Thursday, March 06, 2008

DC to take charge of hill council - March for gorkhaland

Darjeeling, March 5: The Bengal government might hand over the charge of the DGHC to a divisional commissioner (DC) once Subash Ghisingh resigns from the post of the caretaker administrator of the council.

The GNLF chief announced in Delhi today that he would send his resignation papers to the governor from Siliguri tomorrow. He had been ordered by the state government to relinquish his post within March 10.

About the new arrangement that is being mulled by the state, a source said: “The government is looking at handing over charge to the divisional commissioner of Jalpaiguri and also wants to conduct elections to the council within six months.”

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had earlier said it has no objection to the government plan to appoint a senior IAS officer to take charge of the council. About elections, however, Bimal Gurung, the Morcha president, was not so forthcoming. He had said it was a “secondary” issue for the moment.

Apart from the election to the DGHC, the government has also not been able to hold panchayat polls in the hills, largely because of Ghisingh’s reluctance, since 2005. Political observers believe that the government would at least like to hold the rural elections at the earliest.

Senior GNLF leaders, including Deepak Gurung, I.N. Pradhan and Dawa Pakhrin, the branch presidents of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong, reached Delhi yesterday to meet Ghisingh.

Party sources, while confirming the visit, said the GNLF leaders were trying to work out a strategy for the coming days. The GNLF chief has written to the Prime Minister to look afresh into the Gorkhaland demand.

Morcha FIR

The Morcha today filed an FIR with the Kurseong police station alleging that GNLF supporters at Latpunchar, 17km from here, had attacked its members at Jholi Gaon with khukuris and threatened them with firearms.

The GNLF has denied the allegation. “Our men never came out with arms and khukuris. As far as the clash on Monday night is concerned, three of our supporters have been arrested,” said K.B. Gurung, a GNLF leader of the area.

Today, the police assured the Morcha that the culprits of last evening’s attack would be arrested.