Rumblings about Gorkhaland in Darjeeling again



Siliguri: Exactly a month after the West Bengal government signed a bipartite agreement with the GJM, described as 'historic' by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, rumblings about 'Gorkhaland' are again being heard in the Darjeeling hills.

Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung has been holding meetings in Darjeeling district claiming that none could resist the formation of Gorkhaland, while urging partymen in the plains in the Dooars to ensure that the government assessment team returned convinced that people there area wanted to be under the new hill council.

At the signing of the bipartite agreement on June 7 the GJM had made a proposal for inclusion of Gorkha-dominated areas in Dooars and Terai in the plains in adjacent Jalpaiguri district in the jurisdiction of the proposed council.

The state government had then announced the formation of a high power, 9-member committee to go into the proposal and submit its report within six months.

The committee was also to look into the geographical location and the present status on the disputed territories.

Perhaps to keep the pressure on the state government on its demand for including 196 moujas in the area, Gurung has been making references to Gorkhaland at his meetings.

During a one such meeting at Kalchini in the Dooars, where the GJM's influence runs, Gurung directed partymen to ensure that the government assessment team saw GJM flags fluttering from the majority of households.

The GJM has agreed to an autonomous hill council with more financial and executive powers, which would replace the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, a long-standing demand.

PTI