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GJM stir escalates in Darjeeling, Tamang removed from post

Gorkhaland supporters during a rally at Mirik in Darjeeling on Thursday   | Photo Credit: PTI

After an apparent calm for about a fortnight, protests erupted in Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills in north Bengal since Thursday night following an announcement to call off nearly 80 day strike in the hills.

The supporters of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha [GJM] and residents of Darjeeling took to the streets at night. Mnay of them were seen marching on roads or organising demonstrations in the town on Friday morning.

GJM assistant general secretary, Binoy Tamang, who was recently appointed as the Coordinator of GJM, was removed from the post of Coordinator, said Roshan Giri, party’s general secretary.

“We will be having a central committee meeting little later in the day where it will be decided through a resolution if Tamang and Anek Thapa [a senior leader] will be expelled from the party,” said Mr. Giri.

Mr. Tamang led a team of GJM to an all-hill party meeting with the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on August 29.

Following the meeting Mr. Tamang gave a call to postpone the ongoing strike to September 12, which has reportedly irked the party President Bimal Gurung.

 

GJM claimed that a section of their party leaders “have shaken hands with Bengal government and have worked to derail [the] movement” and thus the party chief Gurung issued strongly-worded statement claiming that as long as people wish to continue with the struggle for a Gorkha homeland GJM will not vacillate.

“They [section of the leaders led by Tamang] went to Nabanna [State Secretariat in Kolkata] and sat for a meeting with Mamata Banerjee without consulting me,” Mr. Gurung alleged.

Following the developments, it is likely that Mr. Tamang and his followers would be expelled from the party on Friday which may escalate tension in the hills.

The police have said that they are closely monitoring the situation and would “strongly” deal with any attempt to influence the law and order in the hills.

“So far the meetings and protests are peaceful and democratic and we have no reason to use force,” said DIG, Darjeeling Range, Humayun Kabir.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 6:58:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gjm-stir-escalates-in-darjeeling-tamang-removed-from-post/article19600433.ece

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