Darjeeling: Facing resentment in Darjeeling
hills over its agreement with West Bengal government on
setting up an autonomous hill council, the Gorkha Janmukti
Morcha on Wednesday said the new council will be a step towards
getting a separate state or a Union Territory status.
After a meeting of Morcha leaders from the three hill
sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong yesterday
at the Gymkhana Club here, Bimal Gurung said in a statement
that the agreement was not "final".
"A final solution would take place only according to the
wishes of the hill people, an overwhelming majority of whom
wanted separate statehood," Gurung said.
"The new council will be a step towards getting a
separate state or a Union Territory status," he said.
Besides, the statement said, the Morcha does not want a
constitutional guarantee for the new council as that would
give a stamp of final status on the set-up.
Sources in the Morcha said the Gymkhana meeting was
prompted by clashes between two groups of the GJM over the
so-called dilution of the original demand for a separate
Gorkhaland state at Kalimpong two days after the agreement was
signed in Kolkata.
Resentment had been brewing among a section of
local-level Morcha leaders across all three sub-divisons ever
since the agreememt was signed, the sources said.
The Gymkhana meeting was attended by Morcha general
secretary Roshan Giri, top leader Harkabahadur Chettri,
Darjeeling MLA Trilok Dewan and others besides heads of
different frontal organisations.
Other players in the hills like the All India Gorkha
League and CPRM have threatened to launch a movement if the
new council was set up jettisoning the hill people`s
long-standing demand for a separate state.
AIGL leader Lakshman Pradhan told reporters that the
party wants a speedy completion of the CBI inquiry into the
murder of its former chief Madan Tamang by alleged GJM
He said the AIGL wants investigation into the role of
Morcha leaders, against whom FIRs have been filed.