Govt offices set to open in the Hills

After a prolonged agitation,violent clashes and three meetings with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha is now all out to create a congenial atmosphere in the region.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 16, 2009 2:26:55 am

After a prolonged agitation,violent clashes and three meetings with Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha is now all out to create a congenial atmosphere in the region.

For starters,government offices in the Hills are set to reopen on Monday after remaining shut for weeks and indications are that no date has been set to shut them down once again.

In the last year,the district

administration was allowed to function for a few days every month so that employees could collect their salary.

On Sunday,Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said that they would not be closing down the administration once again. “For now,the offices will remain open. We have also decided to go with the Bengal government’s request not to hold rallies in the Dooars for the time being.”

“We will observe the situation. Party president Bimal Gurung along with many leaders and supporters is still continuing to camp at Garubathan,” said Giri,who has returned to Darjeeling.

As for the 22 GJM supporters,who called off their fast-unto-death opposite Garubathan police station,were admitted to the North Bengal Medical College on Sunday for treatment.

The protestors had begun their strike on January 29. “Many of them are in a serious condition due to the long hunger strike,and have developed several complications. Some of them have been discharged after medical attention,” Giri said.

The Morcha,however,has expressed surprise over what it claims to be different assurances from the chief minister and chief secretary regarding the third round of tripartite talks involving the Centre,state government and the Morcha.

Two rounds have already been held since September over Morcha’s demand for a Gorkhaland. According to the Morcha,while Bhattacharjee had apparently assured them the third round of talks would be held soon,the chief secretary said that no talks will be held till the Lok Sabha polls are over.

In Darjeeling,the district administration is gearing up to return to work and the load is bound to be heavy due to the backlog and the approaching end of the financial year.

A senior official said the long shutdown had affected work. “Let’s see how long it will remain open. Things change here very quickly. Nevertheless,it seems we can get some work done.” The Morcha,however,has imposed a diktat that no taxes and other revenue will be collected by the district administration.

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