The indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and regional groupings backed by it in the Terai and Dooars for Friday has been put on hold.

“The strike has been postponed for now for the sake of peace as well as to give the administration some more time to consider our demand to hold rallies in the Terai and Dooars region,” senior GJM leader Benoy Tamang said.

Intermittent violence in the Dooars had marked the first two days of the strike that began on Monday in protest against denial of permission to hold rallies. Earlier, the GJM has relaxed the protest for 48 hours.

The decision to put the strike in abeyance was taken on Thursday but not before GJM president Bimal Gurung and others addressed their supporters in certain areas of the region during the day.

The “street-corner” meetings were held in defiance of the stricture against holding of rallies. The district administration is wary of permitting rallies in the wake of heightening of tensions within the local multi-ethnic population over inclusion of parts of the Terai and Dooars under the jurisdiction of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

The GJM claims that it is within its rights to address rallies and has even threatened to reject the proposed GTA if denied permission to do so.

The local administration has asked the police to register a case as microphones were used without the permission when Mr. Gurung addressed a congregation at the Dalsinghpara tea estate in the Kalchini block of Jalpaiguri district despite a ban on rallies. “The meeting cannot be described as a rally. But the police have been asked to register a case though the offence is non-cognisable,” Smaraki Mahapatra, District Magistrate, Jalpaiguri, said. The Hindu