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Argentina group to conduct open air show at Darjeeling Chowrastha

Argentina group to conduct open air show at Darjeeling Chowrastha
A group of young musicians, dancers and performing artists from Argentina have chosen the Christmas season to bond with the Hills

by spreading love and joy, showcasing their culture in an open air performance at Chowrastha. Julio Martin, a pianist and an accomplished jazz artist from Buenos Aires love for the Hills has made him stay back with his wife Noemi Troconso. If that is not enough, he also invited eleven of his friends from Buenos Aires to come to Darjeeling for Christmas, who gladly accepted the invitation and are here.

“Since my arrival in Darjeeling, last year, I have noticed that there are many things common between us. Darjeeling’s love and gift for football, music and dance is common with Argentina. Hence the decision to invite over some friends to exchange our culture so that a bond is created,” said Martin, today. The group, comprising dancers, acrobats,musicians and even a law student has been enthralling the crowd at Chowrastha, since Thursday. “It is really a happy feeling to see the people hearing and watching our performances. Language is not a barrier for us because music is universal,” he said and adding the group will be putting up a musical show at St. Andrew’s Church near Mall on December 22. Martin is a fusion jazz artist and has been performing in Delhi,

Kolkata and Mumbai and came to Darjeeling last year. “For me it is the sharing of love of music. Our message is simply love, unity of family and reconciliation,” he said.

The Argentinean admitted that the group’s performance and aim to foster brotherhood did not have the official stamp of his Government.

“Our performance is not official. But, it is also true that my Government is interested to build a relation with India. I did speak to our country’s Ambassador and he is happy with the initiative.

Based on the response we get, our Ambassador could visit Darjeeling next year, as we plan to continue this program with more artists from Argentina,” said Martin. For Yesica in her early twenties, the chance to visit Darjeeling a second time was irresistible. “This is my second visit to Darjeeling as I was here with some friends in 2010. When I was invited by Martin I gladly accepted it and am happy with my decision,” said the law student and an accomplished musician. Similarly, Constan Za, an acrobat too was overwhelmed by people’s response. “The people have flocked to see our performance throughout the two days that we have been performing. People here are well aware of music and dance which reflect in their acceptance,” who awed the crowd today with her aerial acrobatics without a safety harness.

The crowd loved the artists performing the popular samba and tangowhich to them is otherwise restricted to reality shows on televisions. (EOIC)

Darjeeling Toy Train service to resume from Siliguri Junction station to Darjeeling on Christmas

Gautam Deb inaugurates the new booths at NJP
Toy train will chug out of Siliguri Junction station to Darjeeling on Christmas, after a gap of four years.

Toy train services between Siliguri and Kurseong got disrupted in June 2010 following a landslide on NH55 at Paglajhora, between Gayabari and Kurseong. The landslide had swept away around 500m of the road and the toy train tracks running parallel to it.

Although trains used to run from Siliguri till Gayabari - around 34km from here - another landslide on the highway at Tindharia, between Chunabhatti and Paglajhora, on September 2011 cut short the train service till Chunabhatti - around 27km from here.

Senior officials of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), who were in New Jalpaiguri today to attend a government event, said the toy train services between Siliguri Junction and Darjeeling would resume on December 25.

"It gives us pleasure to announce that finally, the toy train will resume its journey from Siliguri Junction station and move uphill till Darjeeling (the terminal station) from December 25. Restoration work on all the damaged stretches has finished. We also ran the toy train on trial basis after completion of the work and have found things to be satisfactory," said A.K. Sharma, the divisional railway manager of Katihar division of NFR.

"We hope a considerable number of passengers and enthusiasts who are keen on enjoying this journey will take rides in their favourite toy train," the DRM added.

The service between the Kurseong and Darjeeling stretch is smooth without any disruptions.

In another development, three new offices were opened on the NJP station premises today to provide better services to passengers and tourists.

The state tourism department has funded a police assistance booth which would be manned by Siliguri metropolitan police personnel, a prepaid taxi booth and a tourist assistance booth.

North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb was present at the inaugural programme and launched the facilities.

