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9 Aug 2017

Trinamul to stall bid at breach of peace

Uday Fago, the Nepal citizen arrested for the
Sukna violence, outside a court in Siliguri on
Tuesday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
TT, Siliguri, Aug. 8: Trinamul today warned that from tomorrow, the party would thwart any attempt to disturb peace in the plains, as the deadline set by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for the Centre to initiate talks on the statehood demand ended this evening.
The ruling party has also announced marches in the Dooars and the Terai from tomorrow, close on the heels of the Morcha's appeal to the adivasis to join the Gorkhaland movement.
"We are making it clear that if anybody (Morcha leaders) tries to disturb peace and amity in the plains, we will not tolerate it. We have spoken to the administration and police who will do their work to prevent breach of peace. On the other side, from tomorrow, Trinamul supporters will work in a full-fledged manner to combat such attempts politically," Gautam Deb, the Bengal tourism minister and the president of Trinamul's Darjeeling (plains) district committee, said today.
The aggressive stance taken by Trinamul today is in contrast to its silence when the Morcha engaged in a pitched battle with the police at Sukna and Jaigaon.
As the Centre has ignored the Morcha's deadline that ended at 6pm today, there are apprehensions that the hill party will try to create tension in the plains and at strategic locations like Siliguri and Jaigaon. The apprehension has forced the administration to issue prohibitory orders at several places surrounding Siliguri.
Trinamul had already announced month-long marches, public meetings and street corner sessions in Siliguri and the surroundings from tomorrow to protest the Gorkhaland agitation.
Besides, the party today said it would take out processions across the Terai and the Dooars from tomorrow to stop attempts to vitiate peace in the plains.
"I will join the rallies to be held in different areas of the Dooars to convey the message of unity and to protest any attempt to create tension in the plains," Sourav Chakraborty, the MLA of Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri district Trinamul president, said.
Deb said he would convene a meeting to discuss the consequences of the ongoing Gorkhaland strike.
"We are concerned over the inconveniences faced by the hill people because of the indefinite strike called by Morcha. It has already affected trade and commerce and tourism and tea industries. As Durga Puja and Diwali seasons are nearing, I will hold a meeting with the administration and stakeholders of different industries later this month," he said.
The minister held a meeting with Niraj Kumar Singh, the commissioner of Siliguri Metropolitan Police, at PWD inspection bungalow here this morning to take stock of the situation in town and the neighbourhood.
"I have spoken to police officers as I am closely monitoring the situation in the hills and plains. The administration has taken all necessary arrangements to maintain peace in the region," he said.
Singh said 13 Morcha supporters, including a resident of Nepal, had been arrested so far for allegedly organising attacks on the police and for ransacking police vehicle sat Sukna last month.
Nitin Chhetri and Uday Fago, the duo arrested yesterday in connection with the Sukna violence, were produced in the additional chief judicial magistrate's court here today. The court remanded the duo in 12 days' police custody.
Fago is the first Nepal national to be arrested since the resumption of the statehood movement.
Today, another Morcha leader from Sukna, Bishal Chhetri, was arrested.

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