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20 Oct 2017

Central forces cannot substitute state police

CRPF jawans conduct a flag march to control rioters at Dimna Road, Mango in Jamshedpur.HT, Oct 19, 2017: The Union home ministry told state governments on Wednesday that paramilitary forces cannot act as a substitute for police as they were supposed to be deployed primarily in emergency situations.

The ministry’s remarks come against the backdrop of an ongoing tussle between the West Bengal government and Centre over the latter’s decision to withdraw forces from Darjeeling.

In a statement issued to the press, MHA said it had asked all state governments to set up a committee for examining central armed police forces (CAPFs) required while keeping in view internal security and availability of central forces in nearby locations.

“CAPFs can’t substitute the state police force as their deployment is related to emergency crisis in states for maintaining law and order,” the Union home ministry said.

The central government earlier this week had decided to withdraw 10 of the 15 companies of central paramilitary forces that were deployed in the hills in the wake of summer unrest.

“The central government has formulated standard operating procedures (SOPs) for deployment of CAPFs and according to it, the central forces would be able to meet more pressing commitments like guarding borders, fighting insurgency, anti-national operations and in related situations which need immediate mobilisation of forces,” the ministry said.

The home ministry statement comes a day after the Calcutta high court stayed BJP-led Centre’s decision to partially withdraw paramilitary forces from Darjeeling, rejecting the argument that they were required to be deployed elsewhere for 

The Centre stated that state governments should not request for an extension of central armed police forces deployment unless there were “ adequate security reasons”.

Darjeeling: Scare amid festivity on GJM chief Bimal Gurung's turf

TNN | Oct 19, 2017, Darjeeling: The five-day Tihar festival in the Hills got a political colour at Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung's native place Tukvar. Many people here prayed for Gurung's safety, wishing his return on a day when a Darjeeling court passed proclamation orders against Bimal Gurung and five others including Roshan Giri and Asha Gurung. According to lawyers, this arms the police with powers to attach their properties.
Gurung, meanwhile, in an audio message, said he would be back in the Hills and leading the statehood demand.
While this was the dominant mood in Gurung's place, people elsewhere in the Hills feared fresh trouble if Gurung makes a comeback. Instead, they wished for a democratic transition to Gorkhaland as acting GTA chairman Binay Tamang promised to them. Yet, the torching of houses of pro-Gurung activists near Patlebas didn't go down well with the Hills people.
Scrutiny of the social media by government agencies has escalated the fear among the youths. So much so, that pro-Gorkhaland Darjeeling Chronicle has appealed to its readers on Facebook to mind their language before posting comments on a news item. "For instance, writing 'we are brave Gorkhas' is okay; but writing 'we are brave Gorkhas, and we will show you what we are made of' could be interpreted as a threat to someone," it writes in an appeal to the readers.
Playing on the Gorkha swabhiman, Bimal Gurung said, "I will definitely return to Darjeeling and lead the movement. The Bengal government does not want me to return and is levelling baseless allegations and hounding me and party activists." A Binay Tamang loyalist said, "The comeback threat by the UAPA accused and the following police raids on the house of Gurung loyalists or supporters have further complicated the situation."
In all his audio messages Gurung has appealed to his supporters to have patience and conduct the movement in a democratic manner. The police, however, recovered sophisticated weapons - AK-47 and gelatin sticks - from the encounter site near the Bengal-Sikkim border few days ago where Gurung had been hiding with his trusted men. The GJM president has flatly denied the police charge. "It is baseless, and forms a part of the state's grand conspiracy to eliminate me. In fact, it is the police who are looting and torching homes of supporters. They (police) want to keep me away to do dirty politics in the Hills," Gurung said.
With the Gorkhaland demand failing to find a taker among governments, acting GTA chairman Binay Tamang has planned to assuage the Hills people with development work. The Mamata Banerjee government has released Rs 134 crore for the GTA in addition to the Rs 500 crore. The CM has instructed GTA to expedite reconstruction work and take up all-round development of the Hills.

