Morcha changes plan, gets ready for talks for Gorkhaland and Chattrey SSubba

Darjeeling, April 25: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has said it will hold rallies in Siliguri anytime between April 28 and 30, despite the Bengal government making it clear that no permission would be granted for such a programme.
The Morcha has, however, scrapped its earlier plan of a public meeting at Baghajatin Park in Siliguri on Sunday.
Today’s announcement comes a day after party president Bimal Gurung had said in Birpara that the Morcha would stick to its April 27 programme in Baghajatin Park. Observers said the change in stand has been done to keep an avenue for talks open with home secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti.
“We will be meeting the home secretary in Siliguri tomorrow. We will ask him for permission to hold a rally, which if denied, we will go ahead and hold anytime between Monday and Wednesday,” said Roshan Giri, the Morcha secretary, over the phone from Kalchini where Gurung held his last rally in the Dooars today.
On Wednesday, chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb had said Siliguri was too tense for a rally. Sources in the Writers’ Buildings said the home secretary, too, has made it clear that permission would not be granted.
In another development, all government offices that have been closed for almost 15 days in the Darjeeling hills will be allowed to remain open from April 28 to May 5. The relaxation has been granted keeping in mind “pending work, important in nature” and to allow government employees get their salaries, said Giri.
Government offices usually need a week’s time to prepare the salary statement of employees and get them sanctioned from higher authorities. Tourists planning a joy ride on the toy train could be lucky if they visit Darjeeling during this time.
In Kalchini, Gurung said all vehicles from the Hills, Siliguri and the Dooars should sport new number plates with “GL” (for Gorkhaland) on them from July 7 onwards.
“Vehicles from Darjeeling should have GL-A, while B, C, D and E will be used by those vehicles from Kalimpong, Kurseong, Siliguri and the Dooars respectively,” said Giri.
The announcement is one among the many Morcha projects, which are difficult to implement. Gurung had earlier said 10,001 people would march on foot from Darjeeling to Calcutta from May 7. After a rethink, the party is now mulling taking its rallyists by vehicles.
Residents in Darjeeling are sceptical about the Morcha’s plan to change the registration plates of vehicles, largely because no insurance can be claimed if ever there is a change of number. This is apart from the fact that the vehicle owners might be arrested because the number plates will be considered fakes. (The Telegraph)


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