Medha Patkar meets tribal leaders in West Bengal

February 10th, 2009 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Siliguri, Feb 10 (IANS) Social activist Medha Patkar Tuesday met tribal leaders in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal to discuss the problems they were facing over the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha’s (GJM) demand for a separate Gorkhaland state.

“We had a meeting with Medha Patkar today. We told her about the problems we are facing over the Gorkhaland demand by the GJM activists,” said Rajesh Lakra, leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Bikash Parishad (ABABP), a tribal opposing GJM’s demand to include the Dooars region in the Gorkhaland territory.

The meeting between Patkar and ABABP leaders was held at Banarhaat in the afternoon.

“We don’t have any problem if GJM activists carry out their movement in the hills. But we don’t understand why they are creating trouble in the Dooars,” Lakra said.

He said Patkar assured them that she would convey the ABABP’s stand to the GJM leadership.

According to sources, Patkar is likely to talk to GJM leaders Tuesday evening at Gorubathan in the Kalimpong sub-division of Darjeeling district.

“The situation is still quite tense in the Dooars area but there has been no report of fresh conflict between GJM activists and ABABP supporters today,” Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Bandana Yadav said.

She added that Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, which bans the gathering of four or more people at one place, had been imposed in some areas of the Dooars region to prevent any untoward incident.

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