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21 Nov 2017

Supreme Court restrains Bengal police against GJM founder Bimal Gurung

The Supreme Court order  means the West Bengal Police cannot take any action immediate against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha founder Bimal Gurung who has been named in 122 FIRs.HT, Nov 20, 2017 New Delhi/Darjeeling: The Supreme Court order  means the West Bengal Police cannot take any action immediate against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha founder Bimal Gurung who has been named in 122 FIRs.

The Supreme Court order means the West Bengal Police cannot take any action immediate against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha founder Bimal Gurung who has been named in 122 FIRs.
The Supreme Court on Monday restrained the West Bengal police from taking any “coercive action” against Bimal Gurung, the fugitive founder president of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha who was removed from the post by the rival Binoy Tamang faction earlier in the day.

Gurung and some of his aides went underground more than four months ago after the Bengal police slapped cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. They are suspected to hiding somewhere in Sikkim.

Gurung invoked the extra-ordinary jurisdiction of the top court and sought protection from arrest and also an independent investigation against the alleged executions and extrajudicial methods the West Bengal government has adopted to suppress the democratic protests by the GJM for a separate Gorkhaland state in the Darjeeling hills.

“Issue notice, returnable in two weeks. In the meantime, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner,” a bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said in an order while seeking state’s response. Gurung was represented by senior advocate Harish Salve.

Astha Sharma, advocate on record (AOR) in Supreme Court who had filed the writ petition on behalf of Gurung told Hindustan Times that 122 FIRs were filed against him. The court order means Gurung will have protection in all these cases.

Gurung claimed “false cases are being lodged against the GJM members.” He said an independent agency must investigate the extra judicial killings of supporters of the Gorkhaland movement.

“Such direction is sought in light of the standoff between the Government of West Bengal and the members and supporters of GJM, wherein illegal, overt and perverse steps have been taken by the State agencies in order to quell the democratic and peaceful movement by GJM,” Gurung’s petition said.

“Innocent protestors have chosen to peacefully express their desire for a separate state of Gorkhaland comprising the hills of Darjeeling, Dooars and Siliguri Terai. But the state has victimised them and foisted false cases against them,” the petition said.
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Gurung suspended from GJM, Binay Tamang takes over as President

