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28 Jan 2017

MUSLIM SOCIETYTHREATENS TO BOYCOTT DEVELOPMENT BOARD

SNS, Siliguri. 27 January 2017: Five day s after chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced the development board for Darjeeling Hills-based minority groups which included Muslims, Christians, Bengalis and Hindi speaking people, the Paharia Muslim Welfare Society has threatened to boycott being a part of the board if the functionaries are not selected as per their choice.
The society leaders said they had earlier sent a list of the candidates to the state government.
They demanded that 90 per cent members for the executive committee and general body should be nominated from the society.
The Muslim leaders alleged that a section of local Trinamul Congress leaders were trying to nominate the functionaries in the board for their vested interests. Darjeeling District Hill Trinamul Congress, however, have ruled out the allegations.
"The society is spear-heading the movement demanding a separate development board for the Darjeeling Hills-based Muslims for the past two years, for the uplift of the deprived community, to improve their livelihood, educational and socio-economic conditions. Most of the people do not have their own land, are unemployed and the literacy rate is very low" said the spokesperson of the community Saukat Ahmed in Siliguri today.
He added, "We have requested the chief minister to set up a separate board for the Hill-based Muslim.
A section of local Trinamul Congress leaders are influencing people to nominate the person for their own vested interests from outside for the post.
community as the community has been recognised here as OBC. The chief minister had announced the board for the Hill-based minority communities, but we feel that the need of our community cannot be fulfilled as other communities have also been included in the board. It will not serve the purpose of our community".
Mr Ahmed said that they came to know that a representative of a Christian community would be made chairman and the vice-chair¬man's post will go to the Muslim community.
"We do not completely agree with the decision. Moreover, a section of local Trinamul Congress leaders are seeking to nominate the person for their own vested interests from outside the society for the post of the chairman, while completely avoiding us. We would not tolerate such interference and also demanding that there should be 90 per cent members in the executive committee and general body from the society. If our demands are not met then we would boycott the board and also launch a bigger movement, " Mr Ahmed added.
The president of the society, Arif Khan, said they were grateful to the chief minister for announcing the board but these issues should also be addressed. He said there was around 6,00,0- 00 Hill-based Muslims spreading in Darjeeling Hills, Terai and Dooars.
He added a delegation would meet the state municipal affairs and urban development minister Firhad Hakim in Kolkata on 30 January. The Trinamul Congress leaders said the allegations were baseless.
"The state government announced the board for the upliftment of the minority communities. We welcome the decision, But there is no question of any interference and influence to nominate the functionaries in the board. It is the matter of the state government," said the spokesperson of the Darjeeling district Hill Trinamul Congress president BinnySharma.











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