CPI(M) provoking GJM to indulge in violence : Gurung

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Siliguri, Oct 22 (UNI) A Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) delegation, led by its president Bimal Gurung, today met West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi at the Raj Bhawan in Darjeeling and apprised him of their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

Addressing a press conference in Darjeeling after meeting the Governor, Mr Gurung said, '' The CITU and other anti-GJM parties, affiliated to the CPI(M), are indulging in violence in the plains with the motive of instigating the GJM supporters to retaliate.

'' However, we believe in the Gandhian form of agitation and we will continue our movement in a non-violent way. '' We will not give up our agitation for Gorkhaland, '' the GJM chief asserted.

The proposed Gorkhaland comprises the entire Darjeeling district, including Siliguri, and Dooars subdivision under Jalpaiguri district.

GJM press and publicity secretary Benoy Tamang said, '' We also drew the attention of the Governor towards the attacks on and ransacking of vehicles bearing GL number plates in Siliguri. '' The GJM demanded the Governor's intervention for the creation of a separate state for the Gorkhas.

Meanwhile, the CITU withdrew its 72-hour transport strike from today to protest replacement of government signboards with 'Gorkhaland' and 'WB' with 'GL' on number plates of vehicles following appeals from the administration.

'' We have suspended our agitation following assurance from the administration of taking action against the undemocratic and illegal movement of the GJM. We will monitor the situation over the next few days and if the condition does not improve, we will relaunch our agitation, '' CITU leader Ajay Chakraborty said.

Earlier, Darjeeling SP Rahul Srivastav, Additional SP Gaurav Sharma, Siliguri ADM Paritosh Ray and other senior officers held a meeting with the CITU leaders and appealed to stop obstructing hill-bound vehicles from Siliguri to Kurseong, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Mirik.

Darjeeling SP Rahul Srivastav said tension prevailed in the morning hours as activists of the CPI(M)'s trade union wing began picketing in Bhaktinagar, Sukna and Khaprailbazar in Darjeeling hills.

Some vehicles bearing GL number plates were damaged, while some others were seized by police.

However, the situation was under control now, the SP added.

Siliguri Additional District Magistrate Paritosh Ray assured that action would be taken if any complaint was received from the hill areas regarding forcible replacement of vehicles' number plates or assaults on the drivers and passengers.

UNI XC-DPM SJC DB1828

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