Darjeeling: GJM leader Roshan Giri’s house ransacked, documents stolen

TNN, Oct 20, 2017, DARJEELING: Alleged miscreants broke open the door lock of absconding Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) general secretary Roshan Giri's house in the Chandmari area late on Wednesday night, ransacked the house and fled with Giri's computer and some incriminating documents.
It all happened when Giri's mother Deepa, the only family member living in that house, had gone to her neighbour's place to spend the night there.
The development has sprung a surprise among Darjeeling residents, because Giri's house came under police scanner hours within a Darjeeling court issued proclamation orders against Morcha president Bimal Gurung and five others including the party general secretary on Wednesday.
The development comes close on the heels of the attacks on Gurung loyalists' houses at the GJM strongman's own turf at Patlebas a few days ago.
Giri's mother couldn't identify the miscreants. "I came back home after they left. I had stayed put at my neighbour's house last night. One of my neighbours asked me to stay at her place because I was alone in the house. Around midnight, I could hear loud noises nearby and saw a mob vandalizing my house. I was too scared to go out. I went there only after they were gone and saw two doors damaged and a computer and some important documents robbed. I could not identify the people," said Deepa.
The information has reached Gorkha Janmukti Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri, who is likely to lodge a police complaint against the ransacking.

Stabilizing peace in the hills... Gurung alienated

EOI, Editorial: Life in the Darjeeling hills has slowly started returning to normalcy after almost three and a half months of bandh enforced by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and its leader Bimal Gurung. Arrest warrants have been issued against Gurung on various counts of criminal offences, the last being the shooting of police Sub-Inspector Amitabh Malik. Gurung has been evading arrest and taking shelter in neighbouring Sikkim, with the Sikkim Government allegedly playing a collusive role. The situation in the Darjeeling hills is far from normal. The role of the BJP leadership, both at the State and at the national level is ambiguous and ambivalent. The party has not taken a clear stand on whether it is for or against the creation of a separate Gorkhaland. But the State BJP leaders are not concealing their support and sympathy for Gurung and company.
The Centre’s decision, in these circumstances, to withdraw paramilitary forces from the troubled district has naturally caused anxiety and anger of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She has said such a unilateral step by the Centre without consulting the State is regrettable and will create problems in the maintenance of peace in the hills. She has requested both the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to rescind the decision. Gurung and his cohorts have collected large quantities of firearms and ammunition some of which have been seized by the police. In the prevailing situation there can be no slackness on the part of the administration in maintaining and stabilizing peace in the hills. The Centre’s unexpected decision, taken without consulting the State, will make the situation more fragile and give a cause of exultation to Gurung and company.
Through her skilful strategy, Mamata has been successful in isolating Gurung not only from the common mass of Gorkhas of Darjeeling but in his own party. The GJM today stands virtually divided, with the leadership of the party having been taken over by Benoy Tamang, the current chairman of the GTA and his colleague Aneet Thapa who is now the GTA vice-chairman. It is to be hoped that Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh will look at the Darjeeling problem from the point of view of national interest and not from a narrow political view point of scoring Brownie electoral points for the BJP. Darjeeling is strategically situated and some outside powers may also be interested in destabilizing the situation there.
(Source & Courtesy: http://echoofindia.com/editorial/stabilizing-peace-hills-134363)

Smuggling hit to Bhutan through Bengal border

TT, Alipurduar: A senior Bhutan official has said the smuggling of animals parts and timber to his country through the Bengal border came down because of exchange of information.
"The number of illegal activities along the border have come down because of exchange of information between the higher officials of Bhutan and Bengal. I have instructed all officials in the border areas to keep vigil on entry and exit gates. Even if we post security personnel along the border, stray incidents will take place," said Dasho Tashi Penjor, the director (law and order), ministry of home and culture of Bhutan government.
He was replying when The Telegraph asked him about the smuggling of animal parts and timber smuggling through the Jaigaon border.
Penjor inaugurated a Kali Puja by Tarun Dal club in Jaigaon on Wednesday evening. He said a high level meet between Bhutan officials and district magistrates and superintendent of police of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Kalimpong would take place at Thimphu on October 24 and 25.

Dilemma in Dooars

TT, Siliguri: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders in the Dooars are in a dilemma over who among Bimal Gurung or Binay Tamang they should support.
"In the foothills and particularly, the Dooars, there is utter confusion among most of the Morcha leaders and supporters. They have no idea where our party is heading and whether Bimal Gurung will regain his hold over the hills or Binay Tamang will call the shots," said a Morcha leader in the Dooars.
In the beginning of the statehood movement in June, Morcha leaders and cadres had taken out a few rallies in the Dooars. But they stopped after the split in the party.
"Unlike in the hills, where police restrictions disrupted regular rallies and meetings, such programmes stopped on their own in the Dooars. This is because the Morcha supporters didn't know whether the protests should continue or they should listen to Tamang's appeal for peace," the Morcha leader said.
Another Morcha representative at Kalchini said there was not much pressure from either lobbies of the party in the Dooars.
"The central leadership of the Morcha is now focussed on the hills, barring occasional utterances that the Dooars and the Terai should be included in Gorkhaland. So, a section of Morcha supporters is even thinking of joining Trinamul as there is a complete mix-up within the Morcha," he said.
The latest Gorkhaland movement didn't have much impact in the Dooars, unlike on earlier occasions.
"That was because the central leadership of the Morcha didn't focus on the plains. As there are no clear instructions from the party, it is obvious that they will be confused," an observer said.

