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21 Aug 2018

Mercury up in Sikkim Tour operators fear drop in flow of visitors to hill

A cyclist covers his face with a towel in Siliguri on Sunday when the mercury touched 41 degree Celsius  
AVIJIT, TT, Aug 21, 2018, Siliguri: Tourism stakeholders apprehend that many prospective visitors will shun the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim because of frequent rise in temperatures as they flock the region to enjoy the chill also.

In the past 24 hours, the maximum temperature in Darjeeling was 22.8 degrees Celsius, while it was 26.4 degrees Celsius in Gangtok.

Kalimpong recorded 30 degrees Celsius, while Tadong (near Gangtok) and Namchi experienced highest temperatures of 32.1 degrees Celsius and 28 degrees Celsius, respectively.

"Even at Mangan in North Sikkim, the temperature climbed to 32 degrees Celsius in the past 24 hours. In many hilly areas, the maximum temperature is four or five degrees Celsius above the normal," said a source.

Since the summer began this year, the mercury reached close to 30 degrees Celsius in the Sikkim capital many times.

Darjeeling also recorded nearly 25 degrees Celsius on a number of days.

"Such a rise in temperature at prominent destinations of the hills and Sikkim during the summer and even the monsoon has left us worried. It seems this is the new challenge the tourism industry has to face in the coming years," said Sandipan Ghosh, the general secretary of the Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators' Association.

According to the association, the rise in the temperature forced most of the hotels in Kalimpong and Gangtok to install fans in rooms.

"We spoke to some hoteliers in Kalimpong who said they were planning to install ACs. This is indeed something new for us. Tourists come to the hills to enjoy the chill. If the Arctic feeling is missing during day hours and even in the early evening hours, we apprehend the inflow of tourists might come down during the summer, considered to be one of the principal tourist seasons," said Debashis Maitra, the president of the association.

According an official of the India Meteorological Department, the monsoon trough has shifted southwards as recurring low pressure areas developed in Bay of Bengal and drew clouds. This has left a clear sky in north Bengal and Sikkim, leading to rise in day temperatures.

"If the trough shifts northwards, it rains in the region and the day temperature comes down. As it has been a reverse case during the past days, the mercury soared. There is a forecast of rainfall in the region in the next few days" said the official.

Call for more border traders

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Aug 21, 2018, Gangtok: The Indo-China Border Traders Joint Committee stopped trading on the Nathu-la border from Monday in support of its demand for increasing the number of traders and vehicles allowed to enter the Tibetan Autonomous Region in China every trading day from the present 40 and 60, respectively, to hundred each.
Sonam Topgay, the president of the Indo-China Nathu La Border Traders Welfare Association and senior member of the joint committee, said the traders would continue with their protest till their demands were met.
"We have been raising these demands since 2015, but they have fallen on deaf ears. This time, we are determined to ensure that they are fulfilled. We have submitted a memorandum to the East district administration in this connection," he said.
About 500 traders and over 300 vehicles from Sikkim are engaged in the border trade. However, since only 40 traders and 60 vehicles are allowed to enter Tibet on every four trading days of the week, there is always a tussle between traders on the border. "Since the entry is on first come first serve basis, there is a mad rush to reach the border first. Vehicles also overtake at breakneck speed, putting at risk lives and limbs, especially since the quality of road is poor and the terrain difficult," said Topgay.
Contacted, Kapil Meena, the district collector of East Sikkim, whose office issues permits to the traders, said he would soon call a meeting of all stakeholders and resolve the matter.
"This is not the matter for the district administration to decide on its own because there other agencies like the Customs department, ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Force) and commerce and industries department, which is a nodal agency, involved. I will call a meeting within the seven-eight days to resolve the matter," he said.
Topgay, however, insisted that the demand of the traders is for the number of traders and vehicles to be increased to 100 each.
The joint committee has also demanded that the cap on the amount of money each trader is allowed to trade should be increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. "At present we can only export goods worth Rs 2 lakh per trader per day and import goods worth the same amount. We want this to be increased to Rs 10 lakh in order to give a boost to trade," said Topgay

Chamling backs Didi on hills

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Aug 21, 2018, Gangtok: Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling on Monday iterated his backing for Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on her handling of the situation in the Darjeeling hills where the Gorkhaland agitation had resulted in the three months-long shutdown in the middle of last year.

