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30 Jul 2016

Tea Board to grade, rank all gardens in India

Sovon Manna, TOI, Jul 30, 2016, Kolkata: Finally, the ailing tea industry is undergoing a proper mentorship as the Tea Board India has taken up a never-seen-before initiative to audit, grade and nurture all 1,421 gardens in the country. Besides aiming at branding better-managed estates, the Board's basic objective is to fetch more output from low-ranked gardens in future.
Elaborating the whole initiative, the chairman of the Tea Board, Santosh Sarangi, told TOI : "We have started this mammoth task of scanning and auditing infrastructure and human resource condition of as many as 1,421 gardens in India. The estates are being given grades on five to six parameters like scientific management, replantation, rejuvenation, quality agricultural practices and workers' conditions, etc."
The Tea Board's pilot project on garden gradation in Assam and Nilgiri which was started two months ago is almost over. Now, the tea gardens across the country will be given scores on these parameters through which an elaborate ranking would be published in three months' time, said Sarangi.
According to him, very few agricultural bodies have followed this tedious process of introducing a healthy competition among estates which might have a long impact on boosting the drooping morale of the tea producer. Fresh from implementing a few initiatives like pan-India e-auction and accident insurance scheme for plantation workers, the Board has devised a new software to carry out this huge data analysis.
"We will, of course, felicitate the gardens with better scores and ranks while the laggards will be given an immediate advisory to revive their condition. Our team is examining whether a tea estate is following Plant Protection Code (PPC) properly or not; how much are they doing for garden welfare; whether or not they are really committed to workers' wellness (like regular payment of wages and provident fund)," the Board chairman explained.
According to the Board's plan, the representatives of the gardens scoring below a certain level will be advised to visit the top-ranked estates for witnessing proper practices. Various standard quality assurance systems like ISO or HACCP will be checked in the worse-performing gardens.
S Sundarajan, director (tea development) of Tea Board, who is spearheading this unique initiative, feels that the so-called bad-performing gardens will now come under the direct supervising mechanism. "This constructive concept scale up the visibility of this garden. We have covered almost 90% of south India and half of Assam. Our data collection team will now complete north Bengal," he said.
Indian Tea Association (ITA), the apex body of tea producers, however, wants to assess the Board's initiative first. Arijit Raha, secretary-general, ITA, said, "The purpose of the study is not clear to us. However, I have been given to understand that higher grade gardens would be rewarded. We feel developmental schemes of the Board should apply equitably. While several good schemes exist, we have not been able to avail the benefits of schemes like Quality Upgradation Scheme critical for factory modernization due to the 20% export eligibility criteria. Our representation for review is still pending with the Board."
Meanwhile, the Board is on the verge of completing its mock trial on the post-settlement process in pan-India e-auction with the buyers and brokers. "We are getting favourable response on new NSEIT software which will soon replace the old system," added Sarangi.
In order to maximise its promotion of the domestic tea in the global exports market, the Tea Board will double up its presence in the upcoming World Tea & Coffee Expo (WTCE) to be held in Mumbai in 20-22 October. The Board will erect a big pavilion (double the size of the last year's) this year in order to portray Indian tea to retailers, wholesalers, importers/exporters, chain stores, tea retail chains, F&B and spa managers, hotels, vendors/suppliers, grocers, resorts, tea & coffee houses, spices Manufacturers and allied professionals across the globe.

