“The failure of the Tripartite movement will be better for us” Bimal Gurung


DARJEELING: “After the 7th of November the Gorkhaland movement will be intensifed,” speaking to the people at Chowrasta, Darjeeling on the occasion of a cultural rally taken out by the people of Singla, Tukvar and Lebong Constituency, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha President, Bimal Gurung said. “There are plans of deploying Central Reserve Police Force and the Sashatra Seema Bal (Armed Border Police) in the Hills. We will not engage them in any sort. However, I warn the West Bengal Government not to test us further. I request the Women Front and all the people of the hills to remain strong. This is the ultimate struggle for Gorkhaland and we have made that clear to the West Bengal Government. I will show them what will happen if Gorkhaland is not given by 2010. I can do anything for the Gorkha people. If the West Bengal Government does not do what I told them to then West Bengal will be broken into pieces. The Secretaries of Government of Bhutan and Government of West Bengal have been meeting to discuss the status of Kalimpong and the Dooars. The lease amount that the Government of West Bengal has been paying to the Government of Bhutan annualy is now being negotiated to be raised to 1 Million Dollars from 15 Lakh Rupees that the Government was previously paying. Now the Government of West Bengal must think. It cannot hoodwink the people anymore.” [Inset: Bimal Gurung speaking to the people at Chowrasta, Darjeeling. Photo by Himalaya Darpan]

Speaking about the Tripartite Meeting to be held in November he said, “The failure of the Tripartite movement will be better for us. Things may not be that smooth from then onwards. There is a test match going on at New Delhi and Kolkata where I have engaged our intellectuals. However, when the knockout match starts I will personally go there. From today hence all the Government of West Bengal boards must be changed into Government of Gorkhaland. And similarly all boards where address as been mentioned as West Bengal should now have Gorkhaland. Even Banks must have Gorkhaland boards. Only Central Government Boards must not be touched. No laws of Government of West Bengal now prevails over Gorkhaland. We have been requesting the West Bengal Government by wearing Daura Suruwal and Choubandi Cholo. You have forcing us to take poison but you might be in trouble if we survive. There may be a multitude of people resigning from the Police and the Army. Darjeeling Hills and the Dooars is a ‘Chicken neck’ area and the Government must think carefully about it. Our boys are fighting at the borders laying their lives for the nation. We are devoted to the nation and are ready to shred every drop of our blood. But we want our right. Our struggle is with the Central and State Government. We have nothing to do with local organisations like Amra Bangali and Jana Chetna.”


2 held with GL plates in plains – Blockades to fight smear tactic


The Citu leader’s car parked at Pradhannagar police station on Wednesday after Morcha supporters in Sukna painted its number plates in black. Picture by Kundan Yolmo

Siliguri, Aug. 27: Pradhannagar police today seized two vehicles with GL number plates on the outskirts of Siliguri and arrested their drivers, while the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters’ tactics of smearing black paint on WB plates in the hills sparked road blockades in the plains.

The law enforcers spotted a Bolero and a Maruti van sporting GL (for Gorkhaland) plates (GL-02A-3963 and GL-02A-2121, respectively) at Dagapur close to Darjeeling More in the morning and seized the vehicles. The owners, Praveen Sunam of Darjeeling and Roshan Pradhan of Sukhiapokhri, were arrested.

“We have brought charges of driving suspiciously against them,” said Rahul Srivastava, the superintendent of police of Darjeeling.

The district police chief added that steps would be taken against vehicles displaying GL number plates in the plains. “However, no instruction has reached us about taking similar steps in the hills,” he said.

Around noon, there was more trouble when Kanai Bhattacharya, a district-level Citu leader and the president of the Siliguri Forest Produce Carrying Contractors’ Welfare Association, returned from Sukna on the foothills, 10km from Siliguri, in his Maruti car with its WB number plates smeared in black.

“I was on my way to Sukna when some Morcha supporters intercepted me,” Bhattacharya said. “They did not pay any attention to our requests and put black paint on the front and rear number plates, saying vehicles with WB registrations would not be allowed to enter the hills.”

The Morcha, which is spearheading the revival of the Gorkhaland movement in the hills, has made it mandatory for all private and government vehicles registered in the Darjeeling district to sport “GL” number plates.

Bhattacharya’s supporters blocked Hill Cart Road – which connects Darjeeling to Siliguri – close to the Pradhannagar police station. The blockade was lifted after 30 minutes when officers from the police station intervened. Srivastava, too, rushed to the spot to meet Bhattacharya and his supporters.

“There was a tension as the number plates of a vehicle had been painted black. A complaint has been received and we are looking into it,” the district police chief said.

Morcha supporters in Sukna continued to paint WB number plates black throughout the day.

“Today, we closed our office offering GL registration to car-owners who wanted it and assembled at the Mirik More, stopping vehicles carrying WB number plates and painting them in black in protest,” said Raj Singh, the vice-president of the Sukna branch of Gorkha Janmukti Yuva Morcha. “So far, we have painted the number plates of at least 70 vehicles, mostly coming from Siliguri.”

Singh added: “Now, if anybody wishes to obtain GL registration, they can get it only from the Morcha central committee.”

The Morcha action in Sukna prompted members of the Citu-affiliated Darjeeling District Taxi and Private Car Drivers’ Association in Siliguri to hold a protest march in the afternoon and submit a memorandum to the additional district magistrate.

“We want immediate administrative steps against the Morcha supporters for forcibly blackening number plates and charging money for the so-called GL registration,” said association secretary Ajay Chakraborty. “Unless there is a change in the situation, none of our members will take their vehicles to the hills as they feel insecure.”

The association has nearly 200 members and most of them use private cars to ferry passengers to and from the hills. Unlike taxis, their vehicles are not exempt from the Morcha diktat.

Later in the day, two more vehicles were spotted in Siliguri with their number plates smeared in black and Hill Cart Road was again blocked for 20 minutes around 5.30pm.


Map shows that Darjeeling- Siliguri were not  part of West Bengal

Map shows that Darjeeling- Siliguri were not part of West Bengal