Anti-Gorkhaland body calls 24-hour shutdown in Silliguri

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Silliguri, Mar 18 (ANI): Activists of the Bangla-O-Bangla Bhasa Bachao committee, a regional forum, called for a 24-hour here, protesting the fifth round of tripartite talks to be held with central officials in New today.

Most of the shops were closed with only few school and government buses running along with some private vehicles in Siliguri. Picketers blocked the road and stopped local autos and rickshaws.

The committee says that the district of Darjeeling comes under the purview of West Bengal state and it cannot be divided by any means.

"The purpose of this meeting (tripartite talks) is a conspiracy to hand over part of Bengal, that is Darjeeling, to the rebel Nepalese, in the form of giving them more power, more power or more self-government with powerful more than ...schedule. We strongly oppose it; we will never accept partition of Bengal or any Gorkhaland demand," said Mukunda Majumdar, president of the committee.

The Gorkhaland Movement has taken a different turn after the GJM proposed the establishment of an interim council till December 31, 2011, as a precursor to the creation of a separate Gorkhaland state.

The Gorkhaland Regional Authority seeks to have legislative powers on matters such as town and country planning, culture and mining of certain minerals.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is estimated to be around a million. (ANI)

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