Gurung suspended from GJM, Binay Tamang takes over as President
Binay Tamang addresses media persons
Amitava Banerjee, OI, November 20, 2017, Darjeeling: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President Bimal Gurung, General Secretary Roshan Giri, Gorkha Janmukti Nari Morcha President Asha Gurung along with 11 others were suspended for six months from the party on Monday.
Binay Tamang was nominated the new President and Anit Thapa the General Secretary of the GJM. The development took place on Monday, a day ahead of the bipartite meeting between the West Bengal Government and hill political outfits in Siliguri. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is attending the talks. 
Giri dubbing the expulsion "illegal" has threatened to take legal recourse. 
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Central Committee meeting replaced Gurung with Tamang on Monday. 
Following the meeting, addressing media persons, Binay Tamang stated "Invoking Article 6 and 7 of the GJM constitution we have suspended 14 GJM members including Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri and Asha Gurung for 6 months for having failed to discharge their duties as well as not being present in the Hills" stated Binay Tamang. 
The 14 suspended from the party for 6 months include front rung GJM leaders and leaders from GJM and the frontal organizations. 
The central committee thereby invoking Article 7(j) of the party constitution unanimously nominated Tamang as the President and Anit Thapa as the General Secretary. 
While Tamang's name for the post of President was proposed by GJM Central Committee member LM Lama, the name of Anit Thapa for the post of General Secretary was proposed by Alok Kanta Mani Thulung. 
"We initially had a 93 member central committee. However many have resigned and some have joined other political outfits. There were 37 members present in the Central Committee meeting which makes it a 43% attendance. We will appraise the change in portfolios to the State Election Commission and the Election Commission of India as GJM is a registered party" stated Tamang. A quorum is reached at around 33% attendance. 
As the remaining 12 suspensions have left important port folios vacant in the frontal organizations affiliated to the GJM, a central committee meeting to be held soon will decide on the leaders to fill up the vacant posts, added Tamang. 
Incidentally with the renewed agitation and the 104 day long bandh in the Hills since June, the GJM suffered a major blow and a vertical split. Tamang and Thapa coming out in open against the 104 day long bandh had parted ways with Gurung. They had given a call for the lifting of the bandh. 
Gurung then claimed that a Central Committee had expelled Tamang and Thapa. The rebel leaders continued with the GJM asking Gurung to prove the quorum of the meeting. 
Later Tamang was nominated the Chairman of the Board of Administrators (BOA) to run the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration and Thapa the Vice Chairman, further putting Gurung in a tight spot. 
Gurung who has been implicated in a number of cases and has been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act is on the run. He has a Look-out notice along with an arrest warrant in his name. 
From undisclosed locations Gurung has been sending audio clips dubbing Tamang and Thapa for having sided with the West Bengal Government thereby selling the Gorkhaland demand. Gurung warned the Hills to stay away from "traitors" Tamang and Thapa. 
Gurung had even appealed the Hills to stay away from the rally organized by Tamang and Thapa faction on November 19, dubbing it a "Black day." 
However defying Gurung's diktat, the rally on Sunday had witnessed a huge turnout. Bolstered by this the GJM Central Committee ousted Gurung, Giri, Asha Gurung and Gurung sympathizers. 
The move also comes a day ahead of bipartite talks between the State Government and Hill parties to find a solution to the Gorkha impasse. The meeting is scheduled to be held at 4pm at Pintail Village in the outskirts of Siliguri. 
Binay Tamang; Anit Thapa; Darjeeling MLA Amir Singh Rai; Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma; central committee members Tshering Dahal and Sanchabir Subba will be attending the bipartite talks with the State Government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also be attending the talks. 
Tamang and Thapa taking over the reins of the party has put them at an advantage feel political commentators. They will have to locus standi to attend tripartite talks between the State, Centre and the GJM in the capacity of the President and General Secretary of the hill political outfit. 
The central committee meeting on Monday held in a resort in Ghoom, 8km from Darjeeling town also decided to expand, consolidate and strengthen the party along with the frontal organizations. 
A GJM rally will be held in Sukna near Siliguri within the second week of December to be attended by party workers and supporters from the Hills, Terai and Dooars. 
A 3 member GJM team led by LM Lama will be taking part in Gorkhaland demand programme in Delhi on November 26th organized by Gorkhaland Sangarsha Samity. 
Roshan Giri reacting to the suspension stated "Suspension is illegal. They do not have any right. Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa have already been expelled from the party. We will seek legal recourse."
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SC passes interim order; No coercive steps to be taken against Gurung

Apex court passes interim order; No coercive steps to be taken against GurungAmitava Banerjee, OI, November 20, 2017: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered that no coercive steps shall be taken against Bimal Gurung till a writ petition is taken up again after two weeks.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung is presently on the run, implicated in numerous cases. He has also been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA.) 
Gurung has filed a writ petition (criminal) in the Supreme Court against the Union of India and others. Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan after hearing the counsel on Monday, ordered "Issue notice, returnable in two weeks. In the meantime, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner." 
With news of the order Bimal Gurung's supporters and sympathizers switched into celebration mode in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills. Fire crackers were also burst. 
Close confidants of Gurung interpreted "no coercive steps" as Supreme Court giving interim protection against arrest and detention. 
Interestingly in the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court in 2011 in the Harkesh Meena case, the order stated "The final orders in both the misc. petitions are clarified accordingly and it is further clarified that effecting arrest of an accused in any cognizable offence does not amount to coercive step. The investigating officer is free to arrest the accused, submit the charge etc. but he is not permitted to do manhandling and abusing to the accused." 
Later Gurung through a press release requested the "Prime Minister and Union Home Minister to order a National Investigation Agency investigation in all the cases related to explosions and arms haul in the Darjeeling region along with a CBI inquiry into the killing of 13 Gorkhaland activists in cold blood by West Bengal police and the suspicious circumstances under which Police Officer Amitava Malik was killed." The release bore Gurung's signature.
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Gorkhaland row: Gurung and his men suspended from GJM, Tamang takes over as new president

Bimal  Gurung and Roshan Giri  (right) were suspended from Gorkha Janmukti  Morcha on Monday by the Benoy Tamang  faction.Pramod Giri, HT, Nov 20, 2017 :A day before its crucial meeting with the Bengal government, the Binoy Tamang faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) suspended the party’s founder- president Bimal Gurung and all his close associates. They were removed from all posts and Tamang took over as the new president.

