GJM threatens fresh stir in hills

Alleging that the government has been dillydallying over the formation of the Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), the Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) has given an ultimatum to form the proposed hill body by March 27 or be ready to face the music.

“We will burn the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) treaty if it is not formed by the deadline. We will renew our agitation for Gorkhaland from April 27,” GJM president Bimal Gurung warned at a public rally on Wednesday.

When asked whether GJM was again going back on its previous demand of a separate state, its spokesperson and MLA Harka Bahadur Chetri told Deccan Herlad over phone: “The point is not going back to our previous demand of statehood. We stood by our demand of a separate state for the people of the hills”.

“We had belief in our CM who promised GTA which would give us more administrative and executive power and we co-operated with her but nine months after assuming power she has done nothing” Chetri alleged.

“We cannot allow the government to play with the sentiments of the people and if the government doesn’t adhere to the assurance then we don’t have the moral responsibility to our commitment,” Chetri added. “Government must respect the sentiment of the people of the hills and form GTA immediately else we will have to walk on the path of agitation again,” the GJM spokesman said.

On July 18, 2011, a tripartite agreement was signed between the GJM, the state of West Bengal and the Centre for setting up a new autonomous, elected GTA, a hill council armed with more powers than the previous Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC).

As per the accord, an expert committee headed by justice Shyamal Sen was set up for the purpose of the survey of the Gorkha-dominated parts of Siliguri, Terai (plains of Darjeeling) and Dooars (foothills of the eastern Himalyas) to examine if areas from these places can be brought under the GTA.

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