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10 Jun 2017

GJM calls for indefinite strike in offices and banks to demand separate state for Gorkhas

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters during a protest in Darjeeling on Thursday. Photo: PTIArkamoy Dutta Majumdar,  LIVE MINT, Jun 10 2017, Kolkata: Darjeeling was plunged into a fresh crisis with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) calling for an indefinite strike from Monday. Capping hours of deliberation on Saturday, the GJM announced that all government offices and banks will be shut from Monday.
Schools, colleges, transport services, shops and hotels have been exempted from the strike. Bank branches will be allowed to offer services on Mondays and Thursdays, said GJM spokesperson Roshan Giri. The GJM also announced that it will not allow any outdoor signage to be written in Bengali in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts—only Nepali and English will be allowed.
Leaders said GJM was now launching a decisive movement for creating a separate state for the Nepali-speaking Gorkhas, but at the same time it is mindful of not disrupting the lives of common people. The target, they said, is to paralyze the functioning of the state machinery. Even the offices of the Gorkha territorial administration (GTA) will remain closed, Giri said.
The GJM has written to the centre and has called an all-party meeting on 13 June to explain why the party is now seeking the separation of Gorkhaland from West Bengal. Party leaders will seek an audience with the prime minister soon to press for its demands. The GJM will run a signature campaign to establish popular support for its demand for a separate state.
Meanwhile, intensifying its pressure on the GJM, the state on Saturday sent six more officials to conduct an audit of the GTA, the semi-autonomous administrative body for the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts. The review of its accounts from 2012, the year it was founded, was started with six officials on Friday, amid allegations of rampant corruption.
Also, the state administration on Saturday removed Amit Javalgi as the superintendent of police of the Darjeeling district, replacing him with an officer from the Kolkata police, Akhilesh Chaturvedi.
Even amid disruption, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that the election process to the GTA will be concluded by 2 August. On Friday, she had said the state had exercised restraint but “there is a limit to everything”, referring to clashes between GJM supporters and the police on Thursday.

KalimNews: Bhanu Rai, IC of Kalimpong and Dipankar Som IC of Kurseong are also transferred to Murshidabad and Siliguri respectively. Tirtha Sarathi Nath IC of Dinhatta is replacing Rai in Kalimpong while Parijat Sarkar IC of Siliguri is replacing Som in Kurseong.

ABN Breaking News

Highlights of the announcement of the GJMM meeting held today are:
*Bimal Gurung challenges State Government to Arrest Him
*GJMM Accuses Mamta Banerjee of Despotism
* All central and state government offices and banks will remain closed.
* Banks will open on every Monday and Thursday
* Educational Institutions, courts, hospital, transport, shops are kept out from the purview of the strike.
* There will be torch rally on every Monday
* Public rally on every Thursday and Friday for Gorkhaland
* All signboards, hoardings, banners and posters in English and Nepali will be used.
* All party meeting will be held on 13 June

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