Gorkhaland cloud on tourist season

The Times Of India

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DARJEELING: Planning a getaway in Bengal’s Queen of the Hills in the post-monsoon holiday season? You might not be in for a dream trip, if the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has its way.

Party chief Bimal Gurung announced on Monday that the statehood agitation would continue even after the 72-hour bandh in the Hills ends on Wednesday.

“Our agitation will not stop now. After 72 hours, we will announce a slew of programmes,” Gurung told the media in Darjeeling. “The party heads will hold a meeting on August 1 to chalk out and announce the next phase of agitation.”

Gurung minced no words in castigating chief minister Mamata Banerjee. “She (Banerjee) plays with blood and can do anything, including ordering a firing on our supporters, to quash our peaceful agitation,” he said, adding he wouldn’t be bothered by the CM’s “doggedness”.

“We have taken a big risk to launch this agitation. Anything can happen to us and we can be killed. But we will not give up now. We will continue with our democratic agitation,” he said. Adding that he would teach the state government “a lesson” sometime.

The GJM chief expressed dismay at the failure of the Gorkahaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and blamed the state government for creating obstacles in its functioning. He alleged that neither the agreement nor the act had been followed by the state government. He said he would resign from the post of GTA chief executive and take to the streets to lend a voice to the statehood demand once he is through with some “unfinished work”.

He even called on the opposition parties to join the agitation. “I have always welcomed the opposition parties to struggle together for a separate state. But they have stayed aloof and chosen to criticize our movement sitting in the comfort of their offices.

Now, the opposition must come out in the open with their flags to demand a separate state of Gorkhaland and shed blood and sweat,” he said.

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