Officers contest Gurung arms claim - Weapons brought in from Nepal, say cops

Arms that the police had claimed to have seized from the camp near the Little Rangeet river
Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling: Police officers have said they have concrete evidence to counter Bimal Gurung's claim that he had not stockpiled arms over the past few years and added that all the evidence would be produced in court against the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief.
Gurung had on Wednesday accused the Bengal government of hatching "a conspiracy" to defame him and said that the weapons, including nine AK-47s, recovered from the site of clash on the banks of the Little Rangeet river last week were from surrendered KLO activists.
"In 2014, Assam police had intercepted arms that were being ferried to Darjeeling based on specific inputs from the Subsidiary Intelligence Branch, which is a central government agency. Two persons, Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri, had been arrested. Kami was a GLP cadre and worked as a driver for Gurung. Chhetri was a middleman," said a senior Bengal police officer.
"Kami is still behind bars. During investigation, Yuva Morcha leader and former GTA Sabha member Sanjay Thulung's name had cropped up and a warrant was issued against him in Assam. Will Gurung now claim that Kami was not with him? Why was Thulung suspended from the party then? Did Assam police also conspire against him three years ago?" he asked.
The officer said that the arms that had been intercepted by Assam police in August 2014 were the third consignment and two previous ones had already reached the hills by then. The arms had allegedly been bought from the Nagaland-based NSCN (K) group.
The police officers also spoke of alleged trips Yuva Morcha president Prakash Gurung had made to Nepal during the strike.
"Prakash Gurung went to Nepal twice in August and September, when the strike was on, to get arms. The weapons were smuggled through Maney Bhanjyang. We now have evidence to prove whose vehicles had been used for the trips, the details of the middlemen and how many times the vehicles had been changed," said the officer.
The officer said the gelatine sticks recovered from the hills had been stolen from the godown of a hydel project situated at Negi under the leadership of Yuva Morcha leaders Rikash Theeng and Bhim Subba on July 20.
Sources said that the person arrested from the Little Rangeet camp after the clash had revealed that 15 to 16 boys stayed there and Gurung frequented the place.
"Gurung also stayed at a camp near Glenburn tea garden at Lapcha busty. He later came to the camp near the Little Rangeet river from Sikkim," another officer said.
Political analysts pointed out that Gurung would be further alienated from the hill people and the possibility of him attending any talks if it could be proved that he had been planning to resort to an armed struggle
Giri house
Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the Morcha, claimed on Thursday that the police had vandalised his house in Darjeeling. The police denied the charge.