Woman held with ivory - Bhutan national under scan for animal part smuggling

Pem Chaki Sherpa in Belakoba forest range office on Friday. Picture by Biplab Basak
TT, Jalpaiguri, July 29: A Bhutanese woman with alleged links with an international animal part smuggling racket was arrested today and an ivory piece and her voter identity cards in both India and Bhutan were recovered.
Officers of Belakoba range under Baikunthapur forest division picked up Pem Chaki Sherpa, 42, from a bus bound for Siliguri.
Sherpa is a resident of Tsirang district in Bhutan. She, however, used to stay near Jaigaon, the town on the India-Bhutan border, in Alipurduar district.
"During interrogation, she has revealed that for the past five years, she has been into animal parts' smuggling. The woman has smuggled several animal parts like rhino horn, ivory, leopard skin and deer musk from Bhutan to countries like Nepal, Indonesia and Thailand and Hong Kong via Jalpaiguri and Siliguri," Sanjoy Dutta, the range officer of Belakoba, said.
As the foresters scanned her luggage, they found that she had voter cards of both India and Bhutan. "We have also seized some ATM cards, bank account documents she has in Bhutan and India, several visiting cards and contact numbers. We have approached the district election department of Jalpaiguri to verify whether her Indian voter card is original," the range officer said.
According to forest sources, Sherpa has the contact numbers of officials of the Indian Tourism Development Corporation, immigration department and prominent hotels in Darjeeling and Gangtok.
"We have also found contacts of many animal part smugglers and the bank account number of a businessman in Delhi. It seems she would deposit the money earned from the sale of of animal parts in this account. Even phone numbers of prominent shopping malls and jewellery stores in Bhutan and Bangkok were with her. All these have made us suspect that she is a major player in animal parts' smuggling and was operating from north Bengal. We think she had visited foreign countries and she is an important catch," said a forest officer.
Foresters said they would speak to central intelligence agencies to get to the root of the racket.
Sherpa was produced in the chief judicial magistrate's court in Jalpaiguri and remanded in 14 days' jail custody. She was charged under relevant sections of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

Banker held for duping depositors

TT, Malda, July 29: A zonal manager of the State Bank of India was arrested today for allegedly siphoning around Rs 39 lakh off depositors' accounts and investing the amount in the stock market.
Yasim Mondal, 35, the SBI's zonal manager at its Nalagola branch, has been booked under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or banker) of the Indian Penal Code. A court here remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.
Police picked Mondal up from his house at Bamungola, 40km from Malda, this morning. He is a resident of Mahestala on the outskirts of Calcutta.
According to police sources, Mondal had been posted as the zonal manager at the SBI Nalagola branch for the past two years. "Mondal had withdrawn Rs 3900500 from eight depositors' accounts without their permission using online banking and invested the amount in the stock market. SBI officials in Mumbai and Delhi detected the illegal activities of the zonal manager and the matter was reported to the SBI Calcutta main branch," said a police source.
On Monday, the chief manager of the SBI in Calcutta, Ashim Banerjee, started a departmental inquiry and confirmed the zonal manager's activities. "Banerjee filed a written complaint with Bamungola police yesterday and we arrested him from his rented residence this morning," the police source said.
Neither the police nor the bank officials explained how Mondal had defrauded the account holders.

Text system for medical complaints

TT, Siliguri, July 29: The director of health services in Bengal today said the state health department would soon introduce a new mechanism through which patients and their relatives could lodge complaints on medical treatment with senior officials through text messages.
Biswaranjan Sathpathy said the patients could use the text system if their complaints were not solved at the grievance redress cells at the government hospitals.
He today held a meeting with superintendents of all district hospitals in north Bengal over the functioning of the grievance redress cells which had been opened at the instruction of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Sathpathy told journalists that the contact numbers of the officials to whom text messages could be sent would be provided to the cells soon.
The department will also install CCTVs at the cells to monitor their functioning.
"We are striving to improve the healthcare in the state-run hospitals. The grievance cells are at a very initial stage of functioning. A senior medical officer of the hospital has been appointed as the nodal officer in each cell and their contact numbers have been put on display at the hospitals," said Sathpathy.
"The nodal officers will not be able to be physically present in the cell to take the complaints of the patients round-the-clock. So, duty hours at the cell have been divided into three shifts and medical officers will take turns in taking charge of the cell. They should try to solve problems of patients at their level and if they are unsuccessful, the issue will be reported to the nodal officer and the hospital superintendent," Sathpathy said.
"However, if the patients are not satisfied with the solution provided by these officials at the district level, they can directly lodge their complaint with state level officials. We also plan to install CCTVs at the cells to monitor their functioning," he added.
Earlier today, the director visited Siliguri district hospital for inspection of the maternity block.
"I visited Siliguri hospital with engineers to check the maternity and childcare services and how the maternity block can be expanded. Space is a constraint and many times, two mothers are kept in one bed. The labour room has only three labour tables for deliveries and that is not enough. We will expand the maternity block to add adequate number of beds," said Sathpathy.

