GJM indefinite bandh to continue, no relaxation

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Kolkata/Jalpaiguri, Feb 14 (PTI) The Gorkha JanamuktiMorcha today reversed its earlier decision to relax itsindefinite bandh in Darjeeling hills, which entered the sixthday today.

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said in Kolkata thatthe indefinite shutdown would continue.

"Earlier it was decided to relax the bandh. But peopledo not want this due to torture unleashed on them by policewith the help of BSF and CRPF who broke their houses andransacked them," Giri told PTI.

GJM president Bimal Gurung had earlier in the dayannounced in Jalpaiguri that the bandh would be relaxed for 24hours from six am tomorrow to enable people to stock upprovisions and other essentials.

Gurung also said that its proposed Kumani-Sankoshpadayatra to press for a separate Gorkhaland would be calledoff subject to police allowing GJM supporters from Dooars andother areas to meet him.

Gurung is camping at Kumani on the border ofDarjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts for the past several daysto hold the proposed padayatra.

Asked if he would consider withdrawing the bandh incase officials of the Election Commission came to Darjeeling,he said, "Permission should be first given for a padayatra byGJM in the Dooars. Only then will I consider withdrawing thebandh."

Giri later told reporters that the acts of violencewere the handiwork of miscreants who want to destabiliseDarjeeling.

He also refuted suggestions of GJM''s Maoist link andprocurement of arms from northeast rebel groups as alleged byWest Bengal minister Asok Bhattacharya.

Claiming that it was pursuing a democratic andpeaceful movement and would continue to do so till it achievedits goal of ''Gorkhaland'', Giri said, "These are baselessallegations. We want to achieve Gorkhaland through ademocratic and peaceful movement. Till now we have maintainedthat and we will do so in the coming days too."

The bandh has hit normal life with LPG, vegetables andessential commodities in short supply. Vehicular traffic hascome to a standstill across the district and offices andschools are closed.

Asked how long the indefinite bandh being enforced byGJM in Darjeeling hill areas to protest against the death oftwo of its supporters in police firing at Sipchu in Jalpaiguridistrict would continue, Giri said, "Till now the indefinitebandh is going on."

He said that the GJM has demanded a CBI inquiry into''unprovoked'' police firing on ''peaceful'' protestors.

"We expect from the Centre that justice is done andpeople''s aspirations for Gorkhaland be honoured," Giri said.

Asked if he would meet meet top leaders of BJP,including L K Advani, who would be in Kolkata tomorrow toattend party programmes, he said, "So far, no meeting isfixed."

He also denied that he had come here to meet WestBengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who has askedthe GJM to sit for talks abjuring violence.

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