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18 Jun 2017

12-hour Morcha strike in Dooars

TT, June 17: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has called a 12-hour strike in the Dooars tomorrow and the Trinamul Congress in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts has said it will oppose it.
"We will observe a 12-hour strike across the Dooars tomorrow to protest the police firing that killed three of our supporters. Only emergency services will be kept out of the strike's purview," said Kismat Pradhan, the publicity secretary of the Morcha's Dooars committee.
Although there has been violence in the hills for the past two weeks, the Morcha has shown restraint in the plains, restricting itself to holding rallies and submitting memoranda to police.
The Dooars is spread over the tea estates and forest areas of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts. In more than half of the Dooars gardens, labourers work on Sundays.
"We will be on the streets to oppose the strike," said Birsa Tirkey, the state president of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad.
Trinamul leaders said they would stop the Morcha from "forcing the strike on people".
Congress and Left leaders too have opposed the strike.
The BJP, the Morcha's ally, treaded with caution.
"If they have called the strike to demand statehood, we will not support them. However, if the strike has been called over the issue of violation of democratic rights in the state, we will support them," said Dipen Pramanik, the Jalpaiguri BJP president.

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