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10 Aug 2017

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to rush a team to Delhi - One arrested in Darjeeling- vehicles torched

The vehicle carrying newspaper torched near Kurseong townAmitava Banerjee, One india, August 9, 2017, Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has decided to rush a team to Delhi in the next few days. The decision comes on the heels of the Union Government turning a deaf ear to the GJM 's repeated pleas for intervention in the ongoing Hill impasse.

A GJM central committee meeting resolved to send a team to Delhi and another to the North Eastern states.The Delhi team will comprise of the 3 GJM MLAs and other front rung leaders. Though the GJM did not divulge the Delhi itinerary, sources stated that in Delhi they will be meeting Minister and political heads.

"In the North East, the team will be meeting MPs and Chief Ministers of the 7 states over the Gorkhaland issue. Thereby a strong lobby for Gorkhaland will emerge" stated Binay Tamang, Assistant Secretary, GJM. The GJM has also shifted the date for intensifying the agitation from August 9 to after 15th August. 

From August 9 to 15, "Tiranga Yatra" will be organized by the Hills, Terai and Dooars with the slogan "Bengal Quit the Hills. " "These rallies will be brought out in the Hills, Terai, Dooars along with the National Highway 55 and NH10 connecting Siliguri with Gangtok, Sikkim" added Tamang. 

With incidents of arson continuing unchecked in the Hills, the GJM has decided to post picketers in all vulnerable areas to put a halt to such incidents. On Wednesday morning a vehicle returning after delivering newspapers was torched below Zero Point on the Rohini road in Kurseong. Azahar Ali, driver of the vehicle claimed that three of the newspaper vehicles were stopped by picketers questioning why the vehicles were plying during the bandh. Despite explaining that the vehicles carry newspaper to the Hills daily one of the picketers lobbed a petrol bomb in the vehicles. Local residents arrived and prevented the other two vehicles from being torched. Ali had a narrow escape. The drivers of the vehicles carrying newspapers from the plains to the Hills are reluctant to continue carrying papers after the incident.

In another incident a truck carrying food grains and other essential commodities to Sikkim from Siliguri was torched near Hanuman-jhora on the National Highway 10 to Sikkim by masked men. 

The GJM central committee meeting resolved that in order to make the ongoing bandh more effective and prevent miscreants from harassing people and committing crimes like arson, GJM picketers will be posted in all vulnerable areas, in Darjeeling Kurseong, Mongpu, Kalimpong and Mirik. " We have earmarked vulnerable areas in Darjeeling Kurseong, Mongpu, Kalimpong and Mirik and will post picketers. We have told the picketers to ensure that vehicles and the public are not harassed in any way" stated Binay Tamang, Assistant Secretary, GJM.

On Wednesday one Srijana Tamang was arrested in connection with the June 8 incident when GJM supporters had clashed with security forces in Darjeeling town leaving many from both the sides injured. Tamang has been charged under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Destruction of Public Property; Arms Act and West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Act. 

Police and the CRPF continued area domination and raids in the Singamari, Patleybash areas. Sources stated that the security forces raided the house of Bimal Gurung along with the GJM party office at Patleybash, 8 km from Darjeeling town which is a GJM stronghold. 

The indefinite bandh hit the 56th day mark on Wednesday. 

The fast unto death touched the 20 day mark. Though the hunger strikers objected from being shifted to the hospitals, intravenous fluids and oxygen were administered to the agitators whose conditions had deteriorated considerably.

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