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4 Jul 2017

Kids in rally again, Gurung summoned on 11... Classes on road from 5-8 July

Children walk in the Morcha rally in Darjeeling on Monday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
TT, Calcutta, July 3: Hundreds of children today walked in a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha rally demanding the creation of Gorkhaland state, prompting the child rights commission to issue summons to party chief Bimal Gurung within hours.
The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights had last week issued a notice to Gurung asking why no action was taken against party leaders who had earlier brought out a similar rally involving children. Today, the rights panel directed the Morcha chief to appear before it on July 11.
Lawyers in Calcutta said the commission could recommend legal proceedings against Gurung if he failed to appear before it.
"According to provisions under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, if any order of the commission is not obeyed by the accused, it has every right to recommend to the government or the court legal proceedings against the accused," said Abir Neogi, a lawyer associated with Calcutta High Court.
An official said: "A notice had already been served on the Morcha chairperson on June 29. Till now, we are yet to get any reply from him. Today also, the party brought out a rally with children. The commission has asked him to appear before a bench in Calcutta on July 11."
Sources said the bench would comprise the panel's chairperson Ananya Chakraborti Chatterjee and two other members.
Back in 2011, the high court had suggested that children be kept out of political rallies. Acting on the suggestion, the state education department had in November 2011 issued a notification against such rallies.
The Morcha rally was today led by party general secretary Roshan Giri.
"This rally was for Gorkhaland and even children joined us. We are not secure in Bengal, everyone wants Gorkhaland here. The Centre must start a dialogue on statehood as Gorkhaland is an aspiration of the hill people and a constitutional demand," Giri said today.
The hill party, desperate to infuse life into the indefinite agitation at a time signs of fatigue are already showing in, announced two programmes involving students between July 5 and 9.
"Between July 5 and 8, we will hold classes on the road on the issue of statehood. College lecturers will hold talks on Gorkhaland and all students are welcome to attend these classes," said Vashkar Rai, vice-president of the Vidyarthi Morcha.
On July 9, the students' wing of the hill party has decided to hold a discussion on Gorkhaland
The Yuva Morcha has also decided to hold indefinite hunger strikes.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AVIJIT SINHA IN SILIGURI
( Source & Courtesy: https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170704/jsp/bengal/story_160026.jsp )

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