayana engraved is the first one in Bengal. The idol was made by famous idol maker Amir Sundas with the cost around Rs 3 lakhs.
Deepak Neopane, a member of the Samity, said the main motive behind establishing the organisation is to celebrate the birth anniversary of Adhi Kavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya on an annual basis and boost the development of Nepali literature and culture.

Eminent personalities including Nar Bahadur Dahal, P Arjun, Gyanendra Khatiwada, Lok Nath Chapagai, Mukti Baral and others are invited as special guests. After the inauguration Bhasha Diwas will be observed followed by cultural show.

By Prashant Achary
Source : khabartaja2

100 years of Tindharia workshop - DHR, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

12:37 PM
1915-2015: 100 years of Tindharia Works, A UNESCO World Heritage Area
Article by: DHR Sano Rail

This year celebrates 100 years of Tindharia Works. It has always been considered a location relatively safe from landslips but this was to change in 2011.

The only background information I have of Tindharia is to be found in the late Terry Martin’s books ‘Halfway to Heaven’ and ‘Iron Sherpa’ - although I remember conversations with some local residents of the area over the past 20 years,
100 years of Tindharia workshop - DHR, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Until the early 19th Century, the Darjeeling Hills were heavily forested and largely unpopulated apart from the indigenous Lepcha people. I am not certain as to exactly where the area which is now Tindharia lay in relation to the borders of the kingdoms of Bhutan, Nepal and Sikkim before the British Raj purchased land around Darjeeling and Kurseong from Sikkim as sanatoriums and summer resorts.

The first roads into the area, to link Siliguri and Darjeeling, were the Pankabari Road up to Kurseong and then the Military Road across to Darjeeling. However, these were steep mountain tracks suitable only for pack horses rather than wheeled carts. The Hill Cart Road (now NH55 Tensing Norgay Road) was built around 1861 with a steady gradient up which two bullocks could haul a cart. It was largely along this formation that the DHR was constructed in 1879 - 81 to reduce the almost prohibitive cost of taking supplies up to Darjeeling and bringing down the products of the rapidly developing tea industry.

Tindharia was built as a ‘railway town’ by the DHR around its mechanical headquarters. It is said that the location, which is logistically illogical for a workshop, was chosen for being the lowest point in the Darjeeling Hills, on the DHR, where the British employees could work year round. It should be remembered that, at that time, Siliguri was just a very small settlement around the railway junction between the North Bengal Railway from Calcutta (through what is now Bangladesh) and the DHR up to Darjeeling and considered to be a most unhealthy location to spend any time.

The current workshop complex at Tindharia was not built until 1913 - 15. From 1881 until then, it is assumed that the large locomotive shed there, with the godowns around it, was also used as the workshops for major locomotive and rolling stock repairs. This would make sense as the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s bungalow and the Mechanical Department offices were adjacent to it. The original bungalow was a single storey wooden structure with a veranda, similar to many of the Tea Planters bungalows of the period, but was replaced in the mid 1940s with the current two-storey building in the then fashionable Indian interpretation of Art Deco style - which can also be seen at Darjeeling Station. The office building was destroyed during the political disturbances of the mid 1980s - although the remains still exist.

The first railway colonies were built around Tindharia station and the Locomotive Shed and include the bazaar area. Later ones were constructed further down the hill nearer to the new Workshops. I don’t know if it still exists, but the only street map I have seen of Tindharia was (2004) framed in the electric generating plant in the Workshops and also had the power lines into the town marked on it.
The opening of the new Workshops (which are just about to celebrate their centenary) coincided with the major expansion of the DHR system with new lines from Siliguri to Kishanganj (connecting with the metre gauge line to Katihar) and up the Teesta Valley (to develop international trading with Tibet at Kalimpong). Other developments at this time included the hospital at Tindharia, new headquarters offices for the DHR at Kurseong (adjacent to the station), the DHR Club at Kurseong (now All India Radio) and a new railway colony at Kurseong, which incorporating the railway officers’ residences above what is now the Tourist Lodge.