Demand to tame Bhutan rivers - Irrigation minister seeks 'India-Bhutan joint river commission'

People walk along the bank of the Hatinala, an overflowing stream from Bhutan, during the recent
flood at Banarhat; 
(below) irrigation minister hold a meeting in Siliguri on Friday. Pic: Kundan Yolmo
TT, Siliguri, July 29: Irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee today said he would seek the Centre's intervention to form the "India-Bhutan joint river commission" so that floods caused by rivers or streams originating from the Himalayan country could be mitigated in north Bengal.
The demand has come after three north Bengal districts were flooded by rivers originating from Bhutan in the past two weeks. North Bengal development minister Rabindranath Ghosh today pegged the total loss from the floods around Rs 1,000 crore.
"There are 72 rivers and streams which originate from Bhutan and flow through north Bengal (in the districts of Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar). There had been incessant rainfall in north Bengal but the flood was caused by these rivers. There is no barrage in any of these rivers in Bhutan, as a result of which several areas in north Bengal are flooded," Banerjee told journalists at Uttarkanya here after touring the flood-ravaged areas.
"Last year, we had taken up the issue with Union water resources minister and emphasised the need to form the India-Bhutan Joint River Commission to mitigate the flood. Some infrastructure like barrage should be built in Bhutan through bilateral talks. However, the Centre has not taken any initiative. Again, we had to face the same situation. After my return to Calcutta, I will speak to the Union minister again. I would also request the chief minister to take up the matter with the prime minister," he added.
Asked if the joint river commission would help check the flood, a senior official of the state irrigation department said: "Formation of such a joint body comprising representatives of two countries can help in the exchange of information on flood and rainfall on a regular basis. Also, there can be regular discussions on the aversion of inundation in areas downstream the Bhutan rivers, that is north Bengal. We can place proposals like construction of barrages and water reservoirs in Bhutan and at some locations of north Bengal to regularise the flow of water. If the joint river commission is formed, it can largely help in resolving the problem."
Another important issue, the official said, is deposition of dolomite dust and pebbles, boulders and even trees from Bhutan on the river beds in north Bengal.
"Bhutan does dolomite mining near rivers. Throughout the year and particularly during the monsoon, the rivers carry heaps of dolomite dust, boulders, pebbles and even trees and they get deposited on the riverbeds in north Bengal. Because of this, riverbeds become higher and banks are breached, inundating large swathes of land," said the official.
He said there would be dolomite deposit on the land because of the inundation caused by the Bhutan rivers. "Agricultural land or tea plantations become unsuitable because of the dolomite deposit. If the joint river commission is formed, we can take up these issues with Bhutan."
India and Bangladesh has a Joint River Commission. Through the commission, flood forecasting data on rivers like the Ganga, Teesta and Brahmaputra are shared during the monsoon, enabling Bangladesh to shift people to safer areas.
The irrigation minister also said his department had taken up the repair of damaged stretches of embankments along many rivers. "We are doing the repair right now. But we need a permanent solution," he said.
Some major rivers which originate from Bhutan and flow through north Bengal include the Jaldhaka, Diana, Kaljani, Torsha, Leesh, Ghish and Raidak and streams like Hatinala, Dudua and Basra. Even the streams swell and become like rivers during the monsoon and flood the localities along their banks.
Minister Ghosh, who was also at Uttarkanya today, said the total loss due to the flood was around Rs 1,000 crore.
"Assessment of losses is still going on but whatever information we have so far indicates a total loss of Rs 1,000 crore. In total, around 66,000 people were affected" Ghosh said.

Sodomy trigger in hostel murder, 2 boys held - 10-year-old victim caught accused in unnatural act, say police; more arrests in Ghatshila on cards