19 Oct 2017

बिनय तामङलाई गोर्खाल्याण्ड भन्न लगाइएको मात्र हो – जाप

डी.के. वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 18 अक्टोबर। ‘राज्य सरकारले नै बिनय तामङलाई गोर्खाल्याण्डको माग उठाइराख भनेर सिकाएको छ। बिनय तामङले गोर्खाल्याण्ड नभन्न साथ भोलि उसको आधार शुन्य भएर जान्छ। पाउनुको लागि होइन तर माग्नका निम्ति मात्र बिनय तामङलाई गोर्खाल्याण्डको कुरा गर्न लगाइएको हो। जुन बाघ (बिनय तामङ) आज गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति गर्जन्दैछ उसको घाँटीमा हेरो राज्य सरकारको साङ्ली छ अनि राज्य सरकारले नै अवश्यक्ता अनुसार गोर्खाल्याण्डको माग माग्नु लगाउँछ। जनता एकपल्ट यहीँ भ्रममा परेर फस्ने अवस्थामा पुगेको छ’ उक्त कुरा जन आन्दोलन पार्टीका अध्यक्ष डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले एक पत्रकार सम्मेलन डाकेर भनेका हुन्। 
उनले तेस्रो दुईपक्षिय वार्तापछि जीटीए बोर्ड अफ् एडमिनिस्ट्रेसन अध्यक्ष बिनय तामङले गोर्खाल्याण्डको मुद्दा वार्तामा उठान गरेको दाबी गर्दै त्रिपक्षीय वार्ताको माग गरे भनि बिनय तामङले दिएको बयानबारे टिप्पणी गर्नकै निम्ति पत्रकार सम्मेलनको आयोजना गरेका थिए।
‘वैठकपछि मुख्यमन्त्री ममता ब्यानर्जीले केवल तीनवटा मुद्दा उठाइन्। पहाडमा शान्ति व्यवस्था कायम राख्नु, विकासको कार्य अघि बडाउँनु अनि केन्द्रिय सुरक्षा बल फिर्ता लिने निर्णयको विरोध मुख्यमन्त्रीले वैठकपछिको पत्रकार सम्मेलनमा गरिन्। यता बिनय तामङले वैठकमा गोर्खाल्याण्डको कुरा उठाएको दाबी गरे जुन कुरा मुख्यमन्त्रीले गरिनन्। त्यसो भने मुख्यमन्त्रीको कुरा विश्वास गर्नुको उनले नियुक्ति गरेको कर्मचारी बिनय तामङको कुरा विश्वास गर्नु?’ जाप अध्यक्ष डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले प्रश्न तेर्साए। 
उनले अघिका दुईवटा दुईपक्षिय वार्तामा मुख्यमन्त्री ममता ब्यानर्जी गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति त्रिपक्षीय वार्ताको घोर विरोधमा रहेको आफुहरूले थाह पाएको दाबी गर्दै सोहि कुरा बिनय तामङले उठान गर्दा त्यो कसरी सकारात्मक भयो? भनि डा. छेत्रीले प्रश्न गरेका छन्। 
गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चा अध्यक्ष बिमल गुरुङले पहिलो दुईपक्षिय वार्तामा पठाएको 5 सुत्रिय दाबीलाई पछिबाट बिनय तामङले 17 सुत्रीय र 27 सुत्रीय बनाएको भन्दै वास्तवमा ‘ह्याङ्गर मात्रै हो गोर्खाल्याण्ड, कोर्ट चैँ जीटीए नै हो’ भन्न पछि परेनन् डा. छेत्री। 
उनले शुरुमा जसरी रोशन गिरीले गोर्खाल्याण्डको मुद्दालाई ‘किपिङ अन् रेकर्ड’ भन्ने गर्थे अहिले आएर बिनय तामङले ‘गोर्खाल्याण्डको त्रिपक्षीय वार्ता’ को कुरा उठाएको एउटै हो भनि आरोप लगाए। बिनय तामङले उठाएन गरे भनेको गोर्खाल्याण्डको त्रिपक्षीय वार्ता माथि पनि जापलाई शंका लागेको छ। सोहिकारण जाप अध्यक्ष डा. छेत्रीले आफुहरूले गोर्खाल्याण्डको त्रिपक्षीय वार्ताको कुरा गर्दा मुख्यमन्त्री रिसाउनु अनि बिनय तामङले उठान गर्दा चुप बस्नुले शंका सिर्जना भएको बताएका छन्। 
‘अलग राज्यको निम्ति 105 दिन बन्द गर्नेहरूको माग आज आएर सरकारी कर्मचारीको वेतन, चियाश्रमिकको बोनस, धडपकडको विरोध आदिमा टुङ्गिएको छ। जुन मागको निम्ति जनताले यतिका लामो बन्दलाई साथ दिएको हुँदै होइन’ डा. छेत्रीले भने। डा छेत्रीले जाप दुईवटा वार्तामा जाँदा स्पष्ट अडान बोकेर गएको दाबी गर्दै आफुहरूले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति त्रिपक्षीय वार्ताको बाटो खोल्नुपर्छ भन्दा मुख्यमन्त्री ममता ब्यानर्जी रिसाएको जानकारी गराए। तर ठिक उल्टा यता राज्यले नै नियुक्ति गरेका बिनय तामङले भने गोर्खाल्याण्डको मुद्दा वार्तामा उठाए भन्दा मुख्यमन्त्रीसँगको वैठक सकारात्मक भयो भन्नुमा राज्य अनि बिनय तामङको सुनियोजित षडयन्त्र रहेको डा. छेत्रील आरोप लगाएका छन्। 
‘गोजमुमो ए अनि गोजमुमो बी दुवै गोर्खाल्याण्डको मुद्दामा निरर्थक हुन्। यति लामो बन्दमा जनताले पाउनेकुरा केही पाएनन् तर धेरै कुरा गुमाए। यसले केवल भाजपा र तृणमूल कङ्ग्रेसलाई मात्र लाभ पुगेको छ। आज गोर्खाल्याण्डको माग भाजपा अनि तृणमूल कङ्ग्रेसलाई अन्य बङ्गालमा अफ्नो आधार बलियो पार्ने हतियार मात्र बनिएको छ। यदि भाजपा अनि तृणमूललाई रिजेक्ट गर्नु हो भने जनताले गोजमुमो ए अनि बी दुवैलाई रिजेक्ट गर्नुपर्छ। किनभने मोर्च अहिले बिजेपी र तृणमूलमा विभाजन भएको छ’ डा. छेत्रीले पत्रकारहरूलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै भने ।

