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GJM workers turn violent after police raid on party chief’s house




Darjeeling, June 15, 2017: The West Bengal hills saw widespread violence on Thursday as irate Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters torched a police outpost and stoned security forces in angry reaction to a police raid on party chief Bimal Gurung’s house in Darjeeling district.

The GJM activists, with their women’s wing Nari Morcha in the vanguard, virtually surrounded the police force as they were returning after the raid on Gurung’s house in Patlebas, and started stoning the police from elevated areas in the hills.

Several police personnel were injured in the stoning. In response, the security forces lobbed tear gas shells at the protesters after a baton charge failed to control the situation. Large police reinforcements arrived in the area.

Some vehicles, including one belonging to a media house, were set on fire.

In neighbouring Kalimpong district, alleged GJM supporters torched the Pedong police outpost.

Earlier today, West Bengal police raided Gorkha Janamukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung’s office in Patlebas in Darjeeling district on Thursday.

According to police sources, the GJM chief’s residence was raided by West Bengal Police and the CRPF in a joint operation during which a large chache of weapons were also recovered.

The officials broke locks and barged into the GJM chief’s residence to carry out a massive search.

A huge cache of arms and ammunitions including bow and arrows, knives, axes and cartridges were seized from the house.

Soon after the raids, GJM calls for indefinite shutdown in protest against the police raid. “The decision to impose an indefinite bandh in the hills has been taken by the party’s central committee,” Tamang told media.

On Wednesday, The Bimal Gurang-led GJM had announced its decision to intensify the ongoing stir if the police continue to hound Morcha supporters like they did in the last two days.

Responding to the sudden raid, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rahul Sinha claimed such drastic steps may worsen the situation in the hills and urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to call an all-party meeting in the Bengal hills to solve the situation.

“Mamata Banerjee provoked the unrest in the hills and now she is making the situation even worse with these steps. She should immediately call an all-party meeting in Darjeeling to listen to their demands and sort out the situation,” Sinha claimed.

The GJM stir started on June 7 as a protest against the Mamata Banerjee government’s decision to make Bengali a compulsory language in state-run schools, despite the chief minister’s assurance that the new rule would not be imposed in the hill districts. However, the movement soon turned into the revival of the demand for a separate state.

Read More: BDO office in Darjeeling torched on Day 1 of GJM strike

Wefornews Bureau


Cabinet nod to ST status to two communities in Karnataka

The Karnataka government had recommended the two’s inclusion as synonyms of ‘Nayaka’ appearing at SI. No. 38 in the list of Scheduled Tribes in the state.



Narendra Modi in International Solar Alliance

New Delhi, March 21 : The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the inclusion of the communities ‘Parivara’ and ‘Talawara’ in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Karnataka.

“This will fulfil the long term demand of ‘Parivara’ and Talawara’ communities for granting Scheduled Tribes status in Karnataka,” said an official statement, adding that members of these communities will now be eligible to get the ST certificate from the state and be eligible for all benefits meant for the ST in the state.

The Karnataka government had recommended the two’s inclusion as synonyms of ‘Nayaka’ appearing at SI. No. 38 in the list of Scheduled Tribes in the state.

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Maharashtra peace activist ‘escapes’ parcel bomb attack

The Maharashtra Police, National Investigation Agency and the state Anti Terrorist Squad have launched investigations into the ‘parcel bomb’ blast.



anjay Nahar

Pune, March 21 : Alarm bells were set off when a parcel intended for well-known Pune-based peace activist Sanjay Nahar exploded late on Tuesday at a courier delivery centre in adjoining Ahmednagar district, officials said here on Wednesday.

The incident occurred around 10 p.m. on Tuesday when a staffer was handling the courier package received at the Maruti Courier Co in Maliwada area of Ahmednagar.

The packet suddenly exploded with a deafening sound which was audible in neighbouring buildings and at least two staffers who were sorting it were injured in the blast.

Top police officials rushed to site to investigate and on Wednesday it transpired that the explosive parcel was addressed to Nahar, who runs the NGO, ‘Sarhad’ which works among Kashmiri children and students.

The Maharashtra Police, National Investigation Agency and the state Anti Terrorist Squad have launched investigations into the ‘parcel bomb’ blast.

Besides, the Military Intelligence of Indian Army’s Southern Command and concerned officials in both Pune and Amednagar districts where the army has a significant presence are also looking into the matter.

“We are investigating The police is trying to get details of the sender of this parcel and the motives,” a top police official said, of the incident, which happened around 120 kms away from Nahar’s Pune office.

A team of officials called on Nahar and offered him security, especially since he works with youth from Kashmir, the North-Eastern states, other border regions and even helping to develop people-to-people contact with Pakistan since he launched ‘Sarhad’ in 1995.

However, he has declined the police offer, an aide said.

“The officials termed the matter as serious. However, I have absolutely no idea who could have sent this parcel or their motives,” Nahar said in brief reactions to the media before going for a meeting with the police this evening.

According to preliminary investigations, the blast was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device with a circuit to trigger the explosive chemicals in it.

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Green cover shrinking in Taj city, say activists



Taj mahal-wefornews

Agra, March 21: Green activists in Agra on Wednesday warned of a steadily diminishing green cover in the Taj city, with one expert blaming monkeys for it.

The Supreme Court has been repeatedly asking authorities since 1996 to intensify efforts to develop a green belt to contain air pollution in Agra, India’s most popular tourist destination.

The International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21 to increase awareness level and inculcate values relating to forests.

At a round table held on Wednesday here, environmentalists expressed concern over the latest trend of developing concrete jungles where once green forests existed.

“From Vrindavan to Agra, there were 12 big forests in the Braj area. But now only their names remain. The green patches have turned brown, yellow and grey,” said Shravan Kumar Singh of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.

Murari Lal Goswami, a retired Uttar Pradesh Forest Department official, said the builders and corrupt government officials had colluded to gobble up huge chunks of forest land.

“Illegal felling of trees continues along the Yamuna,” he said.

Surendra Sharma of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association said the continuous construction of roads, expressways, flyovers and other projects had taken a heavy toll on green cover, specially trees.

Despite the Supreme Court direction on developing a green belt around Agra, home to the Taj Mahal, no work had been done, he alleged.

One expert, K.P. Singh, noted that instead of increasing the forest cover area, the percentage had fallen to around 7 per cent against the national standard of 33 per cent.

The loss of green cover had affected the rainfall pattern, reducing the number of rainy days in Agra.

Green activist Devashish Bhattacharya said: “Agra was being ruined by so-called development. The alarming fall in the green cover due to negligence and corrupt ways of the bureaucracy will prove suicidal.”

Himani Dixit, en eminent horticulturist promoting tree plantation in Agra, said monkeys too were to blame.

“The monkeys are a big nuisance. We keep planting saplings all over but find the next day that the monkeys have uprooted them all. To promote green culture in the city, we will need to contain the monkey population.”


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