Mamata issues 72-hr deadline to GJM on Darjeeling bandh

Armed with a Calcutta High Court order to maintain normalcy in Darjeeling hills, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerje on Saturday gave a 72-hour deadline to the GJM to call off its indefinite bandh or else face action.

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2013, 17:18 PM IST

Kolkata: Armed with a Calcutta High Court order to maintain normalcy in Darjeeling hills, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerje on Saturday gave a 72-hour deadline to the GJM to call off its indefinite bandh or else face action.

"Enough is enough. I have tolerated for eight days. I am very rough and tough. I am giving 72 hours to withdraw the bandh. Do not force me to take strong action," Banerjee told a press conference at the state secretariat.

Ruling out division of Bengal, she said, "Darjeeling is part and parcel of West Bengal. Darjeeling is my heart. There can be no division of the state based on race."

Claiming that the GJM had become unpopular in the hills for forcibly enforcing the bandh which was leading to harassment and hardship to the people there, she cited the high court order to ensure normal life in Darjeeling.

"I have some constitutional obligations. There is a high court order and also a Supreme Court order on bandhs," she said.
Asked whether her government would hold talks with the GJM, she said, "There is no difficulty in holding talks if they withdraw the bandh. They can approach the chief secretary and the home secretary.
"I have visited Darjeeling 25 times and will go again," she said. Attacking the Centre, she referred to `some politicians` and said, "do not try to play the divide and rule politics. Let us stick with unity and think unity."

PTI