Friday, 30 November 2012


A praiseworthy initiative of the BSF

As a part of their social work, more than 200 Border Security Force
(BSF) jawans engaged themselves in a cleanliness drive at the Maharaja
Jitendra Narayan Hospital in Cooch Behar on Friday. The hospital is
the District Hospital of Cooch Behar.

Praising the initiative, the acting Superintendent of the MJN
Hospital, De Subrata Haldar said that the BSF jawans came forward
following invitations from the hospital authority. They have cleaned
all dirty places of the hospital including indoor and outdoor
premises. They also promised of planting of saplings with a bid to
maintain clean environment. Dr Haldar said, "It is now upto us to
maintain the cleaned state. This is very tough work. We would request
non-government organisations and others to help us at least once in
three months."

An official from the Falakata Sector of the BSF, Rajneesh Singh said
that more than 200 jawans from their Sector worked for hours to clean
the hospital premises. They will also work on Saturday to remove the
garbage form the place adjacent to the morgue. Tree saplings would be
planted to ensure clean environment. "We selected this hospital for
our cleanliness drive as hundreds of patients come here for treatment.
They need a clean environment", Singh said.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Border villagers' sit-in at Dinhata

The West Bengal state committee of the
'Bharat Simante Katatarer Berar Epare Basobaskari Nagarik Mancha' (a
platform of residents that are residing inside of the barbed wire
fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border), organized a daylong sit-in
at Dinhata on Tuesday. They also submitted memorandums to the
ministers of the Central government and the state government through
the local Block Development Officer.

The president of the border residents' platform, Haripada Mandal
alleged that the residents who live inside and outside of the barbed
wire fencing are citizens of India but they are being deprived of all
amenities extended by the government. This situation should not
continue. To draw attention of the authorities to the plight of the
bordering people they organized the sit-in, Mandal said. He demanded
that the border gates should be kept open from 6 am to 6 pm and one
gate should be kept open for 24 hours for emergency needs. He also
demanded permanent rehabilitation for the Indian residents who live
outside of the border fencing. Mandal said they urged the authorities
to lay fencing where it is yet to be placed. The barbed wire fencing
should be laid along the zero-point of the Indo-Bangladesh border, he

Split in GCDP prior to rural polls

Just before the Panchayat elections, a number of
leaders and supporters of the Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party
(GCDP) left the party and joined the Greater Cooch Behar Peoples Party
(GCPP). It created a sensation among the people of Cooch Behar who are
in favour of a separate state, Kamtapur or Greater Cooch Behar.

An assistant general secretary of the GCDP, Bhabesh Barman and another
two central committee member of the party left the party and joined
the GCPP. Leaders like Bhaben dakua, Shibu Barman, Dulal Roy and
Suresh Barman also followed them. The president of the GCPP, Bangshi
Badan Barman welcomed the move and accepted them to his party. It will
be of great help to strengthen the Greater Cooch Behar movement, he

Bhabesh Barman alleged that they left the GCDP as the president of the
party is not working in favour of united movement. He wants to
maintain his leadership with separate identity. The GCDP president,
Ashutosh Barma however denied the allegation. He said he wanted
Bangshi Badan Barman as the leader of the party when he came out from
the jail. But, he formed a new party named GCPP. It is not an effort
towards united movement, he commented. He termed the leaders 'spy of
the government' who are trying to break the movement. Instead of
pulling members and leaders from any 'pro-Greater Cooch Behar' party
they should mobilize people from other political parties, he opined.

GCPP president Bangshi Badan Barman said they want proper
implementation of the agreement by which erstwhile Cooch Behar State
was merged with India. By this measure the dream to form a separate
state will be materialized, he said. As the leaders like Ashutosh
Barma have no political foresight they are trying to maintain
existence of separate parties instead of any effort to strengthen the

Thursday, 15 November 2012


WB Government to introduce VRS in NBSTC

Following an order issued by the Transport Department (No.
4009-WT/TR/O/7B-25/2012) the North Bengal State Transport Corporation
is going to introduce the much talked about Voluntary Retirement
Scheme (VRS) for its employees. The issue will be the main topic of
discussion in the next meeting of the Board of Members of the
corporation. The meeting will be held on Sunday in presence of the
chairman cum North Bengal Development minister Gautam Deb.

In the order it was mentioned that "introduction of a Voluntary
Retirement Scheme with the objective to bring a substantial portion of
the surplus and unutilized employee under the scheme in the interest
of improvement of overall financial condition of the corporations to
the best possible extent at this moment, has been felt necessary".
Explaining the reason behind introducing of the VRS, the order said
that "it has been felt that the main reason for day-to-day
deterioration of the financial conditions of the corporations is
excessive expenditure towards the monthly salary bills of the
employees of the corporations".

The president of the Cooch Behar district INTTUC, Pranesh Dhar
welcomed the introduction of VRS in the NBSTC. It will be good for the
corporation and the employees, he said.