Main accused Birbal Soren in police custody in Jamshedpur on Friday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Kumud Jenamani, TT, Jamshedpur, July 29: Two inmates of Bethany House, 60km from here, were arrested on charges of murder and sodomy today, a month after a 10-year-old inmate of the private hostel in Ghatshila was found battered to death on the terrace of the building.
One among the duo is a 12-year-old while the other has been identified as Birbal Soren (19), a native of Bagjata village in Ghurabandha, 40km from the hostel. Both accused are students of Irvine Adventist School, where victim Ram Chandra Giri studied in Class III. While main accused Birbal is a tenth grader, his minor accomplice is a student of Class V.
East Singhbhum SSP Anoop T. Mathew said Ram had spotted Birbal indulging in "unnatural sex" with the other minor boy when he woke up in the small hours of June 27 to go to the toilet.
"The moment the youth saw Ram, he dragged the boy to the terrace of the double-storey hostel with the help of his minor accomplice. Ram was pinned down and Birbal hit him on the head repeatedly with a brick till he stopped struggling. The two them then returned to their room on the ground floor and went off to sleep. Other inmates spotted Ram's body three hours later," Mathew said.
The SSP added that they would arrest Bethany House owners Masih and Sarita Minz for ignoring complaints of sodomy against Birbal who was abusing at least five other minor boys. Police are probing if the accused targeted girls at the hostel as well.
On how they cracked the case, Mathew said police suspected insider role from the very beginning irrespective of claims of intruders made by some of the 36-odd children.
"We had found strands of hair in Ram's clutched fist and bloodstained fingerprints on the terrace wall. We took DNA samples of 15 inmates and also fingerprint of the main accused. Interrogation of some of the kids led us to Birbal who hurriedly left for home on June 27 as soon as Bethany House was sealed. We came to know he was indulging in unnatural sex with as many as five other boys, all aged between 10 and 12 years," the SSP said.
Police detained the youth for interrogation a week ago. Subjected to intensive grilling, Birbal broke down and confessed to his crime. He also led police to a crucial evidence.
"Birbal had wiped his blood-soaked hands with a gamchha and discarded it outside the hostel premises. We recovered the evidence from an undergrowth following his confession," the SSP said.
Mathew said they would arrest hostel warden Sarita and her husband Mashi. "The two knew what was going on because Birbal had been targeting younger boys for at least a couple of years, and some of them had complained to the warden. Had they taken action against him, a murder would not have taken place," the SSP added.
Ram was the only son of Pankaj Giri, a resident of Khejuria village in Chakulia. His death had triggered a statewide uproar with local JMM MLA Kunal Sarangi staging a roadblock on NH-33 on July 10 and raising the murder case in the Assembly on July 27.

28 Jul 2016

Couple found dead in West Bengal resort

Saibal Gupta | TNN | Jul 27, 2016: KOLKATA: Bodies of a couple were recovered from a resort near Murti River in Jalpaiguri district on Wednesday evening. According to police a 52-year-old man came with a woman on Wednesday morning and booked a room at Murti River resort describing them as husband and wife.

The man - Om Prakash Harijan - said that he was the cashier of a nationalised bank at Jaigaon in Alipurduar. According to the hotel staff, the duo entered the room and didn't get out. "In the evening, we had some suspicion and started calling them, but there was no response from inside. We then peeped through the window and found the duo dead. We informed the police immediately," a senior staff of the hotel said.

In the evening, police came and broke open the door in front of a magistrate and recovered the bodies and sent them for post mortem.

"Apparently, it seemed that the woman was strangulated to death by the man and then the man slit his arm and killed himself. But unless the autopsy report comes, nothing can be said for sure. We are trying to trace the whereabouts of the man and the woman," an investigating officer said.