Accused of creating terror, Gurung and his aides are suspected to hiding somewhere in Sikkim.

The decision to dethrone the GJM founder was taken at a meeting of the party’s central committee chaired by Tamang. The meeting was however attended by only 37 of the 93 members of the committee. Gurung was removed from the post of president and Tamang took over. The fugitive general secretary Roshan Giri, was also stripped of his position and Tamang’s close associate, Anit Thapa, took over.  Both Tamang and Thapa enjoy the support of the administration.

Roshan Giri issued a statement from his hideout in the evening, saying his suspension was illegal since Tamang himself was expelled by the central committee two months ago. GJM supporters also claimed that during the day a court had issued an order that would protect Gurung from police action for 20 days. Nobody however could confirm the information or provide details.

Gurung’s wife, Asha Gurung, was also removed from the post of president of GJM Nari (Women) Morcha. Name of the next incumbent was however not announced. Prakash Gurung was removed from the president of GJM’s youth wing. GJM spokesman and central committee member, Swaraj Thapa, a former New Delhi- based journalist, was also removed from the committee. 

“All of them have been suspended for six months. The decision was taken by the majority present at the meeting. Vacant posts will be filled up shortly,” Tamang said after the meeting.  

Interestingly, Gurung had expelled Tamang, then assistant general secretary and convener, from GJM by calling an emergency meeting of the central committee on September 1. The meeting was held at an undisclosed location at the Darjeeling- Sikkim border. A decision to expel Thapa was also taken at a same meeting. 

Leaders of different hill parties feel that the counter-attack by Tamang on the eve of the crucial bipartite meeting could eventually lead to an end of Gurung’s political career because there would be nobody in the GJM to challenge Tamang or his decisions.

Monday’s development was not entirely unexpected. Thapa earlier said at a rally that some action against Gurung and his team would be taken. The feud between Gurung and Tamang started over their differences on two issues: whether to continue with the indefinite strike in the hills and whether GJM was being mislead by BJP.

(Source & Courtesy: http://www.hindustantimes.com/kolkata/gorkhaland-row-gurung-and-his-men-suspended-from-gjm-tamang-takes-over-as-new-president/story-z2q4BQyOwOtBONaH676QvL.html )
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अमेरिकी आविष्कारलाई चुनौती दिने गरिव देशका यी नेपाली डाक्टर

सुनौलो नेपाल: डाक्टरले काम गरिरहेको वेला हेरिरहंदा चमत्कार भए जस्तै लाग्छ, यो वाक्य पुलित्जर पुरष्कार विजेता न्यूयोर्क टाइम्सका चर्चित पत्रकार निकोलेस क्रिस्तोफले नेपालका प्रसिद्ध आंखा डाक्टर सन्दुक रुइतका वारेमा लेखेका हुन् । गत आइतवारको द न्यूओर्क टाइम्सम सन्डे रिभ्युमा निकोलसले पशुपति मन्दिर नजिक बाग्मती किनारमै रहेको तिलगंगा आंखा अस्पतालका निर्देशक डा सन्दुकलाई मत्वपुर्ण स्थान दिई उनको काम विश्वमै दुलर्भ भएको उल्लेख गरेका छन् । सन् २००६ मा फिलिपिन्सले दिने प्रसिद्ध पुरष्कार रमन म्याग्सेसे पुरष्कार विजेता डा 
उनले १ लाख भन्दा वढीलाई आंखाको ज्योती फिर्ता गरी देख्न सक्ने वनाएका छन्, यस्तो इतिहास संभवत कुनैपनि डाक्टरको छैन होला र अझै उनकहां विरामी आईरहेका छन् निकोलस लेख्छन् अझ पनि गाउं गाउं लामो गोरेटो भई आफ्नो आफन्तलाई फेरी देख्न पाउने आशामा कयौं दृष्टिगुमाएका आउने गर्छन । आंखाको अपरेसन गरेको भोलिपल्ट जव उनले (डा सन्दुक) ब्यान्डेज खोलिदिन्छन् चमत्कार हुन्छ, स्पष्ट देख्न थाल्छन् यस्ता विरामी विस्तारै विस्तारै स्पष्ट देख्न थालेपछि आशिष दिई केही घण्टामा आफैं हिडेर घर तिर लाग्छन् । निकोलसले डा सन्दुकलाई विश्वकै मोतियाविन्दुवाट हुने अन्धोपन हटाउन उत्कृष्ट सकृय डाक्टरका रुपमा चित्रण गरेका छन् । संसारमा झण्डै ३ करोड ९० लाख मानिस अन्घोपनका शिकार छन् । जस मध्ये आधा मोतिविन्दूको उपचार नपाएर हो ।

