SPECIAL REPORT: Nisha V Chettri
After an incident of molestation to a minor that came to light through social networking sites, the accused allegedly identified as Govind Sarki has been absconding, while the little survivor admits that she was molested.
Sarki is known to be a driver (Driving white WagonR) by profession, living with a wife and daughter of two. According to the information received from the survivor’s family, the mother, who suffers from fluency disorder, used to walk her towards her school every day. On Friday, Sakri coincidently was around their locality and volunteered to drop the girl to her school, which he used to do once in a while.
On the way to her school, he stopped the car in an isolated area, came out of the driver’s seat, got in the second seat, locked the door, removed her shirt and molested her. It was known that she was alone in the car.
She returned home later in the (Friday) evening and told her mother about the incident, her mother, on the other hand, was not (fully) believed by her family members because of her disorder.
On Sunday, when the family members prepared to give the girl a bath, they asked her about the incident and she said everything slowly. The family members later took her to Sarki’s house to identify him, he was not present. When his photo was shown, she started shivering with fear, informed the family members. They filed an FIR later in the evening on Sunday and admitted her at the District Hospital for her medicals.
‘He also bit her in sensitive parts of the body’ said the family source, while the survivor was nodding behind her at the District Hospital when asked her, ‘How old are you?’ she responded ‘I am turning 11 soon’
It was also known that he gave her 10 rupees before and after he abused her. Sarki, on the other hand, has been absconding ever since the incident
‘If the kid is lying or unsure, why would he abscond after the incident?’ questioned the family members.
However, as per the verbal order of Child Welfare Committee-Alipurduar, (In-Charge Kalimpong), she was sent to Bal Suraksha Abhiyan (An NGO) in the evening, for the temporary shelter.
The case is filed in the Women Police Station and the police sources said that they are investigating in the matter.
According the the Post Mortem reports, the case was that of Murder. The reason for the murder and the person/people behind it are still unknown.
Lakhsmi was survived by her farmer parents back at home, who stand devastated by the incident. The Darjeeling representatives at the North East Cell and in Delhi supported by other active members helped the family with Lakshmi's Cremation at Delhi itself.
The Team has further approached Higher Police officials in Delhi regarding the case, who have promised immediate and serious investigation in the matter.
Via The DC
|Sherpa Couple murdered in Pedong Kalimpong|
The bodies of Phurtemba Sherpa (69) and his wife Kusum (55) were recovered by police after neighbours informed them about their being missing. The two are residents of Dokyong I Sericulture, Sakyong GP of Pedong.
According to police, the couple’s elder son Sangden has called his neighbours from Malda to inquire about his parents, who did not take his calls. “The elder son called up the neighbours to inquire about his parents. The door of the house was locked and a phone and a torch light that belonged to Phurtemba were found outside,” said Atul Vishwanathan, Kalimpong additional superintendent of police in Saturday.
Sangden is employed in the police department and is presently posted in the correctional home in Malda. His younger brother is a teacher in a private school in Bihar. “I got worried and called my brother and also our neighbors in Pedong to inquire because my father and mother were not taking my calls. I has spoken with my mother just a day before and had promised them to call back again on Friday,” Sangden said.
The bodies of Phurtemba and Kusum were discovered from the septic tank in the rear of their house by police. “We found the bodies in decomposed condition. There are deep cut marks on the foreheads of the couple. When we broke open the door, we found the house ransacked. We have started a case and are looking at every possible angle,” the ASP
The police official said it was difficult to say immediately when the murder may have taken place. “They (husband and wife) were last seen on August 16. We recovered the bodies on Friday evening. Now, whether the murder took place on Friday evening or Saturday morning, we are trying to ascertain,” Vishwanathan said.
Sniffer dogs have been called from Siliguri to help in the investigation. “We have got some clues and four to five names. Hopefully, the case will be detected very soon,” the ASP said.
The bodies have been sent for postmortem in the Kalimpong district hospital and report is awaited.
