FROM INDIAN EXPRESS
Gurung dismisses relevance of tripartite meeting, says ‘people losing patience, want immediate results’
“Our agitations will be peaceful. But if the law and order situation goes haywire in the Hills, the Centre will be responsible. If they can consider Telangana, why not Gorkhaland?” asked Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung on Sunday while hinting at the possibility of violence erupting in Darjeeling and surrounding areas if their demand for a separate state is not fulfilled.
Describing the four-day bandh in the Hills as their “last battle” to get a separate Gorkhaland, Gurung warned the Central government to consider the matter seriously.
Gurung said that everything will come to a standstill during the four-day strike from December 14 to December 17 in the Hills, including movement of government and police vehicles.
“The people of Darjeeling are losing patience and now they want results rather than meeting after meeting,” said the GJM chief.
Delivery of essential services like fire services, examinations, LPG gas, marriage, funeral, and media will be exempted from the bandh purview. Sources said that the superintendent of police and the district magistrate have requested GJM leaders to not stop their vehicles from plying in the area.
“We have considered their request. I have also asked all my activists to ensure that no tourist is harassed. We have already set up several assistance booths across the Hills to assist tourists. Those needing any help or wanting to lodge a complaint may consult our men in these centres,” Gurung said.
Dismissing the December 21 tripartite meeting on the Gorkhaland issue involving the GJM, West Bengal government and Centre, Gurung said, “The meeting has lost its relevance. There is no point in discussion. We want immediate results.”
Gurung expressed his displeasure at Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s recent statements against Gorkhaland.
“They are senior political leaders and have the right to speech. He (Pranab) is speaking politics and we are speaking about rights. I request Pranab babu to understand that it is in the Centre’s hand to maintain peace in the Hills. This land is ours and it does not belong to Mamata Banerjee,” said Gurung.
On Monday, 21 members each from the Janamukti Secondary Teachers’ Organisation, the Janamukti Primary Teachers’ Organisation and the Janamukti Karmchari Sangathan will launch an indefinite hunger strike in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Pintail village in Siliguri, Kalimpong, and Kalchini in the Dooars.
Students and ex-servicemen are expected to join the hunger strike. Also, from December 15 onwards, nearly 150 members of the Nari Morcha from Darjeeling-Dooars-Terai will be on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and in Kolkata.
The GJM has already placed its concerns before UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, BJP president Rajnath Singh and other Central leaders in Delhi.
The four-day bandh in Darjeeling is expected to hamper the Tourism industry in addition to landing a major blow on tea and wool businesses.