Bank executive from Kolkata commits suicide in Darjeeling

EOI, DARJEELING, 27 Jul 2016: A 26-year-old man from Dumdum in Kolkata, who had been working as a bank executive in Darjeeling for the last four years, on Tuesday sent a video clip to a colleague from his mobile-phone that live-streamed how he hanged himself to death.
The video showed Pradipto Paik tying a towel around his neck and hanging himself from the railing of the staircase inside his rented room at Dr.Yen Singh Road in Darjeeling.
All the while, his mobile phone was recording the moment and relaying it to a female colleague at work.
Police sources said the female colleague received the video around 10.37am on Tuesday, who immediately alerted her co-workers. “It appears the victim was sending the video to one of his colleagues. She alerted her co-workers and they all rushed to the person's room where they found him hanging. We were then informed and we went to the victim’s rented room and retrieved the body,” said an officer.
Paik hails from Nager Bazaar in Satgachi and was posted in Darjeeling. He is survived by his mother and wife. Paik, who married a year ago, had in fact planned a trip with his wife Shilpa on their first marriage anniversary that falls on August 10.
The victim’s mother, Deepa, arrived in Darjeeling with family members this afternoon from Satgachi to claim her son's body. "It is shocking that my son committed suicide. How will I live alone now?” she said.
Paik’s father, Prabir Kumar, died of cancer in 2005 and his maternal uncle also died the same year in a car accident. Paik’s mother used to run a ration shop at Nager Bazaar in Satgachi, but she leased it out to a local as her son had got a bank job.
Soumendra Nath Mondal, the victim’s paternal uncle, who also came to Darjeeling, said, “The police informed me about the video clip my nephew purportedly sent to a female colleague. It seems that my nephew had a close relation with her.
He said he came to know about the death of his nephew from the deceased’s wife on Tuesday. “I last spoke to my nephew on Sunday and talked about his work and family matters. There was nothing to suggest that something was amiss. But yesterday when his wife called him on his phone, she was informed of the suicide,” said Mondal.
Arajit Pal, the victim’s brother-in-law, said he and his sister had spoken to Paik on Tuesday morning a few hours before the suicide. “I spoke to my brother-in-law yesterday around 8.30 in the morning.
We spoke as usual and he even asked my sister how to cook lentils. But after a few hours we were told that my brother-in-law had committed suicide,” he said.
Police have started an investigation and are looking at all possible angles to the cause of the death. “We have started a probe. We have also collected evidence and taken the statements of the victim’s  co-workers. At this moment it will be premature to say anything, but we are looking at all angles,” said Amit Javalgi, the Darjeeling SP.
After conducting the post-mortem, the police handed the body to the family, who has decided to take it to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri from where it will be flown to Kolkata tomorrow.

Mamata debt talks with PM

TT, New Delhi, July 27: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and is said to have iterated the state's demands regarding debt restructuring and flood relief.
Describing the meeting as "very good" to journalists outside Parliament, Mamata said: "Certain norms have to be followed. Obviously, both sides spoke. I spoke more than him because I had gone to him with a long list of demands. He heard me out."
Asked if the Prime Minister offered any assurance on her demands, the chief minister smiled and said: "Let's wait for the results."
Sources in Trinamul later said Mamata had pointed out to Modi that the state had suffered a loss of around Rs 20,000 crore because of floods last year and had sought Rs 8,750 crore from the Centre. Of the Rs 765 crore that was sanctioned, the state is yet to receive "even a paisa", the sources said.
"The chief minister requested the Prime Minister to ensure the prompt release of the Rs 765 crore, besides sanctioning and disbursing the remaining amount. It's been a year since the state sought the money. Most of the relief and rehabilitation work was carried out from the state's meagre resources," a Trinamul Lok Sabha MP said.
Mamata said she had also asked Modi for a restructuring of the state's debt or to consider a soft loan to address the issue of Bengal's cumulative debt burden, which is expected to cross Rs 3 lakh crore this fiscal.
"I told the PM the Centre has to consider either a debt restructuring or a soft loan.... We are unable to repay our inherited debt and carry out development simultaneously. I pointed out that a similar situation is being faced by many other states," she said later.
Bengal, which has to pay Rs 32,000 crore to service the debt this financial year, had requested a write-off of the outstanding loans from the Centre, a three-year moratorium on interest obligations on open market borrowings and a special purpose grant for servicing current outstanding loans from the National Small Savings Scheme.
Mamata said she had requested Modi to ensure the immediate clean-up and repair of National Highway 10, the arterial road connecting Sevoke and Sikkim that is "badly choked" because of repeated landslides.
She is also said to have asked Modi not to make the Aadhaar card mandatory for receiving central entitlements and benefits.
Sources said the chief minister referred to her pet Kanyashree and Yubashree schemes to drive home the point that Bengal had shown the way in managing direct transfer of money to beneficiaries.
Mamata is also believed to have told Modi about her views on the Centre-state revenue-sharing model, which allegedly does not ensure a level playing field for all states.
Before meeting Modi, the chief minister had lunched with finance minister Arun Jaitley at his residence. Both declined to comment on the topics of their discussion.
Sources said Jaitley had discussed the proposed GST constitutional amendment with Mamata in a bid to ensure that her party, which has already declared its support to the legislation, remained in the loop.
Mamata met Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and later, went to the residence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
On the Centre targeting Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, Mamata said: "We spoke about how to strengthen the federal structure.... We are different political parties and one party may have a view against another. But the Centre and the state must maintain good relations."

