GJMM to answer for NH~31A block

Statesman News Service
DARJEELING, July 11: The GJMM has received an order from the counsel of the West Bengal Government to reply in affidavit on the issue of the National Highway 31A blockade during its recent bandh.
The order is a follow-up of a case filed at the Supreme Court by the Sikkim state government against the GJMM, Aamra Bangali, Jana Jagaran and Jana Chetna Mancha.
The Supreme Court holds these organisations responsible for the disruption of movement over NH 31A. 
Treating it as an opportunity to also plead the demand of a separate state of Gorkhaland at the nation’s apex court, the GJMM central committee leader Mr Amar Lama today said: “We respect the verdict of the Supreme Court and take this opportunity to explain the rationality of the demand before it. We expect our pleas to be heard and serious steps to be taken on the issues.”
The case is under interim observation by the Supreme Court, which has vested the West Bengal government to ensure free movement on the highway. “On earlier occasions verdicts against bandhs and demonstrations by the judiciary have been flouted.
But our demonstrations are not for trivial issues because we are demanding the right to self-determination,” Mr Lama said.
The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha today also condemned the move by Sikkim’s Mr OP Bhandari to stoke up the NH 31 blockade issue during the GJMM’s indefinite bandh to generate anti-Gorkhaland sentiments among the people of Sikkim. 
“Mr Bhandari is trying to create differences between Sikkim and Darjeeling under the pretext of the NH 31A closure during the bandh. 
The hidden agenda is to slow down the democratic movement for Gorkhaland by anti-Gorkhaland elements. We appeal to all parties, intellectuals and the general public not to pay heed to such activities,” said Mr Roshan Giri, party general-secretary.
Acknowledging that the bandh had disrupted passage of vehicles to and from Sikkim, the GJMM proposed that the permanent solution to avert future disruptions would be for the Centre and state government to concede to the demand of Gorkhaland.