FROM THE TELEGRAPH Jaigaon, Dec. 1: Leaders of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad today penned an agreement that aims at reducing tensions between the supporters of both the parties in the Terai and Dooars area of north Bengal. Morcha spokesperson and central committee member Harka Bahadur Chhetri and adviser to the Parishad Kiron Kalindi inked the deal at the Agrasan Bhavan in Madarihat today. “We have agreed to reduce tensions between our supporters in the region and it has been decided that leaders of both the sides should meet regularly in order review the situation. Rumours that are spread and baseless allegations that are levelled are to be dealt with speed and it should be ensured that things do not go out of hand. We are here to live in harmony and there should be no room for misunderstandings between us,” Chhetri said after the meeting. On several occasions the supporters of the two outfits had come to blows especially with a section of tea garden workers joining the Morcha bandwagon in recent times. The latest violence was on November 9, when alleged Parishad supporters attacked the house of the vice-president of the Morcha’s Jaigaon branch, Indra Bahadur Chhetri in Bharnobari tea estate for campaigning for the party-backed candidate for the Kalchini byelections. The houses of two other Morcha supporters, Bharat Chhetri and Asit Thapa in the same garden, were also ransacked. Raju Bara, a Parishad leader and seven others were arrested by the Hasimara police for the ransacks, sparking protests by the Adivasi body. Incidentally, the Morcha had tasted its first success in electoral politics in the plains and not the hills with the victory of the Independent it had backed in Kalchini, which is part of the Dooars. “I remember chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee challenging me to win an election when I raised the issue of the (inclusion of the) Dooars (in Gorkhaland) at one of our meetings in Calcutta. He had snubbed us on Dooars and I had staged a walkout. The vic-tory in Kalchini is a slap in Bhattacharjee’s face,” Morcha president Bimal Gurung had said on the day the results were announced. “We will now say there is a mandate for Gorkhaland even in the Dooars and this stand will figure prominently in the next round of talks,” he had added. However, neither Gorkhaland nor the inclusion of the Dooars and the Terai in the state was discussed at today’s meeting. Rajesh Lakra, the secretary of the Dooars-Terai committee’s of the Parishad, said on November 15, the Morcha’s organising secretary for the region Samuel Gurung had written to the Adivasi outfit, asking for a meeting. “We held a meeting at Banarhat on Sunday to decide on a response and it was decided that we would sit today and sort out matters. We thought we would talk about bringing tensions down and the development of the region for common good,” Lakra said. The state committee secretary of the Parishad, Birsa Tirkey, however, said the issue of the demand for Gorkhaland was unimportant. “Today’s meeting was for peace and progress, but the demand for a separate state or Gorkhaland cannot be accepted at any cost,” he said.
Posted on December 4, 2009 by jytmkh