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Updated: August 11, 2013 01:59 IST

Mamata sets deadline for GJM

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CRPF personnel patrol during the indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha in Darjeeling.
CRPF personnel patrol during the indefinite strike called by the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha in Darjeeling.

I will not let go of Darjeeling, she said

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday served a 72-hour ultimatum to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership for lifting the bandh in the Darjeeling hills, which entered its eighth day on Saturday. She also asked the Centre not to pursue a divide and rule policy or to interfere in the state’s business.

Addressing a press meet at the State Secretariat, she strongly condemned the bandh as well the separatist movement, which was revived by the GJM leaders following the Centre's decision to form Telegana out of Andhr Pradesh.

Sending out a strong message she said: “I will not let go of Darjeeling.. it is very close to my heart. People should also know that Darjeeling has a democratically elected government as its guardian to protect the interest of its people and the region”.

Citing a recent High Court order, she said she will now be “rough and tough.. Independence Day is approaching.. this ( the obstruction caused by the bandh) cannot go on.. schools will have to be reopened, offices will have to resume work development work has to go on,” she said.

Ms. Banerjee also said that the second in command in the Gorkha Territorial Administration would be asked to take charge in view of the resignation tendered by its chairman.

Without naming anyone, she said “I appeal to the leadership to restore peace and development, ” adding that the state government will fulfil its Constitutional obligations. “We will be forced to take strong action”.

PTI adds:

Narayan Pradhan, president of GJM Darjeeling Town Committee, was arrested early Saturday for cases of arson, attempt to murder and other criminal cases, police said. Acting on a tip-off, he was taken into custody early in the morning from a location in Darjeeling town, taking the total number of arrests to 149 in the hills, the police said.

Meanwhile, the bandh continues to paralyse life with shortage of food reported across the hills. All shops and other commercial establishments have been closed since the beginning of the indefinite bandh. Vehicular traffic on NH-31A, the lifeline of Sikkim, was also hit.

If you have to issue these type of ultimatum in the interest of unity of India,we should all welcome.But a big question which Mamta Banerjee must do.She should transparently declare how much funds she is investing in that troubled area as compare to other area of the state to prove that she is not behaving like step mother with that troubled area.People only comes for separate state demands if their area remains undeveloped.So it is testing time for CM to do more for that area so that people of that area feels flourishing.

from:  Shashi Kant Mittal
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 04:57 IST

While threats of strong action are being held out, the government should spell out what have they done for the people of Darjeeling since 1947, not to speak of 2011. The Gorkhas might be punished by the government but the legitimacy has to be based on solid development in the hills. That is missing. Why Kamtapuri movement is under way? Why tribals are unhappy with the Government? They too want to be free from the Government that can see only for Calcutta not beyond. This attitude and blindness is bound to aid and inflame spirit of separation. Don't blame the deprived and discriminated people.

from:  A. K. Biswas
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 18:20 IST

to my friends i here i wish share some knowledge that it's a movement of the people of that area which is not a separatist movement at all to Mother India......... its a demand to curve out our own state where Bengal has no legitimate right at all. Regarding the people of that area i would like to suggest some of my friends just go back to the history see to whom the land belonged. Miss Banerjee you should understand the gravitation of the movement. There is no denying fact that politics of Bengal has no impact in Darjeeling non of the state ruling party has ever had majority in Darjeeling.

from:  Tsiwan Mokhtan
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 15:16 IST

What Mamata Didi can do anything in the matter pertaining to the bifurcation ofAndhra Pradesh, it is the game and the will of Centre, let Mamata wait for her turn also along with Mr. Gogoi of Assam.

from:  A S Satyanarayana
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 14:57 IST

mr ryan i totally disagree with you, peoples are filled with frustrations regarding carving out of another state in Andhra Pradesh . Since India is a sovereign and a socialist country and each citizen has a right to acclaim his / her rights .

from:  Sameer Deb
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 12:36 IST

the most fundamental necessity of mass agitation is 'the mass'. How come these leaders garner mass support without any legitimate demands. I feel the approach of the state is not acceptable is such cases. In the era of massive information dissemination keeping an area immune to A class development is crime. Gov. should come up with local area based development strategy and dry down the support for violent and hatred fill movements

from:  Ryan
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 12:05 IST

darjeeling belongs to bhutias and lepchas the original people of the hills , and not gorkhas , there were not even there before 1900 , they were brought by britishes to work in tea plantations

from:  united india
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 11:03 IST

Well done Ms Mamata. You must show the way how to deal with this separatist movements to other leaders especially, Andhra leaders.

from:  vvrao
Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 at 10:40 IST
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