यदी तपाई विकासशील देशमा वस्ने अन्घोपनले शिकार व्यक्ति हुनुहुन्छ भने पराम्परागत मान्यता अनुसार कुनै आश नगरे हुन्छ । तर, डा रुइतले विकास गरेको झण्डै २५ अमेरिकी डलर खर्च लाग्ने मोतिविन्दुको सर्जरीका लागि अगुवा हुन् उनले गरेको सर्जरी लगभग शतप्रतिशत सफल छ नोकोलस लेख्छन् नेपालको यो तरिका अहिले अमेरिकाको मेडिकल स्कुलमा पढाई हुन्छ ।

निकोलेस लेख्छन् स्टार्डफोर्ड युनिभरसिटीका विद्यार्थी अस्टिन मेयर र म मेरो बार्षिक वीन द ट्रिप जर्नी कार्यक्रम अन्तर्गत नेपालको दक्षिण क्षेत्र हटौडा जहां डा रुइतले १०२ महिला र पुरुषका लागि चमत्कार गर्दै थिए हामी त्यहां पुगेका थियौं । त्यहां आएकी एउटी विरामी ५० बर्षिय ठुली मायाले एक बर्ष अघि देखि आंखा नदेख्दा आफ्नो परिवार देखभार गर्न नसक्दा भोकमरीमा परेको वताईन । म पानी र दाउरा ल्याउन सक्दिन ठुली माया भन्छिन् भात पकाउन समेत सकेकी छैन धेरै ठाउंमा लडेकी छु र आगोले समेत पोलेको छ । यी कारण ठुली माया डा रुइतले खोलेको क्लिनिक आएकी हुन् उनी केही आत्तिएकी देखिन्छिन् तर, उनी भन्छिन् फेरी आफ्ना सन्तान र पतिलाई देख्न पाइन्छ भन्ने छ ।
डा रुइतले अपरेसनका लागि ठुली मायालाई वोलाए एउटा आंखाका लागि पांच मिनेट समय लाग्यो भोलिल्ट ठुलो माया स्पष्ट देख्न सक्ने भएर घर फर्किन् , नोकोलस लेख्छन् अमेरिकामा यस्तो सर्जरी निकै जटिल मेसिनमार्फत हुन्छ तर, यो गरिबदेशका लागि संभव छैन त्यसैले डा रुइतले विकास गरेको सरल र सस्तो विधि निकै उपयोगरी छ । पहिले डा रुइतको विधिका वारेमा आशंका थियो तर, अमेरिकाको आंखा उपचार सम्वन्धि जर्नलले उनको विधि अमेरिकामा हुने जस्तै र ६ महिनाको अवधिको अध्ययन गर्दा ९८ प्रतिशत सफल सरल र सस्तो रहेको उल्लेख गरेको पत्रिकामा उल्लेख छ ।

डा रुइतको रिजल्ट निकै उत्सावद्र्धक छ अमेरिकी आंखा विज्ञ जियोफ्ररी थाविनलाई उदृत गर्दै नोकोलस लेख्छन् यही उपचारका लागि अमेरिकाका विमारीले निकै महंगो तिर्छन । न्यूओर्क टाइम्सका अनुसार डा रुइतले अहिलेसम्म १ लाख २० हजार जति सर्जरी गरिसकेका छन् । उनले स्थापना गरेको तिलगंगा आंखा अस्पतालले बार्षिक ३० हजार जनाको सर्जरी गर्छ जस्स मध्ये आधाले निशुल्क सेवा पाउंछन् ।

