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Centre told to tread in hills with caution

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 24, 2009

Darjeeling, July 23: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today alleged that the Bengal government was trying to create another Lalgarh by deploying paramilitary forces and asked the people not to be overawed by their presence.

Addressing a public meeting at Chowrastha, Puran Thami, the general secretary of the Yuva Morcha, said: “We are not demanding anything unconstitutional. The state government is trying to create a situation similar to Lalgarh by deploying the CRPF. The Centre should also tread in Darjeeling with caution as we are now in the midst of a peaceful agitation.”

The Darjeeling district magistrate had declared on Tuesday that seven companies of paramilitary forces would be deployed in the hills to maintain law and order.

The Morcha today organised rallies in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong in support of Gorkhaland. Hundreds of people participated in the rally, braving a steady drizzle.

Reacting to the request by the state urban minister, Asok Bhattacharya, to the Centre to ban the Gorkhaland Personnel, Colonel (retd) J.N. Dixit, the president of the Darjeeling unit of the ex-serviceman association, said the GLP was not unconstitutional.

“If the BJP can set up the RSS and the Congress can form the Seva Dal, why can’t the Morcha have the GLP? The question of banning the GLP does not arise at all and we will continue to support it,” said Dixit. The GLP youths are being trained up by the association of retired soldiers.

Dixit said even if the paramilitary forces were deployed in the hills, the GLP were there to protect the hill people. “The hills have 55,000 ex-servicemen, along with 25,000 Gorkhaland Personnel. This is definitely not a small number. We will continue to follow a non-violent agitation in the hills come what may,” said Dixit.

The Morcha also reiterated its demand for the transfer of K.L. Tamta, inspector-general of police, north Bengal. Roshan Giri, the general secretary of the party, alleged that the officer was trying to derail the Morcha’s movement.

“Tamta used to visit Rajen Mukhia’s house (GNLF leader at Panighatta) and plotted a conspiracy against the Morcha, along with Zia-ul Haq, a CPM leader of Chamurchi when our agitation had started in the Dooars,” alleged Giri.

Giri said they had genuine grievances against Tamta and alleged that the officer was working at the behest of Asok Bhattacharya. “We had complained about Tamta even at the second tripartite meeting on December 29,” said Giri

Yesterday, the Morcha announced that its strike would continue in the hills as the demands to remove Tamta and the release of 19 of their supporters in the July 10 incident in Panighata were not met.

Source: The Telegraph


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