Gurung voices Bhanu 'injustice' to hills

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling, July 27: Bimal Gurung today hinted at starting a fresh agitation on Gorkhaland and said the elected GTA Sabha members and other party workers should be ready to go to jail on the statehood issue.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief, while addressing a martyr's day function at Gorkha Rangamanch Bhavan, added that it was not right to accept injustice, while referring to the recent controversy over the hill leader not being allowed to address the crowd during the state government's Bhanu Jayanti celebrations on July 13.
"This Shahid Diwas could be the turning point. In 1986, 1,200 people laid their lives and after 2007, too, others (seven) laid their lives. The number of martyrs might even increase to 1,000 now. I think we have started forgetting the sacrifice of the Gorkhaland martyrs, too preoccupied with the chair, but the time has come to remember the shahids," said Gurung.
The Morcha chief today spoke about the pride of the community and said that it was not right to tolerate injustice.
"It is not right to bear with injustice. They have taken over Bhanubhakta and they will probably also take over the Shahid Diwas. We have tolerated enough. Sometimes they come up (to the hills) and they kick us, sometimes they slap us. I am ready to take a bullet but will not sell my self-respect," he said.
"By demanding Gorkhaland, we are only demanding our right, this place was never a part of Bengal.... Where is the issue of the division of Bengal," Gurung said.
"They only see Kanchenjungha smiling, but they never see our people crying," Gurung said, without mentioning the state government or chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Morcha leader also said that he expected the BJP government to look into the demand for Gorkhaland. "We want the Centre to understand our feelings. We are not demanding a separate country, we are only demanding a state, we are only demanding our rights," said Gurung.
Sources in the Morcha said that a party delegation would soon leave for Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and other leaders to raise the issue of statehood.
The Morcha leader said: "The Sabhasads and municipality councillors should also be ready now. If you are arrested during an agitation, you should go to jail smiling."
Gurung also indirectly hit at those running development boards in the hills. "Our community is being divided but some of our people are selling their own community. Many are indulging in politics for personal gains and selling the future of their children," said Gurung.
Referring to the Bhanu Jayanti event, Gurung said: "The injustice was not just to the Morcha, it was also for ABGL, GNLF and the entire hill population. Recently, the GNLF's president was made vice-chairman (of the North Bengal Board for Development of Sports and Games).... This appointment only reflects their thoughts towards the hill people."

गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाद्वारा शहीद दिवस पालन

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 27 जुलाई 2016। गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाले आज शहीद दिवस पालन गरेको छ। यहाँको एघार माइल स्थित शहीद वेदीमा पालन गरेको शहीद दिवममा मुख्य अतिथिका रूपमा विधायिका सरिता राई उपस्थित रहेकी थिइन् भने कार्यक्रमको अध्यक्षता नोर्देन लामाले गरेका थिए।
छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड आन्दोलनको समयमा शहीद बनेकाहरूलाई स्मरण गर्दै एक मिनटको मौन धारण गरेपछि सुरु भएको कार्यक्रममा मुख्य अतिथि, विशिष्ट अतिथिवर्गले शहीद वेदीमा पुष्पार्पण गरेर श्रद्धाञ्जली अर्पण गरेपछि अन्य कार्यकर्ताहरूले पनि शहीदहरूलाई श्रद्धाञ्जली चढाएका थिए।
यस अवसरमा विभिन्न धर्म गुरुहरूले सर्वधर्म प्रार्थना गरेका थिए भने सांस्कृतिक विभाग कालेबुङले श्रद्धाञ्जली गीत प्रस्तुत गरेको थियो। अस्सीको दशकमा चलेको छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्डको आन्दोलनमा शहीद बनेका परिवारवर्गलाई कार्यक्रममा सम्मान पनि जनाएको थियो।
यस अवसरमा कार्यक्रमलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै विधायिका सरिता राईले छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति सम्पूर्ण गोर्खा जाति एकहुनपर्ने आह्वान गरिन्। उनले शहीदहरूको सपना एकमात्र छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड रहेको कारण गोर्खाल्याण्ड प्राप्तिको निम्ति सबै जुट्नुपर्ने विधायिका राईले आह्वान गरेकी थिइन्।

