uni,Siliguri | Tuesday, Apr 10 2012 : Normal life was disrupted in Terai and Dooars in West Bengal's commercially-important northern districts of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling today in response to a 24-hour shut down by some 26 mass organisations, protesting the inclusion of Terai and Dooars in the GTA. SDPO Malbazar Arindam Sarkar today said barring a few stray incidents in some remote areas, the bandh had been so far peaceful.
Train services in neighbouring Coochbehar district and Assam were affected, Northeastern Railway officials said, adding trains had been rerouted via alternative lines, avoiding the Dooars and Terai corridors in view of the bandh. An intercity train, carrying passengers to Siliguri from Alipurduar, was returned after the adivashi supporters blocked the train at Dajkara station in the Dooars, Railway Police Force said. The bandh also hampered businesses in tea estates in the districts.
Sources said tensions flared up at Dhenguajhora tea garden when anti-bandh supporters tried to reopen the estate. Former Akhil Bharatiya Adivashi Vikahs Parishad leader John Barla, now a strong supporter of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Bimal Gurung, has been opposing the bandh, sponsored by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), led by powerful faction of ABVP in the Terai and Dooars. John Barla's faction has called for a 48-hour bandh on April 18 and 19. ABVP's joint convenor Tej Kumar Toppo claimed that there had been a huge support for the bandh as people preferred to remain indoor.
The ABVP reduced the bandh to 24-hour, from a two-day bandh proposed earlier, after West Bengal Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee appealed not to observe the bandh for two straight days. Though the Mamata Banerjee Government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) may have agreed to accept whatever report the high power committee headed by Justice Shyamal Sen would submit in June, the ABVP said it would not accept the inclusion of Dooars and Terai in the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA). Earlier, the ABVP has threatened to launch a sustained agitation from April one in Terai and Dooars, opposing the GJM's demand for inclusion of 396 mouzas of the plains in the GTA.
Mainly ethnic adivashis and Nepali community live in the Dooars and Terai, which is famous for timber, tourism and tea. Additional Superintendent of police, Alipurduar, Biswaroop Thakur said the bandh had been so far remained peaceful.
PTI, Jalpaiguri, April 10, 2012: Train services were affected and normal life hit in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts on Tuesday due to a 24-hour strike called by the Dooars-Terai Joint Action Committee.
A number of trains, including an inter-city express and the Sampark Kranti Express, were held up at different parts of Jalpaiguri, officials said.
Besides large parts of the Dooars-Terai region, the towns of Bagdogra and Darjeeling are also partially affected as a result of the strike.
Rail services however continue to function in the Alipurduar line.
The committee, a forum of 26 organisations including the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad, Intuc and KPP, called the strike to oppose the proposal of bringing Gorkha-dominated areas under the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).