In a twist to the ongoing agitation for Gorkhaland, tribal leaders warned GJM against incursions into Terai and Dooars. GJM cadre burnt effigies of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the hills, and Internet facilities remained
“We will not allow the agitation to spread in Terai and Dooars. If they (GJM), try and enter our areas, there will be trouble. If someone enters your house, you will have to do something about it. We are keeping a watch on the situation,” said Birsa Tirkey, state president of Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Bikas Morcha.
People from different communities, including the Tibetan community, took out rallies calling for peace in the hills, and supporting the demand for Gorkhaland. Meanwhile, all eyes are on the all-party meeting on Tuesday, which is to be attended by pro-Gorkhaland parties.
Clashes had in 2008 erupted in Terai and Dooars region between GJM cadres and supporters of Parishad during the previous Gorkhaland agitation. The GJM considers Terai and Dooars to be a part of Gorkhaland.
Protests continue, Internet disrupted for second day
GJM workers continued to take out rallies in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, and burnt effigies of Mamata. Morcha supporters blocked major roads leading to Darjeeling. In a rally at Chowk Bazar, Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) workers protested together with GJM.
A heavy deployment of police officers, central forces and Army personnel continued to keep vigil in the hills.
“Three of our activists were killed. We are ready to give our lives, but will not stop protesting till we get Gorkhaland,” Sirish Pradhan, a GJM worker, told PTI.
Internet services remained suspended for the second day in a row, with police sources saying the step was taken to stop GJM activists from using social media to spread “provocative posts”.
The Jan Andolan Party (JAP), formed by Harka Bahadur Chetri — who left GJM in 2016 — announced it was joining the movement. JAP leader Nayan Pradhan said: “It is a people’s movement, and everyone should leave their flags and join the movement for Gorkhaland.
Meanwhile, a state-run public bus carrying tourists to Siliguri from Darjeeling was stopped in Rohini, Kurseong, by GJM supporters. The protesters detained the bus at 1 am, and held it up for over five hours. GJM cadres allegedly also set fire to a truck and tried vandalise a car on National Highway-10, which is a link between Bengal and Sikkim. A police vehicle was also allegedly vandalised in Kalimpong.