Proclamation order issued against Bimal Gurung, 5 others

darjeeling, darjeeling unrest, GJM, GJM chief, Bimal Gurung, BJP, gorkhaland, gorkhland protestsENS | Kolkata | October 19, 2017: Ordering Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung, and five others to appear and surrender before it on November 23, a Darjeeling court Wednesday issued a proclamation order against them in connection with the June 8 flare-up that is said to have triggered the latest round of violence in the Hills.
Through a proclamation order, a court declares a person as a proclaimed offender, and their name and details are made public. Depending on court proceedings and investigating agencies, the next step would be to attach property of the absconders. Gurung and his associates are wanted in the June 8 episode in which GJM supporters clashed with police outside Bhanu Bhawan in Darjeeling when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was holding a meeting. The next day, police filed a suo motu case and investigation was handed over to CID. Later, a lookout notice was issued against accused and, last month, a court issued a non-bailable warrant against them.
“If, even after non-bailable warrant, the accused doesn’t appear in court, then the judge can declare the accused “Proclaimed Offender” under Section 82 and 83 of the Code of Criminal Procedure”, explained an official.
Besides Gurung, the order names GJM convener and his wife Asha Gurung, secretary Roshan Giri, GJM leaders Prakash Gurung President, Amrit Yonzon general Secretary of the Yuva Morcha and Ashok Chettri. The accused were booked under sections 147-149 (rioting with arms and unlawful assembly), 153-153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 323-326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 332-353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant), 436 (mischief by fire and explosive substance), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and other sections of IPC. Sections of West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act (WBMPO) and PDPP Act, among others.

Central forces only for emergencies, MHA says in note to states

Central forces only for emergencies, MHA says in note to statesVicky Nanjappa, OI, October 19, 2017: The Union Government has made it clear that paramilitary forces cannot substitute the police and should be deployed only during emergencies. The communication from the Ministry for Home Affairs came following a tussle with the West Bengal government over the deployment of central forces at Darjeeling.
The MHA note to states also directed the setting up of a committee to examine requirements of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) by keeping in view the internal security, intelligence inputs and availability of central forces in nearby locations.
The Union Government has formulated a standard operating procedure for the deployment of CAPFs, the note said. The central forces will be able to meet more pressing commitments such as guarding borders, fighting insurgency, anti-national operations and in related situations which need immediate mobilisation of forces. "CAPFs can't substitute the state police force, as their deployment is related to emergency crisis in states for maintaining law and order," the MHA also added.

British tourists first to charter Darjeeling toy train after it resumed service

A lot of maintenance work is needed to bring the entire route of the toy train between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling to shape.Pramod Giri, HT, 18 October 2017, Kolkata: Darjeeling Himalaya Railway (DHR), popular as the Darjeeling toy train and a world heritage item, had its first foreign takers on Tuesday after it resumed service following a nearly four month-shutdown.

The 18-member British tourist team became the first to charter the two-coach train hauled by a steam engine between Siliguri and Sukna -- a distance of 16 km.

“A travel agency chartered the train for the British guests two days ago as the news of the toy train resuming services spread,” DHR director N K Narzary told HT.

The toy train that snakes along the north Bengal hills for about 88 km is a British legacy and extremely popular among foreigners. The train ride is supposed to be the second most important tourist attraction after Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world that straddles Nepal and Sikkim and is clearly visible from Darjeeling.

“We are hopeful to launch the joy rides between Darjeeling and Ghoom by end October. Resuming normal services between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling would take some time,” said Narzary.

It costs about Rs 56,000 to charter a train in between New Jalpaiguri and Sukna. The chartered trains are hauled by steam engines and consist of one first class and a general coach.

