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10 Aug 2017

Morcha on Delhi mission - 'High-level' team to push for statehood

A vehicle carrying newspapers that was set ablaze in Kurseong by bandh supporters
on Wednesday. The rented home of the Mirik block development officer was stoned.
The Morcha blamed goons
TT, Calcutta, Aug. 9: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today decided to send "a high-level" team to Delhi to press for its demand for a separate state in a clear indication that the party was desperate to coax the Centre into intervening to end the impasse in the hills.
The hill party had earlier warned that it would intensify the movement if the Centre didn't initiate talks on Gorkhaland by 6 pm yesterday.
But not only has the Morcha stayed away from any serious violence in the past 24 hours, it has also responded to the Prime Minister's call to mark 75 years of the Quit India Movement - the moves indicating that the party is unwilling to annoy Delhi.
A written statement issued by Binay Tamang, the assistant general secretary of the Morcha, today said that the party's core committee had taken the decision yesterday to send the team to Delhi.
Sources said the team would include Morcha MLAs, among others.
"The team will also meet MPs from the northeastern states and the chief ministers to seek support for the statehood agitation," Tamang said.
A senior Bengal government official said the decision to send a team to the capital was a "mild move" against the backdrop of the Morcha threatening to intensify the agitation in the absence of a response from the Centre by 6pm yesterday.
Morcha leaders said that over the next few days, party cadres and supporters would remain busy in organising Tiranga Yatras that have been announced by the Prime Minister. The party leadership said the yatras would be organised along NH10, NH30 and NH55.
The Morcha has also said it will organise "mega rallies" across the hills but haven't announced dates yet, indicating an element of dilemma.
"We are still awaiting Delhi's response. There is no point announcing anything before hearing from the Centre," said a Morcha source.
Morcha leaders today called upon its supporters not to "misbehave" with people in vehicles that have been allowed to ply during the strike period and specified places of picketing to ensure no "untoward incident" takes place.
"A lot of unwanted incidents are taking place and the blame is being put on the Morcha. These specific picketing points have been listed to ensure no untoward incidents take place," said Tamang.

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