Pro-Gorkhaland groups form joint action committee, fresh agitation from August 19

Several parties led by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) Friday formed a Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee (GJAC) and called for a five-day agitation starting Aug 19, a GJM leader said.

Zee Media Bureau

Darjeeling: Even as Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supremo Bimal Gurung on Friday indicated that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is currently having an edge in the war of nerves between the Morcha and state over Gorkhaland issue, the GJM today threatened to resume agitation from August 19.

According to a Facebook post Gurung wrote, "The agitation will continue from the 19th."

However, the form of agitation is still not clear.

A new committee was formed today in Darjeeling which announced a fresh five day agitation programme from August 19 changing the nomenclature of the `janata curfew` to `ghar bitrai janta` (people inside homes) on their demand for a separate Gorkhaland.

Earlier, the GJM had given a relaxation in the indefinite bandh to demand Gorkhaland in the Darjeeling hills for four days from Independence day.

Meawhile, Bimal Gurung also urged the West Bengal government to refrain from "bulldozing masses of Darjeeling Hills with the barrel of gun."
"The West Bengal government should stop terrorising people by brandishing gun. This will not help the situation," Gurung said.

Further while pressing on their demand of a separate state known as Gorkhaland, Gurung added, "The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will continue to exercise their freedom of expression, speech and will assemble peacefully to press for their demand for Gorkhaland."

Asked about scarcity of food supplies, Gurung said "such things hardly matter in a broader perspective. We are ready to fight for Gorkhaland."

"The people will stay at home. This is their wish. We honour their wish. They have total support for Gorkhaland," a spokesman of the newly-formed body, Gorkhaland Joint Action Committee of which GJM was a constituent, said.

On whether shops and markets would be open during the five-day agitation, he said that none would stir out of their houses to make purchases.

"All programs that will be announced from today will be by GJAC," Gorkka Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung said in a Facebook post.

Asked that the Calcutta High Court expressing displeasure over continuance of bandh in the hills in the name of janata curfew, the spokesman replied, "We have not given any call for a janata curfew."

He said that a human chain programme in the hills would be held on August 26 when the people would wear black bands and carry posters in support of Gorkhaland and to "protest against the attitude of the West Bengal government."

Before that a `rakhi procession` would be taken out on August 24 and 25, he told reporters.

He also demanded the intervention of the central government to resolve the issue.

On whether they would talk to West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan, he said that if the Governor would invite them, they would talk to him.

When asked about the fate of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, the hill council, he said that a resolution has already been passed at the earlier all-party meeting that "GTA was a failure and would be dissolved at an appropriate time. Today`s meeting of the committee reiterated this."

With PTI inputs

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