GJMM calls off 72-hour bandh

Statesman News Service

GORUBATHAN (KALIMPONG), Dec. 24: The Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha today withdrew the 72-hour bandh call in the proposed area of Gorkhaland scheduled from 27 December. The party also announced that it will participate in the 29 December tripartite talks in New Delhi on the statehood demand. Party chief Mr Bimal Gurung is likely to lead the delegation to New Delhi for the talks.

Mr Gurung today also announced here the suspension of the ongoing relay hunger strike with effect from 6 p.m. today. Both the programmes were adopted to demand the arrest of those involved in the alleged attack on GJMM activists at Kalchini in the Dooars recently. Talking to the media at Gorubathan in Kalimpong sub-division today, the GJMM chief said the party has formed a 13-member delegation for the tripartite talks involving the Centre, the West Bengal government and the GJMM and there was “every possibility” of his attending the talks in New Delhi. “There is an 80 per cent chance that I would attend the 29 December tripartite talks but I would make a final announcement on this within a day or two,” Mr Gurung said. He added that the 13-member GJMM delegation would include two representatives from the Adivasi community and one from the indigenous Rajbanshi community of north Bengal.

According to him, the GJMM central committee would meet in Kalimpong later in the evening to discuss issues pertaining to the delegation’s impending Delhi tour. “Since the police have arrested most of the accused, we have decided to withdraw the bandh. But the course of our future agitation would depend on the outcome of the 29 December talks,” he said, announcing that the GJMM youth activists would hold rallies across the proposed Gorkhaland areas on 26 December and would resume the relay hunger strike from 27 December morning to press for the success of the Delhi negotiations.

Criticising the IGP north Bengal, Mr KL Tamta, for his alleged biased role, Mr Gurung said: “He (the IGP) is a thief and a corrupt officer. He has got about 150 youths into betel-nut smuggling and is onto politics. He is working at the behest of minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya and is trying to incite violence against the GJMM. We demand his immediate removal and the demand would also figure during the 29 December tripartite talks.” The GJMM president said that the party would demand future tripartite talks to be held at the political level. The first round of tripartite talks on the Darjeeling statehood demand was held in New Delhi on 8 September.

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