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25 Jul 2017

State admits failure in hills before HC

TT, Calcutta, July 24: The advocate general, Kishore Dutta, today admitted before the high court that the administration had failed to function properly in the Darjeeling hills as the agitating Gorkha Janmukti Morcha was not allowing government officials to perform their duties.
This is the first admission by the government that it is losing control over the hills where the ruling party was tiptoeing.
Dutta's admission came while he was opposing the anticipatory bail petition of Reverend Joy Haldar, the rector of St Paul's School in Darjeeling. The division bench of Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Debaprasad De rejected the bail plea.
The state authorities lodged a complaint against Haldar, accusing him of taking part in "anti-national activities by falsely instigating the hill people, particularly the Morcha cadres, by saying the state government was illegally introducing Bengali in the schools across Bengal".
The charges are related to a speech Haldar had delivered at Bhanu Bhavan in Darjeeling at the May-end.
Dutta today told the court: "The state administration has failed to function properly in the hills due to the violent movement by the followers of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The agitators are not allowing government officials to enter the hills and perform their duties."
The advocate general also claimed that the government had taken all possible steps to restore peace to the hills.
"Considering the grave situation in the hills, the court should not grant the anticipatory bail petition of Haldar because he is also instigating the agitators," said Dutta.

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