GJM reverses decision, calls indefinite bandh in Darjeeling

Reversing its decision within hours after the arrival of central forces in hills, GJM said it took `hard decision` for indefinite bandh in Darjeeling to demand Gorkhaland state on lines of Telangana.

Darjeeling: Reversing its decision within hours after the arrival of central forces in the hills, the GJM today said it took a `hard decision` for an indefinite bandh in Darjeeling from Saturday to demand a Gorkhaland state on the lines of Telangana.

Accusing the West Bengal government of trying to `crush a democratic movement`, GJM leader Harka Bahadur Chhetri said "We had to take a hard stand."

He said "There will be indefinite bandh in the hills from August 3. There will be no relaxation.

"The bandh will be withdrawn on August 15 and continue again from August 16 bandh till a new programme is announced," he said.

Earlier in the day, GJM general secretary and spokesman Roshan Giri had said that in view of Eid, the GJM would give some relaxation and the shutdown would be for 96-hours.

GJM President Bimal Gurung said that the Morcha would intensify its movement for a separate Gorkhaland as per the wishes of the hill people.

"There will be hardship, but our movement will continue," he said.
On the arrival of central forces in the hills, Gurung said, "Let the security forces come. The forces had come earlier also. We will launch our movement in a democratic way."

Giri earlier said that A GJM delegation would go to
Delhi tomorrow to press the demand for a Gorkhaland state.

On the next course of action, Giri said it would be announced by the party president who would address a rally on August 11.

To another query, he said that GTA members and GJM MLAs would resign when instructed by the party chief. Gurung had resigned as CEO of the Gorkha Territorial Administration, the hill council that runs the administration in the hills.

Meanwhile, Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Kunal Agarwal said steps were being taken so that those willing to work, could do so in Darjeeling.

The agitation in the hills has been sparked after Congress and its allies unanimously decided to carve out a Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday ruled out division of the state and maintained that Darjeeling would remain a part of Bengal.

PTI