GJM to start fast unto death in support of Gorkhaland from July 15, bandh to continue

DARJEELING
11 Jul 2017

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today announced its decision to sit on fast unto death from July 15 in support of Gorkhaland. The decision was taken today after a meeting of hill parties. The ongoing bandh which has already made a major impact on the economy of hills, especially the tea industry, will also continue, said GJM leader Benoy Tamang.

Meanwhile The Calcutta High Court today sought an affidavit from a responsible officer of the Centre detailing the difficulties in replacing a part of the Central Armed Police Force deployed in the restive Darjeeling hills. A bench of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty also asked the West Bengal government to file another affidavit regarding deployment of its own forces in Darjeeling hills to quell the continuing unrest over separate statehood demand. The bench sought their affidavits by July 13 while expressing concern over the sufferings of people in stir-hit Darjeeling hills amid the ongoing tussle over replacement of forces, sought by the state for 'operational reasons.'

The division bench expressed concern at the continuous closure of most schools in the hills, including several boarding schools where pupils from all over the country and abroad study. An indefinite bandh called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which is spearheading the violent agitation demanding a separate state for the hills people, entered the 27th day today. It may be added here that intellectuals from diverse fields in West Bengal have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking restoration of normalcy in Darjeeling.

A host of intellectuals from the fields of literature, painting and acting, many of whom are of national repute, appealed to the Prime Minister "to take steps to undermine the agitation and restore normalcy in Darjeeling hills". "A section of population of the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal have raised once again demand for a separate Gorkhaland state on a flimsy ground. Their destructive activities have thrown public life totally out of gear there," the letter, a copy of which was given to PTI today, said.