On the otherhand, the secretary of the district CITU and an MP (Rajya
Sabha), Tarini Roy said that the government should fulfill all the
conditions like ensuring of Pension, Provident Fund and Gratuity for
the workers and employees. Without fulfillment of the conditions the
proposed VRS will bring no good to the employees, he feels.

A director and also the chairman of the Selection Committee of the
NBSTC, Abdul Jalil Ahmed said that they will discuss the VRS issue in
the Board meeting on Sunday. The government offered the scheme for the
interest of the corporation and its employees, he said.

When asked, the Managing Director of the NBSTC, C Murugan, said that
he have been assured from the Transport Department that pension will
be added to the VRS. The required clarification from the department
will arrive from Kolkata, he said. Mentionworthy, a few months back,
all the recognized unions of the NBSTC made it clear that they will
accept the introduction of VRS if the package comes with pension. Now,
it is to be observed whether they are eager to accept it if the
'clarification' on pension comes bundled with the VRS package.

Friday, 9 November 2012


GCPP call for united fight

The Greater Cooch Behar Peoples Party (GCPP) wants all the
Cooch Behar people, irrespective of their political allegiance, to
support the candidates of the GCPP in the next three-tier Panchayat

The president of the GCPP, Bangshi Badan Barman said that
they formed the GCPP for a united struggle towards proper
implementation of the agreement by which Cooch Behar State was merged
with India in 1949. Several leaders and groups who were in favour of a
separate Greater Cooch Behar or Kamtapur state came forward to join
hands. But, there are few others too that are still trying to maintain
their separate identities. They believe in personal gains than the
interest of the organisation, Barman commented.

The GCPP president said they will welcome support of other
political parties, irrespective of ruling party or opposition parties,
in the Panchayat election. "We will not going to form any alliance or
we will not go to join in any alliance. All are welcome to support our
candidates in the interest of a better Cooch Behar and its people", he
said. (HM)

Mentionwrthy, Barman came out from jail on 16 December,
2011. He formed a separate party named Greater Cooch Behar Peoples
Party on 6 April this year.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


GCDP demonstration in Cooch Behar

The Greater Cooch Behar Democratic Party (GCDP) came out demanding
upliftment of the status of the North Bengal State Library (NBSL).
They want it to be included in 'A' Category. They staged a
demonstration at the District Magistrate's office and submitted a
memorandum to the Cooch Behar ADM (General) that was addressed to the
Union Human Resource Development minister with copies conveyed to the
President, the Prime Minister, the Home minister and the Chief
Minister of West Bengal.

The GCDP president, Ashutosh Barma alleged that the North Bengal State
Library was initially established in 1870 by the then ruler of Cooch
Behar State, Maharaja Nripendra Narayan. It was then known as
Maharaja's Library. After merger of Cooch Behar State with India the
library came under the state library department. In 1969 the library
was renamed as North Bengal State Library and it was transferred in a
new building. The Cooch Behar District Library was also merged with
it. But instead of upgrading the status of the State Library it was
decreased to District Library status. Several demands were made in the
past years but the authorities took no initiatives to improve the
condition. At last, the GCDP took up the issue, Barma said. Though the
NBSL has a vast collection of rare books, magazines and manuscripts
written in Sanskrit, English and Bengali the authorities kept it
neglected as it is situated in Cooch Behar, he alleged.

Cooch Behar ADM (G), C Murugan said he received the memorandum and he
will forward it to the competent authority for consideration.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


NBSTC pensioners on war path

The North Bengal State Transport Corporation Pensioners Association is
going to organize a movement demanding regular and full payment of
pension. They also want to avail all retirement benefits meant for

The secretary of the NBSTCPA, Mohan Banshi Barman said the meeting of
their central committee will be held at Siliguri on 9 November. By 20
November they will organize a central rally in Cooch Behar and on that
day they will submit a memorandum to the Managing Director of the
corporation urging him to take initiatives to fulfill their legitimate

Barman alleged that Dipti Karmakar, the widow of a retired and demised
employee, Manoranjan Karmakar, has committed suicide by hanging
herself on Wednesday night at Balurghat. She was suffering from acute
financial crisis as she was not receiving her family pension for a
long. In Cooch Behar too, about 40 retired persons are suffering from
ailments without any medical care. The NBSTC authority should act
immediately with humane and sympathetic attitude. If this situation
continues the pensioners will have to stage a fast-unto-death stir to
get their pensions, Barman said.

Abdul Jalil Ahmed, a director and also the chairman of the Selection
Committee of the NBSTC, said that the Transport Department released a
fund of Rs 2,61,55,923 for disbursement of fifty percent pension for
the months of August and September. The pensioners will get it within
a day or two, he assured.

On the otherhand, a team of leaders of the INTUC affiliated NBSTC
Workers Union met the Managing Director of the corporation, C Murugan,
on Friday evening. They demanded regular payment of salary and pension
and payment of all arrears to the employees and the pensioners. They
demanded that before issuing of transfer orders the authorities should
consider the academic session. They also urged the MD to take stern
steps against the racket involved in the fake appointment letter
issue. NBSTC sources said the MD agreed to consider their demands
subject to the approval of the Transport Department.