GJM to shut SDO and BDO offices from April 7

Last Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 12:28

Siliguri: Gorkha Janamukti Morcha has announced plans to shut down all Sub-Divisional and Block Development offices in Darjeeling hills of West Bengal indefinitely from April 7 in protest against hike in water tax among other issues.

GJM chief Bimal Gurung at a party meeting in Kurseong
had said yesterday that movement of vehicles from these
offices would also be disrupted.

The decision was taken to protest against the hike in
water tax and non-payment of dues under Nehru Rojgar Yojana
scheme, press and publicity chief of the morcha Harka Bahadur
Chhetri told a news agency over phone this morning.

Gurung said that the GJM wanted to settle the "territory
issue" at the next political level tripartite talks scheduled
in mid-May.

"The Morcha has already demanded autonomy to 124
departments. But only departments will not not serve our
purpose, we want demarcated territory in the interim
arrangement", he said.

A Morcha delegation was in New Delhi recently to discuss
the main issues for an interim arrangement in the Darjeeling
hills till 2011 when assembly elections are due in West
Bengal.

Gurung had said that the interim arrangement would be as
good as a separate state of Gorkhaland.

"Only the name will be different," he said adding it has
been conveyed to both state and the Centre that territories
for interim arrangement should have to be identified first.

Gurung said he had also submitted a revised map of the
territory which had excluded some areas of Terai and Dooars
region in his secret proposal.

Earlier, Harka Bahadur Chhetri had told a news agency that GJM
would in no case forego the demand for inclusion of Siliguri
within its territory.

State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen, during official-level
talks in Delhi last month, had said that inclusion of Siliguri
or any other land barring three hill sub-divisions in the
territory was `impractical, impossible and out of question`.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 12:28

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