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  India   All India  11 Jun 2017  GJM calls indefinite bandh, CM says no scope for compromise

GJM calls indefinite bandh, CM says no scope for compromise

Published : Jun 11, 2017, 3:17 am IST
Updated : Jun 11, 2017, 3:28 am IST

The offices of the BDO, SDO and the district magistrate will also come under the purview of the strike.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: PTI)
 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Photo: PTI)

Kolkata: Darjeeling is expected to witness another period of turmoil as the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) dared to challenge the Mamata Banerjee government by declaring bandh for an indefinite period in Darjeeling from Monday. Barely few hours after chief minister Mamata Banerjee left the Hills, GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “All government and Central government offices and banks, including that of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), will remain closed for indefinite period from Monday. Schools, transport, hotels and shops will not be under the purview of the strike. Banks will remain open only on Monday and Thursday.”

The offices of the BDO, SDO and the district magistrate will also come under the purview of the strike.

The GJM’s decision assumes significance as chief minister Mamata Banerjee only a few hours before had said in Siliguri that she can compromise for the sake of peace but not against the use of bombs and gunpowder to unleash violence. “We have made a lot of compromise, so much so that we have our backs stuck to the wall (compromise korte korte dewale pith theke geche). So law will take its own course,” the chief minister said, adding that bandh is illegal and the high court too has declared it so.

The annoucement by the GJM came after they held a marathon meeting in the Hills where the top GJM leadership, including supporters and members, were present. “All signboards in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong including the Terai-Doars region will either be in Nepali or in English. This is to give recognition to our own Nepali language,” Mr Giri told reporters after the meeting.

The GJM has convened an all-party meeting on June 13 and will write to all political parties seeking support for their demand of Gorkhaland and would highlight that the Mamata Banerjee government is indulging in repression against them.

“Our chief Bimal Gurung will write a letter to home minister Rajnath Singh pressing for their demand of Gorkhaland. We will also seek an appointment of the home minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a delegation will meet them shortly,” a senior GJM leader said.

Extending further solidarity to their movement, the GJM also announced procession and a signature campaign in the Hills on Thursday and Sunday in favour of their demand of Gorkhaland. They also announced a torch rally in all the wards pressing for their demand.

A few hours before the Morcha’s announcement, Ms Banerjee in a clear indication that the Morcha leadership has been responsible for the misapproprtaion of development funds said,” I have been coming here a number of times that has made thieir job of looting funds difficult. So they are not wanting me in the Hills. But I will continue to come here time and again as long as the people of the Hills want me to come.”

In a significant step, the Mamata Banerjee government strengthened its six member audit team in the Hills by adding six additional officers. “The 12 mmeber team will conduct special audit of GTA funds for the last three fiscals,” a senior finance department official said.

The chief minister also announced the lifting of the restriction in the movement of vehicles in North Bengal.

“There was a restriction in the movement of transport in North Bengal that had come into effect during the Left government’s rule. For example, a vehicle from Darjeeling could not enter Coochbehar and vice versa. We have reviewed the matter and a notification will be issued on Monday to withdraw the restriction in the movement of transport through out North Bengal,” she added.

Tags: gorkha janmukti morcha, mamata banerjee