गोर्खा राष्ट्रिय मुक्ति मोर्चाद्वारा शहीद दिवस पालन

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 27 जुलाई 2016। गोर्खा राष्ट्रिय मुक्ति मोर्चाले पनि आज यहाँको टाउन हलमा शहीद दिवस पालन गरेको छ। गोरामुमो कालेबुङ महकुमा समितिका संयोजक मौरिस कालिकोटोको अध्यक्षतामा सम्पन्न भएको उक्त शहीद दिवस कार्यक्रममा मुख्य अतिथिका रूपमा सी.के कुमाइ उपस्थित रहेका थिए। यसका साथै कार्यक्रममा पूर्व विधायक गौलन लेप्चा, दावा सेर्पा, डी.के राई आदिको पनि विशेष उपस्थिति रहेको थियो। 
कार्यक्रममा अस्सीको दशमा शहीद बनेकाहरूलाई स्मरण गर्दै 108 वटा बत्ती बालेर श्रद्धाञ्जली अर्पण गरिएको थियो। यस अवसरमा गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति शहीद भएका 12 सय वीर विरंगनाहरूलाई श्रद्धाञ्जली चढ़ाउन विभिन्न राजनैतिक दल,संघ-संस्थानका प्रतिनिधिवर्ग आदिको पनि विशेष उपस्थिति रहेको थियो। 
कार्यक्रममा शहीदका परिवारहरूलाई कालेबुङ ब्राञ्च कमिटी अध्यक्ष मौरीस कालिकोटेको बाहुलीबाट खदा लगाई सम्मान पनि गरिएको थियो। 
कार्यक्रमलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै गोरामुमो कालेबुङ ब्राञ्च कमिटिका संयोजक मौरिस कालिकोटेले शहीदको सपना भुलेका छैनौ अनि उक्त सपना एकदिन अवश्यै साकार पार्नेछौँ भनि कालिकोटाले बताए। उनले सन् 1950 को सन्धिको धारा -7 ले भारतका गोर्खाहरूलाई नेपालको हो भन्ने प्रमाणित गर्न खोजेको बताउँदै यस सन्धिले भारतीय गोर्खाहरूलाई नकारात्मक असर पारेको दाबी गरे। त्यसैको विरोधमा 27 जुलाईका दिन उक्त सन्धि जलाउने क्रममा बङ्गाल सरकारले गोर्खाहरूलाई गोलि चलाएर हत्या गरेको कालिकोटेले बताए। 
सोहि दिनलाई स्मरण गर्दै शहीद दिवस पालन गरेको उनले बताउँदै शहीदहरूको एकमात्र छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड राज्य प्राप्ति गरेर छोड्ने प्रतिबद्धता जाहेर गरे। 
यसक्रममा पूर्व विधायक गौलन लेप्चा, दावा शेर्पा, डीके राई आदिले पनि 27 जुलाई 1986को दिनलाई स्मरण गर्दै आफ्नो सम्बोधन राखेका थिए।

गोजमुमोलाई शहीद दिवस मनाउने अधिकार छैन – डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्री

