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21 Jun 2017

GJM to withdraw from GTA; strike to continue

GJM to withdraw from GTA; strike to continueMP | Darjeeling, 20 June 2017: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) will unilaterally withdraw from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA); resolved an all party meeting in Darjeeling on Tuesday. The ongoing indefinite bandh will also continue.

As many as 14 political and apolitical parties were present in Tuesday's meeting. Later, talking to mediapersons, P Arjun, member of Gorkhaland Study Forum, the think tank of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) stated: "The meeting unanimously resolved that the GJM will unilaterally withdraw from the GTA as early as possible."

A core committee for Gorkhaland will be constituted to spearhead the Gorkhaland movement. "The committee will meet the President of India, Prime Minister and Union Home Minister in Delhi with the Gorkhaland demand. The movement will be pan-India," added Arjun.

The all party meeting resolved that no political or apolitical outfits from the Hills will attend the all party meeting called by the state government on the ongoing Hill crisis in Siliguri on June 22
Regarding the ongoing indefinite bandh called by the GJM since July 15, Prasad stated: "If the government wants peace to return and the bandh to be withdrawn, all repressive forces have to be withdrawn. Police atrocities need to stop immediately including random arrests. The government has to stop human rights violation. We will meet again on June 24 to chalk out our future course of action."

Meanwhile, Kiran Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India arrived in Sikkim on Monday. A GJM team is in Gangtok trying to meet Rijiju. Vehicles from Sikkim to the plains are plying with police escort to Siliguri through the National Highway 10, a large part of which falls in the GTA area.

Meanwhile, in Darjeeling, a vehicle of the Cultural and Information Department was vandalised on Tuesday.

Internet ban
The Bengal government reportedly plans to extend an Internet ban in the restive Darjeeling hills till June 26 in a move to halt rumours from spreading through social media.
But people alleged that the proposed step will violate their freedom of expression, a fundamental right.

The majority in Darjeeling speaks Nepali and they opposed the government's move. The language protest reignited the region's longstanding demand — a separate Gorkhaland state. Internet service providers were asked to suspend services till the midnight of June 20, a day after three GJM supporters were killed in police firing and policemen were wounded in clashes on June 18. Only phone voice calls remained active.

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