"A sum of Rs 19 lakh has been spent for building these booths. The state is putting impetus on tourism and we hope these offices would help tourists and passengers," said A.R. Bardhan, the principal secretary of state tourism department.

The Telegraph

10 gorkha communities to get tribal status soon

10 gorkha communities to get tribal status soon
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today claimed Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram had promised that 10 Gorkha communities would be granted tribal status soon and the ministry had started preparing a report that would be placed before the home ministry.

The 10 communities (Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami and Yakhha (Dewan)) make up around 55 per cent of the total population in the Darjeeling hills.

Morcha assistant secretary Binay Tamang, who was part of a party delegation that met Oram in Delhi today, said: "The Union minister has assured the delegation that 10 Gorkha communities will be granted Scheduled Tribe status soon. He also told us that his ministry had already started the process of including the 10 communities in the tribal list and a report will be placed before the home ministry and the cabinet."

Sources in the Union tribal ministry said in Delhi that Oram had met the Morcha leaders and told them that he would look into the demand.

"The minister told the delegation that he would look into the demand for conferring tribal status on 10 communities. But the demand will be examined by officials in the ministry first. Nearly 100 communities have been demanding tribal status," said a source in the ministry.

Before granting the ST status to a community, the Cultural Research Institute (of a state) conducts a study. The research report is sent to the state backward classes welfare department. The state then sends a recommendation to the Union tribal affairs ministry, which in turn forwards the same to the registrar-general's office under the home ministry. The proposal is then sent back to the tribal affairs ministry following which, the matter is placed before the cabinet.

During the UPA regime, the Mamata Banerjee government had sent its recommendation to grant tribal status to the 10 hill communities to the tribal affairs department and it had been forwarded to the registrar-general's office.

An RTI query by a hill resident in June this year had revealed that the Union ministry for tribal affairs had withdrawn the proposal of granting the ST status to the 10 communities.

The reason for the withdrawal of the proposal had not been stated. It was only mentioned that the main criteria for determining the ST status are "social and economic backwardness along with tribal characteristics".

Today, Tamang said the process had been started once again by the NDA government.

"The tribal affairs minister has said the demand for tribal status was taken up afresh by the new government after repeated appeals by Bimal Gurung," he said.

On July 14, 2013, the Morcha-run GTA Sabha had passed a resolution on granting ST status to the 10 hill communities.

The Morcha took representatives of the 10 hill communities to Delhi to meet Oram today.

Kanchan Gurung, president of Bharatiya Gorkha Janajati Sangharsha Mahasangh, said the meeting with Oram was fruitful.

"The minister has given us a positive reply and we are happy with his assurance. In the past, no political party had taken the initiative to take all community representatives to Delhi to find out about the status of the ST tag demand. Once the proposal is passed by the cabinet, the only thing left would be to pass a bill in Parliament," Gurung said over the phone from Delhi.

