GJM threatens to launch fresh agitation

Darjeeling (WB): The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has threatened to launch a fresh agitation for statehood in the Darjeeling Hills if the West Bengal government fails to implement the Gorkha Territorial Administration by March 27.

"If the government fails to implement the GTA by March 27 then we will be forced to launch an agitation for Gorkhaland," GJM president Bimal Gurung said at Jamuni, about 12 km from here yesterday.

Gurung said he would visit Delhi by the end of this month to hold talks with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram for speedy implementation of the GTA.

The GTA agreement was signed on July 18 last year in the presence of Chidambaram, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, but no progress has been made over setting up of the GTA, Gurung alleged.

One of the major problems for the early implementation of the GTA is 'delay' by the high powered territorial committee headed by Justice (retd) Shyamal Sen in submitting its report on the GJM's demand for the inclusion of Gorkha-dominated areas of the Dooars and the Terai in the hill arrangement, official sources said.

The GTA cannot be implemented unless the territorial jurisdiction of the new body is finalised up. Meanwhile, the CPRM and All India Gorkha League today criticised the GJM for the slow pace of progress in setting up of the GTA.