Interacting with a visiting team of journalists from Calcutta here, Chamling praised Mamata as a great leader who enjoys his complete support.

"The chief minister said he supports whatever Mamata is doing in the Darjeeling hills since she is a great leader of a big state. He also said that he was for the development of both Bengal and Sikkim," said a member of the visiting team.

On the Doklam standoff, Chamling is understood have told the team that he came to know about it through the media and neither the Union government nor the Indian Army kept had him in the loop.

He spoke about the four per cent increase in forest cover of Sikkim and called for extending the ban on the use of plastic throughout India.

The Sikkim chief minister, according to the senior journalist, also iterated his demand for the granting of peace bonus to the Himalayan state for its impeccable record in maintaining law and order. "He demanded Rs 1,000 crore as peace bonus, citing the absence of insurgency, hostility and violence on the basis of caste, creed and religion during his tenure," said the journalist.

Sikkim has been demanding peace bonus for a long time now, but the Centre has remained mute to it. Mizoram was the first state to be given peace bonus way back in 2000 for being the most peaceful state in the otherwise trouble-torn north-east.

Pedong protest... condemn gruesome double murder

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Aug 21, 2018 Darjeeling: Supporters of different parties, along with common people, marched through Pedong on Monday to condemn the gruesome double murder even as the town shut during the day.

The bodies of Phurtemba Sherpa, 69, and his wife, Kusum, 55, were found shoved in the septic tank of their house on Friday. The duo were staying alone.
The case has been handed over to the CID and senior police officers, including ID, CID, Ajay Rana De, visited the spot.
Benoy Ghisingh, the organising secretary of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's Kalimpong district committee, walked alongside Sebastin Pradhan, a GNLF leader, on the streets of Pedong on Monday.

Contractors shun NH10 repair tender

AVIJIT SINHA, TT, Aug 20, 2018, Siliguri: The repair of a major portion of NH10 that connects Sikkim with the rest of India is delayed as contractors are unwilling to take up the work because of purported security concerns following last year's Gorkhaland agitation.

"NH10 is in a bad shape at a number of locations along the 52km stretch connecting Sevoke with Rangpo. For the surface repairs, Rs 40 crore had been allotted and we invited tenders from construction firms. But there hasn't been a response. It is quite unusual that firms are not interested in repairs. We don't know what stops them from participate in tenders," said Anup Maity, an executive engineer (NH division IX) of the Bengal public works department.

The major portion of the highway passes through the Darjeeling hills.

Sources said the PWD had recently terminated a Rs 5 crore contract awarded to a firm for repairing a 24km stretch of the highway as it didn't fulfil certain criteria.

For another 24km, a Rs 35 crore tender was invited and there are no takers. The first 4km stretch of NH10 from Sevoke is in good shape and doesn't need repairs.

In north Bengal and Sikkim, there has been a longstanding demand to widen NH10, the principal highway that connects Sikkim and moves through the outskirts of Kalimpong town.

"The central government is building an alternative highway that would originate from the Dooars and connect Gangtok but it would take time for the road to be completed. Even now, NH10 is the main link to Sikkim," said an official of the PWD.

That is why the PWD has prepared a detailed project report to widen the highway.

"A consultant has been hired to prepare the report. There are landslide-prone zones along the stretch and a permanent solution is needed. The plan is to make 5.5m wide road (of two lanes) as building a four-lane road would involve huge costs. The DPR is likely to be sent to the Union surface transport ministry by the Bengal government in a couple of months. Now, we doubt if any contractor will come forward to take up this project," said a source.

Construction firms said they were staying off the tender process as there was a feeling of insecurity and reports of extortion.

"The construction companies developed a sort of aversion to work in the hills particularly after the agitation last year. There are reports that some people claiming to represent political parties are asking for money from contractors. They are also worried over the security of equipment and workers," said a source.

As the repair is delayed, thousands of commuters along NH10 face hardships.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha said if anybody was found harassing contractors, he/she should face legal action.

"Ever since we have assumed leadership in the party, we are trying to bring about changes. Anybody involved in activities like harassing contractors, whether from our party or other, his name should be made public and proper steps should be taken against him," said Satish Pokhrel, a vice-president of the Morcha.