तिलगंगाले बार्षिक ४ लाख ५० हजार सुक्ष्म लेन्सपनि उत्पादन गर्छ । यसको उत्पादन लागत प्रति गोटा जम्मा ३ डलर छ जवकी यही लेन्सवनाउन पश्चिमी देशले २०० डलर खर्च गर्छन । नेपालमा ३ डलरमा तयार हुने लेन्सको गुणस्तरपनि निकै उच्च छ र यो युरोप सहित विश्वका ५० भन्दा वढी देशमा निकासी हुन्छ । डा रुइतको विधिले विश्वभरका विशेषज्ञलाई प्रभावित पारेको छ अमेरिकी सोसाइटी अफ कन्ट्रयाक्ट एण्ड रिफरएक्टिभ सर्जरीका पुर्व अध्यक्ष डा डेविड एफ चागं भन्छन् डा रुइत विश्वकै सवै भन्दा महत्वपुर्ण आंखाविज्ञ हुन् । ६१ बर्षिय डा रुइत नेपालको दगर्भ क्षेत्र ताप्लेजुंगमा जन्मिएका हुन् उनले भारतमा डाक्टर पढेका हुन् । हाल अनि आफ्ुले विकास गरेको प्रविधिका कारण गरिब देशका लागि रोलमोडल वनेको नोकोलसले उल्लेख गरेका छन् ।

सर्जरीको भोलिपल्ट ठुली माया लगायत १ सय १ विरामी आंखामा लगाएको पट्टी निकाल्न आएका थिए । डा रुइतले विस्तारै ठुली मायाको पट्टिी आंखावाट हटाए उनले केही पटक आंखाका परेल तलमाथि गरिन र एक वर्ष पछि फेरी पहिलो पटक आफ्नो वरिपरि हेरिन् । उनको आंखाको दष्टिक्षमता जांच गर्दा २० मा २० रिजल्ट आयो । एउटा आंखाको उपचारमा २५ डलर दुवैमा ५० तर, यति थोरै पैसाको निकै ठुलो असर । डा रुइत आफ्नो काममै छन् तर, ठुली माया भने रमाउंदै नाचिन ।
(Source & Courtesy:  http://sunaulonepal.news/2017/11/18/7442/)
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GNLF wants constitution protection for Gorkhas

BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT, Siliguri:  The GNLF said on Monday that it would demand constitutional protection of Gorkhas in the hills and other parts of the country at the bipartite talks on Tuesday.
Mahendra Chhetri, the general secretary of the GNLF, said the constitutional protection was available to communities like Mizo, Garo, Naga and Khasi in the Northeast.
"We will demand constitutional protection from the state government at the fourth round of bipartite talks. There are provisions under articles 244 and 275 (1) of the Constitution to give such protection," said Chhetri.
While article 244 mentions the administration of scheduled and tribal areas, article 275 (1) contains details regarding allotment of funds to such regions. "We had consulted legal experts and want to ensure that our community gets the protection. If we can attain it, it would largely help in achieving other demands, including the separate state," Chhetri said.
The Jana Andolan Party said on Monday that it would skip the meeting on Tuesday, alleging that the talks had been reduced to discussions on the GTA and not Gorkhaland. The party had attended the first and second rounds of talks but did not attend the third meeting.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RAJEEV RAVIDAS IN KALIMPONG
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Tea unions to resume wage agitation

TT, Alipurduar: The Joint Forum, an apex body of tea trade unions of north Bengal, will resume its movement on the longstanding demand to fix minimum wage rate for tea workers in January next year.
The leaders of the Forum said on Monday that they will organise a rally to Uttarkanya, the branch secretariat of the state in Siliguri, on January 24 on the minimum wage issue.
"The state is yet to fix the minimum wage rate for tea workers. Even though the previous wage agreement has expired on March 31 this year, workers are still receiving wages at the old rate because no minimum wage has been fixed. That is why, the leader of the Forum said, they will resume movement on the issue from next month," said Ziaur Alam, the convener of the forum.
On December 1, there will be workers' meetings in each tea estate across north Bengal, followed by three workers' conventions at Bagdogra, Chalsa and Kalchini, the Alam said.
The Forum, he said, has also decided to join hands with tea unions of Assam and other north-eastern states to form a coordination committee and work jointly on wage and other issues.
With the tea union leaders asserting its plan, Trinamul leaders based in the brew belts of north Bengal said these are "politically motivated" moves.
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Hill plan for ex gratia

