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Darjeeling Court breather for GTA in Jamuney land-grab case

Jamuney Darjeeling view from  Paragliding
The Darjeeling District and Sessions Court has issued a 'stay order' against the imposition of section 144 at the 13-acre plot of land at Jamuney imposed recently by the district administration.
According to the lawyer for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), Bedan Gurung, the order was issued on 28 May.
Jamuney, around 20 km away from Darjeeling town, is being developed by the GTA as a tourist spot, while it has been organizing the 'Krishi Mela' every year there. However, local people there have alleged that the GTA took away their land for the development projects and never compensated them.
Following a complaint from the locals, the administration had clamped the prohibitory orders for two months in April, with a view to avoiding confrontations between GTA and the land owners.
According to the district administration, the 13-acre land belongs to nine families of the Goke-Jamuney area.
"We are unaware of the court's verdict. Even if the GTA takes our land, there should be
a fair deal. We should get the compensation and jobs in exchange for the plots as they were our main source of income," a land owner, Mani Lal Tamang, said today. GTA officials said the deal was already there, but that the amounts were not fixed.
"The hue and cry about the land was only a political gimmick as it was election time then," a GTA official said.It is learnt that the GTA had filed a counter case against the district administration’s prohibitory orders."The district and sessions court on 28 May issued the 'stay order' against section 144, and we will soon resume the project work that has been stopped in that 13-acre land," said a GTA official.
Darjeeling district magistrate Puneet Yadav could not be reached for comment, despite several attempts. (sns)

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