New agency vital for Darjeeling people’s identity: Gurung

July 18th, 2011 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Sukna (West Bengal), July 18 (IANS) Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung Monday said the constitution of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) was vital for the identity of the people of the Darjeeling hills.

He appealed to the core committee to be formed on area demarcation to quickly complete its job of deciding the areas in the Terai and Dooars that could be included in the new development body.

“The agreement we signed today could have taken place long before. But the previous Left Front government was never serious about solving it. They didn’t want this to happen,” said Gurung while speaking at the tripartite agreement signing programme.

A tripartite agreement on the Darjeeling hills was signed Monday among the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) and the West Bengal and central governments.

At the core of the pact is the formation of a new autonomous, elected Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), a hill council armed with more powers than its predecessor Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) formed in the late 1980s.

“Mamata didi herself has come to power after lot of struggle. So she understands our problem. And that is why she has played an important role in this treaty. We want to thank her. This thing (GTA) was very important for our identity. The West Bengal and central governments should help us,” said Gurung.

The agreement provides for the formation of the nine-member high powered committee, comprising four members each from GJM and the state government and one from the central government, that will be formed to study GJM’s demand on demarcating Gorkha majority areas in the Terai (plains of Darjeeling) and Dooars (foothills of the Himalayas) for inclusion in the council.

“The core committee on area demarcation should work actively and quickly to fulfil our dreams, keeping in mind our long struggle,” said Gurung.

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