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18 Jul 2017

Home siege warning to DM workers

Gorkhaland supporters demonstrate outside the district magistrate’s office in Darjeeling. (Passang Yolmo)
TT, Calcutta, July 17: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has threatened to demonstrate outside the houses of the employees of the Darjeeling district magistrate's office if they do not stop attending work in two or three days.
Observers said the Morcha's threat was aimed at creating a "fear psychosis" among the government employees who have attended office through the strike, which entered its 33rd day today.
The employees of the DM office said they were in a fix, given that the state government has threatened a cut in salary and break in service for those not attending office.
Despite the Morcha's repeated efforts to prove that the agitation it had been spearheading had widespread support even among government employees, the officials have continued to attend work through the unrest - be it for the pay cut threat or otherwise.
In the hills, government schools have remained closed because of the lack of students. But the DM office and the headquarters of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration at Lal Kothi have been open.
"The employees fear about their salaries and that they might be transferred. The school teachers here have not received their salaries so far and there is no guarantee that they won't be punished. Then, why are the DM office employees attending work?" asked Tilak Chand Roka, a central committee member of the Morcha.
"We will put up posters at Chowk Bazaar tomorrow and give the employees two to three days' time to stop attending work. If they continue to attend office, we will gherao their houses every day," Roka added.
Thousands of Gorkhaland supporters marched to the office of Darjeeling district magistrate Joyoshi Dasgupta today.
"During the demonstration, the police told us to meet the DM and submit a memorandum. We went to her office but she refused to meet us. She said she would receive the memorandum at the gate where we were holding the demonstration," Roka said.
"Why should we submit our memorandum on the road when she has a proper office? This is arrogance on her part, and so, we refused to submit the memorandum today," the Morcha leader added.
The Morcha today also threatened to demonstrate outside the GTA office in Lal Kothi.
"All government offices in the hills are closed except the DM's office and Lal Kothi. After a few days, we will also gherao Lal Kotchi," Roka said.
Many government offices in the hills have come under attack by Gorkhaland supporters. Work had to be stopped in these offices after documents and furniture were burnt in arson attacks.

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