Source: The Telegraph

सेन्ट एन्थोनी स्कुलमा बार्षिक संस्कृतिक कार्यक्रम

saint anthonys school mungpoo
छिमेकी देश पाकिस्तानको एक सैनिक बिधालयमा आतंकवादी हमलामा मारिएका बिधार्थीहरु प्रति गहिरो शोक सम्वेदना प्रकट गर्दै सेन्ट एन्थोनी स्कुलका बिधार्थीगण एव शिक्षक शिक्षिकागणले हिज बिधालयको बार्षिक कार्यक्रम शुरु हुन अघि दुई मिनटको मौन धारण गर्दै उक्त घटनामा मारिएका बिधार्थीप्रति श्रदान्जली अर्पण गरे | बिहीबारको दिन स्थानीय सेन्ट एन्थोनी स्कुल भवनमा बिधालय संचालन समिति अध्यक्ष भानु  राईको अध्यक्षतामा सेन्ट एन्थोनी स्कुलको बार्षिक संस्कृतिक कार्यक्रम एव पुरुस्कार बितवरण समारोह सम्पन्न भयो | बिधालयका प्रधान अध्यापक सन्तोष विश्व अनि शिक्षिका बिन्ध्याले चौधरीले संचलान  गरेको समारोहमा पाठशालाका नानीहरुले गीत,नृत्य, कविता वाचन राईम्स आदि प्रस्तित गरे | यसरी पाठशाला संचालन समितिले  यसै बिधालयबाट उतम शिक्षिकाको रुपमा संगीता तामांङलाई चयन गरि पुरुस्कार हस्तान्तरण गरियो | समारोहको अध्यक्ष भानु राई,प्रमुख अतिथि केशर मोक्तान,बिशिष्ट अतिथि मोनिका तामांङ,साथै बिधालयको शिक्षक शिक्षिका बाहुलीबाट नर्सरी देखि चौथो श्रेणी सम्म प्रथम,दोस्रो अनि तेस्रो दर्जामा उतीर्ण हुने छात्र छात्त्रावर्गलाई पुरुस्कार अनि परीक्षापत्र बितवारण गरियो | समरोहका प्रमुख अतिथि केशर मोक्तान अनि सभापति  भानुराईले बिधालयका नानीहरुलाई शिक्षासंग संगै खेलकुद साथै अन्य  विधामा  पनि अघि बढ्ने सुझाव दिए | यसरी हेन्डराईटिङमा  प्रथम हुने बिधार्थी सृष्टीमुखिया,दोस्रो रिया छेत्री,अनि तेस्रो साईणा मुखिया साथै नेपाली कविता वाचनमा प्रथम हुने बिधार्थी साईणा मुखिया,दोस्रो प्रेणा छेत्री,तेस्रो सिद्धान्त मोहरा,अनि अंग्रेजी कविता वाचनमा प्रथम अभिलाषा राई,दोस्रो दिन्की तामांङ अनि आर्यन मुखियालाई समरोको अतिथिहरुको बाहुली पुरुस्कार बितवारण गरियो | यसरी स्टुडेन्ट अफ द यर सोमिया थापालाई चयन गरियो | अन्त्यमा प्रधानअध्यापक ले सबैलाई आभार व्यक्त गर्दै कार्यक्रमको अन्त गरे |

मङपु साहित्यक संस्थानको सभा सम्पन्न

मङपु साहित्यक संस्थानको सभा ए.के.गुरुङको अध्यक्षतामा सम्पन्न भयो | सभाले आगामी दिनांक २३डिसेम्बर २०१४को दिन संस्थानको स्थापना दिवश रेसेप ग्राम पंच्यात कार्यलयमा साहित्यक गोष्ठीको  रुपमा सम्पन्न गर्ने निधो गरेको छ | संस्थाल | आगामी जनवरी महिना देखि पुनः “निकुज्जिका साहित्यक सृंखला” संचालन गरिने निर्णय लिएको छ | मङपु साहित्यक संस्थानको मुखपत्र २०१५ भित्र प्रकाशित गरिने निर्णय आजको सभाले लियो | सभामा संस्थाको कर्मठ सदश्य दुई  बिनोद रासाईलीको कविता संग्रह “आगोको ठिही ” एवम जगत राईको कविता संग्रह “पिठयुको घाम ” प्रकाशित गरे वापत उपस्थित   सम्पूर्णबाट उनीहरु दुई कविलाई बधाई दिए  | यस्तै प्रकारले साहित्यक सर्जक प्रेमकुमार आलेको मृत्युमा संस्थाले दुई मिनटको मौन धारण गरि शोक सम्वेदना प्रकट गरियो |

रबीन्द्र भवन परिसर साफसफाई 

गत आइतावारको  दिन रियाज कला सदन रेशेप  बिभाग र कुलैनबारी मङपु  इको टुरिजम सयुक्त तत्वधानमा  स्वच्छ भारत अभियान अन्तर्गत  मङपु रबीन्द्र भवन परिसरमा सरसफाई गरियो | मङपु कुलैनबारी इको टुरिजमका अध्यक्ष बिबेक मल्लको अगुवाइमा संस्थाको सम्पूर्ण सदश्य सद्स्यहरु मिलेर रबीन्द्र भवन परिसर साथै भवन भित्र रहेका बिश्व कवि रबीन्द्रनाथको तस्बीर साथै प्रतिमा पनि साफसफाई गरियो | रबीन्द्र भवन वरिपरि साथै भवन भित्र पनि साफसफाई गरिएकोमा रबीन्द्र संग्रहालयका क्येर टेकर शिशिर रावतले दुई संस्थाका सम्पूर्ण सदश्य सद्श्यहरुलाई आभार व्यक्त गर्दै आगामी दिनमा पनि यसरी नै एक जुट भएर साफसफाई गरिदिने अपील गरे |