पेदोङमा भएको सेर्पा दम्पतिको हत्यालाई लिएर पुलिसले जाँच अभियान तिब्र बनाएको छ भने चाँडै नै हत्यारा पक्रा पर्न सक्ने कालेबुङ जिल्ला पुलिस उप-अधिक्षक अतुल विश्वनाथनले बताएका छन्। उनले आज घट्ना स्थलको भ्रमण गरेर जानकारी लिएपछि घट्ना सम्बन्धमा पुलिसले महत्वपूर्ण सुईँको फेला पार्न सकेको दाबी गरेका छन्।
‘हामीले घट्नाको हरेक कोणबाट जाँच गरिरहेका छौँ। जाँकको क्रममा केही महत्वपूर्ण क्लुहरू हामीले फेला पारेका छौँ’ जिल्ला पुलिस उपअधिक्षक विश्वनाथनले भने। यसक्रममा उनले सोही महत्वपूर्ण सुरागकै आधारमा हत्यारा चाँढै पक्रा पर्न सक्ने सम्भावना रहेको पनि बताएका छन्।
|स्व. फुर्तेम्बा सेर्पा (पति) अनि स्व. कुसुम सेर्पा (पत्नी)|
उनले हत्यालाई पक्राउ गर्नका निम्ति पुलिसले जाँच कार्य गरिरहेको भन्दै स्निफर डग टोलि समेत बोलाइएको जानकारी दिएका छन्। उनले सेर्पा दम्पतिको शवलाई सेफ्टी ट्याङ्कीमा फ्याँकेको अवस्थामा फेला पारेको पुष्टि गर्दै उनीहरू दुवैको निधारमा गहिलो चोटको निशानी रहेको पनि बताएका छन्। हत्याराले कुन अभिष्टको निम्ति हत्या गरेको हो भन्न नसकिने बताउँदै घरभित्र तोडफोड गरिएको अवस्था रहेको कारण परिवार पक्षले आफ्ना घरभित्रको सामाग्रीहरू हराएको छ छैन त्यसबारे जानकारी दिएपछि मात्रै चोरीको घट्ना सँग जोड्न सकिने बताएका छन्। यसक्रममा उनले उक्त घट्नालाई लिएर कालेबुङ थानामा प्राथमिकी दर्ता गरिएर जाँच सुरु भएको पनि स्पष्ट पारेका छन्।
स्मरण रहोस्, कालेबुङ जिल्लाको पेदोङ स्थित दाक्योङ सेरिकल्चर नजिक सेर्पा दम्पतिको हत्याले सनसनी छाएको छ। पति फुर्तेम्बा सेर्पा (69) अनि पत्नी कुसुम सेर्पाको हत्यापछि उनीहरूको शवलाई सेफ्टी ट्याङ्कमा फ्याँकेको अवस्थामा पुलिसले शुक्रबार बेलुकी भेटेपछि उक्त घट्ना सार्वजनिक भएको हो। घट्नापछि पुलिसले शवको उद्घार गरेर आज कालेबुङ जिल्ला अस्पतालमा पोस्टमार्टम गरि परिवार पक्षलाई सुम्पिएको छ।
उक्त हत्या गत 16 अगस्तको राती नै भएको अनुमान गरिएको छ भने हत्याबारे शुक्रबार मात्र थाह लाग्न सकेको हो। पुलिस विभागमा नै कार्यरत छोरा सोङदेन सेर्पाले शुक्रबार दिउँसो घरमा आमा-बाबालाई फोन गर्दा फोन नउठाएपछि घट्नाबारे पत्तो लाग्न सकेको हो। छोरा सोङदेन सेर्पाले घरमा गरेको फोन नउठाएपछि आफ्ना छिमेकीहरूलाई आफ्नो घरमा गएर हेरिदिने खबर गरेपछि गाउँका आफन्तहरू घरमा गएर हेर्दा घर बन्द अवस्थामा अनि वरिपरिको दृष्य सन्दिघ रहेको थाह पाएपछि उनीहरूल तत्कालै पुलिसलाई सूचित गरेको थियो। घट्नाको जानकारी पाउन साथ घट्ना स्थलमा पुलिस पुगेर जाँच गर्न थालेपछि नै दुई दम्पतिको शवलाई सेफ्टी ट्याङ्कीमा हत्या पछि फ्याँकिदिएको अवस्थामा फेला पारेको हो।
‘मैले अघिल्लो दिन घरमा आमालाई फोन गरेर बात गरेको थिएँ। सधैँ झैँ भोलिपल्ट पनि मैले आमालाई फोन गरे तर फोन उठाएनन्। त्यसरीनै मैले बाबालाई पनि फोन गर्दा फोन उठाएनन्। उनीहरू दुवैले फोन नउठाएपछि मलाई चिन्ता लागेर भाइलाई पनि भने अनि गाउँका आफन्तहरूलाई घरमा गएर हेरिदिने भनेको थिए। आफन्तहरू आएर घरमा हेर्दा नै घट्नाबारे थाह पाउन सकिएको हो’ छोरा सोङदेन सेर्पाले बताएका छन्।
उनले आफन्तहरू घरमा आएर हेर्दा घर बाहिरबाट ताला लगाइदिएको अनि बाबाको फोन र टर्च आँगनमा लडिरहेको अनि आमाको फोन भने भित्र नै रहेको देखेपछि उनीहरूले नै पुलिसलाई सूचित गरेर बोलाउने कार्य गरेपछि मात्र घट्नाबारे पत्तो लाग्न सकेको पनि बताएका छन्।
Residents of nearly 24 odd forest villages that fall under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration have been demanding the implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006 before the Sevoke-Rangpo rail project kicks off. A major portion of the railway tracks between Sevoke, around 30 km away from Siliguri, to Rangpo in Sikkim is a part of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts that are under the GTA and will cut through several forest villages and hamlets under the GTA areas.
Fighting for their rights is Himalaya Forest Village Organisation (HFVO) which comprises of members from forest villagers in the GTA region.
