Spate of bandhs from July 15-19 in North Bengal

Several organisations, active in Terai and Dooars region have called for back-to-back separate bandhs from July 15-19.

Siliguri: Several organisations, active in
Terai and Dooars region of north Bengal, have called for
back-to-back separate bandhs from July 15-19 in protest
against proposed Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA),
a tripartite treaty proposed to be signed in this week end.

While eight organisations including Amra Bangali,
Terai-Dooars Nagarik Manch called a 24-hr shutdown in the
region on Friday, the Adibasi Vikash Parisad again called a
48-hour bandh in Terai and Dooars on July 16 and 17.

To complicate matters, the Bangla-o-Bangla Bhasa Bachaon
Committee also pitched in by giving a 2-day bandh call on July
18-19 in protest against the proposed GTA.

The police and administration were worried over the
spate of bandhs as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
was expected to visit Darjeeling Hills on July 18-19 to sign
the GTA treaty though support base of the organisations having
called the bandh was confined to same particular pockets.

Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) (in-charge) D
T Lepcha told reporters that police would take appropriate
measures if there was any move to disturb prevailing peace.

Former minister and senior CPI(M) leader Ashok
Bhattacharya said that though Marxists had opposed the bandh
call, it would have been better had the decision on GTA been
taken after discussion with all parties and communities of

A leader of Adibasi Vikash Parishad Tej Kumar Toppo
alleged that the nine member assessment committee formed by
the state government to examine the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha
(GJM) demand to include 196 `moujas` of Terai and Dooars did
not include even a singe Adivasi member though the community
were the majority in the region.

"Under no circumstances, we will spare an inch of Terai
and Dooars to the GTA," he said.

The President of Bangla-o-Bangla Bhasa Bachaon
Committee (BOBBBC), Mukunda Majumder demanded that the word
`Gorkhaland` in the nomenclature of GTA should have to be
dropped first.


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