Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has called for a series of agitations from Monday in support of its demand of inclusion of parts of the Dooars and Terai in north Bengal in the jurisdiction of its proposed interim set-up for Darjeeling district and its contiguous areas. A 48-hour bandh will be observed in the Darjeeling hills from May 15.

“All government offices and those of the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) will remain closed and government vehicles, except those of the Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate, will not ply from Monday,” GJM assistant general secretary Benoy Tamang told The Hindu over telephone.

The move is being construed as a way to put pressure on both the Centre and the West Bengal government to accede to the GJM demand.

Tripartite talks

It comes as a time when preparations are on for tripartite talks with the GJM leadership at a bureaucratic level on Tuesday to discuss the future of the proposed interim administrative set-up.

There is, however, the possibility of the bandh call being withdrawn if the outcome of the bureaucratic level talks is regarded as positive by the GJM leadership, informed sources said.

While West Bengal has made it clear that it will not agree to including areas beyond the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong in the jurisdiction of any administrative set-up with greater powers that might replace the DGHC, indications are that the Home Ministry is more or less one with it on the matter.

Another reason for the GJM to go on the agitation mode at such a time is the banding together of various regional parties that are critical of it for having “betrayed” the cause of a separate State of “Gorkhaland” by proposing an interim set-up for the region.