Dr. Kumar Pradhan first death anniversary to be observed in Uttarayan, Siliguri

Dr. Kumar Pradhan, historian and critic
The first death anniversary of Dr. Kumar Pradhan, historian and critic, is all set to be observed on December 20 at Royal Palace Montana Vista, Uttarayan, Siliguri, by the Dr. Kumar Pradhan Memorial Trust set up in January 2014. The Trust is headed by
Mrs. Purnima Pradhan, the wife of Dr. Pradhan, assisted by Mr. Bhaskar Raj Pradhan, a lawyer at Sikkim High Court.
Briefing the media person at Siliguri Journalist Club Bhaskar Raj Pradhan, member of the trust said that main aims and objectives of the trust is to promote education, organize seminars, spread spiritual knowledge, holding literary programmes. He also noted that the first death anniversary functions will be witness by some 300 guests including media persons.
On this solemn occasion a book titled Kumar Kirti, prepared in memory of Dr. Pradhan and edited by Manprasad Subba, is being ceremoniously released. Kumar Kirti, the book-to-be-released, has four parts, the first one presenting the critiques on Dr. Pradhan’s different works, the second part consisting of memoirs by the well-known writers as well as some of the family members, the third part being the collection of articles in English while the concluding part giving the readers the taste of a few poems by Dr. Kumar Pradhan along with a couple of his uncollected essays on the history of Darjeeling and also a transcribed speech he delivered at Gangtok addressing a conference of Indian Nepali National Council.
The first Dr. Kumar Pradhan Memorial Lecture to be presented by Dr. Indra Bahadur Rai,
arguably the most revered litterateur in pan-Nepali literature.(EOIC)

Girl raped by unknown person in car

Girl raped by unknown person in car
In a shocking incident on Wednesday night, a 19 year old girl was raped by an unknown person in a car on NH-10 between Rangpo and Singtam. Police sources said the girl took a lift in a car with an unknown person near Ranipool at around 9 p.m. She was supposed to get down at Singtam, but the person took her to an isolated place between Singtam and Rango and raped her before abandoning her. The victim reported the incident to Singtam Police on Thursday morning and filed an FIR. It was later confirmed through medical check-up that the girl was indeed raped. She has been sent to STNM hospital in Gangtok for further medical examinations.

The victim could not recognize the type of vehicle the man was driving or could establish any further leads into the identity of the person, since the incident happened at night. However, Singtam police have started an investigation into the case and are on a lookout for the unknown person.(EOIC)

GNLF demands National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe in arms case

GNLF demands National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe in arms case
The Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) has demanded that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe the recent Assam arms haul case.
Deputations will be sent to central and state ministers, including home minister Rajnath Singh, very soon, the party said here today.
GNLF spokesperson Daya Dewan said that reports indicate that there is a “grave conspiracy” going on to spoil the peaceful atmosphere of Darjeeling Hills, and to “dishonor the image of the entire Gorkha Community through such anti-national acts.”
Arrested in Assam with a cache of arms and ammunition, Ganesh Chettri and Umesh Kami have revealed that the consignment was to be delivered to Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) leader Sanjay Thulung in Darjeeling.
Mr Dewan said the Gorkha community has always been committed to the security of the nation even by sacrificing their lives.
“Several shocking facts have surfaced after the arrest of the two persons and the ensuing investigations,” he said.
“The GNLF demands a probe by the National Investigation Agency on the entire matter instead of the CID, while the mastermind must be unmasked,” Mr Dewan added.(sns)

