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Saturday relief for Sikkim

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 17, 2009

Darjeeling, July 16: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has decided to give a 12-hour relaxation to vehicles to and from Sikkim on Saturday.

Bimal Gurung, the president of the Morcha, said: “We will allow vehicles with Sikkim numberplates to ply between 6am and 6pm along NH31A. After the relaxation, we will again close down the roads.”

Vehicles bearing the Bengal numberplates will not, however, be allowed on that day along the highway.

The Morcha leader said they would continue giving such relaxation to the people of Sikkim on a regular basis. The effort is seen as a move to seek the Himalayan state’s support to the ongoing agitation as chief minister Pawan Chamling has always been vocal for Gorkhaland.

Darjeeling police today tried to bring out a vehicle in town in an attempt to make their presence felt. However, the Morcha supporters stopped it as soon as it came out of the Sadar police station.

The Morcha has decided to provide relaxation to some police vehicles from tomorrow. Earlier, the party had said only the vehicles of the district magistrate, superintendent of police, and the subdivisional officer would be allowed during the strike.

“We have decided to allow the vehicles of the inspectors in-charge of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong and the deputy superintendent of police (town) to ply,” said Gurung.

The Morcha will also allow the relief department in the district magistrate’s office to remain open. “We will allow the vehicles of (deputy) magistrates to move in the hills,” said Gurung.

Asked about the reason behind the relaxation, Gurung said: “During a meeting with the district magistrate soon after calling the strike, some of our leaders had told him that we would relax the shutdown after four-five days.”

On the demand for relief for tea gardens, Gurung said the party would look into the matter in the days to come so that ration could be sent to the gardens. “I will sit with the leaders of the tea union soon,” he said.

Source: The Telegraph


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