HFVO Secretary Mr. Lila Kumar Gurung who is a teacher at the local Kumai High School has now been transferred to Rimbick [You can check the transfer order here: https://khabarmagazine.com/archives/21396]. He claims this is a vendetta, for taking a stand in favour of the forest dwellers and asking the government to provide land rights to forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act 2006.
The situation in the hills and terai is complicated because Panchayat elections haven't been held here since 2005. In the absence of Gram Sabhas, which can give a go-ahead to such projects, the Union ministry of tribal affairs had given elected GTA members the right to act as panchayat members. However, since GTA stands dissolved, the Gram Sabha - comprising of all the villagers naturally have the latitude to issue or deny such a no-objection certificate.
Hundreds of residents of forest villages in Kalimpong and Darjeeling, which constitute the Gram Sabhas as per the Recognition of the Forest Rights Act 2006, have started adopting resolutions, demanding conversion of forest villages into revenue villages to ensure their rights, before they issue the no-objection certificate.
The villagers have stated that they would not allow the authorities concerned to begin construction of the railway project without the NOC from each Gram Sabha. They further claimed that authorities cannot carry out work there without the NOC from the Gram Sabha, and that the GTA does not have the right to issue the NOC to the railway authorities for the forest land.
There are no three-tier elected bodies in the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong as rural polls have not been held there for the past 18 years due to technical and legal matters which have yet to be resolved. As a result, there are no proper records of the Gram Sabha comprising at least 165 forest villages.
According to sources, 24 of the 165 forest villages will be affected by the tunnel to be dug for the railway project.
“When the administration has converted forest villages into revenue villages in Alipurduar and other districts for other projects, no initiative was taken to ensure forest rights for us in Darjeeling and Kalimpong district,” said Mr. Lila Kumar Gurung recently, following GTA Board of Administrator Chairman Binay Tamang's extreme reaction to him and HFVO in Kalimpong.
Mr. Gurung has further claimed that a conspiracy was being hatched to deprive the forest villagers of their rights. “We had met the then GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung and discussed the matter. Mr. Gurung had taken a decision in our favour, and it was decided that all the 165 villages would be converted into revenue villages.
Later, as Binoy Tamang was appointed as the GTA chairman, we also approached him in writing. But we came to know all of a sudden that he will issue the NOC to the railway authorities,” he further claimed.
Forest villagers from Rangpo, Kinley, Melli, Teesta, Rambhi and some others also claimed that they had written to chief minister Mamata Banerjee, demanding that forest villagers’ rights be ensured before implementing the Sevoke-Rango railway link project.
A resident of Rangpo village in Kalimpong area, Smaran Rai, said: “Villagers are worried about their future following continuous threats from the administration during a survey on the railway project.
