Sikkim to sue West Bengal over Gorkhaland agitation loss

Government representatives claimed that ever since the protests began, the West Bengal government and its police have deliberately prevented supply of goods to Sikkim because of the support Sikkim has shown for a separate Gorkhaland.

Written by Esha Roy | Kolkata | Published: July 8, 2017 4:40 am
west bengal, sikkim, china, doklam, northeast, mamata bannerjee, bengal cm, darjeeling, gorkhaland, china sikkim standoff, indian express Operators of trucks that ferry goods from Siliguri to Sikkim called an indefinite bandh on June 30 to protest the alleged attack on Sikkim-bound trucks by anti-Gorkhaland protesters. (File Photo)

The Sikkim government is set to take the West Bengal government to court for “losses” it incurred because of the Gorkhaland agitation in Darjeeling.

Government representatives claimed that ever since the protests began, the West Bengal government and its police have deliberately prevented supply of goods to Sikkim, stopping trucks from entering the state because of the support Sikkim — including its Chief Minister Pawan Chamling — has shown for a separate Gorkhaland.

National Highway 10, which connects Siliguri in North Bengal to Gangtok, is the only highway that connects Sikkim to the rest of the country and serves as the state’s lifeline.

Sikkim’s lone Member of Parliament P D Rai, speaking with The Indian Express, said, “We are planning to approach the Supreme Court next week. The circumstances which have been created are unconstitutional. Our food supply and all other essential goods coming to Sikkim have been stopped. In Siliguri, many of our trucks carrying essential goods have been stopped by police in civil clothes, while uniformed police have looked on. Just because we have a particular stand, which has been a known stand for many years, this is being done.”

Rai said that such disruptions have taken place routinely due to the shared highway with West Bengal, but the past 20 days — since the agitations began — have been particularly bad. “Over the past 30 years, Sikkim has incurred losses worth Rs 60,000 crore due to such disruptions. We want the West Bengal government to make good on these losses,” he said, adding that in the past 20 days alone, the state has incurred losses of Rs 200 crore.

“Till the day before Mamata Banerjee decided to hold her cabinet meeting in Darjeeling, there was not a single room vacant in any hotel in Sikkim. But since then, there is not a single room that is occupied. Our economic losses have been huge. Disruptions and agitations will occur, you can’t prevent that. But the highway should have been protected by paramilitary to ensure that essential goods reach us. Yesterday, areas in north Sikkim ran out of rice and pulses; we have shipped these items to them today. There is no problem with organic vegetables or dairy in the state, but we import our cereals, and this has been hit. There is no cash in ATMs either,” said Rai.

Operators of trucks that ferry goods from Siliguri to Sikkim called an indefinite bandh on June 30 to protest the alleged attack on Sikkim-bound trucks by anti-Gorkhaland protesters. Groups of youths protesting the “division of Bengal” allegedly vandalised two trucks in Dhupguri and New Jalpaiguri, and another in Siliguri carrying milk supply for the Indian Army, on June 30. Tanker associations have also stopped supplying fuel to Sikkim.

“Very soon, our medical supplies will run out. We are sandwiched between two agitations — for and against Gorkhaland. The West Bengal government needs to pay up,” said Rai.

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  1. R
    rajaraman
    Jul 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm
    Yes, particularly Mamta needs to be sued for this debacle as well as the bengal Govt.
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    1. R
      RAJIV subba
      Jul 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm
      Every people of Darjeeling wants Gor nd and the demand is very old 112 years many of people lose their life and bangalse cm Mamta
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      1. Raghav Sen
        Jul 8, 2017 at 5:28 pm
        Pawan chamling is a crook. So as the west Bengal bjp. Who told him to support gor nd. He is responsible for the fate of sikkim. Bimal gurung the murder /looter - you will be behind bars soon.
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        1. I
          Intothefuture
          Jul 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm
          If so many illegal immigrants from Nepal had not crossed over to Darjeeling and Sikkim over the years, our India didn't have to see this day. It is our ill luck that the very people India has fed with food and water,even the second and third generation immigrants have their heart sold out to Nepal and China are now demanding to break my country. This is unacceptable. Derjeeling is in the border. With Sikkim, these Nepalis will demand another country soon. Btw The King of Sikkim was Tibetan origin, not Nepali origin like the present Sikkim CM! His statement indirectly supporting China is proves his allegiance.
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          1. M
            mark
            Jul 9, 2017 at 1:12 am
            By your logic, Sikkim shld be returned to China (Sikkim paid tribute). Next, Sikkim was never part of "India", as you say yourself, and was founded 1641 on the basis of alliance of Bhotias, Lepchas and Limbus (That is, Kirantis). The Nepalese you mention are not "illegal migrants" there were brought by the British, many as soldiers (you have still a few in Indian Army, please get rid of them if you will) and since Nepal was then a strict Hindu country, they were not allowed to come back after being in country ruled by mlecchas. Fine fotr the British who needed labor for tea gardens. Last, Sikkim was semi-independent and was annexed to India in strange circumstances by Indira ... last of last, what about water, never flows up, Sikkim water feeds Bengal, not the other way around.
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          2. B
            binod rai
            Jul 8, 2017 at 12:02 pm
            Mamta banarjee and west bengal govt should be stop now by center before it is too late bring her to justic. she is not the queen victoria or Elisabeth of colonial era above the indian cons ution. She has been openly killing the people in Darjeeling by using the police and CRPF, and those who comes to support of Gor nd such as sikkim Mamta govt is using the police and hooligans cutting the supplies. had it been Bihar or UP, she would surely have closed her mouth, but she knows how to bully the minority. Darjeeling was not the part of WB but was of Nepal and Sikkim before independence sikkim an independent country until 1975. so if BJP govt keep on playing vote policies (their ambition to win the election in WB) then it is going to be too late and Darjeeling may become another Kashmir... why own country man killing each other it is hard to understand ..
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