"Simultaneously, we would urge officials to ensure that appropriate quality is maintained when the road repair is taken up. Also, projects should be completed in stipulated time so that residents do not face inconveniences," he added.

Additional reporting by Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling

19 Aug 2018

Ex-serviceman, wife killed in Kalimpong

Vivek Chhetri, TT,  Aug 19, 2018, Darjeeling: An ex-serviceman and his wife staying alone 25km from Kalimpong town have been found murdered, with their bodies shoved in the septic tank.

Phurtemba Sherpa, 69, and Kusum, 55, were residents of Dokyong Sericulture area of Sakyong gram panchayat in Pedong. One of their sons is posted at Malda Correctional Home while the other is a teacher in a private school in Bihar.

"The bodies were recovered yesterday (Friday) evening from the septic tank of their house with deep sharp cut on their foreheads," said a police official.

The house was ransacked but it is not yet clear whether burglary was the motive behind the homicide as the sons are still grieving and are yet to talk to the police.

The village is not densely populated with the houses relatively far apart. Police sources said the couple had last been seen on August 16 evening.

"We are yet to ascertain whether the murder took place on August 16 night or the next day," said a police source.

The police, however, said they got "some clues" and were working on "four-to-five names". Sniffer dogs from Siliguri have been called for to aid investigations.

In 2014, Dominique Bhutia, 38, and wife Christina, 35, had been found murdered while their 12-year-old daughter had escaped the attack with serious injuries at their home in Lower Beong, 30km from Kalimpong town.

In the same month that year, Krishna Bahadur Gurung, 52, and wife Anjana, 48 and one of their neighbours were hacked to death at a village near Charkhol, 30km from Kalimpong, allegedly by a man farm hand of the family. The Gurungs' minor daughters were spared.


Union U-turn on tea hike

TT, Siliguri: Leaders of the Joint Forum - an umbrella body of non-Trinamul tea unions in north Bengal - did a U-turn on Saturday and said they would not oppose an interim hike in tea wages proposed by the state government earlier this week.

"It is the right of a worker to receive higher wages. Though the manner in which the interim hikes have been proposed is incorrect, we will not stop the workers from accepting higher wages," said Ziaul Alam, the convenor of the forum.

At a meeting in Siliguri on August 16, state labour minister Moloy Ghatak had proposed an interim hike of Rs 10 and Rs 7 over the existing daily wage of Rs 159 from September and October. If the hikes are implemented, a tea worker will get Rs 176 from October - until the minimum wage is fixed by the state.

The forum had not attended Ghatak's meeting, insisting that the minimum wage be fixed first. It had said that "...announcing some interim (hikes) time and again here and there was not the lawful way of resolving issues".

Planters have expressed their inability to accept the proposed hike, citing losses due to a recent strike and stagnant prices.

On Saturday, forum leaders reiterated that while the "process of proposing the hike is incorrect", they would not ask the workers to turn down the planned increase.

They went to the extent of taking credit for the proposal. "It is due to our consistent movement that the wage rate of tea workers has increased one way or the other. If the proposed hike is implemented, it will further increase the wages," Alam said.

He announced that the forum would attend a meeting on minimum wages in Calcutta on August 23. "We will attend the meeting and discuss the next course of action on August 26," Alam said.

The change of stance and the attempt to take credit is being seen as a move by the forum to keep unions of Trinamul and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha - not constituents of the umbrella group - from launching a counter-campaign.

Most of the forum's constituents are unions backed by the Left, Congress and the BJP.

"On August 16, the forum had strongly criticised the labour minister. These unions do not want to let Trinamul and the Morcha campaign in the tea belt and tell workers that the forum is blocking the hikes," said an observer.

Panchayat blame game

TT, Alipurduar/Purulia: The blame game between the BJP and Trinamul that intensified in the run-up to the Bengal rural polls in May has returned after a lull as the dates for formation of panchayat boards draw close.

BJP leaders have accused Trinamul of resorting to poaching and coercion to get their elected members and bag rural bodies where the ruling party is short of a majority.

Trinamul secretary-general Partha Chatterjee termed the allegations "baseless". "No one is being forced or lured to join us. People are coming on their own to be part of the development yagna (ritual) of Mamata Banerjee."

