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10 Aug 2017

Cooch Behar state demand march

Banshibadan Burman (second from left) at a press conference in Cooch Behar on
Wednesday. (Main Uddin Chisti)
TT, Cooch Behar, Aug. 9: The Greater Cooch Behar Peoples' Association today said it would hold a march and a demonstration here on August 28 for the separate state of Cooch Behar.
On August 28, 1949, the princely state of Cooch Behar merged with the Indian government through a treaty.
"As per the treaty signed between Cooch Behar kings and the Indian government, Cooch Behar was supposed to be a C category state. But eventually, it became a district. We oppose it and demand that Cooch Behar be given its due status," Banshibadan Burman, the general secretary of the GCPA, said at a news conference here today.
On August 28, Burman said, the GCPA supporters would meet at Gosanimari, a site known for historical relics, for a protest. Gosanimari is around 20km from here.
"Thousands of supporters will assemble at Gosanimari. From there, we will hold a 20km march till Sagardighi in Cooch Behar town and organise a demonstration. Also, our delegation will meet the district magistrate and submit a memorandum to him," the GCPA leader said.
The district magistrate, Koushik Saha, said he had already been informed about the programme.
The decision by the GCPA to revive its statehood movement at a time the Gorkhaland agitation is going on in the hills has left the administration and police worried.
"We have nothing to do with the agitation that is going on in Darjeeling hills. We feel it is important to raise our voice on August 28 and so, planned the movement. It will be completely peaceful and democratic," Burman said.
In September 2005, violence had sparked in different localities of Cooch Behar town during a demonstration held by the GCPA supporters.
Two GCPA supporters and three policemen had died in the violence.

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