डी के वाइबा, कालिमन्युज, कालेबुङ 27 जुलाई 2016। अस्सिको दशकमा छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड आन्दोलनको समय शहीद बनेकाहरूलाई जन आन्दोलन पार्टीले पनि आज श्रद्धाञ्जली चढाएको छ। शहीदहरूलाई स्मरण गर्ने क्रममा जाप अध्यक्ष डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले ‘गोजमुमोलाई शहीद दिवस मनाउने अधिकार छैन’ भनि बताएका छन्। उनले यहाँको थाना डाँडामा आयोजित शहीद दिवस कार्यक्रमलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै उक्त कुरा भनेका हुन्। 
यसक्रममा शहीदका परिवारवर्गलाई जापले खदा अर्पण गरेर सम्मान जनाएको थियो।
कार्यक्रमलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै डा. छेत्रीले गोजमुमो प्रति बर्सिन्दै गोर्खाल्याण्ड आन्दोलनको समयमा 12 सय शहीद बनाउने माकपा सित मोर्चाले हात मिलाएको आरोप लगाउँदै ‘गोर्खाहरूको निर्मम हत्या गर्ने माकपासित हात मिलाउने मोर्चालाई शहीद दिवस पालन गर्ने अधिकार छैन’ भने। 
उनले आफ्नो सम्बोधनको क्रममा सन् 1986 अनि सन् 2010 मा सिप्सुमा भएको गोलिकाण्डलाई लिएर सरकारले जाँच कमिटि गठन गर्नुपर्ने माग गरे। उनले उक्त दुईवटा घट्नाहरूमा नेतृत्वको अज्ञानता अनि अयोग्यताको कारण शहीद बन्न परेको आरोप लगाउँदै ठिकसँग बुद्धि पुर्‍याएको भए शहीद बन्नपर्ने आवश्यक्ता नरहेको बताए। 
उनले 27 जुलाई अनि 2010 मा गोर्खाल्याण्डको माग गर्ने प्रदर्शनकारीहरूलाई निर्मतापूर्वक हत्या गरेको आरोप लगाउँदै उक्त दुईवटै घट्नाका पिडीतहरूले न्याय पाउनका निम्ति न्यायिक जाँच हुनपर्ने माग गरे। 
आफ्नो सम्बोधनको क्रममा उनले गोर्खा जनमुक्ति मोर्चाको कडा आलोचना गर्दै कालेबुङ नगरपालिकामा भएको भ्रष्टचारको पनि भण्डाफोर गरेका छन्। कालेबुङ नगरपालिकामा ठोस मैला व्यवस्थापन (सलिड वेस्ट म्यानेजमेन्ट)को निम्ति सरकारबाट आएको 10 करोड रूपियाँ नगरपार्षदहरूले बाँड्ने काम गरेर भ्रष्टचार गरेको आरोप लगाए। 
ठोस मैला व्यवस्थापनको निम्ति सरकारबाट आएको 10 करोड रूपियाँ गोजमुमो अध्यक्ष विमल गुरुङ अनि नगरपार्षदहरूले डाइभर्ट गरेर सडक बनाउने तय गरेको उनले दाबी गरे। जुन कार्य गैरकानुनी रहेको कारण नगरपालिका अध्यक्ष गंगामाया गुरुङले विरोध गर्दा उनलाई बिरामी छुट्टी (मेडिकल लिभ) दिएर उक्त पैसा भ्रष्टचार गरेको गम्भीर आरोप जाप अध्यक्ष डा. हर्कबहादुर छेत्रीले लगाएका छन्। यसका साथै उनले कालेबुङ मेला ग्राउण्डलाई 50 करोड अनुमोदन गरेर स्टेडियम बनाउने घोषणा केवल जनतालाई प्रलोभन देखाउने काम मात्रै रहेको आरोप लगाउँदै वास्तवमा मेला ग्राउण्डको तल्लो भागमा बस्ने मानिसहरूलाई उच्छेद गरेर त्यस ठाउँहरू गोजमुमोले बिक्री गर्ने योजना रहेको आरोप लगाएका छन्। 
उनले गोजमुमो पार्टी छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्ड प्रति इमान्दार नरहेको पुन: आरोप लगाउँदै जापले गोर्खाल्याण्डको बील तयार पारिसके पनि त्यस बीललाई मोर्चाले संसदमा पेश गर्नका निम्ति सांसदलाई निर्देश दिन नसकेको दाबी गरे। यसक्रममा उनले छुट्टै राज्य गोर्खाल्याण्डका शहीदहरूको इतिहास लेखिनुपर्ने बताउँदै त्यस ईतिहासलाई पाठ्य पुस्तकमा समावेश गर्नुपर्ने पनि माग गरे। 
यता शहीद दिवसको अवासरमा जाप टाउन कमिटीका सदस्यवर्गले शहीदका परिवारहरूसित भेट गरेपछि शहरभरित्र रहेका शहीदवेदीहरूमा माल्य अर्पण गर्दै श्रद्धाञ्जली पनि अर्पण गरेको थियो। यस क्रमममा अबका आन्दोलनहरू ठिकसित नेतृत्व गरेर सरकारसमक्ष ठिकसित कुरा उठान गर्न सकिए शहीद बन्न नपर्ने सन्देश दिए। 
जापद्वारा आजै रक्तदान शिविरको पनि आयोजना गरिएको थियो।

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