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Hill body takes out protest rally against NRC, CAA in Darjeeling
Darjeeling: Darjeeling on Sunday witnessed a protest rally against NRC and CAA, amid widespread unrest in various parts of the country. The rally was brought out by the All Board Coordination Committee (ABCC). Meanwhile, all trains going from Northeast Railway towards Eastern Railway have been cancelled due to violent protests in the plains. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay faction) also held an emergency meeting in Sukna in the foothills of the district. The meeting culminated with the announcement of anti-NRC and anti-CAA programmes by the GJM.

The ABCC, comprising members from the 14 development boards of the Hills, marched from the railway station in Darjeeling to Chowrasta, chanting anti-CAA and NRC slogans. "The ABCC represents 14 communities of the Hills. We support the Chief Minister's stand on NRC and CAA. We will not allow divisive politics to spoil the peace and tranquility of the Hills. We will oppose both NRC and CAA tooth and nail," stated Lyansong Tamsang of the ABCC. "We demand that areas under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration be exempted from the CAA, as they have exempted Bodoland Territorial Council and Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council. Even GTA is a council on similar lines, which is why we demand exemption. We further demand reimposing Inner Line Permit in the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Dooars. It was there during the British days but was later removed. Along with this, we demand original inhabitant status for the Gorkhas including inclusion in protected list," stated GJM president Binay Tamang. GJM has lined up massive postering campaigns in the Hills and Dooars on December 18 and 19, which will be followed by rallies in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik on December 20. The Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha (youth wing) will also be announcing a major programme after December 20. "In January the protests will be intensified and we will come out on the streets in the Hills and Dooars," added Tamang.

Nepal seeks to review Gorkha recruitment agreement with Britain
Nepal wants to review its military deal with the British, ahead of the planned recruitment of Nepali women in the Gorkha Brigade for the first time in two centuries, its foreign minister said on Friday.

After India gained independence in 1947, an agreement was reached among New Delhi, London and Kathmandu that allowed India and Britan to share and recruit Gorkhas.

In 2007, Britain shared its plans to recruit Gorkha women in its forces, adding, however, that issues of recruitment and selection standards needed to be settled. 

"(Some) provisions of that agreement have become irrelevant now. Therefore, we have told Britain that we should review it ... make bilateral arrangements," Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said in an interview to news agency Reuters.

"We should define the presence of the government of Nepal in the (recruitment) process."

The foreign minister added that a new agreement should address issues such as pensions and other benefits, which retired Gurkha servicemen claim are not at par to what their Brtish counterparts get.

Gurkhas, a Nepalese tribe, are being enlisted in the British Army since 1815 as they are known for their combat abilities.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh
Bengal BJP on Saturday held Mamata Banerjee responsible for the violence over the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests before issuing a threat that President’s rule would be imposed in the state if the strife continued unabated.
In Calcutta, Rahul Sinha, a national secretary of the BJP, went all guns blazing on the Bengal chief minister for allowing the “Bangladeshi infiltrators” to perpetrate violence in the state.
“Those who are perpetrating violence are Bangladeshi infiltrators. They do not even have the right to protest and yet, the state is not taking any action against them. These people are vandalising government properties, attacking people and consistently disrupting normal life,” he said.
“The government should immediately take stringent actions against them. Otherwise, Mamata Banerjee will have to walk out of power in 2020 because if such situation persists, the Centre will have no other option but to impose President’s rule,” added the BJP leader.
He didn’t comment when asked whether the party was in favour of a similar move in the BJP-ruled Assam, where the scale of violent protests against the CAA was much higher.
Several BJP leaders said in private that the party was expecting rich dividends from the violent protests.
“Our point is simple as we want the world to know that the infiltrators are responsible for the violence. The party feels that such protests by Muslims would drive the majority community towards the saffron party,” said an observer.
BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, who was in Siliguri on Saturday, echoed Sinha and blamed Mamata for the trouble in Bengal.
“Is it because Mamata Banerjee is afraid of losing her vote bank in the state? They are telling lie to make their vote bank strong. Let us make one thing very clear, the Citizenship Act would be implemented in the state, neither Mamata nor her party would be able to stop it,” he said.
According to him, while the BJP was trying to protect Bengali refugees, Mamata was acting against them.
The BJP state president also tried to mollify the grievances of Gorkhas, who have been apprehensive about the NRC-like exercise.
“Each Gorkha in the country will have whatever rights Dilip Ghosh has here. Gorkhas are Indian citizens and they need not worry,” said Ghosh.

