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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

WB: Decision on GTA fate today

Amitava Banerjee , Hindustan Times  Darjeeling, September 13, 2013
First Published: 11:05 IST(13/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:11 IST(13/9/2013)

The fate of the Gorkhaland and Territorial Administration (GTA) is all set to be decided on Friday with an order from the state government scheduled to reach Darjeeling.

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With Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung resigning from the post of chief executive member on July 30, a meeting was convened on September 4 to elect a new head.

The GJM boycotted the meeting handing over a petition stating that unless the 10 arrested GTA members (including 4 executive members) are released unconditionally, the party would not take part in the meeting.

RD Meena, principal secretary, had forwarded the petition to the government stating that Writers’ Buildings as per the GTA Act and rules would decide the future course of action. “We are expecting an order from the government on Friday,” said Meena.

The GTA constitutes of 45 elected members and 5 nominated members.

All 45 elected members owe allegiance to the GJM. Out of the 5 nominated members, 2 are from the GJM camp and 3 from the Trinamool Congress.

With the GJM affiliated elected members unwilling and nominated members not having voting rights, the government could appoint an administrator to run the GTA, opine political observers.

Nand Kishor Agarwal, PDS dealer, of Sukhiapokhari was arrested on Thursday. “Agarwal was responsible for diverting 100 bags of rice grains from his godown to the GJM. He has confessed,” said SP Darjeeling Kunal Agarwal.

On September 9, Dilip Parik and Mangaylal Parik of Sangambazar had been arrested with 100 bags of rice grain, which were unaccounted for along with Rs. 1,32,000.

“They had named Agarwal and said 100 bags were PDS grains,” added the SP.

Darjeeling Chamber of Commerce president Brij Mohan Garg who had been arrested on Wednesday and was in judicial custody was again produced at the chief judicial magistrate court.

He had been arrested in connection with the torching of Tukdah Forest Bungalow on the night of August 2.

“He has been charged for criminal conspiracy in connection with the torching of the forest bungalow. The Court has sent him to two days of Police remand,” said Pankaj Prasad, Assistant Public Prosecutor.

Darjeeling Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Himangshu Garg who was also arrested on Wednesday was granted bail.

“He had been arrested in connection with a case pertaining to forcibly closing down government office (district planning) on August 29, 30 and 31,” added Prasad.


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