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Jamuni tourist hub land case, GTA claim on compensations

Jamuni tourist hub land case, GTA claim on compensations
The district and session’s court in Darjeeling has said it will give its verdict over the issue of the district administration imposing section 144 on a plot of agricultural land at Jamuni(Jamuney) on June 25. Jamuney, 20 km from the town, is being developed by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) as tourist hub and has been marred with dispute over land procurement issues.
After nine disputed land owners of the 13.8 acres plot of land filed a complaint against the GTA for forcefully taking over their land, the district administration in April this year imposed the prohibitory order halting the development project. However, the district and session’s court in May issued a stay order vacating section 144 of the CRPC imposed by the administration. Today, the district and session’s curt said it would announce its judgment on the prolonged hearing of the stay order on June 25.
On the other hand, the GTA Sabhasads and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders have come out in defense of party president Bimal Gurung whose name figures in an FIR filed by land-owner Manilal Tamang who has alleged he was threatened by few people. On June 18, six persons were arrested as per the complaint lodged by Tamang. The land owner alleged the six people on the directive of the GJM president had threatened to kill him if the GTA’s development work was obstructed. Police also seized two bull-dozers, an excavator and a pick-up van from the disputed site and started case against Gurung under the SC and ST Act.
Today, the Janmukti Nari Morcha, the women wing of the GJM, staged a dharna and submitted a memorandum to the Darjeeling district magistrate condemning allegation that Gurung has violated the SC and ST Act. Stating the allegation was completely fabricated with political intent, the women wing has demanded the district administration to withdraw the case against Gurung.
GTA Sabhasad Kaizman Lohagun representing the Pu-Bijenbari-Goke constituency (block under which Jamulay falls) alleged a state government's conspiracy to belittle and create obstruction in the development path of the new council. “Some people (land owners) are being misguided by the district administration that is under state government control. The opposition is not against a party or council but against development,” he said.
The Sabhasad said the GTA was open to negotiation to acquire the land by paying compensations. “Ninety percent of the land owners are ready to part with their land for a better future. We have also given compensations to a couple of owners on June 9,” claimed Lohagun. According to the Sabhasad, the GTA has given Rs.8 lakhs per acre to Roshan Rai who owns 1.48 acres and to Lal Bahadur Rasaily, for his 0.68 decimal plot. This apart, the council will also construct a house each worth Rs.2 lakhs and also provide a job for a family member.
The GTA has plans to convert the small hamlet on the side of the Chota Rangit river into a tourism spot. A Mughal garden, Buddha statue and a water kingdom is expected to be set up to attract tourist coming to Darjeeling.(EOIC)

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