Tribals split in Dooars,Lalgarh

Following Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s (GJM) bid to win over the tribals of Lalgarh in West Midnapore over to their Gorkhaland cause...

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:February 22, 2009 2:04 am

Following Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s (GJM) bid to win over the tribals of Lalgarh in West Midnapore over to their Gorkhaland cause,the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP) that was involved in a bloody struggle with the Morcha last month in the Dooars said the tribals in Lalgarh obviously did not have the complete picture of the Dooars’ tribals opposition to the GJM’s plans.

Last week,Morcha leaders,including general secretary Roshan Giri,travelled to Lalgarh and held meetings with local tribal leaders to convince them on their objective of including the tribal-dominated Dooars in Jalpaiguri in their proposed Gorkhaland state. Later,Giri said the Lalgarh leaders had expressed solidarity with the GJM cause.

However,the ABAVP,which has violently protested against the inclusion of the Dooars in Gorkhaland,said the support of Lalgarh tribals would not have any effect on their stand.

Speaking from Nagrakata,the epicentre of the Gorkha-tribal clashes in mid-January,ABAVP spokesperson Rajesh Lakra said the Lalgarh tribals were being misled by the Morcha. “The Lalgarh tribals have been protesting against the atrocities by the Bengal police. We are with them. However,they don’t know about the Dooars situation. It is unfortunate they have expressed support for the Morcha. If we sit with them,we can convince them they are going in the wrong direction,” Lakra said.

He added that Lalgarh tribal leader Chatradhar Mahato is apparently motivated by political gains. “He doesn’t seem to be a tribal in the true sense. The same applies to Dooars’ tribal leaders who have been siding with the GJM. The Morcha’s ploy is to confuse the tribals and mislead them,” Lakra said.

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