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Updated: August 11, 2013 18:24 IST

Talks only with Central government: GJM

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GJM supporters hold a rally during the bandh demanding for Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on Saturday.
GJM supporters hold a rally during the bandh demanding for Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on Saturday.

Even as life remained paralysed in the Darjeeling hills on the ninth day of the indefinite strike on Sunday, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ruled out talks with the West Bengal government, saying it would hold deliberations only with the Centre over the statehood demand.

“We will talk only to the Central government regarding our legitimate demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland. The West Bengal government has no bussiness in this matter,” the GJM president Bimal Gurung told reporters.

Mr. Gurung also rubbished allegations that a secret pact had been made between the GJM and the Central government on granting a Union Territory status to the hills.

“These are all baseless speculations. We don’t want any Union Terriotory status. We want Gorkhaland. Our delegation is already in touch with the Central government regarding the demand,” he said.

Mr. Gurung announced a one-day relaxation of the shutdown on August 15 on the ocassion of the Independence Day.

He took a dig at Mamata Banerjee’s 72-hour deadline to call off the strike, saying, “She has given a deadline of 72 hours. But after that period the people of the hills will sit back in their homes as part of a Janata curfew for an indefinite period.”

Kalimpong GJM core committee member Shekhar Sharma, who was absconding, was arrested last night in connection with some old cases following a tip-off.

In addition to this, four GJM youth leaders were detained and subsequently arrested today by the the police and CRPF from Kurseong to take the total number of arrests to 172.

The four -- Sumit Deep, Suman Lama, Abhishek Gurung, Lawang Gurung -- were arrested from Guridhura after they were alleged to have set fire to government property, picketed on highways and threatened people, the police said.

On the ninth day of the strike, many poor people ran out of their stock of provisions and were seen trudging long distances to reach Darjeeling to buy a fresh supply.

The GJM activists put up small tents in Darjeeling from where it was distributing small rations to BPL people as shops and other commercial establishments were closed since August 3 when the indefinite shutdown kicked in.

Vehicular traffic on NH-31A, the lifeline of Sikkim, was also nil, the sources said.

The GJM leaders and supporters gathered at the main areas in Darjeeling town and shouted slogans in support of Gorkhaland and against the government’s deadline.

Meanwhile, cable TV operators have resumed services after being ordered to stop yesterday.

Can somebody elaborate me the economic and social rationale of the
demand for this new hill state, where partial autonomy failed? Being
under the sixth schedule, Darjeeling and nearby hills are already
receiving several crores of rupees for running the affairs of the hill
district. But after so many decades, economy, infrastructure,
education, employment, standard of living…. nothing improved here.
People of the region have to wait for central and state funds to make
both ends meet, and forever bank on reservations to make their
presence felt. If the centre cuts down on funds after declaring it a
state, Gorkhaland is poised to be a stillborn child!! Alas, even the
most educated people of the region also appear to be ill-informed or
party to the vested interest group.

from:  Ramrahim
Posted on: Aug 12, 2013 at 03:46 IST

The "Brave-heart" GJM leader Bimal Gurung's strategy is clever, put the women and children in the front, use them as human shields. These people are not sons of the soil, they were brought by the British from Nepal to work in the tea plantations. Slowly they overwhelmed the local population. Tomorrow the illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators, who are already in majority in the bordering districts of Bengal (yes the Indian Hindus have been reduced to minority), will start an agitation for their own state!!

from:  Mittal
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 22:14 IST

Why won't the state government take actions. Calling a band is unlawful at the same time blocking the highways in India. The Constitution of our country is above all citizens and we should abide by it for the purpose of peace and democracy.

from:  Tbrz
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 21:07 IST

“She has given a deadline of 72 hours. But after that period the people
of the hills will sit back in their homes as part of a Janata curfew for
an indefinite period.”-----What will be achieved by this ?Why state
government should be anxious for the people to come out of their houses?
Will it not be the people themselves be troubled ?

from:  vkguptan
Posted on: Aug 11, 2013 at 19:00 IST
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