Indefinite shutdown to continue in Darjeeling, says GJM

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Kolkata, July 6 (IANS) The indefinite shutdown in north Bengal hills to press for a separate Gorkhaland state will continue, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) announced on Thursday, accusing the administration in Jalpaiguri and Siliguri of blocking supplies of essential items to the troubled region.

“The strike will continue and the next meeting will be on July 18,” GJM’s Assistant General Secretary Binay Tamang told IANS at the end of the Morcha-convened all-party meeting in Pedong.

Tamang said essential commodities like medicines are exempt from the shutdown, which continued for the 22nd day.

He claimed that “the district authorities in Siliguri and Jalpaiguri are blocking (passage of) essential items to Darjeeling and Sikkim”.

This is the third all-party political meeting in 22 days held in the Darjeeling hills over its political agitation.

The meeting also marked the maiden gathering of the newly-formed GJM-chaired Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC).

The GJM declared the agitation will continue in Dooars and Terai regions with the cooperation of people from all communities.

Dooars refers to the foothills of the Himalayas covering stretches of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar district, while plains close to the hills are called Terai.

“Gorkhaland will not be accepted without Dooars and Terai,” said Tamang.

Condemning Wednesday’s incident in Kalimpong in which the GJM claimed that four of its members were injured in police firing, Tamang said legal cell, human rights and data research cell under the GMCC would be formed.

“The cells are responsible for gathering evidence and data related to human rights violations and to file cases against Bengal government and administration,” he said.

The parties also requested all chairpersons and members of the development boards formed for various hill-based communities by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to resign.

–IANS

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