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30 Jul 2017

Saffron ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha issues deadline to BJP led Union Government

Saffron ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha issues deadline to BJP led Union GovernmentAmitava Banerjee, one india, July 29, 2017: Saffron ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has issued a deadline to the BJP led Union Government to break their silence on the Gorkhaland issue by 6pm of August 8 or face a "Bhayanak" (fearsome) agitation from August 9.

Facing flak from other pro Gorkhaland forces over BJP's calculated silence on the Gorkhaland issues, the GJM has finally decided to pull up the BJP. 

"Despite 45 days of bandh; Gorkhaland supporters shot dead by security forces; many supporters injured; the food blockade by the State Government along with the internet ban the Centre has preferred to remain silent. This is not a good sign" stated Binay Tamang, Assistant General Secretary, GJM.

Backed by the GJM and riding piggyback on the Gorkhaland issue BJP heavy weights Jashwant Singh and SS Ahluwalia had won the Lok Sabha elections from Darjeeling in 2009 and 2014 respectively.

However there is a lot of resentment from different pro Gorkhaland camps regarding BJP's silence on the Gorkhaland issue and MP Ahluwalia's absence in Darjeeling during the ongoing crisis.

"If the Central Government fails to speak up on the Gorkhaland issue by 6pm on August 8, we will intensify our agitation from August 9. It is the final battle for Gorkhaland" stated Binay Tamang, Assistant Secretary, GJM.

GJM President Bimal Gurung held a meeting with the central committee, frontal organizations, GJM MLAs and Municipal Commissioners at Patleybash. Though the GJM is yet to announce the agitation programmes for an intensified agitation, Gurung asked all to follow instructions regarding the agitation programmes when issued.

On Sunday rallies will be brought out be the women's wing all over the Hills. "Mushtiddan" (collection of fistful of food grains and vegetables) will be carried out at Motor Stands in Darjeeling and Kurseong; Dambar Chowk at Kalimpong and Krishnanagar at Mirik on Sunday.

"The collected food grains will be handed over to the DMs of Darjeeling and Kalimpong along with the SDOs as a symbolic protest against the State Government's food blockade to the Hills from the plains added Tamang.

Meanwhile Sukna near Siliguri was a witness of multiple flashpoints with security forces and GJM supporters locking horns on Saturday over a Khukuri (traditional Gorkha sword) rally.

Gorkhaland supporters from Tindharia, Rongtong, Mahanadi, and Garidhura took out a rally at around 11am brandishing Khukuris. They were scheduled to march to Darjeeling More on the outskirts of Siliguri.

At around 11.45 am police checked the rally's advance at the Rongtong bridge near Sukna. The protestors forced through the police barricade. Police vehicles were vandalised along with stones and bottles were allegedly pelted on the security forces. 

Police officers including Assistant Commissioner of Police Pranab Sikdar and Sanjay Ghosh, Officer in charge, Pradhannagar police station were injured along with other police personnel. Police resorted to bursting of tear gas shells and firing rubber bullets.

30 year old Ajay Chettri, a GJM supporter from Garidhura received injuries allegedly from a tear gas shell burst. The injured police personnel along with Chettri were rushed to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital at Matigarah near Siliguri. Arrests were also made. 

At around 3:30pm the protestors made another attempt to march to Siliguri. As the situation turned volatile water cannons were used along with tear gas shells and rubber bullets fired to disperse the crowd.

Police claimed that petrol bombs were hurled at them by the protestors. As the Siliguri Metropolitan Police led by Commissioner Neeraj Kumar Singh faced jurisdiction problem, a large police contingent led by ADG Siddhinath Gupta and IG Jawed Shamim rushed to the spot from Darjeeling. 

However by evening the protestors had dispersed. A large police contingent led by police top brass has been deployed in that area.

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