GJMM for taxes boycott in the Hills

SILIGURI, April 29: In what would only add to the state government’s trouble on the Darjeeling Hill issue, the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha has called for non-payment of all sorts of central and state taxes including the BSNL telephone and electricity bills across the Hills from 1 May.The GJMM’s call to boycott taxes comes as a mark of protest to the state government’s persistent de-nial in allowing the GJMM to hold a public rally in Sil-iguri in favour of its Go-rkhaland demand. The Hill party has also called for an indefinite hunger strike on the same issue from 1 May, which is to be simultaneously carried out in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Siliguri and the Dooars. Announcing the boycott in a Press conference at the DGHC resort ‘Pintail Village’ in Siliguri this afternoon, the GJMM president Mr Bimal Gur-ung said, the tax and bill boycott program would continue unless and until the state government granted the GJMM permission for a rally in Siliguri. Adding further on the issue, the Darjeeling Hill’s new strongman said, in ca-se of telephone bills, the b-oycott would be applicable only to the BSNL landpho-ne, while the state-run telecom giant’s mobile services would be spared. Reacting to a query as what would happen if the power-supplying agency disconnected the lines due to non-payment of the bills, Mr Gurung said: “In that case, we would cut off the main supply lines that carry power to the plains from the various power plants located in the Hills.” Alleging that it was the state urban development minister and the Siliguri MLA, Mr Asok Bhatt-ach-arya who was actually instrumental in not allowing a GJMM rally in Siliguri, the GJMM president cautioned that if the state government does not budge from its stand, the people of the Hills would come out on the streets and thus a grave law and order situation would be created. Mr Gurung also deman-ded that the state urban development minister sh-ould seek a public apo-lo-gy for allegedly referring the Hill people as ‘foreigners’.“Instead of making indirect comment that he has not termed the Hill people ‘foreigners’, let Mr Bhattacharya seek a public apology for the remark and once he does that, he would be free to move anywhere in the Hills and carry out public meetings,” Mr Gurung said. Referring to the proposed indefinite strike slated for 1 May, the GJMM president today said, in case of Siliguri, the fasting venue would be the Siliguri SDO office campus. Earlier, the party was planning to organise the Siliguri leg of the hunger strike near Darjeeling More in the town.

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