Siliguri, 28 July – Following a 72-hour-bandh called in the Darjeeling Hills by the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) to press for the formation of a separate Gorkhaland along with Telangana, the Darjeeling district CPI-M said it was now up to the chief minister to tackle the situation.
“Our party had apprehended that such a situation might occur. There has been an alliance between the Trinamul Congress and the GJMM. Now the ball is in the court of the state government to handle the situation. We do not support the bandh,” said the former state urban development minister and senior CPI-M leader, Mr Asok Bhattacharya. Mr Bhattacharya said if Telangana was carved out then there was the possibility of trouble erupting in Maharastra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh apart from West Bengal. “Keeping the sentiments and logic in mind for the separate states, we do not support the views of separate states, it encourages the divisive forces, ” he added. On the other hand, the anti-Gorkhaland pressure group, Bangla O Bangla Bhasa Banchao Committee (BOBBBC) said the demands for Gorkhaland and Telangana were not parallel. “We feel the demand for Telangana is justified, since the demands have been raised by the sons of the soil and they are the citizens of India. On the other hand, there is doubt over the identities over the people who have been demanding Gorkhaland. It is doubtful whether they are Indian citizens. Under these circumstances, they have no right to demand for a separate state. The government should take stern steps against them for calling the bandh. We are formulating strategies to thwart the bandh,” said the BOBBBC president, Dr Mukunda Majumdar. The organisation has called a statewide bandh protesting against the GJMM reviving its demand to include 396 mouzas located across the Terai-Dooars under the Gorkhland Territorial Administration (GTA) and abrogation of the GTA agreement on 19 August. The north Bengal development minister, Mr Gautam Deb, has said the government is observing the situation. “We are closely observing the situation. We want the Hills and plains to be united. The government will take necessary action according to the situation,” Mr