Until the DHR company sold out to Indian Railways in 1947, the method of working the line was very different to that of today. Not only were the now extinct freight facilities considerably larger (and more profitable) than the passenger services but all train operation was based at Tindharia. Therefore Tindharia was home not only to the workshop overhaul staff but to most of the routine maintenance staff, loco drivers, firemen, sanders, guards, jamader / brakesmen etc. Locomotives and their crews all started from Tindharia and worked on a cycle of diagrams which might involve spending one or more nights away from home at Darjeeling or Kurseong or Siliguri. One retired driver told me that at the height of the spring tea season, he had to make four round trips between Tindharia and Sukna each day to clear the loaded wagons off the Hills as fast as possible for a larger loco to assemble longer trains onwards to Siliguri and transhipment onto the Broad Gauge for Calcutta.

In its last year as a private company, the DHR employed at Tindharia:
• 1 Chief Mechanical Engineer
o 1 Chief Clerk
8 Clerks
1 Steno typist
1 Tracer
3 Menials
o 1 Loco Officer
1 Coal Inspector
3 Coal Clerks
30 Drivers
31 Firemen
200 Jamaders and Brakesmen
45 Jackmen and Loco Cleaners
1 Shed Clerk
2 Running Clerks
2 Callmen
o 1 Store Keeper
1 Head Clerk
7 Clerks
9 Menials
o 1 Workshop Foreman
1 Assistant Chargeman
2 Shop Clerks
2 Peons
2 Timekeepers
5 Chowkidars
88 Fitters
27 Drillers and Turners
12 Boilermakers
50 Riveters
16 Blacksmiths
14 Strikers
23 Carpenters
4 Coppersmiths
4 Tailors
16 Painters
11 Moulders
28 Khalasis
1 Tindal
1 Sweeper
• 1 Medical Officer (at Kurseong)
o 2 Assistant Medical Officers
1 Compounder
1 Nurse
1 Dresser
2 Menials
• 1 Commercial Inspector
o 2 Station Masters (including relief)
o 2 Assistant Station Masters (including relief)
12 Guards
2 Travelling Ticket Examiners
• 683 Total

This list does not include Civil Engineering and Permanent Way staff nor other Commercial passenger or freight staff based at Tindharia (as the inventory does not split the location of these establishments).

The Mechanical Engineering Department did not function as separate Open Line and Workshop divisions - only maintenance (all types) and train crews.

Although all the above employees were based at Tindharia, some of their work-output was actually for the DHR extension lines from Siliguria to Teesta Valley or Kishanganj, not the DHR main line to Darjeeling.

It is probable that the above establishment levels were much higher than those in the 1930s since the DHR had only just started reducing its operations after World War II - when road traffic was restricted, many special trains were run for the Army (both rest leave and medical convalescence in the Hills) and Tindharia Workshops was undertaking production of many Broad Gauge railway components to allow other railway workshops in India to increase output of military hardware.

Today, Tindharia is best described as a ‘ghost town’; a shadow of its former self. The DHR no longer runs services to Teesta Valley and Kishanganj or freight trains and the remaining passenger services are now based at Darjeeling and Siliguri. Only a much-reduced establishment at the Workshops, the last in India to give heavy repairs to steam locomotives and wooden bodied coaches, remains to give local employment. Even the passing trade of cars, taxis and buses up the Hill Cart Road requiring refreshments has ceased because of landslips either side of the town in 2010 - 12 and again recently.

It is hoped that the soon-to-commence UNESCO Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) for the DHR will recognise that all the non-railway, environmental, social and cultural criteria of the World Heritage Site listing (as well as the obvious railway elements) are summarised in the railway town of Tindharia and that a sub-plan can be developed to give the area a sustainable future and hope.
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