Gorkhaland supporters get backing from NE groups

The indefinite shutdown in the Hills entered its eighth day on Thursday. Rallies were taken out by GJM and other Gorkha outfits in different parts, including Darjeeling, Mirik, Kurseong and Kalimpong.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Darjeeling | Published: June 23, 2017 3:39 am
Darjeeling unrest, Northeast supports Darjeeling, GJM, GJM agitation Security personnel queue up to collect food at Chowk Bazar in Darjeeling on Thursday. (Express Photo/Partha Paul)

Organisation from the Northeast and those demanding small states are set to come together to show solidarity with the Gorkhaland movement. This comes amid the leaders of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is spearheading the movement for the separate state, deciding to resign from the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA) — a semi-autonomous administrative body for the hills — on Friday.

“We have decided to resign from the GTA. The resignations will be submitted to the principal secretary of GTA,” GJM general secretary Roshan Giri told PTI. GJM chief Bimal Gurung, who is in hiding, will also put in his papers. GJM supporters are likely to symbolically burn the GTA accord, which was signed between the state government, Centre and GJM in 2011, in different parts of the hills on June 24.

June 24 will also see outfits demanding states like Vidharba, Bundelkhand, Boroland and Purvanchal holding a press conference in New Delhi. A day before, rallies will be organised in Assam and other places over the demand for Gorkhaland. While leaders and supporters of Bodoland are scheduled to visit Darjeeling on June 23, rallies are being planned in Tripura on June 24.

Jantar Mantar in New Delhi will also see a rally being organised by the National Federation of Small States.

“National Federation of Small States will hold a press conference in Delhi in solidarity with the demand for Gorkhaland. On June 23 and 24, rallies will be held in Tripura and Assam. Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura and Gorkha Students Union of Assam will hold the rallies. Already, leaders of Boroland have extended their support to the Gorkhaland movement,” said Monish Tamang, working president of National Federation of Small States.

Meanwhile, the indefinite shutdown in the Hills entered its eighth day on Thursday. Rallies were taken out by GJM and other Gorkha outfits in different parts, including Darjeeling, Mirik, Kurseong and Kalimpong.

Ambulance operators, who had stopped ferrying patients due to fear of harassment since Wednesday, withdrew their strike following a meeting with the GJM leadership. They were assured that they will not be harassed while carrying patients to Siliguri. “We have lifted our strike after GJM leaders gave us written assurance,” said B R Tamang, a leader of the Ambulance Drivers’ Association.

No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in Darjeeling on Thursday, PTI reported. Meanwhile, major political parties, including the Congress, CPIM, BJP, GJM and other Gorkha outfits from the Hills, remained absent at the all party meeting called by the state government in Siliguri. “It was a fruitful meeting. We hope those who were absent today will attend future meetings,” Moloy Dey, state home secretary said.

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