Darjeeling, 30 July
Acting on his threat, the GTA chief executive, Bimal Gurung today announced that he has quit the GTA to plunge headlong into the Gorkhaland movement. “It is a sad for Gorkhaland as the Telangana issue has been considered by the Central Government. Our issue was not even discussed by the CWC in Delhi. I am resigning from the post of Chief Executive of GTA and will lead the agitation for Gorkhaland,” he said in a resolution after the party’s central committee met at the party headquarters at Singhamari in Darjeeling this evening.
It is learnt from the party sources that he would put in his papers to the state’s Governor Mr M K Narayanan, tonight. He also said there would be two days’ relaxation for the bandh from Thursday and it would begin again from Saturday for an indefinite period. He asked the students to be taken home immediately. He further said tourism would be affected for Gorkhaland. Further, Mr Gurung blamed the state government for compelling him to take recourse to such extreme action. “The state keeps interfering in the matters of GTA that causes us pain,” he said. However, he did not comment on the resignation of the other GTA sabha members.
The situation in the Hills compounded further after a youth, Mangal Singh Rajput (40) attempted self-immolation in support of Gorkhaland at Dambar Chowk in Kalimpong today. He was admitted to the ICU at a private hospital in Siliguri with over 60 per cent burns. His condition is stated to be critical. This is a second such case as another youth and a GJMM youth affiliate member had attempted self-immolation in Darjeeling yesterday. However, police and others stopped him when he was about to set himself ablaze after pouring kerosene on his body.
The GJMM has decided to step up heat on the Centre and also the state government after UPA has reportedly agreed to carve out Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh. In the present context they hope the Centre would do justice to our statehood demand that happens to be the oldest one in the country, the party resolution adopted today stated. The GJMM has decided that the Hills would be open for two days from Thursday and from Saturday an indefinite bandh would begin. “It would be complete shutdown. There will be no compromise on this issue. All the offices would remain closed during the strike-relaxation period. However, transport, shops and other commercial establishments will function. “The shutdown will continue in the GTA area till further announcement,” said a senior GJMM leader.
However, the party has not yet decided whether they would opt for the extreme step of quitting the GTA altogether. “Right now, it is enough that Mr Gurung has quit. Things have been set in motion. They will unroll in the coming days,” the party leader added. The Rashtriya Shiv Sena has called a 48-hour Siliguri bandh beginning on Thursday, a RSS leader based in Siliguri said.
Darjeeling, 30 July