In Alipurduar's Kumargram, BJP leaders claimed a party panchayat member had been abducted. "Some Trinamul-backed miscreants dragged Gopal Krishna Roy into a car and drove away on August 15," said Timir Das, a BJP leader.

In Chengmari, where Roy was allegedly abducted, the panchayat has 10 seats. BJP and Trinamul have won five each and the new board is to be formed on August 27. "The magic figure to bag the panchayat is six. So, either side needs a member from the other party," said an observer.

In Purulia, a zilla parishad member and six panchayat members of the BJP have switched to Trinamul in the past week. "Trinamul is trying to gain control of the rural bodies through unethical means," said state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu.

Calamity in Kerala brings out the best... All hands on deck

A flooded stretch in Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala, on Saturday. As many as 33 deaths were reported in the state on Saturday, taking beyond 350 the total toll since May-end. (AFP picture) 
K.M. Rakesh, TT, Aug 19, 2018, Bangalore: The full enormity of the tragedy in Kerala is yet to surface but the flood waters appear to have calmed for the time being the raging fires that had polarised the politically conscious Malayali, bringing out the best in the populace.
The unsparing lampooning that used to break out every morning and continue without a break - waged by an army of keyboard-happy trolls for whom no subject is taboo and no authority beyond ridicule - has largely given way to forward after forward advising people how to cope with the tragedy, offering help and cajoling others to be generous with money and material.
There have been exceptions with some trolls wondering whether the state is facing divine wrath for its liberal position on many contentious issues but those supporting the relief effort have so far outnumbered the mischief-makers.
Extraordinary efforts at lending a helping hand have replaced raucous prime television debates on news channels that usually follow a "take-no-prisoner" policy when it comes to dealing with those in power.
This is also a moment when the Malayali is finding a meeting point between a Marxian slogan and the Ramayan.
Generations of Malayalis have been brought up on the proverb " Annarakkannanum thannalayathu", which roughly means "from each according to his ability". The theme was popularised by Marx but the Malayalam proverb is derived from the Ramayan story in which a little squirrel helps Ram build the bridge to Lanka.
Heart-warming tales of little squirrels are pouring in.
Hanan, who sells fish to support her family, has donated Rs 1.5 lakh to the Kerala chief minister’s relief fund
A college girl who sells fish on the streets to support her family and fund her education and was recently the victim of cyber bullying is among those who have dug into their savings to help fellow flood victims.
Hanan, 19, who was trolled last month after being offered a role in a film, has donated Rs 1.5 lakh to the chief minister's relief fund from money sent to her by sympathetic donors.
"Many well-wishers had sent me small sums of money after hearing my story. But now the people's problems are bigger than mine. So I forwarded the amount to the chief minister's fund this morning," Hanan told The Telegraph on Saturday.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had last month ordered police to act against the trolls who were alleging that the account of Hanan selling fish was a publicity stunt to sell the movie.
Many others, from ordinary citizens to film actors and sports stars, have been doing their bit to ease the all-pervasive suffering.
Some social media users posted hand-drawn diagrams offering tips to recharge phones using batteries from TV remote control and clocks
A journalist who had to cancel the engagement of his daughter because of the floods has donated the entire amount he had earmarked for the event to the chief minister's relief fund.
P.M. Manoj, resident editor with CPM organ Deshabhimani, who said he had also got the groom's father to donate the sum he would have spent, didn't disclose the donated amount.
Many Malayalis working in Calcutta, Bangalore and Chennai have arranged for food, water, clothes and medicines to be sent to Kerala.
Some are sending battery-powered mobile chargers to the inmates of relief centres in the flood-hit areas, which have been without power for days.
K.K. Santosh, a volunteer with Anbodu Kochi (With Love from Kochi), told this newspaper that individual and corporate contributions have been driving the organisation's relief effort. "We deliver relief materials anywhere in Kochi and neighbouring areas," he said.
K. Vasuki, the collector of the capital Thiruvananthapuram, appeals from a  moving vehicle to residents to deposit  ready-to-eat food packets in a school as  soon as possible. Footage uploaded on social media showed several people  lining up before the same SMV School to hand over food and other relief materials
The voluntary organisation, whose prime drivers are the actor couple Indrajith and Poornima, coordinates with the district collector and operates from the Regional Sports Centre in Kochi.
"We send relief kits made up of all essentials and bulk items. They are either airdropped or ferried by road or in boats," Santosh said.
Religious institutions have chipped in, with some converting their free space into relief camps. Reverend John Mathew, general secretary of the Mar Thoma Youth Centre in Adoor, Pathanamthitta, has been arranging food for other camps too.
"We are already accommodating about 100 people and can take another 300. Our kitchen is working full-time as we are supplying several nearby relief camps," Mathew told this newspaper.
Students of an engineering college assemble power banks to help address the big problem of phones running out of charge
Several relief camps have been set up in Adoor, the only town in Pathanamthitta that is not under water thanks to its elevation.
Most media outlets have shown remarkable restraint, taking care not to add to the panic and keeping studios and helpdesks open round the clock. Several channels have desisted so far from targeting the government, acknowledging that the administration is doing everything it can to help the people.

