GJM announces one-month sabbatical from strike, bandh

Kolkata, July 5 Period between July 7 and Aug 7 to be utilised for groundwork for tripartite talks
The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has decided not to impose bandhs and strikes in Darjeeling from July 7 to August 7. During this period, efforts will be intensified to prepare the ground for a tripartite meeting with the state and Central governments over the demand for a separate Gorkhaland. The decision was taken at a central committee meeting of the GJM on Saturday.

GJM spokesman Roshan Giri said the Nepali community in Darjeeling holds prayer meetings in July and August. And in view of this, the central committee had unanimously decided not to organise any bandhs and strikes during the one-month period.

The GJM’s boycott of government offices, however, will continue. Timber movement from forests will also not be allowed. There will be no work done at the DGHC office, too. Post offices, banks and Food Corporation of India godowns will be exempted from the boycott on Mondays and Fridays.

Giri claimed that GJM’s programme of introducing GL (Gorkahaland) number plates for vehicles will be implemented from July 7. In the first phase, only GJM’s central committee members will change the number plates of their vehicles. In the next phase, government vehicles will be asked to do the same and finally, the public will be asked to shift to GL number plates. When told that the district administration had threatened action if car registration numbers were tampered with, the Morcha leader said: “The state government and its administration are free to take any action.” (Expressindia)

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One Response

  1. The recent action of the GJM of asking all visitors to leave the hills is most condemnable and needs to be rejected by the hill people. This highly irresponsible apart from making us vulnerable in the plains has dealt a serious blow to the tourism industry, which is the backbone of the economy of the hills.

    The most important point to be noted is that we have serious reservations to the name ‘gorhaland’ for the seperate state. The people of the hills are not only gorhkas but include the indegenious tribes of lepchas, bhutias, etc. The indegenious tribes of lepchas, bhutias, etc., are basically buddhists and some are christians and are simple peace loving people not believing in violence. A case in point is the non-violent struggle which is being carried out by the lepchas for the sacred ‘ djongu’ which would be submerged in the upcoming power project.

    The present agitation is led by the gorkhas who follow the Hindu relogion. The gorkhas actually are outsiders and migrants from nepal who have come and settled in the hills here and have upstaged the indegenious local tribes. But being numerically strong these gorkhas try to dominate the local tribes. A large population of the hills including the indegenious tribes as well as considerable section of the gorkha do not support the leaderships of the GJM or the GNLF. But they do not speak out for fear of reprisals and violence by the militant cadres of the GNLF and the GJM.

    The people of the hills need sober, educated and wise leadership to press for our demand for statehood. We do not want to taken for a ride by people who are blinded by personal interests and have with no vision and positive agenda for the economic development of the hill people. It has nothing got to do with the interests of the people of the hills.

    There is need for the educated and selfless leaders to take up the issue of seperate statehood for the hills and not let it be hijacked by power hungry politicians to further their self interests. The agitation needs to conducted in a proper manner and should not be turned into a hill versus plains issue. Tourism industry is a major backbone of the hill economy and the present action of GJM would only hurt the fragile economics of the hills and increase the hardships of the common people.

    The seperate state should be called DARJEELING, which would convey a broader identity to the people of the hills and not Gorkhaland, which stands for just one section of the population.

    V.Lepcha.

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