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4 Jul 2017

Left holds procession demanding restoration of peace in the hills

TT, Siliguri, July 3: The Darjeeling district Left Front today organised a march here demanding restoration of peace in the hills and initiation of talks to end the current impasse.
Sujan Chakraborty, Md. Salim, Asok Bhattacharya and Jibesh Sarkar of the CPM walked in the march, along with leaders of other Left Front allies and around 3,000 supporters.
The Left has taken out the march after two apolitical processions were organised by the Siliguri residents on June 25 and 30 against the division of Bengal. The previous marches had larger participation compared to the one today.
Sujan Chakraborty, the Left Front leader in the Assembly, alleged that chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the state government were responsible for the present state of affairs in the hills.
"When the GTA accord was signed, the state allowed the phrase 'keeping on record the demand of the GJM for a separate State of Gorkhaland' to be included in it. The state should not have done this," Chakraborty said.
"We have never supported the demand of separate state. The present situation in the hills can be resolved only through a dialogue and the state and Centre should initiate it," he added.
Md. Salim, the MP of Raiganj, echoed Chakraborty.
"Whatever is mentioned in the GTA agreement was not followed by the state. The state has contradictory stances on the agitation. Any attempt to politicise the issue with an intention will always make things worse," Salim said.
The march started from Baghajatin Park and moved through Kutcheri Road and Hill Cart Road. It reached Airview More and ended at Lalmohan Moulik Ghat on the left bank of the Mahananda river.
Jibesh Sarkar, the convener of the Darjeeling district LF, appealed to the supporters to abstain from any provocative slogan and not to cross the Mahananda bridge.
"We do not support the incidents of arson, ransack and attacks on police in the hills. But at the same time, we also condemn the police firing and violent incidents in the plains in the past few days," Asok Bhattacharya, the MLA and the mayor of Siliguri, said.
Deb attacks Morcha
Sate tourism minister and Trinamul leader Gautam Deb said in Siliguri on Monday that Morcha leaders had lost support in the hills.
"Now they are provoking people to indulge in violence. More than 150 workers and supporters of our party from the hills are presently staying in the hills. They have been forced to leave their homes, which have been ransacked or torched," he said.

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