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All parties in Darjeeling Hills must work together for Gorkhaland - Bimal Gurung

Bimal Gurung
Chief of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and the Gorkhaland Territorial administration (GTA) Bimal Gurung today said all parties in Darjeeling Hills must work together for Gorkhaland.
Addressing a programme where new members joined the party at the GJMM office at Paatleybaas here, Mr Gurung said: “All the parties in the Hills need to unite to achieve Gorkhaland.”
He also said that the “tenure” of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) is now over. He was referring to the party in the Hills that spearheaded a bloody Gorkhaland agitation in the mid-80s and ruled the Hills for almost two decades after signing the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council accord in 1988.
“To be able to insert the word ‘Gorkhaland’ in the Gorkha Territorial Administration agreement was an achievement. The GTA agreement was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee and former Home Minister Mr P Chidambaram during a tripartite meeting. As such, the state government cannot interfere in the work of the GTA. The GTA still has three more years in hand. We will stick to our demand for Gorkhaland and we will achieve it. We have been following the Gandhian principles since 2007,” Mr Gurung said.
Meanwhile, people, who had earlier left the GJMM and joined the Trinamul Congress camp, today switched back to the Morcha at the party office.
Trinamul leader B Tamang of Lebong-Badamtam constituency, who was among the persons who switched over to the GJMM, said 125 households in his area joined the Morcha today.(sns)

Officials rapped for skipping GTA meet

The GTA Sabha has show-caused senior officials of the land and land reforms department for not turning up at a meeting called by the hill body last month.

According to sources, many of the officers who were issued the show-cause had received letters with regard to the meeting on November 13 late.

The land and land reforms department was transferred from the state government to the GTA in December 2012.

A source said that though some of the land officials had received the letter on time, they did not go "in the absence of a clear directive from the state with regard to the modalities of transfer".

On November 19, GTA secretary Don Bosco Lepcha issued the show-cause notice to the subdivisional land and land reforms officers of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong, block land and land reforms officers of Takdah, Bijanbari, Sukhiapokhri, Mirik, Kurseong, Gorubathan, Kalimpong I, Kalimpong II and Algarah and the officer in charge of tauzi department and Darjeeling Improvement Fund department.

The notice, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, states: "In terms of para no. vii) of Order No. 6709-LP/1A-16/2012 (Pt-I) dated 28.12. 2012, services of the officers and other employees of different categories under Land Reforms Administration, including the Tauzi department of Collectorate (DM's office) are placed at the disposal of the GTA on deputation with immediate effect.

"Accordingly, a meeting was conveyed by the undersigned on 13. 11. 2014, to discuss various aspects of L & LR matters with regard to implementation of provisions envisaged in the notification."

The notice then goes on to state that the absence of the official "is being viewed seriously as it tantamount to dereliction of official duty and insubordination" and has asked the land officials to reply to the notice within seven days of receiving the letter.

Lepcha today said none of the officers had replied to the show-cause.

Rachana Bhagat, additional district magistrate who is also in charge of the district land and land reforms department, said some of the officials had received the letter (regarding the meeting) late.

Sources in the land reforms department also said many of the officials who had been issued the show-cause notices had not received the letter regarding the November 13 meeting at all.

"Some of us have only received the show-cause notices," said an official.

A showcaused officer said: "We are ready to work according to the government's direction. However, we are being unnecessarily caught up in a bigger battle."

Asked about the delay in sending the letters, Lepcha said: "If that is the case, they should mention it in the letter (reply). We, however, have not received anything from them."(The Telegraph)

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