CM slams pro-Gorkhaland agitationists for blockade of NH-31A

Gangtok: Slamming the pro-Gorkhaland agitationists for carrying out frequent traffic disruption on the National Highway 31A, the sole road link connecting Sikkim with the rest of country, Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling today urged the Centre to intervene in the matter to enable the people of Sikkim to lead a life of dignity and respect.

A state of lawlessness was prevailing in the Darjeeling Hills since 1986 on the issue of a separate statehood demand with the agitationists resorting to frequent blockade of the NH-31A that has adversely affected the economy of Sikkim and traumatized its people who have had to live in a state of fear, he said at the meet on internal security presided over by the Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh at New Delhi.

The loss to the state economy has been to the tune of Rs. 1000 crores because of traffic disruptions on NH-31A since 1986, Chamling said, an official release said here today.

Something needs to be done (uninterrupted traffic on NH-31A) urgently as the agitationists had sought to isolate Sikkim and its people at will and even on the slightest pretext, Chamling implored the Centre.

The Chief Minister also accused the protagonists of the separate state for troubling Sikkim in more than one ways and said that the supply of beer and liquor produced in the border state was not allowed in Darjeeling Hills while the trucks plying on the highway were forced to cough out ransom by the agitationists.

Chamling further alleged that the transports and passenger vehicles on the highway too were harassed by the volunteers of the police personnel raised by the agitationists, he said referring to the Gorkha Liberation Police (GLP) of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

Claiming that Sikkim faced some problems in internal security due to the porous border with Darjeeling Hills region as the criminals and anti-social elements moved between the two states for carrying out criminal acts.

Stating that Sikkim and its people have had to bear untold miseries, trauma and insecurity in their day-to-day lives due to political issues in Darjeeling Hills, Chamling urged the Centre to address the law and order aspect of the problem so that Sikkim could remain immune and unaffected from political course on the statehood issue.