TT, Calcutta: The Mamata Banerjee government has decided to give compensation to the next of kin of people who died and those injured during the recent Gorkhaland agitation - acceding to a demand of the Binay Tamang faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
A senior state government official, however, said the compensation wouldn't be paid if the deceased or the injured had criminal records. "The details of the compensation could be announced during a bi-partite meeting in Siliguri on Tuesday," the official said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in Siliguri on Monday to take part in the meeting between the state government and hill parties at Pintail Village on Tuesday.
According to sources, the government is likely to announce Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.
Nabanna officials said Tamang had demanded during a bipartite meeting on October 16 that the state government give compensation to the families of 12 Morcha supporters killed during the agitation and the injured persons.
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SC grants Gurung police reprieve

TT, New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday restrained Bengal police from resorting to "any coercive action" against Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Bimal Gurung.
"Issue notice, returnable in two weeks. In the meantime, no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner," a bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said in an order while seeking the Bengal government's response on the issue within two weeks.
Gurung had invoked the extraordinary jurisdiction of the top court under Article 32 seeking protection against arrest and setting up of an independent investigation team.
Article 32 empowers a citizen to directly approach the Supreme Court for protection of fundamental rights instead of exploring the remedy through a trial court and thereafter the high court.
Gurung has been on the run for almost three months and has not been able to make any public appearances since Independence Day at a time many of his party supporters deserted him.
Late on Monday evening, Gurung's supporters burst crackers across the hills welcoming the Supreme Court's order as they felt that he could now come out in the open.
Senior advocate Harish Salve appeared for Gurung. The petition, filed by advocate Shinoj K. Narayanan, sought the apex court's intervention for a probe by an independent agency into "false cases".
Gurung issued a statement thanking the Supreme Court.
Gurung suspended
The rebel camp of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Monday suspended Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri for six months and replaced them with Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa as the president and the general secretary, respectively.
The Morcha central committee that met in Darjeeling also suspended Gurung's wife, Asha, who is the chief of the Nari Morcha, and 13 other leaders for the same period.
Observers believe the rebel camp of Tamang and Thapa has taken the decision to ensure that the Centre invites them, not Gurung and Giri, to a proposed tripartite meeting.
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Binay camp suspends Gurung, Giri

Vivek Chhetri, TT, Darjeeling: The rebel camp of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on Monday suspended Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri for six months and replaced them with Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa as the president and the general secretary, respectively.

The Morcha central committee that met in Darjeeling also suspended Gurung's wife, Asha, who is the chief of the Nari Morcha, and 13 other leaders for the same period.

Observers believe the rebel camp of Tamang and Thapa has taken the decision to ensure that the Centre invites them, not Gurung and Giri, to a tripartite meeting as and when its convened.

The central committee meeting was attended by 37 members. The Morcha had initially 93 members on the committee but many resigned, while others like L.B. Rai, the present civic chairman of Mirik, switched to other parties. The updated list of the total number of central committee members could not be independently verified though sources in the Binay camp put the figure around 80.

Tamang told a media conference: "The central committee has decided to suspend Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri, Asha Gurung from the party for six months for failing to discharge their responsibilities and remaining out of the district for six months."

The central committee unanimously appointed Tamang as the president and Thapa as the general secretary of the Morcha.

The 13 other suspended leaders were perceived to be in the Gurung camp.

Morcha central committee members Swaraj Thapa, Saran Dewan and Sabitri Rai; Yuva Morcha president Prakash Gurung, vice-president Priyabardan Rai and organising secretary Sanjeev Lama; and Vaskar Rai, Anmol Thapa and Sonam Lama of the student wing are among the suspended.

In a statement, Giri said as the Morcha had already sacked Tamang and Thapa, they didn't have the right to suspend anyone. "The suspension is illegal," said Giri.

Tamang said the Morcha would immediately apprise the Election Commission of India of the changes in portfolios.

