Gorkhaland: Mamata Banerjee to begin 2-day visit to Darjeeling

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will begin her two-day visit to trouble-torn Darjeeling hills.

Zee Media Bureau

Darjeeling: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will on Monday begin her two-day visit to trouble-torn Darjeeling hills.

On Sunday, the Darjeeling hills had faced a shutdown after a day`s relaxation.

Banerjee is likely to appeal to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) to withdraw its shutdowns and ensure the hill development body, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), functioned properly.

The Chief Minister is likely to visit Kalimpong sub-division of Darjeeling district in connection with a felicitation programme organised by members of the Lepcha community on September 03.
Last week, the Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC), a conglomerate of eight pro-Gorkhaland parties, had called a "Ghar Bhitra Janta (people to remain indoors)" agitation coinciding with Banerjee`s visit to the region. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-led GJAC here and followed the Banerjee government`s stiff opposition and stern security measures in the hills ever since the GJM renewed the movement for a Gorkhaland state.

However, officially the GJAC did not concede that the virtual shutdown call was linked to Banerjee`s trip.

"We are not informed. We are not bothered about who is coming to the hills", GJM leader and GJAC convenor Raju Pradhan had said.

Trouble started afresh in the hills after the GJM intensified the Gorkhaland movement following the United Progressive Alliance`s (UPA) green light to a separate Telangana.

Two GJM activists attempted self-immolation and of them, one succumbed to his injuries.

The Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress state government has ruled out any division of the state.

The Gorkhaland movement for a new state - to be carved out of parts of Darjeeling and its neighbouring Jalpaiguri district - has left many dead over the past two-and-half decades, besides affecting the region`s economy based on tea, timber and tourism.

(With IANS inputs)

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