GJM to intensify agitation from Nov 7

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Siliguri, Oct 18 (UNI) Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) chief Bimal Gurung today declared that the outfit, spearheading the movement for a separate state, will intensify its agitation from November 7.

''All the residents of the hill areas have been asked to be mentally prepared for the protest movement from November 7. We will continue our agitation and non-cooperation movement even if the West Bengal government decides to deploy CRPF,'' Mr Gurung said.

Meanwhile, several anti-GJM outfits in Siliguri started agitation against the GJM's move to replace all the signboards outside government and private offices in the hill areas from 'West Bengal' to 'Gorkhaland'.

The Bangla Morcha submitted a memorandum to the Siliguri Sub-Divisional Officer and issued a 72-hour ultimatum to take action against the ''undemocratic and illegal'' tactics adopted by the GJM.

It also organised road blockades and threatened to intensify its agitation if immediate action was not taken.

The Jana Chetana declared that it will organise a dharna at New Delhi on November 7 against the separate statehood demand. It also announced to organise motorcycle rallies, sit-in demonstrations and other movements in Siliguri.

Similarly, the Yuva Sena, the youth wing of the Shiv Sena, declared that it will burn effigies of Bimal Gurung, Roshan Giri and other GJM leaders on October 21.

Meanwhile, the Bangla Bachao Committee called a 12-hour North Bengal bandh on October 22 in protest against the GJM's diktat to replace the signboards and number plates of all vehicles.

The CITU convention also decided to launch a counter-agitation against the demand to carve a separate state from West Bengal.

''We will monitor the situation over the next few days and if the forceful replacement of West Bengal signboards continues, we will launch an agitation from October 22. We will not allow any vehicle from the plains to move to the hill areas,'' Darjeeling district CITU secretariat member Ajay Chakraborty said.

Darjeeling District Magistrate Surendra Kumar Gupta informed yesterday that all the government offices, where the signboards had been replaced, have been directed to submit written complaints to the police stations and accordingly cases will be filed against the perpetrators.

However, no cases in this regard had been filed so far.

Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Rahul Srivastava informed that no arrests were made in this connection so far.

''We will take action according to the directives issued by the Writers' Buildings and instructions from the higher authorities as and when necessary,'' the SP added.

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