Gorkhatimes

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Bandh put off till 17 Aug

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 28, 2009

KURSEONG / SILIGURI 27 JULY: The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha today announced suspension of its ongoing indefinite bandh from tomorrow till 17 August.
The GJMM chief Mr Bimal Gurung made the announcement on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day in Darjeeling today.
The GJMM spokesperson Mr Harka Bahadur Chettri said that the decision to suspend the bandh had been taken to facilitate the tripartite talks on the Hill situation in New Delhi on 11 August.
Mr Chettri also informed that on 11 August, GJMM supporters would form a human chain from Lebong in Darjeeling to Siliguri and from Damber Chowk in Kalimpong to Siliguri. The same would also be formed in all the other places of the Hills. Mr Chettri added that the chain would be formed to express unity among the Hill people towards the Gorkhaland demand.
The GJMM general secretary, Mr Roshan Giri, said that all educational institutions, transportation, shops and establishments and government offices would remain open during the bandh suspension period.
Meanwhile, Martyrs Day was celebrated throughout the hills today in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice during the 28-month long bloody agitation for Gorkhaland under the GNLF leader Mr Subash Ghisingh’s stewardship from 1986.
In Kurseong, GJMM supporters in traditional attire along with school students, teachers, school authorities and the clergy of different religion paid homage at the Sahid Bedi at this morning.
Meanwhile, the Panighatta-based controversial GNLF leader Mr Rajen Mukhia today alleged that the GJMM was trying to wipe out his party’s saga of sacrifice from the collective mind of the community.
“While observing the Martyrs’ Day today, the GJMM was more interested to hog the limelight for itself rather than pay homage to those who made the sacrifice,” Mr Mukhia said.
Mr Mukhia also said that the GJMM leader Mr Bimal Gurung should act on his Gorkhaland pledge and make the statehood promise a reality within his stipulated time frame.
“Otherwise he should gracefully abdicate leadership in keeping with the hoary Gorkha tradition. He should not mislead the people by taking recourse to non-committal equivocations,” Mr Mukhia opined.
Bandh convened on 11 August
Coming close on the heels of the 24-hour north Bengal bandh call on 11 August by an anti-Gorkhaland pressure group, “Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Bachao Committee” against the tripartite dialogue slated that day in New Delhi, another outfit, “Aamra Bangali” is also contemplating a 12-hour shutdown in the region the same day on the same issue.
Moreover, another Siliguri-based pressure group, Jana Chetana has lent moral support to the BOBBBC convened bandh on 11 August.
Hinting that “Aamra Bangali” would convene a 12-hour north Bengal bandh on 11 August, a senior leader of the outfit, Mr Khusi Ranjan Mondal said that they would paralyse life in Siliguri as well as in the Dooars in Jalpaiguri district to ventilate dissent against the three-way dialogue to resolve the Darjeeling impasse.
“We would expose the anti-West Bengal conspiracy hidden in the dialogue agenda. The Centre, the state government and the GJMM are all parties to it. We would not compromise on the territorial integrity of West Bengal and bring life to a grinding halt on the day of the talks in New Delhi,” he said.
While supporting the BOBBBC convened bandh on 11 August, the Jana Chetana president Dr Debaprasad Kar said that the ceaseless influx from Nepal in the region through the open border was a far graver issue than the tripartite dialogue.
“The Centre and the state government keep conniving on the matter. Their ruling out Gorkhaland state cannot carry conviction unless they take a serious note of the migratory stream from Nepal.
The shutdown protagonists should call the bluff on the part of the Centre and the state government,” the Jana Chetana leader said.
Meanwhile, the BOBBBC members staged demonstration in front of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Corporation Ltd office in Siliguri today, demanding prompt recovery of the outstanding electricity bill amounts in the Darjeeling hills.
“We would launch a bill boycott agitation in the plains and the Dooars if the amount remains unrecovered and the power connection continues. The blatant double standard on the part of the electricity officials between the hills and the plains in matters of outstanding recovery is unacceptable to us,” said the BOBBBC president Dr Mukunda Majumder.

Source: The Statesman

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