GJM supporters celebrate treaty signing

Sukna (WB): Thousands of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters gathered at the Pintal Village, near here, to witness and celebrate the signing of the tripartite agreement for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration on Monday.

Clad in traditional dresses, the supporters including women gathered under the tents erected on the sprawling ground near the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council bungalow amidst tight security.

Activists of the GJM women's wing, Gorkha Nari Morcha, took to the stage, dancing and singing to celebrate the occasion.

Many of the supporters were heard shouting slogans like, 'Mamata Banerjee zindabad,' and 'Bimal Gurung zindabad,' while shouts of 'we want Gorkhaland,' 'we want a separate state,' were also heard.

"This is a turning point in our movement and not a permanent settlement. This is only a temporary settlement to address the basic problem. The separate state issue must not be a closed chapter," P Arjun, a member of the GJM think tank 16-member Study Forum, said.

Describing the signing of the agreement as the result of a reciprocal attitude on both sides, Arjun, a former member of the West Bengal Civil Service, said, "this attitude, which is demonstrated by Mamata Banerjee, was not displayed by the previous Left Front government in finding out a solution."

Arjun said GJM president Bimal Gurung would not hold any position in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.

A section of the Gorkha people, however, said it would have been better if the agreement was signed after demarcation of the boundaries of the GTA.

The GJM has been demanding inclusion of the Gorkha- dominated areas of the Dooars and Terai under the GTA.