Siliguri, June 30: The CPM has accused Gorkha Janmukti Morcha supporters of threatening the family members of the party’s district secretary S.P. Lepcha and district committee member Tara Sundas.
Although Lepcha is in Siliguri now, his family lives in Singtam Tea Estate, around 10km from Darjeeling. The Sundases live in Kalimpong.
“Over the past few days, a section of the Morcha supporters has been constantly threatening the family members of our district secretary with dire consequences if they do not join the movement for statehood,” said Jibitesh Sarkar, a district secretariat member of the CPM.
Sarkar added that Sundas’s family in Kalimpong is facing similar threats.
Sundas echoed Sarkar and claimed that the Morcha had ransacked the CPM zonal office at Melli Road in Kalimpong and taken over its possession. “On June 9, the Morcha supporters burned down the first floor of the CPM office here,” Sundas said over the phone from Kalimpong. “Today, some Morcha supporters barged in, threw away the furniture and documents and took possession of the office.”
The Morcha leadership denied occupying the CPM office in Kalimpong or threatening Sundas and his family. The threats to Lepcha’s family, on the other hand, were explained as the result of a “mass protest” that had nothing to do with the Morcha.
“Yesterday evening, we heard that Lepcha’s family has been asked to leave the hills,” said Binay Tamang, the media and publicity secretary of the Morcha. “While cross-checking we came to know that the residents, infuriated by Lepcha’s anti-Gorkhaland stance, have asked his family to either join our movement or leave the hills. It had nothing to do with the party, but was a people’s protest against a political leader.”