Several ministers have rolled up their sleeves and joined the rescue and relief efforts.
John Brittas, the media adviser to the chief minister, acknowledged the change in the way the media had responded till now.
"Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the culture of unity demonstrated by Malayalis is helping tide us over the crisis," Brittas added, pointing out that despite political differences, the chief minister had appreciated the Centre's cooperation.
"The situation is completely under control now," said Brittas, who also heads a TV channel and anchors a popular interview-based show.
An expression of solidarity came from a source that many Malayalis revere. "FC Barcelona expresses its condolences to the families of the victims of the floods in India and offers its support to all those affected," said the football club, which has legions of fans in the state who adore Lionel Messi.
Kerala will surely return to its irrepressible ways. But, for now, unity in adversity is the dominant theme.
A church group says its youth centre, which can accommodate 2,000 people, is open to those affected by the flood

Love is blind but it can't miss a 4km banner .... MBA student who said 'sorry' to girlfriend in 300 posters is now sorrier

One of the posters in Pune
TT, Aug 19, 2018, Mumbai: A young man's creative idea of apologising to his girlfriend by plastering a 4km stretch of road with 300 flex banners could land him in trouble with the police and civic authorities.

Pune resident Nilesh Khedekar, a 25-year-old MBA student and director in his family business, put up the posters on Thursday night between Sai Chowk and a housing society in a suburb where his girlfriend lives.

The flexes, big and small, named the woman and carried the message "I am sorry" with two exclamation marks and a heart symbol drawn in red.

"By Friday afternoon, everyone in the area was talking about the mysterious message. We tracked down the printer and from him the man who had placed the order," an officer with Wakad police station said.

Khedekar had apparently taken the help of a friend to get the flexes printed and installed, spending Rs 72,000.

"He told us he had had a tiff with his girlfriend and wanted to apologise to her. She was in Mumbai and when she returned on Friday, he wanted her to see the flexes and forgive him," an officer said.

"He apologised for putting up the billboards and now believes he has hurt his girlfriend and her family even more as everyone in the locality is talking about (his stunt). He has admitted he shouldn't have done it."

The police haven't registered a case and let Khedekar go after questioning him, but his troubles may not be over.

The Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation, 18km from Pune, is likely to file a complaint accusing Khedekar of defacing public property by putting up illegal hoardings.