With the leaders of both the camps expelling each other, the observers believe the matter might ultimately be dragged to court.
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Cong leader Priya Ranjan Das Munshi dies, after 10yrs in a coma

PTI, TT, New Delhi, Nov. 20 : Senior Congress leader Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, who was in a coma since 2008, passed away on Monday at a hospital here. He was 72.
”He had been critically ill since the past one month and succumbed to the illness at 12.10 pm. His family members including wife Deepa Dasmunsi and their son were at his bedside at that time,” Apollo hospital authorities said.
The former Union minister had suffered a stroke in 2008 and was hospitalised since then.

Dasmunsi was heading the All India Football Federation (AIFF) when he was taken ill.
TT, Calcutta: Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, who rose through the ranks to become one of the most influential Congress leaders from Bengal and mentored several politicians who are notable figures in the Trinamul Congress now, died on Monday in New Delhi. He was 72.
He breathed his last at 12.10pm after battling for his life for the past nine years.
The five-time Lok Sabha member and former Union minister had suffered a stroke in October 2008, which left him paralysed and unable to speak. Blood supply to a part of his brain got cut off, causing irrevocable damage.
Das Munshi was Union minister of state for commerce in the Rajiv Gandhi government between 1985 and 1989. Later, he handled portfolios such as parliamentary affairs and information and broadcasting as a cabinet minister in the UPA I.
An articulate and dynamic leader known as an ace organiser, Das Munshi led an array of young leaders who rose to prominence in the 1960s.
Congress leader Deepa Dasmunshi and her son being consoled by party president Sonia Gandhi , vice-president Rahul Gandhi near the mortal remains of senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Monday. Pictures by Prem Singh

Starting out as a student leader in the Calcutta University, Das Munshi became a Youth Congress leader, mentoring the several current Trinamul leaders like Subrata Mukherjee, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Saugata Roy.
Known for his proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi family, Das Munshi was considered one of the most influential Congress leader from Bengal in recent decades, alongside Pranab Mukherjee.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi condoled the death.
"Remembering him as a devout political activist and one of the tallest leaders of West Bengal in recent times, Smt. Gandhi said that his immense work at the grassroots would be remembered for posterity," read a statement issued by the party.
"Despite his prolonged illness, he remained popular in imagination of his people. His death is an irreparable loss to the Congress party and the country," it added.
Subrata Mukherjee, now the panchayat minister in the Mamata Banerjee government, said he had lost "kin of the soul".
"I lost my best friend, my brother, my father, once again. I owe my whole life, political and personal, to Priyada. We were always a duo, always Priya-Subrata," said the 71-year-old leader.
"It was because of him that the Left-led United Front lost power, and Siddhartha Shankar Ray could become chief minister of Bengal in 1972," he added.
Das Munshi's political talent resulted in his meteoric rise in the Congress under Indira Gandhi and he became an AICC member in 1970 at the age of 25.
The following year, he debuted in the Lok Sabha from the erstwhile South Calcutta constituency. That year, he was also elected president of the All India Youth Congress.
After being removed from the post by Sanjay Gandhi in 1975, he left the party in 1979 and joined the Congress (Socialist), only to return a year later.
Following defeats in the Lok Sabha elections of 1989 and 1991, Das Munshi again entered the Lok Sabha in 1996.
Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee, whom Das Munshi strongly backed during her anti-land acquisition movements in Singur and Nandigram, announced a half-day holiday in mourning for state government employees.
The chief minister said she was "deeply saddened" by the death. "It is a great loss," she said.
Besides being a politician, Das Munshi's love for football drove him to become a sport administrator.
He was the first Indian match commissioner in the group stage Australia-Croatia match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, Das Munshi was named chef de mission of the Indian contingent.
Das Munshi is survived by his wife, former Lok Sabha member Deepa Das Munshi, and son Priyadeep, nicknamed Michhil (rally).
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20 Nov 2017

