Gorkha Janamukti Morcha relaxes indefinite bandh in Darjeeling for few hours

June 11th, 2008 - 11:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Darjeeling/ Siliguri, June 11 (ANI): The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha has declared a 15-hour relaxation in the indefinite bandh to enable locals to stock food and essential commodities.
The Darjeeling hills today entered into its second day of the indefinite bandh.
The relaxation was announced from 3 p.m. onwards by the GJM President Bimal Gurung at a public meeting at Mal in Darjeeling town.
According to a GJM source, the relaxation period might be extended further as a crisis in food and essential commodities was already being felt in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling district — Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
If the bandh was resumed from Thursday, the spontaneous support that the GJM enjoyed, might be affected, the source said.
A meeting of the GJM central committee is likely to meet in the evening to evaluate the situation and take “practical decisions”, the source said.
Gurung, meanwhile, said that a memorandum had been faxed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing deployment of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Darjeeling, “which will lead to panic” among the residents.
Earlier in the day, GJM General Secretary, Roshan Giri had said that his party had rejected the call of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to give up its demand for creation of a separate state of Gorkhaland.
“Gorkhaland is our demand. There is no question of giving it up. We are open for talks provided Gorkhaland is on the agenda for discussion,” he said over telephone from Darjeeling.
The West Bengal Government has already dismissed the demand for a separate state in the hills and urged GJM leaders to sit for talks on other issues.
Meanwhile, hundreds of tourists were forced to leave Darjeeling hills following a shutdown called by supporters of separate statehood for ethnic Gorkha people.
Activists of the GJM had asked tourists, including dozens of foreigners, to leave Darjeeling to avoid getting caught in the indefinite strike that began on Tuesday.
Dozens of tourists were stranded as buses and taxis stayed off the roads.
GJMM comprising about half a dozen parties, has been organizing protests over the past few months in the Darjeeling hills demanding action for a separate Gorkhaland state. The group had revived the demand for Sixth schedule status while the GJMM, a breakaway faction of the GNLF, opposes it demanding full-fledged statehood. The West Bengal Government has been resisting the demands for a separate state for the Gorkhas. (ANI)

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