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Gurung block on transfers

Darjeeling, Dec. 21: Bimal Gurung has asked the state government to stop the transfer of two teachers from the Darjeeling Government College to elsewhere in the state until the transfer of the institution’s jurisdiction from the state government to the GTA is completed.

Two heads of departments of Darjeeling Government College, Sherap Bhutia and Willie Henry, have been transferred to Chandernagore Government College and AB Sen College in Cooch Behar, respectively.

Bhutia heads the department of geography and Henry the zoology department.

A letter written by R.B. Bhujel, executive member of the GTA in charge of higher education, to the state higher education department said: “I, as directed by Shri Bimal Gurung, Hon’ble Chief Executive, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Sabha, request you to kindly hold the transfer of these teachers till the transfer of Darjeeling Government College is completed.”

Gurung has also directed Kurseong MLA Rohit Sharma to take up the matter with the concerned minister.

“I spoke to the minister regarding the matter and he said he would look into it,” said Sharma. The Kurseong MLA also stated that senior officials of the state government had suggested that they should allow the two teachers to join the new place of posting and that they could be brought back to Darjeeling once the college is handed over to the GTA in the next one and a half months.

“One of the officials suggested that the teachers join work as of now and that they could be called back to Darjeeling once the government college is brought under the GTA’s supervision,” said Sharma.

The Darjeeling Government College is the only government college in the hills and is supposed to be transferred to the GTA according to the Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Centre, state and the Morcha on July 18, 2011.

Section 6 of an annexure of the MoA that deals with subjects to be “transferred to GTA” states: “College Education including Agricultural and Technical Colleges, Local Management of Government sponsored Colleges; Mass Education and Physical Education; Engineering, Medical, Management, and Information Technology with Government and Government sponsored colleges for which wings /cells shall have to be created by the GTA for the area under its jurisdiction.”

The Gorkha Janmukti Vidhyarthi Morcha has also protested the transfer of “Nepali-speaking teachers” out of the hills. “We cannot afford two Nepali-speaking teachers to leave the college,” said Ashok Chhetri, vice- president of the Morcha’s student wing.