Binay to demand Bijanbari sub-division

SNS, DARJEELING. 19 November 2017: The Binay Tamang group of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJM) today said that it will take up a demand for converting the Bijanbari Block in Darjeeling to a sub-division when party leaders hold talks with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the fourth bipartite meeting scheduled to take place on Tuesday at Pintail Village in Siliguri. The Tamang camp also said that it will hold discussions on various other issues related to the Hills, while also placing the demand for tripartite talks on the Gorkhaland issue.
Mr Tamang also the chairman of the Board of Administrators for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) will lead a six-member delegation to the Siliguri meting.The delegation will have Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma, Darjeeling MLA Amar Rai, GTA board vice-chairman Anit Thapa, board member Sanchabir Subba and Morcha leader Tshering DaThal.
"We will be taking out issues regarding the problems faced by the GTA and the people of the Hills. Apart from that, we will also take up the issue of Bijanbari Block, which is one of the biggest blocks in Bengal with 23 gram panchayats. We will demand that it be made a sub-division," Mr Tamang told a press meet here today. He also said that they will demand block bifurcation and gram panchayat bifurcation of other places too before the panchayat elections are held.
After I became the chairman, various organizations, along with tea gardens,served memorandums over various issues,. and we will also take up those matters, along with parza-patta (land documents) for 163 villages along with the implementation of the Minimum Wages Act and the parza-patta for tea garden workers too,' he added.
Asked about the political issues that would be raised and what their proposal for a permanent solution for the Hills would be, Mr Tamang said. "As for us, the permanents solution is Gorkhaland, and we will demand tripartite talks for this as soon as possible."
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Gurung had asked public to stay away: Many attend Tamang-Thapa faction rally in Darjeeling

 Darjeeling rally, Tamang-Thapa rally, Gurung, Bimal Gurung, Kolkata News, Indian Express, Indian Express News
The crowd at the rally in Darjeeling on Sunday. Express
ENS,  | Kolkata | November 20, 2017 : The first-ever rally held by the Binay Tamang-led faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) in Darjeeling on Sunday received a warm reception, with hundreds gathering at Darjeeling Motor Stand. This is also the first such meet since the constitution of the administrative committee set up by the Mamata Banerjee West Bengal government, which Tamang heads.
While political observers called the event a “watershed moment for Bengal’s Hill politics” even before it happened, Tamang, who was accompanied by Anil Thapa, referred to it as a “victory”. “In light of the tremendous support shown today even in a Gurung stronghold, we want to now appeal to the Centre that we should be called for the tripartite meeting, not Bimal Gurung. We are the ones who truly represent the people now,’’ Tamang said, speaking to The Indian Express after the meeting.
“We have had public meetings in Kurseong, for example. But this meeting was important because the Darjeeling sub-division was a Bimal Gurung stronghold and his own constituency of Tukvar falls in it. But even from Tukvar, as many as 100 vehicles full of supporters came to attend the meeting, is what the police have told me.
People have also come from certain tea estates which were also Gurung strongholds and areas bordering Sikkim, where he was hiding for a while. As far as we are concerned, this shows the decline of Gurung’s support base. The situation in Darjeeling is entirely different from what it was four months ago with the unlawful activities that the Gurung camp was carrying out. The public has gone against them. Moreover, all their main leaders like Gurung himself and Roshan Giri are not in Darjeeling. We are the ones who are here. We are the guardians of the people of the Hills now,” he added.
Sunday’s public meeting also puts Tamang and Thapa in a strong position to return to the drawing board when they, along with leaders from all other Hill parties, meet the chief minister on Tuesday for the fourth round of bipartite talks. According to Tamang, the leaders will be raising pending matters which need to be settled by the state government, as well as raise new demands.
“There are two fresh demands that we will be tabling. First, Kalimpong district was created but there are no sub-divisions. We are demanding that three sub-divisions be formed. Second, Bijenbari, with 23 panchayats, is one of the largest blocks in Bengal. We want this block to be declared a sub-division,” he added.
Tamang further said that the leaders will also discuss the functioning of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and what development projects could be focused on. He said the three issues this administration needs to look at is “Darjeeling as a tourism hub, an education hub and a health destination”.
“Besides these, there are some pending issues that need to be sorted. During the protests there were a large number of agitators who had been arrested. Seventy-nine agitators have been released by the government, but there are still over 150 agitators in judicial custody including senior citizens and teachers. We are demanding that they be released immeditaley. The bonuses of tea garden workers have not been paid in entirety and this needs to be addressed. Also there are three tea gardens run by the Alchemist group which are shut – these need to re-open. And if the company can’t do it, our proposal is that the West Bengal Tea Development Corporation take over these gardens,” he added.
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