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15 Jun 2017

GJM set to intensify stir, CM meets Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi

Jayanta Gupta & Deep Gazmer | TNN | Jun 15, 2017, DARJEELING: After Tuesday's total shutdown, Darjeeling looked its old self on Wednesday, although minus tourists and the chugging of toy trains along Hill Cart Road. But there was no let-up to the battle of nerves between the state government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders, with escalation of steps by both sides that fuelled tension.
GJM on Wednesday announced its decision to intensify the ongoing stir if the police continue to hound Morcha supporters like they did in the last two days. During the day, not only did GJM president Bimal Gurung iterate his earlier stand that tourists should leave, but also suggested migrant labourers do the same. This could well result in a mass exodus from the Hills in the days to come.
"We are protesting peacefully, in a democratic manner, but the state government is using its machinery to commit atrocities in an effort to crush our movement. Our agitation could get prolonged and the situation can take a turn for the worse. We request tourists and daily-wage earners who have come from other parts to work in the Hills to understand the situation and leave," Gurung said, sending clear signals of what could be in store on Thursday when Hills people would access banks and ATMs, according to the GJM schedule.
Thursday may witness violence, with the GJM's youth wing, the Gorkha Janmukti Yuwa Morcha (GJYM), announcing a rally in the town against police lathicharge and the arrest of its members and a GTA sabhasad. "We want to protest and agitate peacefully and democratically. If the police do lathicharge on Thursday, we will call an indefinite bandh in the Hills. Our one-point agenda is Gorkhaland and we will not cower before any threat," GJYM president Prakash Gurung said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, called on Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at Raj Bhavan on Wednesday to brief him on the administrative steps taken to tackle the situation.
Banerjee has been in touch with the governor right from the beginning to keep the Centre posted about the state's initiative, at a time GJM leaders are trying to use their own channels to get in touch with the Union government.
Anticipating the GJM plan that may lead to resignation of GJM members from GTA, the CM packed the GTA with her trusted officials. IAS C Murugan is taking over as GTA secretary and IAS Deepap Priya P has been posted as executive director GTA to keep the organization running in case its CEO puts in his papers. The shuffle in the GTA came hours within the chief minister's meeting with the governor.
The administration is also aware of the situation and has brought in reinforcements to thwart any violence.
"There are orders to tolerate no kind of violence. More personnel have arrived. However, accommodating them is also turning out to be a problem," a senior officer said.
Meanwhile, fearing retribution and being labeled 'traitors to the cause', several Trinamool workers have started joining the GJM. On Wednesday, 84 families from Limbu Busty in Tukvar did so.
While Trinamool Hill president Rajen Mukhia alleged GJM was coercing party workers, the latter got a fillip with the Vidarbha Rajya Aghadi (VIRA) extending its support to the statehood demand. A letter from VIRA reached the GJM on Wednesday.
(Source & Courtesy: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/gjm-set-to-intensify-stir-cm-meets-guv/articleshow/59151341.cms)

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