Darjeeling, June 20, 2017: An all party meeting of pro-Gorkhaland forces in Darjeeling on Tuesday resolved to continue with the one point demand of Gorkhaland and that the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will unilaterally withdraw from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration - an autonomous administrative body that is functional in the Hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of North Bengal. The ongoing agitation including the indefinite bandh will continue.
14 political and apolitical parties were present in Tuesday's meeting. Later talking to media persons, P Arjun, member of Gorkhaland Study Forum, the think tank of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha stated "The movement for Gorkhaland will continue till its logical end. The meeting unanimously resolved that the GJM will unilaterally withdraw from the GTA as early as possible."
Copies of the resolution will be sent to the State and Centre. Incidentally the GJM had launched a neo-agitation for Gorkhaland in 2007. The agitation culminated with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Centre, State and GJM on July 18, 2011 paving way for the formation of GTA in 2012. In the GTA elections that followed all the 45 elected GJM members took charge of this autonomous administrative body in August 2012.
An All India Coordination Committee for Gorkhaland will be constituted to spearhead the Gorkhaland movement comprising of representatives of the constituent parties. "The committee will formulate policies and will also be meeting the President of India, Prime Minister and Union Home Minister in Delhi with the Gorkhaland demand. The movement will be pan Indian. We will be approaching the Gorkha organizations throughout the country for support" added Arjun.
The all party meeting resolved that no political of apolitical outfits from the Hills will attend the all party meeting called by the State Government on the ongoing Hill crisis in Siliguri on June 22. Regarding the ongoing indefinite bandh called by the GJM since July 15, Prasad stated "This is a people's movement.
People want the agitation and the bandh to continue. However the onus lies with the State Government who have transformed Darjeeling into a war zone. If the Government wants peace to return and the bandh to be withdrawn, all repressive forces have to be withdrawn. Police atrocities need to stop immediately including random arrests. The Government has to stop human rights violation including restoring internet in the Hills. They have to reconsider rigid stand on Bengali language policy. We will meet again on June 24 to chalk out our future course of action."
The day saw supporters of different political outfits gathering at the Gymkhana club, the venue of the all party meeting. They displayed posters with messages "We want Gorkhaland;" "Please give back the internet;" "No GTA only Gorkhaland." They even shouted slogans demanding that the parties should not backtrack on the ongoing movement and go ahead with Gorkhaland.
Meanwhile Kiran Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Government of India arrived in Sikkim on Monday to attend the World Yoga Day programme on Wednesday. A GJM team is camping in Gangtok trying to meet Rijiju. Incidentally the GJM has been demanding immediate intervention by the Centre on the ongoing Darjeeling impasse.
The Left Front has decided not to attend the State called all party meeting in Siliguri. "The Chief Minister is out of the country. Only a few Ministers and bureaucrats will be attending. It is meaningless" stated Vivek Sarkar, Left Front Convenor, Darjeeling.
The State Government on Tuesday sent a report on Darjeeling and iterated its demand for 6 companies of Central Forces. In Darjeeling a vehicle of the Cultural and Information Department was vandalised on Tuesday.