Dan Khaling
सिलगडी नेपाली साहित्य संस्थानद्वारा प्रत्येक वर्ष संस्थानको स्थापना दिवस, गिरी जयन्ती तथा दान खालिङ जयन्तीको अवसर पारी दिसम्बर २६ तारिखका दिन प्रदान गरिने दान खालिङ साहित्य सम्मानका निम्ति उपयुक्त साहित्यकारको नाउँ छनोट गर्न गठन गरिएको चयन समितिको बैठक वास्ता भवन, न्यु रङ्गियामा बस्यो। समितिको बैठकद्वारा यस वर्षको दान खालिङ साहित्य सम्मान -२०१९ साहित्यकार सुख नमलाई प्रदान गर्ने निर्णय सर्वसम्मतिले लिइयो। सम्मानका रूपमा अङ्गवस्त्र, स्मृति चिह्न र नगद राशी रू. २०,०००/-(बीस हजार रूपिया) खालिङ परिवारका वरिष्ठ सदस्यका बाहुलीबाट प्रदान गरिने छ। उक्त चयन समितिका सदस्यहरू प्रोफेसर मोहन पी दाहाल, श्री मनप्रसाद सुब्बा अनि श्री ज्ञानेन्द्र खतिवडा थिए । सभामा संस्थानका तर्फबाट अध्यक्ष श्री वासुदेव पुलामी संयोजकका रूपमा उपस्थित थिए। सम्मान प्रदान गरिने कार्यक्रम आगामी दिसम्बर २६ तारिख २०१९ का दिन क्यापस क्रुसेड फर क्राइस्टको महानेम हल, न्यु रङ्गिया, शिवमन्दिर, सिलगडीमा आयोजना गरिने छ।

First Snowfall in Sandakphu

Darjeeling: Sandakphu, the highest point of Bengal situated at 3636m, witnessed the first snowfall of this winter season on Friday, while it drizzled in Darjeeling. Hill life was thrown out of gear as the mercury plummeted drastically.
"It started snowing from around 4.30 pm in and around Sandakphu. In the evening it started to snow in Kalpokhari as well," stated Anil Tamang of the Singhalila Land Rover Owners Association.
Sandakphu, located in the Singhalila National Park, is a world famous trekking spot. This National Park is a bio-diverse hotspot with a total area of 78.9 sq kms and is a natural habitat for rare flora and fauna.
More than 20 species of Rhododendron trees can be found here and it is also home to the famous Himalayan Black Bear and the Red Panda. Sandakphu offers breathtaking views of Mount Everest and Mount Kanchenjunga and is a famous sunrise viewing spot.
"There were around 40 tourists in Sandakphu on Friday. 7 Land Rovers went up from Sandakphu from Maneybhanjyang. The tourists enjoyed the snow to the fullest, built snowmen and had snow fights," added Tamang.
The upper reaches of Sikkim also witnessed snowfall. Meanwhile, Darjeeling town and its surrounding areas experienced a steady drizzle in the evening.
Temperatures hovered around 5 degree Celsius during the day and further dipped after the drizzle. People found solace in fires lit on the streets to escape the biting cold. Shops downed shutters early as well.
The MeT office predicts similar weather conditions in the next 24 hours.
"The IMD had predicted snow in the higher reaches of Sikkim and adjoining Bengal owing to the passage of western disturbances over this region. Similar weather conditions will continue in the next 24 hours with higher reaches to experience snow and rain at lower altitudes. From Sunday the disturbance is expected to shift Eastward towards Assam. This will result in a dip in night temperature by 1 or 2 degrees," stated Dr Gopi Nath Raha of IMD, Gangtok.
Meanwhile, Darjeeling, especially the travel trade industry, is praying for a 'white Christmas', which would add a major boost to tourism.

Nishikant Dubey
Guwahati, Assam: The national federation of Indian Gorkhas on Friday demanded expulsion of BJP leader Dr Nishikant Dubey as an MP for his "derogatory" remarks on Gorkhas in the Lok Sabha.
The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha (BGP) also slammed Dr Dubey for allegedly describing the late Moni Kumar Subba, who was a Congress MP from Tezpur in Assam and a Gorkha, as a Nepali.
BGP national secretary (youth affairs) Nanda Kirati Dewan demanded that BJP president Amit Shah ask Dr Dubey to resign from the House and apologise to the Gorkhas in Parliament.
"If the BJP does not take action against Dubey, the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha's 22 state units will write to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to expel Nishikant Dubey from the House for the next three years as a punishment for his derogatory remarks on a Gorkha MP," the BGP said in a statement.
During a discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, Dr Dubey called Mr Subba "a Nepali citizen and intruder in the Lok Sabha" and it is an insult to 105 million Gorkhas of the country, it asserted.
Mr Subba had led the Assam Gorkha Sammelan, an association of the community formed in 1945 in Assam, for 21 years and he was the president of All Assam OBC Association for a long period, the Gorkha body said.
"Moni Kumar Subba was not just a Congressman but a mass leader who reached out to the Gorkhas of the nation in general and people of Assam in particular as an MP from the state. His political opponents had raised an issue about his citizenship, which the Supreme Court had examined and declared him an Indian," the statement said.
All the Gorkha organisations of the state will take all democratic steps to ensure that Mr Subba is given justice in the Lok Sabha and before the nation, it said.

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