Nobody knows what is in store for them, rehabilitation and alternative livelihood.” “Residents living in the small stretch (of the project) that falls in Sikkim are not facing such problems. The Sikkim government has already compensated them properly,” Mr. Rai said.
A rights activist Soumitra Ghosh said the present situation in the Hills is “not suitable” for some persons to assemble in a particular place and demand their fundamental right.
“Where will the forest villages go, seeking justice? Authorities have not yet started talking to villagers, when no work can be carried out without the NOC from the Gram Sabha as per a circular of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, ensuring compliance of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006,” he said.
Speaking against the transfer, Mr. Neeraj Zimba of GNLF said, "This transfer order of Sri. Lila Kumar Gurung, General Secretary, Himalayan Forest Villager's Organisation from Kumai High School to Rimbick High School is part of Binay Tamang's "Political Deal(ing)" as openly declared by him recently at public meetings in Kurseong, Kalimpong and Bijanbari respectively. For the first time in the history of Gorkha Politics we have ever seen a Nominated Stooge openly declare from a public platform that he will politically victimise all those who doesn't support him and endorse his views. Mockery of Democratic values and free speech.फरेस्ट बनबस्तिको अधिकारको कुरा गर्दा आज लिला गुरुङलाई भिक्टिमाइज ट्रास्फर गरिएको छ। के यो नै हो गणतन्त्र?
All Should Protest Against this as this is not just a routine exercise or a mutual transfer but political victimization of a person who chose to speak truth to the power - a right which has been given rightly by the Constitution." [sic]
Mr. Lila Kumar Gurung in the meanwhile seems to be unflustered with the transfer order and said, "I am a teacher - my primary duty is to teach and I will do that anywhere. They must assume by transferring me to Rimbick they will weaken the movement, but they are wrong. The movement will only grow stronger. Rimbick is comprised of many forest villages that are also deprived, I look forward to working with those villages and organize them to seek inclusion into FRA 2006 at the earliest".
Darjeeling: Now, Darjeeling and Kalimpong will finally benefit from "Nijo Griho Nijo Bhumi Prokolpo" of the Bengal government.
The scheme is being routed through the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in the Hills. The "Nijo Griho Nijo Bhumi Prokolpo" was launched on October 18, 2011 by the Chief Minister of Bengal, whereby 5 decimal of land is provided to the homeless, landless beneficiaries.
"This scheme along with the rest of Bengal was earlier available in the GTA area. Initially 25% of the applicants benefitted from the scheme. However, the scheme was stopped under the GTA. We have decided to reintroduce the scheme again through the GTA and have been given a go ahead by the State Government," stated Binay Tamang, Chairman, GTA.
In a meeting on May 14, the GTA and state government officials decided to reintroduce this scheme in the Hills. A follow up meeting was held at the GTA Chairman's office in Darjeeling on Friday attended by Land reform Officers, Block Officers and GTA officials.
"Application made earlier will also be processed along with fresh ones. Earlier there was hardly any promotion of the scheme in the Hills, hardly anyone knew about the scheme. This time, we will be giving advertisements in newspapers and TV channels so that people come to know about the scheme and the deserving ones get the benefit," added Tamang.
Applicants can submit applications in Block Offices, Block Land and Land Reforms Office and Gram Panchayat offices as per their convenience.
Committees have been constituted in each of the 8 blocks comprising Block Development Officer, Block Land and Land Reforms Officer and a member of the Board of Administrators, GTA.
Applications for the Kalimpong 1, Kurseong, Mirik, Sukhiapokhari, Rungli Rungliot and Darjeeling - Poolbazar Block will be received from June 4 to June 9. For Kalimpong 2 block, it will be from June 11 to 16 and for Gorubathan block from June 18 to 23.
The applications will be scrutinised by the committee formed in each block and then will be recommended by the Sub Divisional Land and Land Reforms Officer to the GTA. The GTA will then forward the list to the state following which land documents will be handed over by the state government.
When questioned on the fate of tea garden workers, who have been demanding documents since long, Tamang stated: "Tea gardens are leased land of the State Government. The workers can apply. The concerned departments and the state government will then decide," added Tamang.
[Via: Millennium Post]