Apart from the stretch from Siliguri to Sukna, tourists can now also hire the train from New Jalpaiguri and Tindharia, a distance of 30 km.

The cost of chartering DHR trains depends on what sorts of coaches passengers want. DHR has saloons and dining cars.

DHR was accorded world heritage status by UNESCO in 1999. However, it is a loss making venture. Most of its revenues come from chartered trains and joy rides between Darjeeling and Ghoom.

The 104-day general strike demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland that paralysed everything in the north Bengal hills badly affected DHR services.

A large portion of the track is covered by weeds and DHR sources said it would take some time to restore the track to shape.

Bengal police staged encounter, planted AK47s to frame me:Bimal Gurung

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung claims there was no encounter between the police and his people on October 13.Pramod Giri, HT,  Oct 18, 2017, Kolkata: The Bengal government “staged” the encounter in which police sub-inspector Amitava Malik was killed in Darjeeling on October 13, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung alleged in an audio message released on Wednesday. Gurung however did not mention Malik’s name.

Neither he nor any of his men were present at the spot where Malik was shot and the AK47 rifles and other weapons were all planted, alleged Gurung. He said the rifles were part of the cache of arms earlier seized from members of the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO) in north Bengal.

The government claimed after the incident that a large cache of arms and ammunitions were recovered from a training camp of the Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP). In the audio message, Gurung alleged the encounter was “staged” by the Bengal government to tarnish his image and corner him politically.

Gurung said, “It is a conspiracy hatched by the state government and the killing of the police officer was also a part of larger conspiracy.”

Gurung, who is in hiding for almost four months, said: “Neither did we have a camp nor did we carry arms and ammunition. The administration is doing this so that I cannot appear before the people of Darjeeling. But no conspiracy can stop me from reaching out to them.”

He reiterated that he will appear before his supporters on October 30.

“The weapons police claimed to have recovered from a GLP camp were planted. These were recovered from KLO militants when they surrendered. They weapons were planted to defame me and finish the Gorkhaland movement. The Bengal police is conspiring to kill me,” said Gurung who is facing serious charges under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Without naming Benoy Tamang and Anit Thapa, the two expelled GJM leaders who are now heading the board of administrators of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, Gurung said, “Two or three people are trying to sell the entire Gorkha community but I will not let them succeed.”

(Source & Courtesy: http://www.hindustantimes.com/kolkata/bengal-police-staged-encounter-planted-ak47s-to-frame-me-bimal-gurung/story-0U4s5ZAYDDuHCwnqNmPbfP.html)

Govt announces Rs 134 cr more for development of Hills

MP, 18 Oct 2017, Kolkata: The Bengal government has allotted another Rs 134 crore to undertake different development works in the Hills. 
This comes after an allotment of Rs 500 crore for the same purpose that was announced on Tuesday. 
It may be mentioned that two days back, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a high-level meeting with representatives of all political parties from the Hills in Nabanna on Monday. 
The Chief Minister had said that Darjeeling is an internationally famous tourist destination and all parties present in the meeting do not want violence. Instead, they want development works to be carried out for the benefit of the peace loving people of the Hills.
Accordingly, the state government has prepared a plan to carry out necessary development works. The Chief Minister had also set up an eight-member Board of Administrators to run the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), whose chairman and vice-chairman are Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa respectively.
The GTA would undertake development works utilising the fund allotted by the state government. According to a senior official in the state secretariat, the Hills Affairs department of Bengal government will be giving the money to carry out various developmental projects. 
It may be mentioned that different infrastructures were damaged during the three-month-long bandh and agitation in the Hills and it led to the harassment of common people. A ration godown and three houses were gutted after being set on fire at Patlebus in Darjeeling on Monday early morning.
On the same day, the Chief Minister held meeting with representatives of political parties from the Hills. Sources said that they have placed some of their demands before the state government and one of their key issues was further development in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Kalimpong and other parts of the Hills. 
The Chief Minister had also assured that the GTA's demand will be examined. 
Following the discussion, the state government has chalked out an elaborate plan to ensure fast and proper implementation of developmental projects as peace has been restored in the Hills. As a result, the state government has first decided to allot Rs 500 crore for the developmental projects and now another Rs 134 crore has been allotted. 
The Chief Minister will be going to Pintel Village in Darjeeling where she will be holding the fourth meeting with representatives of all political parties from the Hills. The Chief Minister had initiated the all party meeting to ensure peace in the Hills and till date, she held three such meetings including two in Nabanna and one at Uttarkanya, the state government's administrative headquarters in North Bengal.

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