Sanjay Thulung cash Rs 13.3 lakh to militants in Nagaland for GLP arms training

GTA Sabha member Sanjay Thulung
GTA Sabha member Sanjay Thulung had provided Rs 13.3 lakh to militants in Nagaland to provide arms training to 15 members of the Gorkhaland Personnel and some others from the Darjeeling hills, according to an FIR filed by the CID.
The FIR was filed by sub-inspector G.N. Roy of Runglee-Rungliot police station on December 6 following the seizure of a rifle, 22 rounds of live ammunition and five leaflets of the Gorkhaland Liberation Army (GLA) from an abandoned building in 27th Mile, near Darjeeling town, on the same day.
The documents written in English state that the GLA was planning “to attack police and civil administration personnel in order to kill them on duty and strike terror”.
Morcha leaders this paper contacted refused comment on Thulung’s alleged financial help for the arms training.
Police sources said the GTA member’s financial help to impart arms training to the GLP cadres was revealed during the interrogation of Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri, who had been held with a huge cache of arms and ammunition in Assam on November 8.
“During the interrogation of the two accused by the CID, it was learnt that Sanjay Thulung had provided a sum of Rs 13. 30 lakh to NSCN (Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim) militants from Nagaland to provide four months’ arms training to 15 GLP members and other people from the hills from January 2013 onwards,” said a police source.
The police source could not specify to which of the three factions of the NSCN Thulung had supplied the cash. All three factions of the NSCN are outlawed.
The GLP is a voluntary force raised by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
In the FIR, it has been mentioned that Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri had brought the arms from Sanjay Chhetri, Rahul Chhetri, Diku Chhetri and other members of the NSCN from Dimapur.
Today, Kami and Ganesh Chhetri were remanded in six days’ police custody.

Source: The Telegraph

Accused Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri sent to six days police custody

The Darjeeling Chief Judicial Magistrate court on Tuesday sent Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri, the two who were arrested in Assam last month with a huge cache of arms, to six days police remand.

The duo was arrested by the Assam police from Chirang district on November 8 with an arms consignment that was reportedly meant for a political leader in Darjeeling. During CID interrogation, they admitted they had been supplying arms in Darjeeling after procuring them from the NSCN, a militant outfit in Nagaland.

Based on the disclosure and additional information from the accused, the CID on December 6 recovered a rifle and some live ammunition from an isolated area near 27th Mile, some 40km from Darjeeling. The sleuths also found leaflets calling for an armed struggle for a separate Gorkhaland state purportedly by the Gorkha Liberation Army, an unknown outfit. Accordingly, the CID filed an FIR with the Rangli-Rangliot police the same day.

Kami and Chhetri were produced before the CJM court on Monday, which directed them to be produced on Tuesday. “We had submitted a prayer seeking 10 days remand, but the court has granted only six days. However, we can apply for fresh remand after the present one expires on December 22,” said Assistant Public Prosecutor Pankaj Prasad.

In their confessional statement to the CID, the accused disclosed they had supplied arms and ammunition in Darjeeling earlier too. They have also revealed that the arms recovered in Assam were to be delivered to Sanjay Thulung, a GTA sabhasad and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha youth leader, who is at large. “The DIB will be investigating the case. And the remand prayer is to try to find out from the accused whether there are more arms and ammunition in the hills. We also want to see if there is a bigger nexus involved between the Naga militant outfit and those named by the duo,” said the APP, adding Kami’s and Chhetri’s names also figure in an FIR in connection with the recovery of arms from the Fulbari check-post area under Bhaktinagar police station in Siliguri.

Kami and Chhetri have also disclosed that in January 2013, 13 Gorkhaland Personnel recruits along with some other individuals underwent a four-month training course at an NSCN camp in Nagaland at a cost of Rs13.30 lakh.

Besides Thulung, the CID’s FIR has named Sanjay Chhetri, Vijay Rai Thlung, Raju Gurung Kaley, Shen Singh Rai, Milan Subba, Manesh Tamang, Mickki, Ramsingh Rai, Sajeep Gurung and Rahul Chhetri. They have all been booked under Sections 120B, 121, 121A, 122, 123 and 124A of the IPC and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.(EOIC)