पेदोङमा सेर्पा दम्पतिको हत्याले सनसनी; पुलिसले अघि बडायो जाँचकार्य

फुर्तेम्बा सेर्पा  अनि कुसुम सेर्पा
डी.के.वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 18 अगस्त। पेदोङमा भएको सेर्पा दम्पतिको हत्यालाई लिएर पुलिसले जाँच अभियान तिब्र बनाएको छ भने चाँडै नै हत्यारा पक्रा पर्न सक्ने कालेबुङ जिल्ला पुलिस 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। जाँचको 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।
उनले हत्यारालाई पक्राउ गर्नका निम्ति पुलिसले जाँच कार्य गरिरहेको भन्दै स्निफर डग टोलि समेत बोलाइएको जानकारी दिएका छन्। उनले सेर्पा दम्पतिको शवलाई सेप्टिक ट्याङ्कीमा फ्याँकेको अवस्थामा फेला पारेको पुष्टि गर्दै उनीहरू दुवैको निधारमा गहिरो 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 सामग्रीहरू हराएको छ छैन त्यसबारे जानकारी दिएपछि मात्रै चोरीको घट्नासँग 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 सेप्टिक 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 थाहा 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 सन्दिघ्द रहेको थाह पाएपछि उनीहरूले तत्कालै पुलिसलाई सूचित गरेको थियो। घट्नाको जानकारी पाउन साथ घट्ना स्थलमा पुलिस पुगेर जाँच गर्न थालेपछि नै दुई दम्पतिको शवलाई सेप्टिक ट्याङ्कमा 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।
अर्कोतर्फ पेदोङ निवासी तृणमूल कङ्ग्रेस नेता छेवाङ भोटियाले आज शवलाई पोस्टमार्टम गर्न कालेबुङ जिल्ला अस्पताल ल्याएको क्रममा बोल्दै यस्तो घट्ना भविस्यमा नदोहोरियोस् भन्दै हत्यारा पक्राउको माग गरेका छन्। 


18 Aug 2018

Tamang seeks support to rid Hills of ills

SNS, 18 August 2018, Kurseong: The chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Board of Administrators Binoy Tamang, to day said that he does not want to be in the political field for long, as he has already spent 32 years of his life in it so far. He also appealed to all to support him in his efforts to cure the ills plaguing the Hills. Addressing a function organised to mark the 51st Foundation Day of Kurseong College here, Mr Tamang said that he may do politics for another 10 years. "I am not able to give time to my family members, and also, anything can happen before those 10 years I wish to be in politics I have made several enemies in my political career," he said.
"I may or may not be in power in the futu re, but this is the right time. I am a medium, and through this medium, people should place their grievances and try to solve their problems." he added.
According to him, Kolkata is presently ''giving or considering different things or issues"
'They may not give 10 out of 10 at present, but they have been giving at least eight" he said.
Mr Tamang also said that several people have been criticizing him on social media by labeling him as "maato virodhi and "jaati virodhi'
(anti-land and anti-community). "But I am not that. People should understand that if I had not taken such a step then (during the Gorkhaland agitation last year), there would have been no normality in the Hills,' he said.
According to him, since he took charge of the GTA on 25 September 2017, he has been busy trying to do away with the ills here. "As such, I want help, advice or cooperation from everybody on different issues to organise Darjeeling Hills on different aspects," lie said,

Formalities to bring Karmapa to Sikkim complete, says T W Lepcha

Deepak Sharma, EOI, MANGAN, AUG 17/--/ All the official procedures have been completed with the Centre to bring the Karmapa to Sikkim, State Forest Minister Tshering Wangdi Lepcha said on Wednesday. But the Karma was at present in the USA. “So when he comes back to India it's on him to decide when he will visit Sikkim and meet devotees.”
Lepcha was addressing the Independence Day celebration in Mangan town where he hoisted the national flag and received the salute at the parade. Contingents of the Sikkim Police, NCC and students from nearby schools participated in the parade in which of two pipe bands, one from Ringhim Secondary school and the other from Mangan Senior Secondary School, also took part. The Minister said the Sikkim Government had sanctioned a new football ground for Mangan, Sikkim Forest Minister Tshering Wangdi Lepcha said on Wednesday at the Independence Day celebration in North District. “The project should be implemented properly for the benefit of all,” he said. Various other projects such as the protection work of Rafong Khlola, a sewage system of Mangan and solid waste land fill for the town had been sanctioned and these would lead to rapid development of the town.
He asked Mangan Nagar Panchayat office bearers and councillor to cooperate with common people. The pressure of inconvenience faced by the public had ultimately to be borne political parties, he said. “So from all sides we have to see and a solution has to be found.” He said the ruling Sikkim Democratic Fronty had placed a formal proposal with the Centre for increasing the number of seats in the Sikkim assembly seats settle the issue of Limboo - Tamang communities. He said Sikkim had witnessed development in all spheres. The HPV vaccination program was an initiative of the State government and people should take the benefit since the State Government was providing it free of cost. He also stated that the State had sought to decriminalize the users of drugs and treat it as a disease to control drug abuse in Sikkim. On the occasion, various awards were distributed to government employees for their meritorious services. District Collector (North) Karma R. Bonpo was felicitated by the Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department.

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