Ex-judge to head hill committee
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- Published 30.07.11
July 29: Retired high court judge Shyamal Sen was today appointed the chairperson of a 10-member joint verification committee that will examine the demand to bring the Gorkha pockets of the Dooars and the Terai under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
The decision was announced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers’ Buildings this evening.
“Justice Shyamal Sen has been appointed the chairman of the Dooars-Terai committee,” Mamata said while leaving office today.
Sen has had a distinguished career first as an advocate and then as a judge. He has served as a judge of Calcutta High Court and as acting chief justice of both Calcutta High Court as well as Allahabad High Court.
He was also briefly the acting governor of Bengal.
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which has been demanding that the territorial jurisdiction of the GTA be extended to the Gorkha dominated areas of the Dooars and the Terai, has welcomed Sen’s appointment as committee chairperson.
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“We welcome the development but the more important thing is for the committee to place its report within six months,” said Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri. “We hope that the team will start assessing the ground realities as early as possible.”
The Morcha, which along with the Centre and the state, is a signatory to the agreement for the formation of the GTA, has demanded that 199 mouzas each from the Dooars and the Terai be brought under the new hill set-up.
The party has proposed four names to represent it on the territory committee. They are: former principal secretary of the DGHC L.B. Pariyar, Morcha’s Terai convener Shankar Adhikari and Nepali writers Kitab Singh Rai and Shankar Nath Pradhan.
The district magistrates of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri along with an official of the home department will represent the state government on the committee.
The Centre will be represented by the director of census operations.
Anil Verma, administrator of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, will be the convener of the committee responsible for organising the meetings.
Once the committee becomes functional, the members will visit the areas that the Morcha wants to be included under the GTA, speak to the major stakeholders and consult political parties.
The panel is expected to submit its report within six months.